Step inside the Grand California!
Step inside the VW Grand California 600 & 680; which have to be the best we’ve seen in their class, and at a start price of €55,000 for the 600 it’s keenly targeted to make waves in its category.
The medium (600) and long wheel base (680) both have four passenger seats; however we are coming to terms with the capacity to take a large family on a road trip in this new camper, which is something many in this size struggle to deal with, but Volkswagen have at least made an attempt to include the children.
In the 600 you only get a sideways 195cm bed length, which may be a bit tight for many of you. However, extra room has been achieved with some cunningly created space – look closer at the window design in the gallery below and you can see how they have extended the bed width.
The optional children’s bed in the roof is much shorter at only 165cm – meaning the kids may eventually grow out of it and be forced to sleep in a tent outside, but the 680 has a wonderfully large lengthways bed 200cm x 170cm – but alas, despite being bigger, the option of a second bed is not available so this is strictly a two-berth.
The kitchen, as you might expect, has a twin hob and sink unit with a 110 litre water tank and two 11kg gas bottles that run the cooker, heating and yes, a hot water system! A spacious 70 litre fridge with ice compartment make it ideal for those long hot summer nights!
The interior build quality and design is fabulous and is absolutely going to be a huge hit with owners.
We are told more options may be added in the future, and we are convinced that further development will come. For example VW have reverted back to cloth curtains fitted with magnets for the front cab and we would like to have seen blinds to the front windscreen added in the same way as the T6 California. But what was a welcome addition to see mosquito screens to the door and kitchen in addition to the windows.
One innovative feature is the option to control the loudspeakers in the living area via Bluetooth. This makes it possible to listen to music independently of the infotainment system using a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
A new control panel is also fitted to control and monitor water levels etc and ports for a Satellite dish and TV. A 104 watt (600) and 174 watt (680) solar panels help maintain the leisure battery and an inverter allows you to charge other devices such as laptops etc.
A couple of other options we like is the panoramic tilting sunroof (700 x 850 mm) and the option of a separate air-conditioning system when stationary.
As for the drive and comfort we’re told it is exceptional with automatic gearbox (not DSG) and optional 4x4 making it prepared for all terrains. Adaptive cruise and features we love in the California are all there with addition of 360 sensors and cameras that will make it a pleasure to drive and park. The wheels are 17 inch (same as the standard size on the 204ps T6 California) but due to the vehicle weight we are told there are currently no options for larger or more stylish alloy wheels which personally we would have liked to have seen.
The anticipated arrival of the VW Grand California to the UK will be Spring 2019, and in short we love what Volkswagen have achieved here. For some it’s going to offer excellent opportunities to travel and explore in a new level of comfort.
We cannot wait to try one out next year – but it is a shame a family of five won’t all be able to enjoy the experience just yet, meaning it’s back to the T6 California Beach for them!
Both the 600 and 680 are on show on the Volkswagen stand at the Caravan Salon Düsseldorf until the 2nd September 2018.