Citroen Berlingo

 

 

By Tim Saunders

 

A friend needs a broken cooker replacing immediately. I suggest repairing it but he says it costs more to repair than to replace. He is frustrated that only the four hobs on his Beko work and that an element for the grill and oven needs replacing at considerable expense, which isn’t justifiable.

 

“Older cookers don’t have built in redundancy,” my cynical friend claims, “like all new appliances, which are designed to fail so that the manufacturer and their supply chain continue to make money after the product has been sold.”

Now, normally, I wouldn’t be able to help him because firstly I am no electrician and secondly even with the best will in the world a cooker will not fit in the back of my old Ford Fiesta.

But this week I’m driving a shiny new Citroen Berlingo van with double doors at the rear and a helpful sliding door at the side as you can see in the video at testdrives.biz. So I suggest that we pop down to this reconditioning specialist I know not far from where I live and see what they can offer. He’s delighted because he was fretting about how he would transport a cooker if he found one. And he’s even happier when he learns that there are three seats in the Berlingo cabin, so his girlfriend can come along, too.

Inside, the cabin is comfortable and, just like the exterior it is reminiscent of the Peugeot Partner van, that I tested a few weeks ago. Air conditioning, electric windows and a decent stereo all come as standard and the five speed manual gearbox is easy to use. The diesel engine is responsive and economical.

Anyway, they find a cooker for under £100 and we take it away there and then. It’s fairly easy for us to manoeuvre it into the back of the van, shoving it through the double doors on its back and then my friend opens the sliding door and jumps through to pull it into the rear. There’s a step inside the sliding door that makes getting into it fairly easy.

The Citroën Berlingo has ruled the small panel van market since it was launched in 1996,” says Parkers, the car experts. “A market leader through virtue as well as value, the [second generation Berlingo introduced in 2008] offers a raft of improvements over the previous model, which make the arguments for choosing one even more compelling. Two body lengths are now available and many new features, including a collapsible passenger seat to increase load length for especially long items. The Ready To Run range includes factory-produced specialist conversions including glass-carriers, dual-fuel LPG models and temperature-controlled vans.”

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