In the T7 generation, the VW Multivan is completely reinventing itself. It's becoming more modern, flatter, more efficient - but also better? We'll clarify that on the first trip with the plug-in version.
We hardly thought that was possible, but the T7 price list proves it: Even the cigarette industry no longer seems to be able to resist the outdoor trend. For example, VW is offering the smoker's package with a "wandering ashtray" for the new large van for EUR 45.22. Oh, that irritates you less than the term "big van" for the T7, after all, the six generations before it were rather small buses, which, in addition to the enormous amount of space, were also characterized by the high, well advanced seating position. That's true, but it's over:
Although the T7 is again based on its own platform, it takes over so many components from the modular transverse matrix that it has to find a new form for it. Now the Multivan is not only powered by the same, but actually the same engines as the other VW models. Previously, the technicians had to adapt the peripherals of the basic engine, right down to the oil circuit, to the different installation position in the bus. Now the engine is like the other VW models, so the technicians can simply pack the entire drive train under the hood.
It stretches 20 cm further forward - also because of pedestrian protection regulations. The old Multivan had even used a trick as a T6.1: as much as VW celebrated it as new as the T6 and 6.1, they could still run it as a T5 during homologation because of the basic structure and only had to meet the requirements of meet 2003. Now, however, the 20 cm installed at the front are missing in the passenger and cargo area. That's why she hangs the long version, well, in the overhang.
More length and yet less space
The stretch version now has a length of 5173 millimeters with the same wheelbase, but the space is only about the same as the 27 cm shorter T6.1. Even the short version, which costs 1,863 to 2,129 euros, towers over it by 6.3 cm. However, its trunk volume of 469 liters (calculated as high as the roof) is already used up after a short time, in which experienced fathers of families would not even have warmed up in the T6. Yes, anyone who is used to the luggage hall of the old models would never have expected that a plug-in charging cable bag alone can have a significant impact on the overall volume of a VW Multivan luggage compartment.
According to VW, the smaller - or in the long version comparable - space available on a larger traffic area is offset by advantages such as the lower height, which is just as much in favor of the aerodynamics (Cd now 0.30 instead of 0.35) as parking in low underground car parks; customers were happy to do without the abundance of space. Oh yes?
Well, you also have to do without the rear seat that has been standard on the Multivan and can be folded down into a bed.They will only be available again later, and then only for an additional charge. For the time being, the saloon is furnished with individual seats (three for the basic Multivan, four or five for the more expensive Life and Style variants), which can be maneuvered through the rear on rails. For the middle row, there are optional seats with integrated belts, which can also be rear-facing. However, they no longer rotate on their consoles as before, but have to be lifted out and put back on the rail upside down. Since the seats are a quarter lighter, it almost turns into a pleasure, says VW. The rather narrow seats still weigh a rather immodest 22 kg.
Equally serious: When it comes to operation, the T7 adopts the current layout with tangled up infotainment and fiddly tactile surfaces and sliders. So that no selector lever blocks the access to the rear, the rocker switch for the dual-clutch transmission is located to the left of the touchscreen.
Effectively twelve percent cheaper with more equipment
It is just as much part of the standard equipment as full LED headlights, infotainment with DAB+/Bluetooth, an extensive assistance department from emergency brakes to lane keepers, two sliding doors, three rear seats and seven airbags, with which the new According to VW, the Multivan is twelve percent cheaper after adjusting for equipment. Of course, there is still an unmanageable number of extras that can be used to further increase the utility and price of the Multivan. The price of the test car, a short eHybrid in the Energetic special start version, including special equipment, reached the stately price of 82,562 euros and 20 cents.
By the time the TDI is launched in spring 2022 - then with a double SCR catalytic converter - the eHybrid should become the most important drive version. Its entire drive combo (1.4-liter turbo petrol engine with 150 hp, 85 kW e-machine in the gearbox, 10.4 net kWh battery under the front seats) corresponds to that of the Golf GTE - although here it is the 218 hp system output of the weaker version, but adopts many of the components of the 245 hp version due to the higher load due to more weight, payload and 1,600 kg trailer load. The eHybrid does not drive the T7 vehemently, but emphatically and comfortably. Only when turning it up does its sound become drone. The back and forth, on and off of the motors is seamless. The route-based recuperation deceleration with programmed GPS route guidance sometimes feels overwhelming. In pure electric operation, the Multivan manages a maximum of 50 km and 140 km/h, when the battery capacity is exhausted the system works as a normal hybrid until the battery is recharged at a maximum of 3.6 kW.
Well, now I have to tell you how the VW bus drives: Not like a VW bus anymore. With the more precise steering and the lower center of gravity (because of the lower roof and the plug-in battery on the floor) it turns more agile and precise in corners.It springs carefully, leaving the waves of its predecessor, which always demanded a certain seaworthiness from the passengers. The T7 drives excellently, but in a completely different way than before: more ordinary. In concept, he now emulates the Mercedes V-Class, wants to be an almost normal car. And draws under 71 years of Bulli tradition: a bus dash.
So far, a Multivan was a small bus, now it is revolutionizing itself into a large van. The T7 is now safer, more comfortable, more assisted and more efficient. The tradition fans will miss the raised Globetrotter seating position and all the unrivaled spaciousness of the old Multivan.