New Volkswagen Grand California 2019 overview
it’s not going to be an bizarre street check when the advertising materials mentions such options as a spring-plate mattress, a pull-out fridge-freezer and a bathroom. Thoughts you, the Volkswagen Grand California isn’t any bizarre camper van.
It represents a primary for Volkswagen, whose smaller California has turn out to be a little bit of a cult icon amongst campervan fans. However the place the usual California is predicated on the Transporter, this new sibling is predicated on the bigger Crafter van, making it simply over a metre longer and, consequently, a lot roomier inside.
• New Volkswagen California Version overview
Arguably the most important information, nonetheless, is the addition of a small bathe compartment with a built-in cassette bathroom, making this a way more sensible proposition for longer journeys or household holidays.
There are two Grand Californias to select from. Each include a double mattress as commonplace however, counter-intuitively, the shorter 600 is definitely the family-friendly variant, because it comes with an extra-high fibreglass roof part into which you’ll add an additional double bunk.
The 680, as its identify suggests, beneficial properties an additional 80cm in its wheelbase, which has enabled the fitment of an extended mattress and a much bigger kitchenette. Nevertheless it loses the additional peak and, consequently, is strictly for 2.
The Crafter is without doubt one of the finest massive vans on sale, so it ought to come as no shock that the Grand California drives fantastically. The eight-speed torque converter auto is clean and quick-shifting, whereas the 175bhp 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine supplies greater than sufficient grunt to keep up your momentum, even up hills.
The steering is gentle and direct, and regardless of the top-heaviness of the 600 we’re driving, it resists physique lean fairly nicely. Because of this it’s very easy-going and nearly as nimble because the smaller California; certainly, on a large sufficient street, it may well even be moderately pleasing.
Thoughts you, most Grand Californias will spend their time on motorways, so it’s an excellent job it’s sensible there, too. It’ll sit at 70mph fairly fortunately with surprisingly little wind and street noise. The experience is extra comfy than many vehicles we are able to consider, and there’s adaptive cruise management to assist clean away these miles. All of the seats are provide loads of assist, too, particularly these within the entrance, which get flip-down armrests.
And once you determine to pitch camp, the excellent news continues. There are good touches like fly screens and USB sockets all through, and a neat touchscreen mounted on the wall, which lets you management the heating and lighting. The intensive choices record, in the meantime, contains static air con, a Bluetooth speaker system, a satellite tv for pc dish, and four-wheel drive.
The residing quarters are furnished with the form of tasteful materials and smooth cupboards we’ve come to count on within the smaller California. So, the Grand California is brighter, more energizing and extra trendy inside than most motorhomes of its measurement. There’s sufficient area even for a six-footer to face up straight all through, too.
The bathe cubicle, in the meantime, is spacious sufficient that a big grownup can wash with out feeling cramped, and the intelligent flip-down sink and mirror/cabinet mixture make one of the best use of what area there’s.
And once you wish to mattress down for the evening, the Grand California turns into actually cosy and cozy. Fuel heating is commonplace, although you may add a diesel heater too in order for you. There are blackout blinds for each window, so privateness isn’t an issue – and also you received’t be disturbed when it will get gentle. You additionally get ambient lighting as commonplace, with 4 color choices to select from utilizing wall-mounted touchscreen.
The mattress, in the meantime, is agency, however not a lot in order that it’s uncomfortable, whereas even in hotter climes, there’s sufficient air flow that you simply don’t end up waking up in a pool of sweat.
In actual fact, there’s little or no right here to dislike – with the doable exception of the worth. Actual figures haven’t but been confirmed, however count on to pay £69,000 or so for essentially the most fundamental model – a big chunk of cash even in camper phrases. A smaller Volkswagen California Ocean, full with sink, hob and fridge, begins from simply over £53okay.
However when you think about that is most likely the neatest, best-driving and most comfy camper van going, it’s value it. The Grand California isn’t only a must-have for tenting buffs, however a really fascinating factor to personal in its personal proper. In case your subsequent camper has to have a toilet, and also you’ve acquired a couple of pennies to spare, then that is the place you need to spend them.