Citroën’s Berlingo high cube van received a major makeover for the 2003 model year and despite the launch of the
all-new models, the original has been rebadged as the First and remains on sale.
And for the moment it looks as if the entire range is available. Berlingo First boasts an all Euro 4 engine choice. A 75hp petrol 1.4i engine powers the cheapest model, but the majority of operators will be more interested in the two 1.6HDi common rail turbodiesels. These are the same 75hp and 90hp engines as found in the latest generation models. Both the ride and handling have progresses considerably since Berlingo’s original launch in 1996 and combined with the refinement and performance of the 1.6HDi engines means that it is still a pleasure to drive.
The cab was completely revamped back in 2003, along with various external changes, with a new steering wheel, revised dashboard, instrument cluster, switchgear layout and more storage space for all those odds and ends. A full-width overhead shelf is standard and all models come with remote central locking, electric front windows and heated mirrors.
The radio volume and windscreen wipers are indexed to the van’s speed. Also, for just an extra £400, the newly improved Berlingo Enterprise models now gain a nearside sliding side load door, as well as ABS and a CD player.
The load area is a useful size at 2.8m3 and there is still the choice of 600kg and 800kg payload versions of most models. Sliding side doors are available as optional extras.
Berlingo comes with a two years/unlimited mileage or three years/100,000 miles warranty.
Citroën has managed to keep the Berlingo — the first of the purpose-built high cube vans — pretty fresh over the years and it is no surprise that it remains available as the First.