New VW California campervan revealed with PHEV added to engine range

The new 2024 VW California campervan will be available as a petrol, diesel or plug-in hybrid and gets sliding doors on each side plus a pop-up roof as standard on all versions...

New VW California Beach front right static

It takes more than an evocative name to sell a product, but it’s a good start – and a box the Volkswagen California definitely ticks.

And with the launch of the 2024 VW California, we can add a few more key features designed to win over campervan buyers.

For the first time, it comes with sliding doors on both sides of the passenger area, allowing you to let in more fresh air at a campsite (or exit more safely in a busy city centre).

New VW California Ocean and awnings

When it goes on sale in the UK in June, buyers will be able to choose an all-wheel-drive version with a 242bhp petrol plug-in hybrid (PHEV) engine, the eHybrid. That will allow it to be driven as an electric van when there’s charge in the battery. We don’t yet know the official electric-only range, but VW has given an expected range of 55.9 miles.

The other engine options are a 201bhp TSI petrol and a 148bhp four-cylinder diesel (TDI), both of which have front-wheel drive. All three engines are paired with an automatic gearbox.

The new California – which sits between the smaller VW Caddy California and the bigger VW Grand California in Volkwagen’s range – is based on the long-wheelbase version of the VW Multivan MPV, and is 269mm longer than the previous-generation model.

New VW California Ocean interior

It’s available in five versions, some with a mini-kitchen or full kitchenette, and most have four individual and removable seats in the back (instead of a rear bench seat). All six seats have storage drawers built into their bases.

The entry-level Beach model includes a camper battery, pop-up roof, which lifts to increase the height of the accommodation area (from 1,297mm to 2,108 mm), and has space under it for two people to sleep. Buyers will be able to order a pull-out awning for either side.

Beach Tour adds a second camper battery, plus a new VW campervan control unit – a panel in one of the pillars in the accommodation area for controlling the temperature, lighting and other functions. The same settings can be accessed with a California smartphone app.

New VW California Ocean interior bed

Beach Camper has a mini-kitchen in the rear, while Coast has a full kitchenette on the driver’s side, two seats in the back, and a fold-out bed. Ocean, like the Coast, gets a full kitchenette.

Pricing for the 2024 California has yet to be confirmed, but we’d expect it to start from around £65,000 and, like the existing model, sit between the cheaper Ford Nugget and more expensive Mercedes V-Class Marco Polo.

Read more: Best campervans

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