50.000 kilometers with the Citroën Berlingo – inexpensive and good? (2)

Of course, the Berlingo is manufactured in a cost-optimized manner. You can see it in many details. The paint is thin. Even thinner than the Saab 9-5 NG, which you might think impossible. The materials in the interior correspond in detail to the van segment, they are simple but robust. The dashboard is overloaded with display details that are far too small to be able to decipher them without a doubt.

Citroën Berlingo (2019)
Citroën Berlingo (2019)

The display for multimedia and navigation, which comes from the corporate shelf, does not deliver the brilliant display of some competitors, which also applies to the reversing camera. This is not bad, does not bring any real disadvantage and is effectively only cosmetic in nature. On the other hand, it is intuitive to use, reacts quickly, connecting the mobile phone is easy, and the TomTom navigation is up to date.

The Berlingo on the Baltic Sea
The Berlingo on the Baltic Sea

Well, that's French!

All of this doesn't bother me at all. And because of French, the Berlingo has qualities that one likes to impute to German cars. The basic operation is self-explanatory, comfortable, the Berlingo doesn't rattle a bit over the next 50.000 kilometers, and the case feels tight and valuable. And yes, the little Gallic all-rounder drives and drives. You forgive him the smaller weaknesses in detail, the sympathies predominate and you check them off as French charm.

In addition, there are countless clever details. The thousand storage options from the floor to the roof. The unbelievable variability that can be created in just a few simple steps. Or the practical sliding doors and the fact that this car seems to be able to do everything. It is a comfortable bus for 5 people and a large capacity transporter for a lot of cargo in one.

This festival is supplemented by electronic helpers. On board are the coffee break alarm, the attention assistant, as well as the assistants for blind spots, traffic signs, lane keeping, collision warning, emergency braking, distance control and grip control as well as high beam. It is noteworthy that all of them work reliably.

What's more, the Citroën is not demanding at all.

He gets the prescribed service, nothing more, and otherwise remains inconspicuous. While at the same time my premium German make, with far less electronics on board, seems to be rolling from drama to drama, the cheap Citroën just works. It stays that way for the entire distance. The mandatory service in New Isenburg and at Brass in Aschaffenburg there are no complaints, and the after-sales service at the branch is also excellent.

Practical storage space with lashing eyes, also for larger equipment
Practical storage space with lashing eyes, also for larger equipment

In the first winter, other rims and all-weather tires are put on the van, the original rims with few kilometers remain in storage until the end of the lease. An important detail that will cause frustration later.

There are no defective, unscheduled workshop visits. Two H7 bulbs have to be replaced in 3 years, and 10.000 liters of AdBlue are refilled every 10 kilometers. Citroën, the reliable, good and cheap? Definitely yes!

Fully loaded, even with animal passengers
Fully loaded, even with animal passengers

Does the Citroën age? He does not do it. In the end, after 3 years and 50.000 kilometers, it is almost like new. The interior is almost without signs of wear, the paint not so much. But the conditioner for the end of the lease is happy with the van. He doesn't see any problems with the return, and we've also ordered a new car in the meantime. He should be wrong.

Small Citroën (almost) drama at the end

In fact, we deliver the Berlingo in Neu Isenburg, with a few problems. He has 5.000 kilometers more on the odometer than stipulated in the contract. The last inspection that is now due would have to be done. And then there are the 17″ rims, which were sent to early retirement after just a few months and are now back on the car. Two of them have curb quirks, but all have significant clear coat delamination in the middle of the rims.

The Berlingo was not spared, car wash was the rule
The Berlingo was not spared, car wash was the rule

A circumstance that can only be caused by a material defect, because the rims have not experienced winter and have therefore not seen road salt. But that's just my opinion.

The independent appraiser for PSA Leasingbank sees things completely differently. 4 new rims at the list price should be paid, plus the additional kilometers and the inspection. The branch promises a concession with the inspection, but withdraws the concession with regret after 2 days.

A game of incompetence is brewing between the customer, the bank and the Stellantis branch. A second report follows with the same result.

Is the Berlingo holiday feeling clouded by a return skirmish at the very end?

The Berlingo was also a reliable companion in winter
The Berlingo was also a reliable companion in winter

You can tell good companies by how they treat their customers. How customer-friendly is the Stellantis Group? A mail to the PSA Bank, two friendly phone calls later, a solution was found for both sides. I reject a third report, which the bank offers free of charge. I want a clarification, an accommodation, and I'm getting it. After internal consultation, a solution is proposed in favor of the customer.

The lessor waives part of his claim, reduces the price for the rims and even makes concessions where he does not have to.

Yes, you can recommend the Berlingo

The summary after 50.000 kilometers? The Berlingo is a car for the heart and mind. Wonderfully practical, but so different from other small vans. With much more fine charm than one would currently give Citroën credit for. We would even have bought the Berlingo Diesel again. If we still had the automotive life of 2018 and if our driving profiles had not changed.

