New Volkswagen Multivan: separate from Transporter

Highlights

  • New Multivan is separate from Transporter
  • Sliding doors and lots of convenience
  • Also as plug-in hybrid eHybrid
  • Early 2022 in the Netherlands

With the Transporter, Volkswagen has a company car on the menu, of which, in addition to a passenger version with a gray license plate, there is also a passenger car version: the Multivan. The addition Multivan now separates Volkswagen from the Transporter. The brand even sculpts a separate model of it. The Volkswagen Multivan is a car that looks more like a bus than an MPV, but it is larded with typical features of a car from that segment that is rapidly becoming extinct. For a Sharan-like Volkswagen, at least in Europe, no longer seems to see a market. But for a large MPV with sliding doors still, seems to be the reasoning of Volkswagen.

With this, Volkswagen seems to be taking a similar path as Opel with the Zafira Life. The Zafira Life is the passenger car version of the company car Vivaro. However, that doesn’t seem quite the case. The Volkswagen Multivan will be placed next to the current generation Transporter. The current Transporter has been modernized several times, but still hides a platform under its carriage that debuted in 2003 under the T5. That platform is not used for the Multivan, Volkswagen parks its new space giant on the much more modern MQB platform. In time, the Transporter will also be replaced, but not as you might think. Despite the fact that Volkswagen refers to the Multivan in the same breath as ‘T7’ and that the Multivan was developed and presented by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, the ‘Bulli range’ in the future will consist of three models: the Transporter, this Multivan and the electric ID.Buzz.

Volkswagen Multivan

Plug-in Hybrid

The MQB platform makes it possible for Volkswagen’s largest passenger car to also be available as an eHybrid. Indeed, as a plug-in hybrid. Like the Passat GTE, the Multivan eHybrid has a 150 hp 1.4 TSI that works together with a 115 hp electric motor. The system power is 218 hp and 350 Nm. The plug-in hybrid Multivan has a 13 kWh battery from which the car probably squeezes about 50 electric kilometers. You can drive purely electrically up to a speed of 130 km/h, after which the petrol engine kicks in.

Prefer no plug-in hybrid? No problem. Volkswagen also supplies the Multivan with 136 hp (220 Nm) and 204 hp (320 Nm) strong 1.5 and 2.0 TSI petrol engines. Volkswagen also has a 150 hp 2.0 TDI on the menu. Regardless of which engine version you choose, the Multivan has a DSG automatic transmission. In the Multivan eHybrid this is a six-speed gearbox, the regular TSI and TDI versions have a DSG automatic transmission with seven gears.

No shortage of modern gadgets. The Multivan will soon also be available with IQ Drive Travel Assist, a system that is known from other Volkswagen models and that makes semi-autonomous driving possible to a certain extent. Lane Assist and cruise control are standard, as are systems such as Front Assist with City Emergency Braking and Traffic Sign Recognition.

Volkswagen Multivan

Volkswagen Multivan

Appearance

The Volkswagen Multivan is clearly a model that is strongly reminiscent of a bus, although it is less bus-like than the Transporter Multivan that it replaces. The Multivan has a split A-pillar, a design trick that we know from the Citro├źn C4 Space Tourer. The hood is still quite short, but the Multivan has a visually less blunt nose than the current Transporter/Multivan. The fact that the Multivan is part of the Transporter bloodline is also reflected in the design. For example, just like with current and various previous generations, a clean line runs from the headlights over the flank that connects to the rear lights. The rear lights are no longer vertically oriented blocks, but flat and much wider ones. Volkswagen offers the Multivan electrically operated sliding doors that guarantee easy entry, even in narrow parking spaces. Volkswagen’s last large MPV, the Sharan, never had sliding doors. In that respect, Volkswagen’s choice to make the Multivan more of an MPV-like wasn’t such a crazy one. LED headlights are standard, LED matrix viewers are optional. If you order the Style version, you will receive a wide LED strip in the snout of the space giant.

The Volkswagen Multivan comes in two lengths. The regular variant is 4.97 meters long and has a 3.12 meters long wheelbase. The longer variant extends over a distance of 5.17 meters and has the same wheelbase, but with a 20 centimeters larger rear overhang. With a width of 1.94 meters, it is 3.7 centimeters wider than the previous Transporter Multivan, although with a height of 1.90 meters it is almost 5 centimeters lower.

Volkswagen Multivan

Volkswagen Multivan

Interior

Of course, the Volkswagen Multivan is nice and practical on the inside, and also somewhat stubborn. You are looking for an accident with a conventional gear lever. Instead, the Multivan has a small selector stick that hides shift-by-wire technology. As with the Volkswagen ID3, the transmission control element is fused with the instrument panel cover. Volkswagen gives the Multivan, among other things, a 10-inch multimedia screen, a 10.25-inch large digital instrumentation, an automatic handbrake and optionally even an immense glass panoramic roof. Things that you would indeed expect in a passenger car. Volkswagen even puts a 14-speaker audio system from Harman Kardon on the option list.

Volkswagen Multivan

Volkswagen Multivan

However, Volkswagen does not forget the practicality. The space between the front seats is walkable. This makes it easy for the front seat occupants not only to find their way out of a tight parking space through one of the sliding doors, but also to jump between the bickering children in the back if necessary. The Volkswagen Multivan does not have the usual third row of seats in the back. Well, at least there’s a row of seats, but it’s not a backseat. Both the second and third rows of seats consist of separate seats, removable ones that can also be moved forwards and backwards thanks to rails. The seats in the second row can also be placed backwards, nice if you actually want to look at the occupants in the third row while talking. Volkswagen also presses a table also placed on rails and therefore slidable, but also foldable and removable table in the interior.

The luggage compartment with the third row of seats in normal position has a capacity of 469 liters. A longer variant of the Multivan will also be available that can carry 763 liters in that situation. The total luggage space without rear seats is no less than 3,672 liters and 4,005 liters for the extended version. The tailgate can be opened electrically – optionally – by flapping your foot under the bumper.

Volkswagen will also introduce the Multivan in the Netherlands. At the beginning of 2022, the practical Volkswagen will be at the Dutch dealers. Prices will follow in the run-up to the market launch.


Source: AutoWeek by www.autoweek.nl.

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