Review - Volkswagen Multivan

AF By Alexi Falson November 15, 2021

image for Review - Volkswagen Multivan Volkswagen’s Multivan has become a fan-favourite amongst working class buyers, as well as those looking for a comfortable and safe seven-seat van to accommodate a growing family for school runs and errands, as well as long holiday road trips.

It offers a large and extremely flexible design that allows buyers to configure their Multivan for work one day, and play the next. This, combined with Volkswagen’s archetypal attention to detail and high-standard of engineering, has resulted in the Multivan fast-becoming one of Australia’s favourite vans. 

To make things even better for prospective van buyers, earlier this year Volkswagen confirmed that the Multivan lineup would get a significant update in the form of the Multivan 6.1, so it looks as though there’s never been a better time to upgrade. The problem for the Multivan, though, is that competition in the form of the all-new Hyundai Staria, Kia Carnival and even the Mercedes V-Class has continued to step on the toes of the Multivan, due to the noticeable revival of the world’s love affair with large vans. 

So, with all that in mind, just how good is the latest generation VW Multivan 6.1, what changes has Volkswagen made, and how well does it stack up against its competitors in terms of flexibility, features and, of course, price? Let’s find out. 

Starting Price: $61,990

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Volkswagen Multivan (T6.1 MY21) Specifications

Make VOLKSWAGEN
Model MULTIVAN
Series T6.1 MY21
Variant TDI340 LWB COMFORTLINE PREMIUM
Body 4D WAGON
Fuel type DIESEL
Transmission 7 SP AUTO DIRECT SHI
Drive FWD
Engine TDDFI
Engine capacity 1968
Engine configuration DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 3500 / 1750
Cylinders DT4
Torque 340
KW 110
Fuel tank size 80.0
Fuel usage specs 6.6 / 0.0
CO2 175
ANCAP security rating UNRATED

How Much Does It Cost?

The Volkswagen Multivan lineup kicks off from $61,990 for the entry-level Comfortline Premium TDI340 short-wheelbase, with prices jumping to $64,990 for the Comfortline Premium TDI340 with Volkswagen’s 4Motion four-wheel drive system, which is the same asking price for the Comfortline Premium TDI340 long-wheelbase. The long-wheelbase variant of the Comfortline Premium TDI340 with 4Motion is priced from $67,990. 

The range then moves to the Cruise Special Edition, which is packaged in a short-wheelbase format and priced from $73,990. From here, the range jumps to the Highline TDI450 which is priced at $84,990 for the standard short-wheelbase and $87,990 for the 4Motion variant. 

Finally, the range topping Volkswagen Multivan, the Comfortline Exec TDI450 long-wheelbase is priced from $87,990. Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs.  

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What Features Does the Volkswagen Multivan Have?

The entry-level Volkswagen Multivan Comfortline Premium comes riding on a set of 17-inch alloy wheels, and receives halogen headlights, electric sliding doors on either side of the van, body-coloured front and rear bumpers, a chrome finish for the front grille, black cloth upholstery, three-zone climate control, a reversing camera with front and rear-mounted parking sensors, carpeted floors, adjustable front seats with lumbar support, rotating second row seats, sliding and reclining third-row seats, as well as an 8.0-inch infotainment system with satellite navigation, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is paired to a six-speaker sound system with a pair of USB-C outlets, as well as a heap of safety equipment that we’ll cover later in this review. 

Opting for the Highline variant adds a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, as well as LED head and tail lights, a powered boot lift, upgraded infotainment system, Nappa leather seat upholstery with heated 12-way adjustable front seats, a multi-function table in the rear of the cabin as well as some added safety equipment. 

Moving to the Comfortline Exec variant adds the same set of LED head and tail lights, an electric boot lift and multi-function table in the rear of the cabin, as well as an upgraded 9-inch Discover Pro infotainment system with a digital driver’s display and microfibre seat upholstery for the heated, power-adjustable front seats.  

