I have a 2002 Berlingo 1 (Hardtop 1.4i). I have covered over 70,000 km and the 'van' has been an absolute loyal friend. No hiccups whatsoever. Even the 1.4 can give the Saloons a good 'fight'. Handles well, rolls a little, but sticks to it's line when cornering. It loves the gradual corners along the motorways. I get between 35+ mpg in normal daily commute and above 40mpg along the motorways.
The looks will grow on you... after a while (when it's a classic)...people will want to pose with it...:)
Further to the above report, still happy with the car, but the local dealers are hopeless. Have now had to complain direct to Citroen. Wish it was a Skoda Berlingo...!
Further to the above report, traded this car for Suzuki after total loss of confidence in local dealers. Next dealer 30 miles away-too far considering the regular visits due to the mileage I cover.
The car is sadly missed, and I remember it fondly as the easiest and most comfortable car I have ever used for long distances.
Quirky looks and shocking dealer service apart, a fabulous car in every aspect.
Just don't expect friends or neighbours to be at all enthusiastic, and get ready for the regualar Pope-mobile and ice cream van jibes...
Suzuki service and dealers are light years ahead of Citroen, and this makes the loss of the Berlingo less painful, as dealer visits are now enjoyable and not dreaded.
If you have a good local dealer, the Berlingo in HDi Desire spec is a lovely car to own. Do your research!
Original writer of this thread. Have since owned a Fiat Doblo 1.9 Multijet Dynamic-see 2008 ('Dated, proven...') report and comments. The Berlingo 2.0HDI was a great car, and the tool of choice on very long haul trips, with excellent comfort and ride quality, well sited controls and the excellent integrated switchable roof bars with the Desire specced Modutop roof.
The Doblo was tougher, more brutal and much larger but the leaf spring rear suspension was just too hard and bumpy and a constant complaint with rear seat passengers. The Doblo would suit a harder life and rough tracks, the Berlingo a gentler life and extensive four up/full luggage trips across continents, avoiding any tracks due to lower ground clearance.
I would have bought another Berlingo if the XTR spec was the same in the UK as abroad. UK XTR similar to Desire but with privacy glass, Europe XTR gets the raised ground clearance, body protection and track bias the same as the near identical Peugeot Partner Quiksilver spec which is very expensive compared to the Citroen deals offered.
On balance, the Berlingo is an excellent all round car and highly recommended. Just don't expect anyone without a National Trust badge or medical issues to ever compliment you on your choice of car though!!
I used both the Doblo and Berlingo extensively, so if any questions, leave a comment on this thread and I will respond when I notice it!
Are you aware that the next generation is just being launched? See Auto Express this week re: Berlingo 2, also google Citroen Nemo, Fiat Fiorino and Peugeot Bipper.
You do not say what your budget is... Both the Berlingo and Doblo are good in their own way, the Berlingo is more comfortable, softer riding, has fingertip control stereo and the superb modutop and modubox on the Desire spec, but is now dated and trim is poor quality.
The Doblo is more van like, tougher, much bigger, corners better and is much more imposing - people do not mess you about. I would avoid very long distance with rear passengers due to rear leaf springs, but I prefer the front seat comfort and overall controls and handling. Superb for dogs.
If buying new again myself, I would buy the cheaper Doblo and forget the 1.9. Buy the Doblo Active with the truly magnificent 1.3 85bhp diesel engine and pay about £8,000. Aircon is usually a factory order on Active spec, so if you wanted it, instead buy a 1.9 120 Dynamic (46mpg) for about £9,000 as it is standard. Dynamic also gets different fabrics (though I prefer the Active fabrics) electric mirrors (unnecessary as HUGE mirrors never need adjusting - can see sky and kerb) alloys and body colour bumpers (liability).
Ignore the 1.9 105 - redundant now the far superior 1.3 85 is available - it's much cleaner. DRIVE the 1.3 and be amazed - check the towing capacity though. It has £115 2009 tax, 50++ mpg and drives better than 1.9s. Dogs will be fine in back, passengers will be OK but may moan.
If dead against the thought of 1.3 remember that is has 85bhp - the 2.0HDi Berlingo has 90bhp, and the most powerful new Berlingo diesel has 92bhp.
Advise buying (HAGGLE even offer prices): £5000 2005 2.0HDi Berlingo Desire (Autotrader); £7000 2007/07 Vectra 1.8VVTi estate (supermarket) (petrols now making sense as diesel 15% premium over petrol), £8000+ new Doblo 1.3 Multijet Active (Perrys), £9,000+ new Doblo 1.9 120 Dynamic (Perrys), £10,000 2007/57 Vectra 1.9 CDTi 120 estate (supermarket), £11,000 look at new Berlingo 2, Nemo, Bipper, Fiorino due soon.
Kia Ceed SW is a fantastic car with 7 year full warranty, but not as dog friendly.
Skoda Roomster? CHECK TAX BANDS & ECONOMY before signing-eg a humble 2007/57 Chevrolet Lacetti 1.6SX estate can be had for only £6299 (!!!) (Motorpoint) but averages 34mpg and will cost £270 to tax in 2010.
The 1.3 Doblo averages 51.7mpg and costs £115 pa to tax in 2009, £120 in 2010, so makes a good case for lengthy ownership and future desirability.
Hope this helps, but drive them all as tastes and needs differ, and you may prefer softer Berlingo. I hate the long throw vague gearchange on the later 1.6HDi engine myself.