Driving report VW Grand California 600: Good start with 177 hp

Driving report VW Grand California 600
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A At the Caravan Salon 2018 the time had come. Volkswagen rolled the near-series prototype into the spotlight. What was particularly exciting for the observers was the asking price Volkswagen named for the then simply California XXL camper van with wet room. The communicated 54,990 euros doesn't read like a bargain, but remains well below the competitors who are based on the VW Crafter or the Mercedes Sprinter. So the pre-start was a success. It only remains to clarify how it does in practice.

In the basic version, the VW Grand California 600 is available with a 2.0 liter turbo diesel and 177 hp. It is particularly gratifying that the eight-speed automatic converter is also installed as standard. After the first few kilometers, it is clear that there is hardly anything left to be desired in terms of drive. The 3.2-ton vehicle can be easily piloted over country roads, highways and mountain passes. The leather steering wheel, which is flattened at the bottom, sits comfortably in the hand and precisely transmits the driver's wishes to the wheels. Assistants such as adaptive cruise control can be operated easily and intuitively even without having completed a degree in rocket science.

Martin Ehrenfeuchter
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Little noise, lots of good

The background noise is particularly pleasing. Or, to put it better: the noise insulation. Apart from a soft murmur, only slight wind noises can be heard from a speed of 100. And even when driving on roads in poor condition, neither a rumbling gear nor any other unnatural, but with such a large vehicle, certainly to be heard noises. If someone asked us what we found particularly outstanding about this Grand California base, we would think of the chassisrefer.

The maneuverability of the cab seats is somewhat cumbersome and therefore not very pleasant. As before, they are difficult to turn and thus tarnish the positive overall impression. The rest of the facility, built over a total of 600 centimeters in length, gives hardly any reason to complain. With the transverse bed in the rear including the necessary body extensions on the left and right, a small bathroom including toilet in the middle opposite the kitchen, which protrudes slightly into the sliding door cutout, a seating group with a comfortably contoured rear bench and a table that is very large for a camper van, everything is there. what you need for a well-kept camping trip.

Impressive lightness

And even a little more. Under the characteristic GRP roof of the Grand California 600 with the indicated alcove nose is a roof bed with youthful dimensions, which VW can pay for an extra 2,800 euros. The ease with which the bed can be extended to the full lying length thanks to its rail mechanism is impressive. The comfort of the mattress is also excellent. Only the dimensions cannot satisfy everyone. The bed is only 1.93 meters long on the left-hand side thanks to a small foldable padding wedge. The rest is child-friendly, also in terms of the limited headroom.


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