Volkswagen Multivan Review & Prices
The Multivan is the peak of family or business travel practicality, offering a range of layouts and options to customise a big seven-seat people carrier
What's not so good
Find out more about the Volkswagen Multivan
This is the Volkswagen Multivan – winner of the Adventurer's Choice Award at the 2024 Carwow Car of the Year Awards. It’s a bit like buying an American-style fridge-freezer. Yes, there are cheaper ways to keep your food cold, but there’s plenty of space for everything a household could need, and it looks reasonably stylish for a big square lump of metal. Certainly compared to large people carriers such as the Ford Tourneo Custom.
That lump of metal is more attractive than previous large VW people carriers, with the slender headlights and full-width lighting bar hiding some of the bulk, although to get the full effect the two-tone paint job – available in two different colour combinations – is an option costing the best part of £3,000. Single-colour cars hide the swathe of metal less well.
The Multivan comes with petrol, diesel or plug-in hybrid power options, with the 218hp latter capable of running for over 30 miles on electric power only, which slashes fuel bills but does cost a few grand more than the 150hp diesel. It does stack up better against the 204hp petrol alternative, where it’s only around £1,000 more expensive. All cars get an automatic gearbox, and there’s a choice of three trim levels, although the middle Energetic is only offered with the PHEV.
But cleverer than the power options is the almost obscene levels of practicality offered by the new Multivan. VW’s big people carrier has always been a handy tool, but the clever new seating set-up for the rear five spots takes it to a whole new level. There are now five individual rear seats as standard, and rather than folding into the floor like some other people carriers, you remove them when you don’t need them.
Granted that means you need somewhere to store them, but at least each one is 25% lighter than before, and you can remove two from one side of the vehicle so longer items such as bikes can be easily carried along with four people. And the really clever bit is that they sit on rails built into the floor, so can be moved about independently across the back of the car, forward and back or however you want them laid out across the three rails. A six-seat layout is a no-cost option, and you can pay extra to enable the two middle-row seats to swivel and create a lounge-style layout facing the third row.
For extra practicality there is a Long version, which adds an extra 200mm to the length and a bit over grand to the price, so is well worth considering, and the most expensive Multivan models top out at beyond £60,000.
The VW Multivan is an effortless and cleverly thought-out way to carry large families or shuttle important people from place to place
Predictability, a rewarding driver-oriented experience where twisty roads are attacked with aplomb isn’t the Multivan’s forte, but it’s perfectly adept. It’s an adequate driving experience that feels more like driving a big van, funny enough, with the commanding driving position helped by big glass areas and large wing mirrors that make for decent visibility.
At higher speeds, there’s a rise in wind noise thanks largely to the square shape cutting through the air, and higher-mileage drivers will want to go for the diesel. Despite its lack of performance versus the petrol or plug-in hybrids, it’s the only one that will comfortably get past the low-to-mid 30s for fuel economy. But lots of shorter trips will bring the plug-in hybrid back into play from a running cost perspective, and the petrol model’s performance is appealing for those that can’t charge at home or work.
The cabin looks nice at first glance, but the materials err towards durability rather than soft-touch quality when you start to poke around. There’s masses of stowage across the cabin, but the 10.0-inch infotainment screen isn’t the most user-friendly or bug-free on the market and it’s frustrating that it houses the climate controls along with the usual array of navigation and car controls.
There are six USB-C charging ports across the cabin, four of which are within reach of rear passengers, and all trim levels get handy kit for such a big vehicle, including front and rear parking sensors and a rear camera, while higher-spec cars get electric sliding doors, three-zone climate control, keyless entry and wireless phone charging.
To the rear, there’s a solid parcel shelf that’s handy for loading stuff on top of as well as under, and even with space in the cabin for six adults, there’s a decent amount of room for luggage.
There’s no denying that there are cheaper ways to transport seven people in comfort, although the Multivan is well under the price of a Mercedes V-Class, if not as luxurious. But it’s an effortless and cleverly thought-out way to carry large families or shuttle important people from place to place. The most expensive version – the plug-in hybrid – will be the cheapest to run once you’ve bought it, but the diesel will make the most sense for most people. And it’s the cheapest option too.
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The Volkswagen Multivan has a RRP range of £48,340 to £64,476. Monthly payments start at £597.
*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.