The all-new VW Multivan (T7 internally) replaces the VW Transporter Caravelle and should hit uk showrooms in 2022. An impressive model for its debut plug-in hybrid option, flexible interior, new exterior design, and suite of digital and connected services (including 34+ driver-assist systems), it’s hard not to get excited about its car-like feel and flexible features.
The new 7-seater VW Multivan packs practicality, comfort and safety and is a great people-carrying, moving house, outdoor adventures and all in-between, well, multivan. Doing what is says on the tin, VW Multivan earns its new name, one that perfectly matches the complete overhaul.
VW Caravelle enthusiasts will not be disappointed. The all-new VW Multivan based on VW group’s MQB platform, makes for a car-like ride and is equally as versatile as the Caravelle with features you will love. Unlike the previous Multivan, you’re more likely to see this model at a campsite than building site.
On the outside of the VW Multivan
Volkswagen says the exterior design is inspired by Multivan’s predecessor the VW Transporter T3 (1985). Exterior horizontal design lines and full-width grille and headlights, give it a modern look. Remodelled A-pillars improve driver visibility and new front/back light designs give a fresh look.
The Multivan has a longer wheelbase and wider lower profile than previous VW commercials. This is to help with aerodynamics, fuel economy and range (1,941mm width, 9,973mm length, up to 1,903mm high, 3,124mm wheelbase with a longer 5,173mm available). Take your pick from one of the three (up to 19-inch) wheel specifications, ‘multivan’, ‘life’ and ‘style’.
The stunning optional panoramic glass roof is made from safety glass that reduces thermal radiation by 44% and is electrically operated, along with the rear hatch. A nice touch is the sliding doors, they work via ‘gesture control’. LED headlights come as standard with an optional interactive IQ.LIGHT, giving your LEDs permanent non-blinding full beam and dynamic cornering for precise lighting on bends, (also a lit LED lateral bar in the radiator grille).
A look inside the VW Multivan
Inside is where VW has especially upped its game. The interior is more flexible than the Caravelle. Roomier, with modular lightweight seating and a table that moves from front to back. The driver has a 3-spoke steering wheel, 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, giving it that more car-like feel.
With space for up to 7 seats, the rear 5 seats are 25% lighter and easily moved/removed. Second-row seats swivel 180 degrees to create a conference arrangement layout – perfect for an evening game of Scrabble with your crew, or a cheese and wine chill. The full width bench seat in the third row has been ditched in preference of individual seats, to allow for single seat removal for more flexibility.
The first ever of its kind ‘multi-function table’ moves along a central track between all seating rows, even acting as a centre console between the front seats. The table is removable, has adjustable height, 3 cup holders and a storage bin. This flexibility was made possible by a flat floor and removal of the traditional handbrake.
To replace the space hungry handbrake, a new parking brake button (automatic/manual) and automatic DSG gearbox with ‘shift-by-wire’ technology (button) is integrated into the instrument panel. On luggage space, the VW Multivan base version gives 469 litres behind third row seats, and up to 1,844 litres behind the second row (1,850 with panoramic glass roof version). Full cargo capacity up to the front seats is 3,672 litres (4,053 in the longer version fitted with glass roof).
Slicker, smarter technology
The redesigned cockpit and new multi-use steering wheel, has key features on ‘1 line of sight’ making it highly driver intuitive (with secondary line ‘other functions’). Various touch controls give access to air-conditioning, seat heating, and sound. The central line 10.25 inch ‘digital cockpit’ display and 10.0-inch infotainment touchscreen sit next to (central) high black gloss minimalist gear-changing (shift-by-wire DSG) controls near USB-C sockets and optional smartphone charging tray.
A debut feature for VW Commercial vans is the head-up display option. The infotainment system ‘Ready 2 Discover’ comes as standard and includes integrated eSIM. ‘We Connect’ can be used (for free), for breakdown assistance, vehicle status and parked position information.
‘We Connect Plus’ is free for 3 years and gives lock/unlock van control and (optional) auxiliary heater remote control smartphone options. Optional ‘Discover Media’ and ‘Discover Pro’ navigation systems on the We Connect Plus features online map updates, traffic information, eHybrid inside temperature pre-set options and a charge your vehicle via smartphone control.
VW Multivan is a bit of a party on wheels. The infotainment system can be combined with a Harmon Kardon sound system developed especially for the Multivan. Blowing your mind with 14 high-end loudspeakers (behind precision laser-cut panels), a 16-channel Ethernet amplifier (with 840-watt output) and 4 audio settings – the ‘Fraunhofer Sonamic Panorama Algorithm’ takes separate sources of stereo and spreads them equally across the U-shape acoustic stage.
Advanced safety features, an easier ride
With over 34 driver-assist safety comfort and convenience settings, the all-new VW Multivan T7 leaves no element of driver safety or comfort to chance. The ‘Front Assist’ area monitoring system includes city emergency braking, dynamic road sign display and lane assist systems as standard.
Other new systems include Car2x ( local communication with other vehicles and highways to provide danger warnings), side protection, cross wind assist, turn-off assist (oncoming traffic warning when turning across carriageways) and an exit warning system (the van warns you when opening a door to vehicles approaching from the rear).
A first for the Multivan is the ‘IQ.DRIVE Travel Assist’ feature, which enables semi-autonomous driving. This integration of predictive adaptive cruise control and lane assist, makes long-distance drives safer and easier. Also available is ‘Area View’, allowing you a 360-screen display view of the van on your 10-inch infotainment screen. Using four camaras, this makes parking super safe and easy.
What about the Multivan powertrains?
Based on VW Group’s MQB platform the all-new Multivan has 2,000kg top towing capacity, comes in 3 powertrain options and includes (a first in VW Commercials) a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) option. The 1.4 TSI 150 PS engine has an 85kW electric motor to produce combined power output of 160kW / 218 PS.
The silent zero emission drive in e-mode is suited to short city outings with flexibility on longer trips. The eHybrid has a 6-speed DSG gearbox and 14kw lithium-ion battery under-floor for better road handling and storage. If this is not enough, you can opt for one of two 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engines (1.5 TSI 136 PS / 2.0 TSI 204 PS) or a 4-cylinder diesel (from 2022). Both turbo models coming with 7-speed DSG gearboxes as standard.