Volkswagen Multivan long-term test: report 2

Our videographer spends his working days on the road before travelling off it for triathlons at the weekends; will the Volkswagen Multivan prove to be as versatile as he is?...

Loading a German Shepherd into the Multivan

The Car Volkswagen Multivan 1.4 TSI eHybrid Life Run by Jonty Renk, senior videographer

Why it’s here To see if Volkswagen has built a car suited to any lifestyle 

Needs to Easily transport lots of equipment, be comfortable on long journeys and offer more functionality than anything in its class

Mileage 7210 List price £49,345 Target Price £48,618 Price as tested £53,341 Test economy 126.2mpg Official economy 156.9mpg

8 April 2023 – German van, German dog

One thing is for certain: the Volkswagen Multivan is a very big car. There’s room for seven people, after all. But what about furry friends too?

If I were a full-time Multivan-driving dog owner, I would be thinking about removing the third-row seats entirely to give my pet a more luxurious amount of space on trips. But since seven-person dog walks aren’t uncommon in my family, I figured I’d leave the third row intact and see if the remaining load bay would do the job.

Multivan parked in the Forest of Dean

I could have folded the third row down, but since the interior of the Multivan is so vast and open, I’m pretty sure the dog would’ve just been roaming around and causing chaos.

While a Chihuahua or Jack Russell would have leapt in without a second thought, my parents’ German Shepherd was, understandably, a little hesitant when examining the 469-litre boot.

She did fit fine, though, and didn’t make any fuss at all on the short journey. She could even peek over the third-row seats to bark at the windscreen wipers and watch the world go by (while admittedly, blocking my view out the back; I was grateful for the standard reversing camera).

German Shepherd leaning over rear seats

So it’s yet another tick in the practicality box for the Multivan, which has so far been a perfect fit for my lifestyle needs. Unfortunately, though, there are some aspects of the Multivan that have started to grate on me slightly.

Read some of our Volkswagen reviews and you'll note that we often criticise the infotainment systems in the brand's latest cars, because it can be slow to react to inputs and prone to crashes. It’s certainly taken me some getting used to in the Multivan. For a start, the infotainment screen itself is just out of my reach in my driving position, so I have to lean forwards to operate it, and of course when the road is bumpy, I often find myself missing the touch buttons. 

Interacting with Multivan infotainment screen

The best solution to this is resting the bottom of my palm on the lip below the screen, but that's where the touch-sensitive temperature controls are located. This has often led me to unintentionally adjusting the temperature, which then automatically opens the climate menu on the screen, meaning I can’t press any of the functions that I was originally trying to get to while driving.

As the year progresses and the temperature rises, I fear this could get increasingly frustrating.

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