New Citroen Berlingo proves there's life in the MPV yet

With family buyers moving in their droves towards crossovers and SUVs, the market for big, square and practical MPVs is dwindling. But Citroen is obviously keen to keep the sector alive, and so it's revealed the latest version of its new Berlingo Multispace.

Intended as a more rugged and utilitarian offering to sit alongside the popular C4 Picasso and Grand Picasso, the new Berlingo may still be van-shaped, but it's been given a trendy makeover to help it appeal to funky young SUV buyers.

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The new Berlingo will be available in medium or long wheelbase forms, with 350mm difference between the two. Both variants are available with seven seats, though, and both rear rows are removable for maximum versatility.

The Berlingo uses the same scalable EMP2 platform that underpins a variety of PSA Peugeot Citroen models – from the 308 hatchback right up to the large Dispatch and Expert panel vans. This should allow a car-like drive from the Berlingo without compromising its van-like capacity.

Under the hood will be offered a 1.2-litre petrol engine available in 109bhp and 128bhp states of tune, while a 1.5-litre BlueHDi diesel will range in power from a lowly 74bhp to 128bhp.

The biggest changes aren't afoot under the skin, though. The Berlingo's exterior has been given a serious going-over, and it now benefits from the same 'stacked' headlamp arrangement, narrow front grille and protective 'Airbump' side mouldings as many of Citroen's passenger cars.

The interior is more car-like than before, with orange piping lifting the seat upholstery and an array of storage cubbies adding an additional 128 litres of luggage space. The boot itself is vast, with a total of 775-litres in the M model and 1050-litres in the L.

Finally, the Berlingo gains a host of new safety kit, including adaptive cruise control, park assist, lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking.

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