You can tell plenty of thought and experience has gone into the VW California’s practical interior, even if folding out the beds takes a bit of muscle. It handles well by camper standards and has reasonable performance, but the Mercedes Marco Polo is better to drive, plusher inside and has easier to convert beds.
The trimSee full equipment
If you just want somewhere to sleep and make a cup of tea, the Beach Camper might well be for you. You get a couple of double beds - one in the pop-up roof and another created by folding the rear bench - a couple of cupboards in the rear, four seats a standard with the option of five, a fold out mini kitchen with a gas hob, a removable camping table with a couple of folding chairs, a 6.5in touchscreen infotainment system and a single sliding door for rear passengers. We’d be tempted to upgrade if you’re planning on going away for more than a weekend.
The engineSee full engine specs
Unless you opt for an Ocean model, this 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine is your only option. Available only with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, its 148bhp was good enough for 0-60mph in 12.1sec during our tests and it managed 33.5mpg, too. As it’s unlikely you’ll be driving quickly in your camper, it’s our pick.
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