Let me explain ... when we first took this little van on to our test fleet a month back, the first tankful of diesel managed to eke itself out to 49.6 miles per gallon.
Despite going easy on the right foot, the second tankful managed 49.7 mpg. I began thinking what a shame it would be if we couldn’t just nudge this figure above 50mpg, so I’ve been doing everything I can on ensuing journeys to achieve this goal.
I’ve been clocking up a fair few miles in the Berlingo of late but it seemed that however hard I tried, something got in the way.
One day I was late for a plane at Heathrow and had to crack on a bit. The next week it was all short-haul town driving in the early mornings, so the van was running on full choke a lot of the time, thus keeping me from my holy grail.
But finally, in my fourth week, the magic figure was surpassed. And I’ll tell you another thing – it’s not just my wallet that’s feeling the difference. My cooler, calmer driving style is having a beneficial effect on my body as well – I get to my destination a more relaxed and stress-free man. Magic.
The Berlingo is proving a star in other areas than fuel-efficiency too. In the last report, my colleague said the driver’s seat wasn’t the best he’d experienced but after a few trips of a couple of hundred miles I’d have to disagree – I’ve had no back twinges to report at all.
In fact I don’t know why more car drivers don’t choose vans – they are so much more useful than cars, as long as you don’t need four seats.
In my month so far, the Berlingo has been pressed into service in a myriad of ways. A trip to Ikea with my partner saw the van loaded up to the gills with gear, which, incidentally, didn’t seem to make a speck of difference to the vehicle’s ride and handling.
Meanwhile, I very bravely offered to take a van full of detritus to the local rubbish tip on behalf of an elderly neighbour who was having difficulty, a sacrifice which didn’t exactly put me out but resulted in a couple of million brownie points for yours truly. I couldn’t have done that sort of trip with a car.
The only problem I’ve had so far with the vehicle is a cracked windscreen. I just ignored the offending item when it was about 2cms long, but it soon grew to half the width of the glass and I didn’t have any option but to get it replaced.
It was annoying but you can hardly blame Citroën for that kind of damage, can you?
Price (ex-VAT): £10,695 (as tested £11,920)
Combined mpg: n/a
Test mpg: 49.6
CAP Monitor residual value (3yrs/60,000 miles): £2,675/23%
Expenditure to date: Nil