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Versatile new VW Multivan hits the road

Volkswagen has unveiled its shiny new seven-seat Multivan MPV.

VW Multivan side view from top

And with funky good-looks, a dazzling interior and the option of a plug-in hybrid powertrain, it might be just enough to tempt you away from that SUV you’ve got your eye on.

The all-new Multivan replaces the Volkswagen Caravelle in the firm’s line-up and, according to VW, it provides all the practicality and comfort you’d ever need, from the ‘daily school run to holiday adventures’.

One thing’s for sure, it certainly looks the part.

VW Multivan rear side view

The Multivan has a longer wheelbase with a wider, lower profile than the Caravelle, giving it a more attractive stance, while a full-width grille provides a thoroughly modern new look.

There’s also a full-on long wheelbase version available, measuring 5,173mm long compared with the standard version’s 4,973mm length.

There are three specifications - “Multivan”, “Life”, and “Style” - and a host of great options, including a laminated panoramic roof and power sliding doors which can be operated via gesture control.

LED headlights come as standard but can be upgraded to interactive LED matrix headlights.

VW Multivan front view

And the clever cabin is about as practical as it gets.

The five seats in the rear can actually be moved and removed to suit your needs, while the second row can be swiveled 180-degrees around to create a ‘conference style seating configuration’, where you can chat to each other while you scoff your picnic.

There’s a multi-function, removable table - on a tracking system - which can be moved between any of the seating rows and can also be used as a centre console between the front seats.

VW Multivan rear passenger interior

There’s also no gearstick, thanks to an automatic DSG box controlled via shift-by-wire technology - which means better occupant space in the front.

With the base version, the Multivan offers 469 litres of luggage space behind the third row of seats, extending to 1,844 litres behind the second row.

You’ll enjoy a 10.25-inch ‘Digital Cockpit’ display and a 10.0-inch infotainment touchscreen.

VW Multivan drivers interior

For the first time on a Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles model, a swanky head-up display is also available.

The standard infotainment system is called ‘Ready 2 Discover’, which includes an integrated eSIM to deliver online safety and convenience features.

If you want to turn your Multivan into a mobile concert venue, you can also opt for the uprated Harmon Kardon sound system, which uses something called the ‘Fraunhofer Sonamic Panorama Algorithm’, to separate out the individual sources of a stereo recording and distribute them evenly across a U-shaped acoustic stage. That should very much be music to your ears.

As you’d expect from a VW, there are safety systems a-plenty as standard, including Front Assist area monitoring system, with City Emergency Braking, Dynamic Road Sign Display, and the Lane Assist system.

And if you want to push the boat out you can spec the Multivan out with VW’s ‘IQ.DRIVE Travel Assist’, a semi-autonomous driving system that combines predictive Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Assist to ‘make long-distance journeys safer and easier’.

Of equal importance is what makes the Multivan get down the road.

VW Multivan side view

The eye-catching powertrain is the eHybrid PHEV, which marries a 1.4 TSI 150 PS engine with an 85kW electric motor to produce a combined power output of 218 PS.

The front-wheel drive Multivan is also available with two four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engines: a 1.5 TSI 136 PS and a 2.0 TSI 204 PS. A four-cylinder turbo diesel, with a power output of 150 PS, will join next year. All of these are twinned with a seven-speed DSG gearbox as standard.

A Volkswagen spokesperson adds:

“The Multivan has been given a new name in the UK to reflect the complete overhaul of its predecessor while still providing the same versatility to the Caravelle’s loyal fan base. No longer built on the Transporter platform, the all-new model will be based on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform.”

The Multivan goes on sale later this year and prices will be announced in the coming months.

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Matthew Knowles

Saturday, 04/09/2021