Citroen e-Berlingo Review 2024

Written by Phill Tromans

7/10
heycar ratingPracticality with a hint of style
  • 2018
  • MPV
  • EV

Quick overview

Pros

  • Loads of interior space
  • Cheap to run
  • Rather stylish for a van-based MPV

Cons

  • Interior quality could be better
  • Battery range is poor by latest standards
  • Infotainment system is a bit slow

Overall verdict on the Citroen e-Berlingo

“The Citroen e-Berlingo is one of the most practical family cars you can buy. It’s essentially a van with some extra comfort added in, along with a dab of style and about a million different places to store things. If you’ve got an active family that needs to be kept occupied – whether on the school run or on long road trips – then it’s a great option, although longer trips will require planning due to the relatively small battery range.”

Citroen e-Berlingo Review 2024: front static

In an age where electric SUVs have taken over as the preferred car choice of many families, you may be wondering if there’s still a place in the world for the humble MPV. Well, the Citroen e-Berlingo is here to tell you that yes, there most definitely is. If practicality is your number one priority, then there isn’t an SUV on the market that can compete with the sheer space and storage possibilities that the e-Berlingo offers. Available in both five-seat and seven-seat forms, it’s got a large boot and seemingly no end of storage spaces inside the cabin.


Performance is just about acceptable for everyday ferrying of families, although there’s none of the electric (no pun intended) acceleration you get from some battery powered family SUVs. The ride is comfortable and smooth enough, but you get the feeling that top-class dynamics wasn’t a high priority for the engineering team.


And why would it be? Far better to put efforts into making the ultimate people carrier, from the durable, wipe-clean plastics to the individual fold-flat back seats, the sliding rear doors that won’t bump into neighbouring vehicles in the car park, and the fold-up tables in the back of the front seat. Go for the M model and you’ll seat five in comfort, or go for XL and you can expand that to seven.


By the latest standards, the battery range is modest – its 50kWh battery will give you up to 177 miles according to its official figure. That’s fine for around town, but you’ll need to plan for longer trips.


A refreshed e-Berlingo was revealed midway through 2024, with new looks and extended range, but we haven’t driven that one yet – this review focuses on the original model that arrived at the end of 2021. No longer available new, there's also a petrol and diesel version of the Citroen Berlingo available as well. 


Looking for a used car for sale? We've got 100s of Citroen Approved Used Cars for Sale for you to choose from, including a wide range of Citroen Berlingo vans and MPVs for sale.

Make a list of the qualities your next electric car needs to have. If practicality is at the top, then the Citroen e-Berlingo needs to be on your shortlist, because not much gets close when it comes to usable space. The flexibility of being able to sit up to seven is a key attraction too.


If, however, you’re looking for something fun to drive, luxurious or you need to cover long distances between charges, then this might not be the car for you.

There’s just one motor and battery combination available in the Citroen e-Berlingo, which is a 136PS motor with a 50kWh battery. The choices you’ll need to make are with trim and bodystyle. If you need seven seats then the XL model is the obvious choice – otherwise, stick to the M model. As far as trim goes, the top-spec Flair XTR model costs less than £2,000 over than the entry-level Feel trim, so we’d go for that one to enjoy all the features that come with it.

Although the death of the MPV has been (incorrectly) trumpeted for many years, there are actually quite a few electric MPVs that you might consider alongside a Citroen e-Berlingo. Two – the Peugeot e-Rifter and the Vauxhall Combo-e Life – are essentially the same car underneath, as they all share the same van-based mechanical underpinnings. Arguably, they’re not as stylish, however.


You could also look at the Ford E-Tourneo Custom and Toyota Proace Verso Electric, which are also based on vans, or at more premium options like the Mercedes-Benz EQV and Volkswagen ID.Buzz.

Comfort and design: Citroen e-Berlingo interior

"Function is very much at the fore when it comes to the Citroen e-Berlingo’s cabin, but that’s not so say it’s abandoned form and design altogether."

Citroen e-Berlingo Review 2024: interior

The styling is a mixture of chunky and bubbly forms, with hard, durable plastics that should be able to withstand the rigours of family life. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, with armrests for both driver and passenger as standard (although the armrests don’t adjust for height). You can also choose from a selection of eye-catching upholstery choices, and the optional panoramic sunroof (available on the Flair XTR model) bathes the whole cabin in light.


