New Volkswagen Multivan Plug-In Hybrid Test

If you think about travel, family, sports equipment or a mobile office perfect for smart working, the Volkswagen Multivan has always been an icon of mobility in passenger transport since, since its debut on the T3, since 1985 this model has represented everything that a vehicle can offer to versatile and quality mobility, in the guise of the most faithful of the family Vans.

But today the Multivan is revolutionizing totally thanks to the use of the MQB platform, an even more dynamic style and, above all, an offer of engines including the original Plug-In Hybrid which I tried just outside Frankfurt.

Exteriors

The Modular Transversal Platform, better known as MQB, in addition to being lighter and considerably stiffer, allows the new Multivan to refine the style, make it more streamlined and dynamic especially in the front, but always respecting the DNA of the original Bulli.
In fact, there is no lack of continuous references to the first generations – see side badges with Multivan, Bulli or Energetic writing – while the mechanical architecture is that adopted starting from the T4, with engine hood positioned at the front under the windshield.

The front, in addition to being more captivating thanks to the fari LED-Matrix-IQ (present on the tested Energetic) now penetrates the air very effectively, contributing to the very valid CX of 0.30, compared to the previous 0.35, a collaboration, the one with the aerodynamics, which is also profitable in the rear where the large spoiler stands out with flaps that frame the rear window, both at the top and from the side. The overall result is a lower vehicle, crouched on the asphalt and ready to conquer Europe, with the height dropping to 190cm.

Interior

Of the two versions with which the new Multivan was presented, in Italy only the “short” one is available which in length measures about 4 meters and 98 cm with the wheelbase which, compared to the 6.1, grows by over 12 cm, touching 3 meters and 12. All of this translates into a high habitability and many interior configuration possibilities that can count on 7 seats as standard starting with the intermediate Life trim.

Every single seat has been totally redesigned and, in addition to weighing between 23 and 29 kg, the seats are equipped with standard isofix attachments and, if desired, can be individually heated. In addition, the newly designed seat rails allow you to customize the layout of the passenger compartment in no time and with minimal effort and the same thing applies to the sliding table in the center.

Moving on to the hi-tech scene, in addition to the novelty of the head up display, both the digital instrumentation in front of the driver, with a 10.25 ” screen and the 10 ” touchscreen of the infotainment system equipped as standard with the Ready 2 Discover system.

Thanks to an online control unit (OCU) with integrated SIM (free of charge), this system offers eCall emergency call, but also online services such as We Connect e We Connect Plus which, if desired, can include roadside assistance and the position of the parked vehicle, which can be viewed via the APP.

In addition, in the Multivan eHybrid, with We Connect Plus it is possible check the charging process and heating and cooling the passenger compartment in advance, without forgetting that the “Area View” with 360 ° cameras is also monitored from this screen, ideal for parking.

Guide

In addition to the mechanical handbrake lever, replaced by the electro-actuated system, the new Multivan also says goodbye to another “historic” component, namely the manual transmission that leaves the field free to the 6-speed DSG on the Multivan eHybrid protagonist of this test .
The DSG transmission here is paired with a powertrain capable of 350 Nm of maximum torque and a power of 218 hp distributed as follows: the electric motor delivers about 116 hp of power to which are added the 150 hp obtained from the 1.4 TSI four-cylinder turbo petrol.

The battery that powers the electric propulsion instead is from 13 kWh sufficient, according to the manufacturer, to guarantee an EV range of between 46 and 50 km in e-mode, that is the 100% electric map that is automatically activated when you start driving, if the charge is sufficient.

During my short test, what I appreciated is certainly one renewed driveability, largely derived from an automotive platform (MQB) which also guarantees more traditional handling, in all driving conditions. Average speed naturally becomes higher on long journeys and is maintained effortlessly and without undermining comfort, while changes of direction – even at medium-high speed – occur with greater rigor and precision. All advantages, in short, linked to the new structure that lowers the center of gravity and lightens the mass of the Multivan, helping to contain consumption.

Curiosity

It is a multipurpose vehicle, designed to be incredibly protective of the occupants, which is why, as far as driving aids are concerned, if desired, you can count up to 25 assistants.

Included as standard are Front Assist perimeter control with pedestrian and cyclist recognition, a new turn assist, road sign recognition and Lane Assist lane maintenance, as well as Car2X interactive warning system that communicates with other vehicles, the reverse alert or the Travel Assist, all systems that have never been offered on a Multivan.

Prices

Pending the list of the Volkswagen New Multivan, the prices should be between 5 and 10% lower than the 6.1 in the same version. As it is easy to guess, also in this case the possibility of customization is very high, with accessory packages created for every need, from the easy open to the TOP, to be combined with the 3 configurations of the new Multivan: base, Life and Style, with the ‘Energetic which concerns only the Plug-in Hybrid that I tried while for all there are 14 body colors available, in addition to the 3 two-tone colors.