In a clear indication that the European automotive market is not ready for mass transition to BEVs, French brand Citroën is reintroducing ICE powertrains to its compact people-carrier range.
Owing to “significant customer demand” the automaker has announced it is bringing back both gasoline and diesel variants of its Berlingo passenger vehicle. These will join the existing all-electric ë-Berlingo Electric which had been the only option since 2020.
Now people-power has won the day and the manufacturer has been forced to respond in an early warning of what might happen should the European Union persist in its misbegotten plans to ban all ICE powertrains for new vehicles in 2035.
Citroën says its decision was informed by its “commitment to offering accessible and affordable mobility to all” and that it is “now delighted to reintroduce the powertrains to the model range, giving fleets and private buyers a wider choice of vehicles”.
ICE powered Berlingo models will be is exclusively available in the medium size length, measuring 4.4m long and 1.90m high with a turning circle of just 10.8m. These are capable of seating up to five adults in comfort. At the same time the ë-Berlingo Electric model will continue to be available in either medium or extra-long variants, with the latter of which capable of seating up to seven adults thanks to a third row of foldable seats.
The entry level ‘Feel’ models come with a choice of PureTech 110PS gasoline and BlueHDi 100PS diesel with a six-speed manual transmission or a BlueHDi 130PS diesel engine with an EAT8 8-speed automatic transmission. The top-of-the-range, ‘Flair XTR’ models are sold exclusively with a BlueHDi 130PS diesel engine with an EAT8 8-speed automatic transmission.
The Citroën Berlingo will be available to order in European markets from a UK price £25,465 ($30,965) on the road. The ë-Berlingo Electric starts from £32,315 ($39,295) including the UK government’s plug-in purchase grant of 35% of the list price capped at £2,500 ($3,040).
— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_