Citroen Berlingo First (2002 – 2011) Review

Citroen Berlingo First (2002 – 2011) At A Glance


+Good value for money, decent ride quality even when fully loaded.

-Wooly brakes are below par, some mechanical problems, early models lacked refinement, engine noise at speed.

As the name suggests, the Citroen Berlingo First is based on the previous generation of the French firm’s hugely popular compact van. Rather than simply discontinue this original Berlingo when the new model arrived in 2008, Citroen cannily saw a gap for an affordable, no frill model.

So although the Berlingo First name has only been officially around since 2008, this van has actually been on sale as the Berlingo since 2002. The Berlingo First still offers all of the excellent space and usefulness it did when the model was facelifted to its current style. Yes, it’s basic, but it can cope with loads of up to 600kg and can swallow a Euro pallet.

Citroen also doesn’t force you to live like a pauper in the Berlingo First as it comes with electric windows, power steering, CD stereo with steering wheel controls and driver’s airbag.

Power comes from either a 1.4-litre petrol engine with 75PS or the preferred 1.6-litre HDi diesel that also delivers 75PS but offers better low and mid-rev pull. The diesel can also run on 30% bio-diesel to further reduce fuel bills. It's not the last word in refinement and feels dated compared to the model that replaced it, but as a used buy the Berlingo First is a cheap and reliable choice.

Ask Honest John

What are the best cheap 4x4 pick-ups?

"I need to spend some time over a few months clearing a house on occasional visits. Skip hire is ridiculously expensive so I am thinking of buying an oldish high mileage pickup or 4x4 for a couple of grand and then selling it again after I have finished. Do you have any recommendations?is kind of thing? Reliability will be important."
Pick-up choices will be rather limited for £1500 to £2000. Most will have sky high mileage and be rather tatty. You might be better buying a compact panel van, something like the Ford Transit Connect, Citroen Berlingo or Vauxhall Astravan might suit your needs. For our list of top 10 small vans for under £5000, see:
Answered by Dan Powell

Need a petrol van - any recommendations?

"Based on your advice, I purchased a used Citroen Berlingo Multispace 1.6 petrol, which has given me many years of excellent service. However, the van is now getting a little tired. I drive 10,000 miles a year, a mix of short local trips and occasional motorway runs. I love especially the versatile flat load space in the rear. I have looked to replace it with the newer version Berlingo but used petrol models are very hard to find. Are there any other makes and models that you would recommend? Thank you."
An alternative is the Ford Tourneo Connect that is available with a 100PS 1.0 EcoBoost engine:
Answered by Honest John
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