Volkswagen Multivan long-term test: report 3

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?...

VW Multivan driving (side view)

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 8233 List price £49,345 Target Price £48,618 Price as tested £53,341 Test economy 33.1mpg Official economy 156.9mpg

29 April 2023 – Charging on the go

I could’ve gone for a regular petrol or diesel version of the Volkswagen Multivan, but as someone who wants to use electric power for part of their commute, but who also needs the extended range of a combustion engine, the 1.4-litre plug-in hybrid model seemed to be the best option.

That, however, means dealing with the UK's public charging network to keep my car topped up and avoid the plunging fuel economy that comes from dragging around an empty battery.

Multivan at public charger

So far, I’ve only used chargers at supermarket car parks or on local streets in London when it’s fitted in with my journey anyway; I haven’t gone out of my way to make a trip just to charge up. But what I’m learning is that these quick top-ups on the run are not much use at all.

Charging the 10.4kWh battery from flat to full takes around four hours. So by the time I’ve run around the supermarket and got back to the Multivan, the battery’s only gone up to 8%. Which realistically will only give me three pure electric miles.

VW Multivan boot open

The Multivan doesn’t charge slowly by plug-in hybrid standards, but it’s a shame faster speeds aren’t the norm to make these flying pit stops more efficient. 

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