The interior layout, fit and finish
Although it's based on a van, the VW California feels pretty plush inside. As well as a selection of chrome detailing and solid-feeling switches, you’ll find nicely textured satin finish plastic.
Parking sensors are fitted as standard on Coast and Ocean models, with the Ocean also getting a rear camera and LED headlights. You’ll find those items on the options list if you want them on a lesser model.
The California Beach and Coast come with a 6.5in ‘Composition’ touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, a DAB radio, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring and a pair of USB C sockets. The screen is surrounded by useful shortcut icons and the menus are logically laid out, but the display is rather small and of low resolution.
The 8.0in Discover system that’s optional on Beach and Coast and standard on Ocean is better. It has sat-nav as standard, and the larger screen has sharper graphics and is easier to see, although the physical shortcut buttons are replaced by touch-sensitive shortcut icons that aren’t as easy to find on the move. It’s so good in fact, that we wouldn’t bother with the top-spec 9.2in Discover Pro system.