Car review: Citroen e-Berlingo delivers quiet acceleration within a compact body

The Citroen e-Berlingo.
PHOTO: sgCarMart

The Citroen e-Berlingo delivers urgent and quiet acceleration within a compact body, making it an ideal last mile delivery machine.

If you're in the last mile delivery business, there could be no better moment to make the switch to electric. The current generation of shoppers are becoming increasingly used to getting their online purchases delivered right to their doorstep, while pump prices don't look like they will be coming down anytime soon.

And then there's the fact that this Citroen e-Berlingo is now available in Singapore.

Zippy and compact

The smaller of the two electric vans offered here from Citroen, the e-Berlingo comes at a length of 4,753mm alongside a height of 1,880mm, which will see it easily ducking under the height limit of your typical HDB multi-storey while still being short enough for easy navigation through any narrow streets or messy worksites.

There's plenty of space for those at the front of the Citroen e-Berlingo.
PHOTO: sgCarMart

That smaller body and a lower total weight next to the larger Citroen e-Dispatch also means that you can make real zippy progress through traffic once out on the open road. There's 134bhp to deploy in the e-Berlingo, which facilitates a zero to 100km/h sprint time of 9.7 seconds.

At the pace, keeping up with affordable hatchbacks and crossovers shouldn't be too difficult, a great boon no doubt, should your delivery locations stretch across the entire island. Which should be easily accomplished as well, thanks to an energy consumption rate of 6.2km/kWh as tested, translating to a 310km real-world range (although admittedly, we drove the van completely unladen).

Quiet and confident

And while you're covering those long distances, the manner in which the Citroen e-Berlingo handles itself will also impress.

Acceleration always feels effortless here, as you might expect from any vehicle animated by electricity, and refinement levels are high, with the Citroen e-Berlingo always staying surprisingly quiet for the standards of a commercial vehicle.

The van's 50kWh battery can be charged to full in 30 minutes at a 100kW direct current charger.
PHOTO: sgCarMart

You not only miss the rattle of a diesel engine here, but also all the clanking that echoes through the rear compartment as the rear suspension goes about its business.

Speaking of which, the suspension setup in the Citroen e-Berlingo also allows it to ride respectably. Pliancy over bumps on the road is a well-judged affair, delivering sufficient comfort while still being reasonably damped so unwanted body movements are arrested.

More impressive still is the fact that the commercial vehicle-typical fidgetiness over bad surfaces is well contained here.

Practical and accommodating

But, of course, no commercial vehicle will be worth its weight if not for its cargo-carrying ability, and the Citroen e-Berlingo does not disappoint, despite its smaller exterior dimensions.

There's a total of 3,800 litres of space for cargo here, which is 1,000 litres short on the slightly smaller Maxus e Deliver 3.

Barn style doors at the rear can be locked at either 90 or 180 degrees for easy access to cargo.
PHOTO: sgCarMart

However, the Citroen does counter this by having an additional sliding door on the driver's side, which means there's no chance that the exact parcel you need ends up at the wrong corner of the van, buried under 20 other cardboard boxes.

The compact dimensions of the Citroen e-Berlingo will come handy in tight worksites.
PHOTO: sgCarMart

And the kerb side sliding door also handily locks itself when the van is plugged in, so there's no chance you'll damage the charging flap by swinging this door open.

And once you're done with the packages, you'll always be looking forward to returning to the comfort of the cabin in the e-Berlingo. It comes equipped with frigid air-conditioning, high levels of space so long as you don't take the centre seat, and is loaded with cubby hole as well as an overhead shelf, so all your receipts and stationery can be neatly stored away.

If you're looking for the right van to make sure your deliveries arrive right on time, look no further than the Citroen e-Berlingo.

This article was first published in sgCarMart.