Citroen Berlingo HDi 90 L1 XTR+
Since introducing the Berlingo XTR several years ago, Citroen has marketed it as the extra traction delivery van that allows access to remote and rugged locations.
The 2WD vehicle is targeted at organisations and businesses that regularly engage in mild off-roading and want a cost effective, productive and practical alternative to a pickup or 4x4.
So what differentiates this Berlingo HDi 90 L1 XTR+ we tested from your bog standard urban delivery version?
For a start its 30mm raised suspension means it can deal with much harsher terrain.
Also, a limited slip differential distributes up to 75 percent of the available torque to the front wheel with the most grip without any input from the driver.
In addition the underside of the XTR has extra protection for the bumps and rivets associated with off-road action including a heavy duty metal sump protector and a guard below the engine.
There is also more plastic cladding, thicker tyres, and two longitudinal metal skid plates protecting other under-body components, such as brake and fuel lines.
The Berlingo XTR+ is powered by a 1.6 litre four cylinder turbo diesel engine and although its 90bhp diesel engine isn’t the quietest, it is powerful enough.
According to Citroen it generates 215Nm of torque from as low as 1,500rpm and achieves 53.3mpg on the combined cycle.
On longer journeys around the country the Berlingo’s optional cruise control takes away some of the strain.
In the cargo bay 3.3 cubic metres of items can fit in the back and if you open the cage divider while folding flat the passenger seats, you can boost that to 3.7 cubic metres.
Payload is 661kg.
This Berlingo seats three, however the middle seat does have limited leg room and we wouldn’t recommend long motorway journeys with a third adult on board.
There is a well laid out instrument cluster, satellite navigation comes as standard, and there are plenty of little storage holes for cups and paperwork.
The Berlingo HDi 90 L1 XTR+ meets a small but important niche in the market and has gained a niche but loyal following with local authorities, utility firms and electricity companies being key customers.
It doesn’t handle like a 4x4 and lacks the capabilities of an extreme off-roader, but has more than enough in its locker to cope effortlessly with slippery rural lanes and bumpy dirt tracks.