Volkswagen California review

Category: MPV

Section: Interior

Available fuel types:diesel
Available colours:
Volkswagen California 2019 RHD dashboard
Add to shortlist
  • Volkswagen California 2019 front left tracking shot
  • Volkswagen California 2019 rear right tracking shot
  • Volkswagen California 2019 RHD dashboard
  • Volkswagen California 2019 RHD rear seats
  • Volkswagen California 2019 RHD infotainment
  • Volkswagen California right panning
  • Volkswagen California left panning
  • Volkswagen California LHD front seats
  • Volkswagen California LHD boot open
  • Volkswagen California 2019 front left tracking shot
  • Volkswagen California 2019 rear right tracking shot
  • Volkswagen California 2019 RHD dashboard
  • Volkswagen California 2019 RHD rear seats
  • Volkswagen California 2019 RHD infotainment
  • Volkswagen California right panning
  • Volkswagen California left panning
  • Volkswagen California LHD front seats
  • Volkswagen California LHD boot open
RRP from£55,484
Share review

Interior

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.

Volkswagen California 2019 RHD dashboard

Also consider

Volkswagen Caravelle

2020 - present

Spacious for seven but it’s pricey and rivals are more comfort...

Mercedes V-Class

2019 - present

The Mercedes V-Class offers decent luxury and space, but it’s...

Mercedes EQV

2020 - present

Great for ferrying VIPs, but the high price tag means private...

Volkswagen Grand California

2020 - present

Cleverly designed motorhome makes camping trips a piece o...