Henry Gilbey
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Citroen Berlingo review - three years with the best chest freezer on the road, and that’s a fact!

On Wednesday I will have been married for twenty years, and we’ve been together since we were nineteen years old. My wife is beyond awesome and she has less than zero interest in material things and anybody trying to look cool because they drive a flash car and so on - which of course suits me down to the ground because I know squat about cars, I drove vans for many years, and for the last three years I have been driving the most epic fridge freezer on the road and obviously not worrying for a single second about trying to impress the fairer sex because I’ve got the best woman in the world right here already.…………

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I just about know where to put oil and screenwash, I can change a tyre on the side of the road if needs be, but when it comes to engines and torque and aero-dynamics and what have you, I know very little about cars and to be honest I couldn’t care less. They are a tool to me. Please do not take this review remotely seriously, and it always amuses me how a number of people I know are actually embarrassed to get into my chest freezer on wheels in case anybody they know sees them in it. I love my Berlingo, but I would think it is pretty obvious that if you care about how you look then you ain’t going to be driving a car like this - but then you also wouldn’t wear compression tights under your waders and then put shorts on top of them to walk around town, plus Crocs and socks of course. Hell, life’s too short to be anything other than yourself.

Anyway, I have never tried to review a car or indeed a chest freezer for that matter, and first off I have to say a big thank you yet again to the people on here and Facebook who recommended I look at a Citroen Berlingo when I was due to get rid of my previous Ford Focus estate which had done me more than proud but I was trying to get back to a van type of car but I still need back seats for my two girls. We obviously see all manner of cars out on the roads, but because I am not very interested in them, I don’t really “see” different makes and models. If they were bass lures or lure rods out on the roads then make no mistake I’d be eyeing every single one of them up, and I can’t recall ever really noticing the Berlingo as a car.

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But then a few people advised me to think about a Berlingo because of what it could give me as a car, so I had a look online, giggled, but went and test drove one because of all that room for the money. I liked it, and then as you do I started to notice a few more of them out and about - okay, so I have come to like the chest freezer on wheels look, but you ain’t going to buy a Berlingo for its sleek lines and high performance. Nope, you’re going to buy it because of what it offers on the practical side of things. I need that space for family life, for fishing, the dog, for filling it up with wood when I get a call saying there’s some available - it’s so bloody handy how you can take the three back seats right out of my Berlingo so it essentially becomes a van with back windows - for getting myself over to Kerry with all my guiding related kit, and for my Ireland trips when a mate or two plus all their gear jump in and try to hunker down in the seats and not be seen.

The way it’s done in Kerry…………..

The way it’s done in Kerry…………..

When I drive over to Kerry it’s about ten hours of driving on my own, plus the 3.5 hour ferry journey. It is what it is and I just have to get on with it, but I have always liked a very upright driving position - and this Berlingo gives me that, plus there is plenty of glass to let as much light in as possible. As much as I love my extreme metal, podcasts have completely changed my driving especially, and because this Berlingo is almost beyond epic it has Apple Car Play which connects to my iPhone. I can then control my podcast app Overcast from the epic touch screen - the Apple podcast app is so bloody complicated and crap. Any joking about fridge freezers aside - and it does have air conditioning - I find my Berlingo an incredibly comfortable car to drive. I’ve put 40,000 miles on it in three years and damn right I will take comfort over looks and performance any day of the week…………...

Which is pretty lucky to be honest, because as much as I love my Berlingo, it’s not exactly the highest performance automobile you can find on the road. You can tell that I was never into fast cars and tearing around at high speed if you know my car history - my first car was a knackered old Golf into which I put a very loud stereo, then I had a couple of Ford Escort vans which used to see a hill a mile away and lose speed, followed by a brilliant turbo diesel Vauxhall Astra van which actually liked hills, and then my first girl turned up and I got that Ford Focus estate which did me proud for well over 100,000 miles. I have had various speeding tickets over the years, and as much as I want to beat the system and all that, a few years ago I just gave in and I don’t go breaking and speed limits these days because what’s the frigging point with so many bloody cameras about? Doing 0-60mph in a few seconds might mean the world to you, but quite frankly I’ve got better things to worry about than burning a bit of rubber and trying to beat one of those mobility scooters at the lights.

If a car can be perfect for the way you live and work and so on, then this Citroen Berlingo is that car or indeed chest freezer for me. I’d never have even looked at one if it hadn’t been for a few of you kind people and your input, and three years down the road with this one and I have just done the deal to trade it in and get a newer one which I should be picking up sometime this week if all goes to plan. I have tended to run cars into the ground in the past, but this Berlingo is so epic and so good that I decided to trade it in while it was still worth some decent money and get another one. Is the Citroen Berlingo the perfect fishing wagon when having a family means that a van and no backseats simply doesn’t work? I reckon so. Be proud to drive a car that looks more like a chest freezer on wheels, because I am!