Citroën’s new Berlingo is badged the Airdream to highlight its greener credentials, but do the changes make for a better, more economical drive?
Competition among 2.0t vans is fierce, and many of the rivals to the Berlingo are exceptional. Because of the availability of automatic transmissions, our comparison vehicles are Volkswagen’s Caddy, the Fiat Doblò and the Renault Kangoo, but there are several other badge-engineered variants available.
Reinventing the Berlingo with a new Airdream badge to highlight its greener credentials is a smart move by Citroën, which might be following in the wake of successful BlueMotion and Ecoflex signatures from VW and Fiat. Whether that will translate into sales is uncertain, but the lure of lower fuel consumption thanks to low rolling resistance tyres and that ‘regenerative’ system might turn a few heads.
The engine is the centrepiece of the Airdream Berlingo, which is just as well, because the cab lacks useful storage. The folding passenger seat is a useful addition in smaller vans like the Nemo, and although the Berlingo can take 3,000mm lengths with the seat folded down, the lack of a proper bulkhead on one side of the vehicle and no protection to the driver’s left should be a concern if extensive racking or lashing isn’t used.