Range Features: 

  • 17-inch alloy wheels

  • Halogen headlights 

  • Electric sliding doors on both sides 

  • Reversing camera with front and rear-mounted parking sensors 

  • 8.0-inch infotainment system with satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto 

  • Six-speaker sound system 

  • Black cloth upholstery

  • Rotating second-row seats 

  • Sliding and reclining third row seats 

  • 18-inch alloys (Highline) 

  • LED head and tail lights (Highline) 

  • Nappa leather upholstery (Highline) 

  • Powered boot lift (Highline) 

  • 9-inch Discover Pro digital driver’s display (Highline & Comfortline Exec) 

  • Heated, power-adjustable front seats (Highline & Comfortline Exec) 

  • Multi-function table (Comfortline Exec) 

  • Microfibre seat upholstery (Comfortline Exec) 

Volkswagen Multivan (T6.1 MY21) Colours

Reflex Silver Metallic Fortana Red Metallic
Indium Grey Metallic Starlight Blue Metallic

Is it Comfortable to Drive? 

The biggest compliment you can give a commercial-based cargo van is that on the road, it doesn’t feel as though you’re driving such a large vehicle. In this respect, Volkswagen has been ahead of the game with recent generations of the Multivan, and the latest Multivan 6.1 is no different. The engines on offer serve up a healthy amount of power and torque, with the entry-level producing more than enough to get you, your family or a large load of cargo up to speed without a problem. Better still, Volkswagen’s range of engines are paired with a smart dual-clutch transmission that offers lightning-fast shifts that you’ll barely notice. 

As a result, the Volkswagen Multivan remains one of the best options for those looking to retain some genuine comfort and a sophisticated driving dynamic from their cargo or family-mover. VW’s attention to detail and exceptionally high level of engineering is clear to be seen the moment you drive the Multivan around town, or stretch its legs on the highway.

 Around town, the Multivan remains composed and user-friendly to pilot, and while its size means that you’ll need to be a bit more cautious in tight spaces and car parks, it remains extremely accessible to drive. This is largely thanks to Volkswagen’s lightweight steering rack that means you won’t ever work up a sweat maneuvering through car parks and making three-point turns, and adds to the Multivan’s appeal as an accessible cargo van or family mover. Also worth a mention is Volkswagen’s suspension system, which works well at ironing out a lot of the smaller bumps you’ll find on Australian roads, however, it isn’t able to work the same magic on larger bumps. 

This isn’t much of an issue, though, because even on long distance holiday road trips, the Multivan remains exceptionally comfortable and quiet. For a commercial-based vehicle, there’s very little in the way of road or tyre noise entering the cabin, and as a complete package, the Multivan feels high-quality, smooth and refined. Overall, then, the VW Multivan is exceptionally comfortable for a member of this vehicle’s segment, and remains well-crafted and even quite sophisticated for a van.  

Is it Practical and Spacious? 

As you can imagine, the Volkswagen Multivan has absolutely no problem ticking off some of the all-important boxes of practicality and space. With an updated platform, Volkswagen has been able to squeeze even more space and practical elements for those looking to put their Multivan to work at either the job site or with growing families. The company knows that people are looking to do very different things in their Multivan, which is why there’s a range of customisable options and flexible designs for the interior that can create either a completely flat, empty cargo van, or can seat up to seven people in comfort. 

Stepping into the front of the cabin, the driver and front passenger are treated to a relatively simple yet modern design for the cockpit with a huge amount of space and visibility. For those that are unfamiliar with the layout of a van, the repositioning of the gear lever allows for a large clearance between the driver and front passenger which adds to the sense of space and comfort in the front of the cabin, and the Multivan makes great use of the amount of space on offer. It’s also filled with practical elements like a host of storage areas, several glove boxes, massive door bins, and a set of cupholders hidden beneath the centre console. Better still, you can even squeeze a bag or two in the space between the two front seats thanks to the clever design. All up, there’s a heap of space for the driver and passenger to stretch out in the front of the cockpit, with more than enough headroom on offer for even the tallest of drivers. 

