The interior layout, fit and finish
Despite being based on a van, the California feels pretty plush inside. As well as a selection of chrome detailing and solid-feeling switches, there are even soft-touch plastic surfaces to be found. Just bear in mind that we’ve only experienced the ‘comfort’ dashboard that’s standard on the Ocean and optional on the Beach.
You sit bolt upright, but the seats are comfortable and along with the steering wheel, have plenty of adjustment. That includes lumbar, but not height. Both driver and passenger get a pair of armrests that are also adjustable, so long drives are no issue and there’s plenty of room for tall individuals.
Thanks to huge windows, visibility is for the most part very good. Although it’s tricky to judge where the nose is, the California’s flat sides make placing it on the road easy. Even so, we’d recommend the optional front and rear parking sensors. A rear view camera is available separately.
And it’s not just big windows that help visibility; the driving position is higher than in a full-sized Range Rover, even with the seat as low as it’ll go. That makes it easy to spot hazards on the road or just do a spot of sightseeing.
All Californias get a 5.0in touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, a DAB radio, a USB socket and a 3.5mm socket. A 6.3in screen is optional but required if you want to add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring – another cost option. And if you want sat-nav, you’ll need to pay for it – and quite a lot at that. At least you get the bigger screen and smartphone connectivity thrown in with the sat-nav option.
We’ve only tried the larger system, and although it might look a little dated graphically, the menus are clear and easy to navigate. It also scores for having physical shortcut buttons around its outer edge.