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Step inside the VW Grand California28 Aug 2018 0 Comments
Step inside the #VWGrandCalifornia 600 & 680, this has to be the best we've seen in its 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) 6m length and long wheel base (680) 6.8m length, both have four passenger seats, however we are coming to terms with the capacity to take all our 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 effort to include a bed for younger children. In the 600 you only get a sideways 195cm bed length, I am 190cm tall so found this a bit tight. On the upside the extra room has been achieved with some cunningly created space, look closer at the window design and you can see how they have extended the bed width. However the optional children’s bed in the roof is much shorter, at only 165cm (slightly longer one side, see photo’s) which means the kids may grow out of it and be forced to sleep in a tent, sadly this is going to be the case for my teenage boys. 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 is as you might expect, it has a twin hob and sink with a 110 litre water tank and two 11kg gas bottles that run the cooker, heating, hot water system. A spacious 70 litre fridge with ice compartment make it ideal for those craving ice cubes for G&T's!
The quality of fit and design is fabulous and it is surely going to be a huge hit with owners. We are told more options may be added and I am sure further development will come, for example we're back to cloth curtains fitted with magnets to the front cab and would have liked to have seen blinds to the front windscreen added in the same way as the California. What was a welcome addition to see was 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), due to the vehicle weight we are told there are currently no options for larger or more stylish alloy wheels which personally I would have liked to have seen.
In short we love what Volkswagen have achieved here and for some it's going to offer some excellent opportunities to travel and explore in a new level of comfort. We cannot wait to try one out and get it on our fleet next year for you to try. It's just a shame our family of five won't all be able to enjoy the experience, so it's back to the T6 California Beach for us, for now, unless me and the wife can find some babysitters or the teenagers decide not to come!
The anticipated arrival of the VW Grand California 600 at CamperVanTastic will be Spring 2019. We will in the meantime be considering the merits of introducing the 680 in the future, dates and hire prices to be confirmed.
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