I’ve driven the new Volkswagen Multivan – here’s why this one was more yuppie than hippie in 2022


JUST as there are household-name celebs us Brits know and love, and global superstars like Beyoncé, there are cars that even those not interested in motors know. The VW Type 2 is a Beyoncé.

You won’t believe this: it came after the Volkswagen Type 1 – also known as the VW Beetle.


The Multivan can be traced all the way back to the VW Type 2 van launched in 1950

The Type 2 was a van, known by most people as the VW camper. It wasn’t just a campervan, though.

After its launch in 1950, it became many more things, including a straight-up panel van, a van with more seats, a van filled with seats, a pick-up truck, an ambulance, a hearse and a fire engine.

The van filled with seats was called the Transporter or the Caravelle with its interior quality upped slightly. Now, in 2022, it’s called the Volkswagen Multivan.

But the Multivan (despite the name) is now based on essentially the same underpinnings as a Golf hatch rather than a van, which should mean it drives better.

It’s also gone upmarket inside. VW promises the same cavernous van-like space and practical seats, but with plusher materials and the latest tech.

Which is strange, because by the 1960s, there was a certain group of people partial to VW vans with pews: hippies.

The Type 2 was even affectionately known as ‘the hippie van’ thanks to its basic no-nonsense approach to getting people around.

No so today. After Rob Gill tried a left-hand-drive hybrid model abroad, we’ve now had a drive of a British 2.0-litre petrol model.

In range-topping Style trim, with VW’s 204hp petrol engine and automatic gearbox plus some choice options like metallic paint and a glass roof, the price tag on our car was nearly £62,000.

Ours was also the shorter of the two lengths available, came with six rather than seven seats (a free option) and struggled to do 30mpg.

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Now, there are two groups of people who don’t usually have much cash going spare; hippies and families with kids.

And if a family with kids does have a lot of cash these days, they usually buy a large premium seven-seat SUV, which leaves the Multivan a little lost at this sort of money.

It is still a decent family car – all five seats across the second and third rows can be put in any configuration or removed completely and all come with Isofix points.

But with the third-row seats in place with enough leg-room for a human to sit in them, boot space is only average if you’ve got pushchairs to get in.

Push the rearmost row forward or fold them down and it’s better, but really you want to remove them for the best practicality, meaning you’re left with 46kg of chair to lift out and store somewhere.

All I’m saying is the Multivan is a very good large-family car, but it isn’t a revolution.

I have three kids and my old Ford Galaxy fits three child seats across the middle row every bit as well, plus its rearmost seats take adults with ease and fold flat into the boot floor without needing to be removed – leaving a huge boot.

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That’s all while being smaller on the road and therefore easier to drive in town.

I was struggling to understand the point of this particular Multivan, then, until I took five (adult) mates from London to Birmingham in it.

Wow. It was fast, quiet, very comfortable and everybody had their own leather-clad seat with a USB socket and enough space to stretch out.

We only had a few pork pies with us so they slotted in the boot no problem and the clever sliding and folding central table was perfect for, err, dividing pork pies six ways.

It was a superb, if expensive, taxi.

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But if you have large family to move, you’ll want the standard seven seats, the longer Multivan with 20cm more boot length and to spend as little as possible – go for Life trim and the 1.5-litre petrol.

Yes, you’ll have to open the doors and tailgate yourself rather than press a button and put up with a slightly inferior infotainment screen.

You’ll also be spending more like £44,000 in cash, a decent less each month on a lease and get closer to 40mpg, all for the same practicality.

That’s a fair amount of nursery fee taken care of.

The Multivan is superb to drive for an MPV: comfy, quiet and fast with the 2.0-litre petrol


The Multivan is superb to drive for an MPV: comfy, quiet and fast with the 2.0-litre petrol
All five second and third row seats can put in any configuration or removed


All five second and third row seats can put in any configuration or removed
In the front it's much like the latest Golf with all the latest tech


In the front it’s much like the latest Golf with all the latest tech

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