Volkswagen Grand California heads for NEC show

Crafter-based motorhome offers more space and more tech.

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The Volkswagen Grand California will make its UK debut at the Birmingham NEC in February.

The all-new motorhome, based on the Crafter van, will be unveiled during the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show, following its world debut at the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon in August.

Volkswagen’s first vehicle in the ‘six-metre’ motorhome class, the Grand California will be available in two versions, the 680 and 600.

Compared to the veteran Transporter-based California, 30 years old in 2018, the Grand California offers extra space and a bathroom with toilet, shower, a fold-out wash basin, shelves, cupboards and a skylight for ventilation. As well as the large sleeping area at the rear, the 600 version includes a high bunk bed for children.

Among other additions likely to tempt the camping fraternity are an electric step that slides out in front of the sliding door, a two-part mosquito net in the door, and Bluetooth control of the speakers in the living area, allowing independent listening to the front-mounted infotainment system.

Volkswagen Grand California The Van Expert

Additional equipment available for the Grand California will include an additional roof-mounted air conditioning unit at the back, an awning, a rear bicycle rack and a camping table and chairs that will stow away in the wing doors.

Gas heating is fitted as standard but can be expanded to run on electric power generated by gas or diesel. There will also be a solar panel system mounted on the roof, a satellite dish for TV reception and a WiFi hotspot router.

VW promises an extensive safety package for the Grand California, again evolved from that offered on the Crafter van range. Driver aids available include the Front Assist monitoring system with autonomous braking, a lane-keeper and blind-spot monitor, a Rear Traffic Alert for reversing out of parking spaces and Park Assist for steering into them, sensor-controlled side protection, adaptive cruise control and a reversing camera.

Volkswagen expects to start UK sales of the Grand California in mid-2019. The Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show runs between 19th and 24th February.

Volkswagen Grand California The Van Expert

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is the News and Road Test Editor for The Van Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars and vans for more than 20 years, and attends many new model launches each year.

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