Moving to the rear of the cabin, you’ll find a set of electronic sliding doors that provide easy access to the second and third rows of the cabin, depending on your preferred layout. Rather than a conventional bench seat, you’ll find a set of captain’s chairs for the second row which offer a huge amount of space. Volkswagen says that the latest seat design can be rotated back and forth, depending on your preference, which provides a large amount of legroom when pointing forward, with even more space on offer when rotated and facing rearward. Passengers in the rear get their own set of climate vents, however, there is a noticeable lack of cup holders for any loose drinks floating around the cabin. 

The third row is packaged as a conventional bench seat which offers enough room for children and growing teenagers, while full-sized adults might want to limit their time in the third row of the cabin. All up, though, the Multivan is perfectly packaged as a family-mover and offers a comfortable platform for those looking to move seven people. Alternatively, you can opt to rip out all the seats and use your Multivan as a cargo-mover, or go for one of Volkswagen’s optional interior finishes with some clever designs. For the parents out there, the second row of the Multivan’s cabin is fitted with ISOFIX anchors and top tether mounts that make installing even the largest of child seats a simple task. 

In terms of the Multivan’s cargo-moving potential, Volkswagen doesn’t give us precise volumes of the boot space available in the Multivan, but the company does say on its website that there is at least 4,300L of load capacity in the short-wheelbase variant. All up, the Multivan leaves no important boxes unchecked when it comes to size, space and practicality for growing families and those needing to move large volumes of cargo. 

Is it Safe? 

Volkswagen’s latest generation 6.1 Multivan is yet to be officially tested by ANCAP. To make this up to buyers, however, VW is packaging even entry-level Multivan variants with autonomous emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alerts, a reversing camera with front and rear-mounted parking sensors, cross-wind assistance, adaptive cruise control, lane assistance and six airbags. While it lacks an official ANCAP rating, it comes feature-packed in the context of safety equipment. 

Is the Volkswagen Multivan Fuel Efficient?

The entry-level TDI350 Multivan is rated at 6.6L per 100km on a combined cycle, while its more powerful sibling, the TDI450 is officially rated at 7L per 100km on a combined cycle. This means that in spite of its size, the fuel economy figures on offer in the Multivan lineup are actually quite impressive. Real-world driving conditions and heavy loads of cargo and/or family members will see these figures rise, however, the Multivan is not significantly outpaced by any of its rivals in terms of fuel economy. 

Our Verdict: Is the Volkswagen Multivan Worth it?

There’s no doubt in our mind that the latest generation 6.1 Multivan is the best of an already well-established and recognised bunch. Relatively small but important changes have been made around the van, which, combined with VW’s relentless attention to detail, mean that you can rest assured knowing that the latest generation Multivan is also the company’s greatest. 

If you haven’t already, we’d highly recommend adding the Volkswagen Multivan to your shortlist for a large, comfortable seven seat people-mover or a competent workhorse. On that note,  if you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-year, unlimited KM warranty 

  2. No official ANCAP safety rating yet

  3. Two turbo-diesel engines available; both receive seven-speed DCT 

  4. Economy figures range between 6.6-7L per 100km 

  5. Luggage capacity from 4,300L

Pros

  • Massive amounts of space for family and friends 

  • Flexible seating arrangement can rotate, slide and recline 

  • Slick and efficient engine and transmission combinations

Cons

  • Underwhelming boot size with third-row standing 

  • Commercial underpinnings lacks comfort of pure-bred people-movers like Staria and Carnival

  • Some variants becoming undeniably expensive 

Volkswagen Multivan Competition




Volkswagen Multivan



VS
Kia Carnival
Mercedes-Benz V-Class
Honda Odyssey
Toyota Granvia
Toyota Sienna

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