The successor to the Caravelle. Now Available as a Plug-In Hybrid
The commercial range is being added to with the New T7 Multivan, too. Effectively a replacement for the VW Caravelle, with plug-in hybrid powertrain options and has been designed with convenience and safety in mind with a range of digital systems including 34 driver-assist systems.
Rather than being underpinned by the same platform as the Transporter, the new Multivan actually sits on the Volkswagen Group MQB platform, which allows for greater flexibility when it comes to interior layout. As a result, there’s plenty of seating - with space for seven - while the second row can be rotated 180 degrees to create a conference-style area.The third row is made up of individual seats rather than a single bench, too, which means that they can be removed to free up additional luggage space.
As it’s based on one of the very latest platforms, the VW Multivan benefits from some of the latest technology, too. Up front, there’s a dual-screen setup incorporating a 10-inch infotainment display housing all key media and navigation functions, as well as a secondary 10.25-inch digital cockpit that can be configured to show different readouts and displays.
Bright ambient lighting also runs throughout the interior of the van, giving it a particularly space-age feel.
More flexible and spacious than ever. The Multivan offers 469 litres of luggage spacewhich can increase to a huge 1,844 litres when you remove the rear seats. A great feature of the new Volkswagen Multivan is that you can fold and easily remove individual seats in the rear, to create different seating arrangements to suit your needs.
The handy multifunctional table can be moved between any of the seating rows in the cabin and can also double up as the centre console between the front seats. The table can also be adjusted in height and features three cup holders and a deep storage compartment. This perfect for when passengers may be working on the go, Kids need to be entertained during journeys or even a picnic pitstop on a road trip.
A Plug-in Hybrid now available
There are going to be three powertrains on offer with the Multivan. For the first time, a plug-in hybrid will be available, combining a 1.4-litre petrol engine with an electric motor for a combined output of 215bhp. Plus, the batteries have been located underneath the van’s floor, so there’s no intrusion into cabin space. Volkswagen claims that you should get up to 31 miles of electric-only running, too.
Alongside this setup will be more conventional 1.5- and 2.0-litre petrol variants, while a diesel option is expected to be added at a later date.
The exterior of the Multivan is similar to that of the new Caddy. As a result, there’s a full-width illuminated bar running between the headlights, which gives the van a futuristic appearance, while around the back the slim lights sit at the same level as the sliding door brackets.
It also uses the same twin-colour design as the California. In its most recent pictures, this has incorporated an eye-catching orange shade contrasting a metallic silver section.
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What is it?
Volkswagen has always been a manufacturer capable of making some seriously practical vehicles. Take the old Caravelle; beloved by families and minicab drivers alike, it offered space alongside a very car-like driving experience. Well here’s is its replacement - the Multivan. Bringing a striking new design alongside a high-tech interior, it’s an MPV for the modern age. But what else do you need to know about it? We’ve been behind the wheel to find out.
Though it may have ‘van’ in its name, the new Multivan isn’t actually based on a commercial vehicle. So whereas the old Caravelle used the Transporter for its underpinnings, this new version sits atop Volkswagen’s MQB platform - the same as you’ll find underneath the new Tiguan. As well as bringing a more car-like driving experience, this move also helps to broaden the number of powertrains available while also allowing the Multivan to be offered with a plug-in hybrid option.
What’s under the bonnet?
From launch, there’s the option of two turbocharged petrol engines - a 1.5-litre with a 134bhp and a 2.0-litre with 201bhp - and an eHybrid version. A diesel version is set to join the ranks too, but that won’t arrive on the scene until the middle of next year. The eHybrid is likely to be a popular choice for many Multivan buyers. It combines a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor and a 10kWh battery. Combined, you get 215bhp and 350Nm of torque, bringing a 0-60mph time of 11.6 seconds. You also get a useful 31-mile electric-only range.
What’s it like to drive?
Compared with the old Caravelle, the new Multivan feels noticeably more refined out on the road. It’s quiet at motorway speeds and is more than respectable in the bends, too, though the low-speed ride can feel a touch unsettled at times. A good turning circle means that it certainly doesn’t feel like a van to park, while a lower ride height means that it won’t fall foul of height restrictors that may catch a conventional van out.
How does it look?
The new Multivan manages to retain the boxy look that you might expect from a car like this, but with some added touches to keep things interesting. There are the cool two-tone paint schemes and LED lights, while the body-coloured grille is a premium touch too.
What’s it like inside?
You can tell that the Multivan has been designed with practicality in mind from the off. There are all manner of cubby holes to help keep the cabin tidy, while the generous proportions of the cabin mean there’s plenty of space to stretch out. There’s the option to have either six or seven seats and because all of the chairs are fixed on rails you can easily slide them back and forth - or remove them entirely. The rearmost seats are now individual chairs too, rather than the cumbersome fixed bench on the Caravelle.
What’s the spec like?
The Multivan is set to go on sale in January 2022, with prices starting from £43,160. Entry-level Life models bring 16-inch alloy wheels as standard as well as sliding doors and a 10-inch infotainment system in the middle of the dash. Style cars, meanwhile, gain IQ.Light LED matrix headlights and Volkswagen’s complete Discover Media navigation system.There’s also a special launch edition called Energetic, which is only available on plug-in hybrid cars. It’s got a premium Harmon Kardon sound system and 18-inch wheels, among other high-end features.
The Multivan arrives as a perfect replacement for the Caravelle. It’s far more smartly finished than before, while that car-like driving experience means it’ll no doubt prove a hit with people who want the practicality of a van without the kind of drawbacks associated with one. The addition of a plug-in hybrid powertrain also boosts the appeal of the Multivan, while the good level of standard equipment only helps to make it an even more attractive proposition.