Goodbye Berlingo, we miss you!
Goodbye Berlingo, we miss you!

But unfortunately we would not get any more. The Berlingo is still available for commercial use MPV and with 6 gears. The gorgeous 8-speed automatic has been sacrificed to reduce CO2 emissions, and families should now please drive purely electrically. Says Citroën, and seriously offers the alternative ë-Berlingo with a range of just over 270 kilometers according to WLTP. With this constellation, I don't even want to think about a holiday trip with my family on board. Citroën sacrifices one of its best market segments for the CO2 balance.

Sometimes they are incomprehensible, the Gauls.

If you are looking for automotive relaxation with a high utility value and want to move while floating, you probably have to look around on the used car market now. Which is a recommendation because the Berlingo is really good. Or just look at Volkswagen, where there are still new Caddy with TSI and TDI. But before that, enjoy a Gitanes and a country wine and ask yourself if you really want to do that.

How does our Citroën story continue? We have now ordered. Blind and without a test drive. As relaxed as 2018? To be continued.

13 thoughts on "50.000 kilometers with the Citroën Berlingo – inexpensive and good? (2)"

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    class written!

    I kind of like such practical and utility-oriented cars.
    But I admire the calm, serenity and forbearance with which Tom experienced and coped with the "drama" of taking back the leasing return ...

    It reminds me of a mobile home that I took over from the landlord for a film production as a warming room, changing room and make-up and gave it back there. When I took delivery, I signed that the mobile home was in order. When handing it over, an employee of the landlord ran purposefully around the mobile home like a low sow and showed me smaller dents and quirks, which he obviously knew all inside and out...
    It didn't even take a minute before he asked me to sign a return protocol that showed the mobile home as a drawing from all four sides and was covered with crosses of allegedly recent damage - smaller and older quirks that should now be silvered . At the time (I was in my early 20s), I refused my signature, accused the landlord of criminal activity and asked him to call the police. Then he tore up the log.

    To make a long story short, I think it borders on criminal when lessors start trying to impose extra costs on the lessees, in whole or in part, which are actually a question of the manufacturer's warranty and guarantee...

    If the paint on a rim comes off within three years, without salt and without winter use, then the rim is shit and no lessee should pay even a cent extra for it...

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      The best protection against this in a car! Just don't lease! Buy a car and pay cash.
      A car for a few thousand can also be enough and good!

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      • blank

        I look similar...

        However, leasing for the self-employed is definitely attractive from a fiscal and accounting point of view (it couldn't be easier). Whether the self-employed are taxed and taxed in the interest of the environment or the finances is a completely different matter. In any case, it is a bureaucratic and fiscal impertinence NOT to lease. And it is not (yet?) politically desirable for us to drive cars for more than three years.

        It is what it is. I have sympathy for anyone who, as best they can, simply "muddles through" with the means of their choice (including and especially with leasing)...

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        • blank

          You really notice the old car blog here. What you have to take into account are the full-service offers from the manufacturers. Everything can be included, including car insurance, the costs are completely calculable for companies and freelancers, and so attractive that a purchase would be completely pointless.

          Everything is covered in our company, only the fuel, which we still pay for ourselves.

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  • blank

    Hm,
    if you only equip the summer house with the simplest, but of the best quality, you will spend beautiful summers.
    Unfortunately not from me.

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  • blank

    Really interesting report. And if you don't want a Caddy, you have to go to the Toyota partner, where the Berlingo is still available as a diesel.

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    • blank

      Indeed. Even as a 130 hp diesel, but probably not with the Citroen suspension, which is (could be) a unique selling point? Apparently no longer with automatic.

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      If you really want a Berlingo Diesel, you can also buy one in neighboring countries (e.g. Austria) or in this country from the EU importer.
      Citroen has not canceled the diesel for all EU markets (at least not yet), admittedly, as also mentioned in the text, there is probably only the commercial vehicle version with diesel called Van.
      But if that's enough for you, why not?

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  • blank

    I'll leave it open whether it makes sense to electrify a van when you have efficient diesels. You just bring the range problem into the house. In any case, I would prefer the Zitron (used and diesel) to any Caddy for larger transport needs. This is how a car should be!

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      e Citroen Berlingo…..VW will be happy! The Caddy is also a good vehicle, if not the better one... I decided on a Caddy as my company car. He has more towing capacity and very important, he stays under 2,10 including exterior mirrors! With the many construction sites, it is important to be able to drive on the left, otherwise you always have to drive on the right with the trucks. A trip to Cologne would therefore become a game of patience!

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        VW is definitely looking forward to it. I would have seen the e Berlingo more in craft businesses, not in families. But I'm only an end user and have no idea 😉

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  • blank

    It's very strange. Even a report about an everyday car like a Berlingo reads great here. Normally I would never think of wanting to find out anything about it, but here I am. A great report and a seemingly great and versatile transporter for the family.

    Are there regular Citroen stories on the blog now?

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      If there is something to tell, then yes.

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