Is the VW Multivan the most practical family transport going?
Our VW Multivan was thrown so quickly into action upon its arrival that we didn’t have time to even consider reading the manual, let alone actually doing so. So without further ado, it’s time to break out the spec sheet. Deep breath.
Available in two trim levels, Life and Style, this one is the latter. Commanding a £10k premium over the former, highlights include keyless entry/start, LED matrix headlights, chrome decorative trim, 17” alloy wheels, a customisable digital dash, heated steering wheel and seats, sliding side windows, electric sliding doors and bootlid – several of which, notably the sliding doors, you could easily live without.
Additional options on top of the £59,545 list price include a panoramic sunroof (£1,050), upgraded infotainment system (£294), 12-way adjustable and massaging front seats (£1,500), wireless smartphone charging (£432), and most eye-watering but perhaps best of all, that two-tone paintjob (£2,700), bringing the final OTR price to £65,521.
But you needn’t tick any options boxes to appreciate just how practical the Multivan is. All models come with seven individually removable seats, while up front there’s pop-out cupholders, two glovebox compartments, a dash-top cubby, huge door pockets complete with waste bins, and two USB ports. No gearlever means the driver can also easily scramble across to the passenger side when entering/exiting in tight parking spots. Or indeed the rear thanks to the flat floor, to take advantage of the sliding side doors.
Passengers arguably fare even better in the back, thanks to individual climate controls, phone pouches and iPad tables in the front seatbacks, carpet-lined door pockets, dual USB ports in every row, and underseat storage. In the boot there’s even a 12V socket, handy for pumping up stand-up paddleboards and suchlike if that’s your jam, and two hooks for, in our case, tying Labradors to while we got our wellies on.
And we haven’t even got to the Multivan’s party piece yet, the sliding, height adjustable centre console complete with fold out tables, three cup holders, and storage compartment. It never ceased to impress my passengers, proving extremely useful as a workstation and picnic set-up, but can be completely removed should you deem you need more space.
Not that we imagine you will, with 469 litres of luggage space behind the third row of seats, 1,844 litres (1,850 litres with panoramic glass roof) behind the second row, or a whopping 3,672 litres if you run it as a two-seater. Cavernous, in other words.
It’s not perfect. We’ve spent enough time lamenting VW’s infuriating infotainment system; it’s no better here. The seats, which VW claims are 25 per cent lighter than previously, are still hardly easy to move around, while for some strange reason the sidemost ones in the rear only have armrests on one side. There’s also a fair amount of road and wind noise, plus various creaks and rattles inside the cabin. But that’s about it.
All told then, the Multivan not only looks the part (especially so if you’re prepared to fork out for the two-tone paintjob), but backs up the style with substance, even in its most basic of specification. The most practical family transport going? It’s hard to argue against.