What you see here is not just an evolution of the T6.1 Volkswagen van and bus range that you’ve known until now. The Multivan is a completely new vehicle, now based on the MQB platform. With Ford looking set to produce the commercially oriented Volkswagen vans in future, the replacement for the more luxurious bus variants has taken the liberty of migrating to a car-based platform, which should improve overall refinement and driveability.
Not even the Caravelle nameplate has survived the shift, with the Multivan effectively serving as its replacement. But the newcomer certainly isn’t ashamed of its heritage, as Volkswagen says it has taken much of its design inspiration from forebears such as the T3 Transporter.
The Volkswagen Multivan will be available as a plug-in hybrid for the first time, this model pairing a 1,4 TSI turbopetrol engine with an 85 kW electric motor for a combined output of 160 kW. Those seeking a more traditional powertrain can opt for a 1,5 TSI with 100 kW or a 2,0 TSI with 150 kW. Diesel-heads haven’t been forgotten either, but they’ll have to wait until next year for the 2,0 TDI variant with 110 kW. All of these petrol and diesel engines are paired with a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox.
It’s got a sliding table!
Compared with its predecessor, the new Volkswagen Multivan has a longer wheelbase (now 3 124 mm) and it’s wider and lower. Depending on the variant, buyers can choose from two vehicle lengths: 4 973 mm and 5 173 mm.
The maximum seating capacity is seven, but Volkswagen says its new bus is more spacious and flexible than ever thanks to a new lightweight and modular seating system, and a completely flat floor. The main party trick, however, is the multi-function table, which uses the central track to slide between the seating rows and it can even be used as a centre console between the front seats. The table is height adjustable and features cupholders and a storage bin. Even with all seven seats in place, the Multivan offers 469 litres of boot space, expanding to 1 844 litres when the third seating row is removed.
Available luxury features include power sliding doors, electrically-operated tailgate and a panoramic glass roof, with laminated safety glass that reduces thermal radiation by 44 percent.
There’s plenty of tech upfront in the cockpit area, where you’ll find a 10,25 inch digital instrument cluster and a 10 inch infotainment touchscreen, housing We Connect Plus with its various apps and online services. A head-up display becomes an option for the first time and buyers can also opt for a 14-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system that was developed specifically for this vehicle. Furthermore, the Multivan features 34 driver assist systems as well as Car2X technology that allows the vehicle to communicate with other vehicles and infrastructure.