Mostly, though, the e-Berlingo’s interior USP is its excellent space and practicality. More on that below.

The e-Berlingo’s van origins are reflected in the quality of its interior materials, which feel robust and durable but not of the highest quality. Compared to a Volkswagen they feel decidedly scratchy and plasticky, and don’t even think about comparing them to something from premium brands like Mercedes. They’re workmanlike and solid enough, though, and the design touches escalate the interior considerably.


There are a few areas that raise eyebrows, however. Some elements don’t feel as solid as you’d hope for for a £30k-plus car, such as the slightly tinny thunk when you shut the door. Others seem badly thought out – the swooping side-window corner details look great from the outside, but from the inside you see the underside of the plastic cladding, which soon gets dirt and grime stuck between it and the window.

Citroen’s infotainment system isn’t one of the finest on the market, but it covers off the basics well enough. You get an 8.0-inch touchscreen in the Feel trim, which is upgraded to a larger 10-inch unit in the Flair XTR model. That’s still on the small side by the latest standards, but it does the job, albeit without much flair (no pun intended).


The system can be a bit fiddly and slow to use, but it does the job well enough, and with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto included on all versions you basically bypass the built-in system and rely on your phone’s music and navigation apps instead. There’s only one USB socket, however, which is a shame when many cars have four or more.


Post-facelift models sold from mid-2024 will get a larger 10-inch screen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Space is the e-Berlingo’s party piece. In short, there’s lots of it.


We’ll start with the boot, which in the M model is very big at 775 litres, outclassing even the biggest estate cars and SUVs. For comparison, the Skoda Superb Estate can boast 690 litres and that's considered very big. Keep in mind, too, that the capacity is measured only to the window line, and the e-Berlingo’s height means that you can pile tall stuff up towards the roof.


Pop down the rear seats (which fold individually) and that space opens up to a whopping 3500 litres. It looks like a van, but it’s got the space of a van, too. In the seven-seater XL model, boot space increases even further to 1050 litres and 4000 litres with the seats down. You have to carry your charging cables around in the boot (inside a handy case), but with so much room it seems churlish to criticise the lack of a dedicated cable storage area.


Speaking of storage, Citroen claims that there are 26 different compartments for storage inside the e-Berlingo, giving an extra 167 litres of storage space. We haven’t measured them, but there are lots – trays in the roof above the dashboard, cubbyholes all over the dash, a big glovebox, large door bins, an area behind the infotainment screen… the list goes on and on. Weirdly, though, there’s no big storage area between the front seats, which seems a strange omission.


Our test car was fitted with the optional Holiday Pack installed, which gives you extra storage across the car’s ceiling in a lit, translucent, tray that runs for the full length of the car. It also comes with a storage space in the top of the boot that drops down like a glove box from the ceiling, and can also be accessed from inside the car. Ideal for long holiday road trips.


Passenger space is extremely generous. Even tall adults will have no problems fitting in the back row of the M model with loads of legroom and headroom. A flat floor and a proper seat means the middle-seat passenger will be as comfortable as those on either side of them. We’ve yet to try the XL model, but it looks impressively spacious, even for adults. You can take the third-row seats out entirely for extra luggage capacity.


From a wider practicality point of view, the sliding side doors are fantastic, especially if you’ve got small children that are prone to bashing conventional doors on walls, other cars or just about anything. The huge tailgate, while giving you an enormous aperture in which to load stuff into, does mean you’ll need a big area behind you to open it, which is worth keeping in mind if you’re backing into parking spaces. That said, you can open just the glass to pop stuff in without needing to move the car forward.


Handling and ride quality: What is the Citroen e-Berlingo like to drive?

"Citroen won’t mind us saying that the e-Berlingo isn’t designed to be the last word in pin-sharp handling or driving fun. It is, however, designed to be comfortable, and in that it does a good job."

Citroen e-Berlingo Review 2024: front dynamic

The ride is cosseted and supple, visibility is excellent and the electric motor means it’s very quiet, too. Around town there’s no hiding the Berlingo’s bulk, but its square shape means it’s easy to judge its size when manoeuvring, the steering is light and the turning circle impressively tight.


The 136PS engine makes for just-about-adequate acceleration, although it can feel sluggish if the e-Berlingo is fully loaded and you’re trying to get up to motorway speeds. Officially, 0-62mph takes 11.5 seconds in the M model, which while not glacial is far from fast. That said, the instant torque you get from the electric motor means it zips around in town perfectly well. It’s a great car for the school run.


