A history lesson...
Introduced in June 1998 the Berlingo Multispace was initially only available with a 1.4 litre petrol engine. A 1.8 litre version followed in 1999 as did a 1.9 diesel model.
The first major change to the range occurred in May 1999 when it received a facelift, this consisted of a new grille, larger Citroen chevrons, newly styled bumpers and updated badging.
In the summer of 2000 the Berlingo's most notable deficiency was overcome when a sliding side door was added. A 1.6 litre engine was also introduced to the range. 2002 saw further improvements to the appearance of the front end and additional interior features. In Autumn 2005 the 1.9 and 2.0 diesel engines were replaced with 1.6 HDi engines and some further styling improvements were made.
Bang for your buck
The used Berlingo Multispace is an MPV based on a van so you shouldn't expect cutting edge design or the latest state of the art engines. You don't get 17 different ways of arranging the seats but you do get practicality in abundance. The second hand Citroen Berlingo boasts wipe-clean surfaces, sturdy cargo nets, massive luggage bins and a solid, built to last, feel.
Its van roots are clear in its reinforced back bumper and the fact that it can carry over 600kgs. Put the seats down and you are left with over 100 cubic feet of storage space. The cabin boasts 15 stowage areas and there is a massive overhead shelf above the seats. An optional electric roof of some 20 square feet is the Berlingo's one genuinely original feature.
What you'll pay
Used Citroen Berlingo Multispaces are extremely reasonably priced, for instance a 1998 1.8i can be found for as little as £1180. £2825 should secure you a second hand five door Forte 1.9 diesel. The pick of the bunch is the 2.0 litre HDi which starts at around £3575.
What to check
A used Berlingo Multispace for sale will have been used to ferry kids around so check for stains, rips and damage to the trim. The rear bumper, although reinforced, is spray painted and can easily have become rubbed bare. Engine-wise, the Multispace uses proven technology and no known faults have emerged.
Because the Berlingo has a commercial history, spares are generally extremely reasonably priced. A brand new exhaust will only set you back £140 for example. A new radiator is only £160 but break a headlight and you are looking at a hefty £64.
How it drives
Surprisingly, the used Citroen Berlingo Multispace is a good fun drive, it handles well and has a fair bit of poke. Although the 1.8i will reach 100mph with a tail wind you had better pack the ear defenders. It is also a little undergeared and you may find yourself reaching for a non-existent sixth gear at times and this is part of the reason that, particularly the earlier models, are surprisingly thirsty. Post-facelift versions are more fuel-friendly and have the most accomplished engines.
Overall, used Berlingo Multispaces offer a cheap, cheerful family-friendly option. The 1.8i represents the best value and the most fun. All models have reliable engines, are easy to keep clean and tidy and have vast load areas.