In 2023, though, Volkswagen has some serious competition in the world of practical family motoring, with rivals hoping to one-up the Multivan on price and family-friendly touches.
Just how well has the Multivan managed to assert itself atop the leaderboard of spacious, versatile and family-friendly people movers? Let’s take a closer look to find out.
Volkswagen Multivan Competition
Starting Price: $69,290
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How Much Does It Cost?
The Volkswagen Multivan range kicks off from $69,290 for the entry-level Multivan TDI340 Comfortline SWB, while the Multivan Comfortline Premium SWB is priced at $72,290.
Stepping up to the Multivan Comfortline Premium SWB 4Motion or the Multivan Comfortline Premium LWB brings the price up to $75,290, with the Multivan Comfortline Premium LWB priced at $78,290.
The Multivan Highline SWB is priced at $95,690 while the Multivan Comfortline Exec LWB is priced at $98,690 and the range-topping Multivan Highline SWB 4Motion is priced at $98,690.
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Volkswagen Multivan (COMFORTLINE TDI340 SWB) Specifications
|Variant||COMFORTLINE TDI340 SWB|
|Transmission||7 SP AUTO DIRECT SHI|
|Engine configuration||DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves|
|Engine RPM||3500 / 1750|
|Fuel tank size||70.0|
|Fuel usage specs||6.6 / 0|
|ANCAP security rating||Unrated|
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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 and black cloth upholstery.
There’s also 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 Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Moving to the Comfortline Exec variant adds the same set of LED head and tail lights, an electric boot lift and a multi-function table in the rear of the cabin, as well as an upgraded 9.0-inch Discover Pro infotainment system with a digital driver’s display and microfibre seat upholstery for the heated, power-adjustable front seats.
Opting for the Highline adds a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, as well as LED head and tail lights, a powered boot lift, an upgraded infotainment system, Nappa leather seat upholstery with heated 12-way adjustable front seats, and a multi-function table.
Adaptive cruise control
Cloth upholstery with leather-wrapped steering wheel
Dual electric sliding side doors
Rear-view camera with front & rear parking sensors
8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
LED head & tail lights (Comfortline Exec)
Powered boot lift (Comfortline Exec)
Multi-function table (Comfortline Exec)
9.0-inch infotainment system and digital instrument cluster (Comfortline Exec)
18-inch alloys (Highline)
Nappa leather upholstery (Highline)
12-way power adjustable front seats (Highline)
Is the Volkswagen Multivan Comfortable to Drive?
The biggest compliment you can give the Volkswagen Multivan is that it’s evolved to the point where the gap between its commercial van platform and a typical car or SUV platform has become closer than ever before.
That means it feels quite nice to drive, with Volkswagen’s range of turbo-diesel engines and the slick dual-clutch transmissions making for quite a refined driving experience.
Power for the Multivan range comes supplied by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel kicking out 110kW of power and 340Nm of torque in the TDI340 range, while upgrading to the TDI450 brings outputs to 146kW of power and 450Nm of torque.
The engine is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch unit that powers the front wheels in the standard Multivan, while 4Motion variants pick up an all-wheel drive system that adds some stability and confidence to the mix.
Around town, the Multivan feels composed, with its healthy torque figures on offer from fairly low revs, meaning you have a decent amount of push up to speed.
While its sheer size means that you can’t simply squeeze it into any spot you find, Volkswagen has made sure the Multivan is easy to drive, thanks to its lightweight steering rack and fairly comfortable suspension package on smooth city streets.
Leave town and hit the open road and the Multivan is a strong performer, with its suspension package keeping the body nice and flat in the corners, while offering enough support to eat up some of the bumps at high speeds, making for a great town car and long-distance cruiser.
Its commercial underpinnings are noticeable on a mix of Australian roads, making it somewhat less refined than its purebred people-mover rivals, though the difference is negligible while simply bumbling around town.
Is it Fuel Efficient?
While it might be a pretty sizable package, the Volkswagen Multivan range offers some pretty impressive fuel economy figures, with the base model rated at 6.6L/100km on a combined cycle.
Step up to the range-topping, long-wheelbase TDI450 and fuel economy figures rise up to 7.0L/100km, though these are still super fuel-efficient figures for a van of its stature.
Is it Practical and Spacious?
Designed first and foremost with families in mind, the Multivan knocks it out of the park when it comes to space and practicality, with more than enough space to comfortably seat seven people.
Up front, the driver and front passenger are treated to a comfortable pair of seats, each with their own arm rest, with a gap between the seats that adds to the spaciousness of the front cabin.
The transmission lever sits on the dashboard, allowing you to stretch your legs or even stow a few bags between you and the front passenger seat, with a healthy range of storage options in the front of the cabin.
Move to the rear and things get mighty impressive, with Volkswagen’s flexible seating arrangement offering a pair of swiveling second-row seats that can face the front and switch around to provide some awkward eye contact with those seated in the third row.
Headspace in the second row of the Multivan is fantastic, likewise the width of the cabin and the acres of legroom on offer that make it a great place to sit in the rear, with higher spec variants picking up a clever table system.
The seats can slide back and forth, and be removed entirely in a pinch, making the Multivan a super versatile van, depending on how many kids or how much cargo you’re planning to squeeze in.
Move further back and there’s a bench seat in the third row, with easy access for rear passengers through the middle of the captain’s chairs and a heap of legroom that accommodates all shapes and sizes.
All up, the immensely practical design of the Multivan’s cabin, and the sheer amount of adjustability means that owners can tailor their cabin exactly to their needs, which makes it one of the most adaptable and versatile people movers currently on the market.
Is it Safe?
The VW Multivan range is yet to be tested by ANCAP, though it comes packed to the brim with active safety gear to help sweeten the deal.
As standard, the entry-level Multivan picks up autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, a rear-view camera with front & rear parking sensors, cross-wind assistance, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts.
Our Verdict: Is the Volkswagen Multivan Worth it?
While it doesn’t come cheap, the Multivan range is undoubtedly one of the most comfortable and versatile people-movers on the market, and goes a long way in justifying the price premium over its major rivals.
For price-conscious buyers, we’d recommend sticking with the entry-level Comfortline variants, and tossing up whether you can make do with the short-wheelbase version, or if you’re after more space, stretch out to the long-wheelbase Multivan and you will not be disappointed.
Five Specs You Need to Know
Short & long wheelbase variants available
Two choices of turbo-diesel engines paired with seven-speed DCT
Fuel economy figures between 6.6L - 7.0L/100km
12-month/15,000km service intervals
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