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New Berlingo advice: which one?
#1
I am looking for a solid, practical new car for work and play. I don't have a fixed budget as such, but am prepared to pay up to 15-16k. My work consists mostly of relaxed driving on rural A and B roads with some time in small country towns.

Need:
Economical - likely to be driving 25k a year
Isofix - our two children will be in booster seats in the back at times
Safe - passenger and curtain air bags
Genuine 5 seater - middle seat in second row will be occupied by adult at same time as children in the two outer seats (in a small car like a Toyota Yaris three across is just not possible)
Spacious - will be using for fishing, shooting, humping furniture about, carrying kid's bikes etc and I will also be carrying bits in the boot for work
Value - I don't care for brands, I just want value for money
Reliable - enough said...

Want:
Roof rack - for kayaks and other kit
Higher ride height - the track to the house is rough, XTR might help
7 seater - would be nice, but seems to be excluded by higher ride height
High driving position - there will be lots of getting in and out

You won't be surprised to hear that this set of conditions led me to the Berlingo. I would normally be a bit concerned about reliability for a French car but my mother's Renault Clio diesel did 160,000 miles with no major issues and the Blingo seems to have a decent reputation for reliability. I would usually opt for a Toyota and the Verso does seem attractive, but it is also significantly more costly.

I still have some questions that I can't resolve from internet searches.

Q. If I go for an XTR, does this have an option for panoramic roof / roof with additional windows, or is this only on the VTR?

Q. Is there any way to have the Detection pack with parking sensors and a towbar? Citroen's web site says no, but I wonder if there is a way around this. It would be nice to have the option to pull a trailer but with such a large vehicle, parking sensors strike me as a must.

Q. Is there any advantage for the 110bhp diesel over the 90bhp version other than power? Most reviews say that the 90bhp is adequate, but if the 110bhp has, for example, significantly better economy or a better reputation for reliability then it might be worth considering.

Q. Are there any options that I should (or conversely should not) consider?

Q. The automatic gearbox is described as jerky by some. An automatic would be useful because in a pinch my wife (who will not drive a manual) would be able to use the vehicle. If I use the automatic in manual mode, would it be less of a pig?

Thanks for any comments,

OnTheFence
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#2
Yes you can specify glass roof on XTR. I'd go for manual box, its smooth enough. 1.6 diesel is common to a number of makes including Ford, Volvo, Mini. Auto box is in fact electronically shifted manual box as most are now, not the old type torque converter auto. Oil change every 12.5k miles is vital on these engines to avoid turbo failure & must be correct spec fully synth low saps. As for towbar, many cars 'tell' the reversing sensors to switch off when trailer is plugged in & presumably Citroen supplied towbar electrics don't do this. An independent towbar fitter might be able to overcome this but bear in mind that any electrical fault caused by fitter that has to be sorted by Citroen will not be covered by warranty unless Citroen approved fitters. Some car dealers fit towbars in their workshops, others farm the fitting out to approved fitters with work covered by Citroen warranty.
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Opensauce for this post:
  • onthefence
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#3
(24-02-2013, 07:00 PM)Opensauce Wrote:  As for towbar, many cars 'tell' the reversing sensors to switch off when trailer is plugged in & presumably Citroen supplied towbar electrics don't do this. An independent towbar fitter might be able to overcome this but bear in mind that any electrical fault caused by fitter that has to be sorted by Citroen will not be covered by warranty unless Citroen approved fitters. Some car dealers fit towbars in their workshops, others farm the fitting out to approved fitters with work covered by Citroen warranty.
Thanks for this, all useful stuff.

Perhaps I'm going about this the wrong way - maybe I should be fitting the towbar as standard and installing one of those aftermarket LCD reversing monitors instead of the parking sensors? I had a look earlier and those are quite inexpensive these days.

OTF
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