Through faster corners the e-Berlingo stays composed with minimal body roll, but it doesn’t feel anywhere near as agile as something like a Ford S-Max. But then that’s not available as a full electric car.

The e-Berlingo comes with a 50kWh battery attached to a 136PS electric motor with 260Nm of torque, giving it an official battery range of up to 177 miles, depending on the model. The facelifted model, due in the Spring of 2024, ups that to 198 miles. That’s not loads by modern standards, but it should be enough for the vast majority of drivers that aren’t doing mammoth motorway slogs every day.

Comfort levels are very good in the Citroen e-Berlingo, with plush, soft seats in the front (and the promise of even more comfortable seats in post-facelift models). The suspension massages away all but the harshest lumps and bumps on the road, although it can feel a little unsettled over really bad roads.


Road and wind noise can be moderately intrusive at higher speeds, the wind buffeting off the big side mirrors and echoing around the vast interior space. You soon get used to it, however. Overall, this is a very easy and comfortable car to cruise in.

Safety organisation Euro NCAP decided that the four-out-of-five-star rating for the Peugeot Rifter applied to the mechanically identical Citroen Berlingo and e-Berlingo too, following its test in 2018.


The missing star is down to the fact that the automatic emergency braking system isn’t particularly sophisticated, but the Berlingo is nevertheless packed with safety kit as standard. Lane-keep assist and traffic sign recognition is also included, as is a driver-attention alert system in case you get sleepy while on the road.

Charging times: How much does it cost to charge the Citroen e-Berlingo?

"The Citroen e-Berlingo can be charged at up to 100kW from a rapid charger."

Citroen e-Berlingo Review 2024: charging port

That means it can recharge from zero to 80% capacity in around 30 minutes. The charging point is on the left-hand side of the car at the back.

The Citroen Berlingo range – including the non-electric models – scored well in the latest HonestJohn.co.uk Satisfaction Index with an average rating of 8.78 out of 10 for reliability. That said, Citroen as a brand came a rather poor 25th out of 30 manufacturers. 

Depending on the model you go for, the Citroen e-Berlingo sits in insurance groups 18 to 20 (of 50). That’s higher than the standard non-electric Berlingo, which sits in groups 8 to 14, but comparable to other electric MPVs like the Peugeot Rifter and the Vauxhall Combo-e Life.

Right now, you won’t pay any Vehicle Excise Duty on the all-electric Citroen e-Berlingo, but that will change in 2025. From April, electric cars will attract the same flat rate as normal cars, which is currently £190 a year.

How much should you be paying for a used Citroen e-Berlingo?

"There’s plenty of demand for electric family cars, so the Citroen e-Berlingo has held onto its value pretty well."

Citroen e-Berlingo Review 2024: front static

At the time of writing in mid-2024, you could pick up a 2021 XL model with less than 20,000 miles on it for just over £17,000, while nearly new examples were around the £25,000 mark.

The original Citroen e-Berlingo, introduced in 2021, came in a choice of two trims – Feel, which was available in both M and XL versions, and Flair XTR, which was only available on the M model.


As standard, the Feel model comes with two sliding doors and the Airbump styling that helps protect the bodywork against car park dings. It features the eight-inch infotainment screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as well as rear parking sensors.


Flair XTR adds 17-inch alloy wheels, black roof bars and door mirrors and orange exterior elements, while inside you’ll get a 10-inch digital instrument display and a head-up display too, as well as sat nav.


Several features were options so look out for used examples with them fitted. These include a reversing camera on the Feel model, keyless go and adaptive cruise control. The panoramic roof and ceiling storage was optional too, and only on the M model.


The refreshed e-Berlingo, sold from 2024, has different trim levels – Plus and Max. Plus features rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, the digital instrument display and adaptive cruise control. The Max trim adds more comfortable (and brightly coloured) front seats, independent sliding and folding rear seats and gloss black roof bars.


Ask the heycar experts: common questions

The latest Citroen e-Berlingo has a range of up to 198 miles.
The Citroen e-Berlingo is an excellent van-based people carrier thanks to its low running costs and impressive versatility.
The Citroen e-Berlingo has been updated in 2024 with a fresh new look and a more efficient battery providing a longer range.

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