Written by: Tim Marsh
The 2013 VW Multi van, called “vantastic” by a happy family of six, is bursting with goodness despite its uninspiring exterior. Who would believe that this spacious and utilitarian van scores high points in fuel economy? A Volkswagen Multivan owner reports that “the diesel engine is even more fuel efficient than the Toyota Camry I traded it for.” There are even more surprises inside the Bavarian box.
The VW Multi van is available in three basic engine types, identified by their torque: the TDI340 and TDI400 diesels and the TSI350
petrol. The different
variants come in Comfortline and Highline option levels. Front wheel drive is standard on all models, with 4MOTION drive an option on the TDI400. Seven-speed DSG transmission is standard across the line.
Exterior and Style
Let’s face it. the Volkswagen multi van is not a style setter. it’s what’s inside that counts.
Interior and Comfort
Multivan owners, especially families, praise the versatility of the seating. “I love the vehicle. I can put my baby in the passenger side middle row and still move the seat backwards or forwards without undoing the seatbelt.” The two second row seats can be rotated 180 degrees. Seating leaves plenty of room for luggage and other cargo.
Owners also like the table that folds out over the seats for easy meal times. The huge sliding doors and tailgate make it easy to welcome
passengers and cargo.
Considering the fact that other vehicles in this price range include standard satellite navigation, Volkswagen should have included this with the comfortline package, instead of just the highline.
Under the Bonnet
The TDI400 delivers an amazing 8.1 litres combined fuel economy, followed by the TDI340 with 8.2 litres/100km. The 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine in the TSI350 gets 150 kW/350 Nm and 10.1 L/100km combined fuel efficiency. The 2.0-litre engine in the TDI340 kicks out 103 kW/340 Nm, and the TDI400 tops it with 132 kW/400 Nm.
The multivan petrol burning TSI350 is able to achieve great fuel economy despite its spaciousness due to Volkswagen’s cylinder shut-off technology, available on many of its 4-cylinder TSI engines. This technology is a first for Volkswagen and a first for any manufacturer in the world to use for high-volume production.
The most significant fuel savings are realised when driving at normal speeds for an extended time. For example, when in third or fourth
gear and driving at 50 km/h, you can save about one litre every 100 km. This is accomplished by running the VW on two instead of
four cylinders during engine speeds between 1400 and 4000 rpm. When more power is needed, the all four cylinder power back on.
A generous assortment of standard safety features includes pre-tensioning seatbelts; driver, front passenger and rear passenger airbags; daytime running
lights; electronic stabilization; brake assist; ABS brakes; Hill Holder; front and rear parking sensors with acoustic warning; and heated mirrors.
On the Road
Vans are not known for their acrobatics, but a 2013 VW Multivan Review observes that the VW leaps off the line with surprising acceleration and turns into corners with startling agility.” Another 2013 VW Multivan Review lauds the “feeling of stability in the van that bodes well for slippery surfaces.”
One review complained about the van’s suspension, remarking that it “thumps into larger bumps and potholes rather inelegantly.” Also, the diesel engine tends to run a little roughly at low speeds and during parking manoeuvres.
Value for the Money
You can get into a VW van Comfortline for less than most of the competition. Fuel efficiency for the diesel engine VW is best in class.
VW Multivan Manufacturer Price in Australia:
TDI340 Comfortline: $49,990
TSI350 Comfortline: $54,990
TDI400 Comfortline: $56,990
TDI400 Comfortline 4-Motion: $60,990
TSI350 Highline: $71,990
TDI400 Highline: $73,990
TDI400 Highline: $77,990
The Toyota Tarago Ultima comes with a more powerful 3.5-litre V-6 engine than the VW. It also has a few more comfort features like footrests and rear
DVD screens. However, when it comes to fuel economy, the VW beats the Toyota by consuming 2.2 fewer litres, since the Tarago does not come in a diesel variant. Cost-wise, the Toyota is $1260 less than the VW.
The multivan was designed with a particular purpose in mind—getting people and their gear where they want to go. For a large hauler,
it’s responsive, safe, economical, offers flexible seating and plenty of cargo room.
About Tim Marsh:
For any more information on the VW Multivan, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 020 311. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quote requests out to our national network of VW dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours.