Pros: Excellent drive, comfortable sleeping area, high quality finish
Cons: Expensive with options, heavy sliding door
One of the best ways to explore Ireland’s scenic countryside has to be with a large motorhome such the all-new Volkswagen Grand California. The six-metre long Grand California is based on Volkswagen’s Crafter van, and it is the brand’s largest motorhome to date. With sleeping quarters for two adults and two small children, a shower and toilet and everything else you might need for an Irish roadtrip or music festival, the Grand California is quite possibly, the perfect portable holiday home.
Stepping inside, bright interior trim makes it feel airy and spacious inside, with large skylights, wide opening windows, cassette blinds and a new blackout feature for the driver’s area. It is fitted with front swivel seats and a double bench seat in the living area, and a large dining table with enough room for four people to dine together. The kitchen includes a pull-out 70-litre fridge with freezer compartment, a twin-hob gas cooker, a sink and drawers, pull-out storage compartments and tip-up shelves.
The bathroom features a toilet and shower, with a fold-out wash basin, shelves with holders for toiletries, various storage areas, towel holders and a skylight for ventilation. The Grand California can also carry up to 110 litres of water on the move. As standard, it’s equipped with a connection at the rear for an external shower, along with an electrically powered step and a two part mosquito net. A high bunk bed for children is also available, while roof-mounted air-conditioning, an awning, a rear bicycle rack and a camping table and chairs are other optional upgrades.
The Grand California’s standard gas heating system can be upgraded to a heating system powered by gas or diesel-generated electricity. Other options include a roof-mounted solar panel system, a satellite dish for TV and even a WiFi hotspot!
The Grand California is available with the Crafter's various driver safety systems including front assist monitoring, city emergency braking, lane assist, blind spot monitoring, rear traffic alert, park assist, adaptive cruise control and a reversing camera. The Grand California will also be available to order with all-wheel drive (4MOTION).
Prices for the new Grand California 600 with the 177bhp diesel engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission, four passenger seats and a four berth sleeping configuration start from €77,600 including design and delivery. A longer 680 version of the Grand California with the same engine and transmission in a two passenger, two berth layout will start from €76,900, while both models are available with 3.9% finance solutions.
The Grand California is available to order at four Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle centres in Ireland; Frank Keane Volkswagen in Dublin, Blackwater Volkswagen in Cork, Connollys Volkswagen in Sligo and at a new Volkswagen commercial vehicles centre in Dublin . A new Commercial and Life vehicle centre will be appointed in North Dublin soon and it will complete the list of authorised Grand California centres in Ireland.
Test Car Details:
Model driven: Volkswagen Grand California 2.0 TDI 177hp
Prices from: €77,610
Price as tested: €88,325
Annual Motor Tax: €120
Engine: 2.0-litre TDI diesel
0-100km/h: 5.7 seconds
Transmission: Eight speed DSG automatic
Body style: Motorhome
Grandchild bed above the dinette
California folding chairs integrated into vehicle
Toilet with suction ventilation
Sockets 230V on rear side of kitchen cupboard
First Aid & Warning Triangle
Leather multi-function steering wheel
"Composition'' media with App Connect
Park Distance Control in front and rear
17” Lismore Alloy wheels
Gas cooker, 2 hobs
Fold away double bed in rear
Touch sensitive dimmable interior lights
Wireless charging cradle
Various storage compartments
Interior sound insulation measures
Options on test model
Awning with white housing
SAT equipment for TV reception
Wi-Fi LTE hotspot
Solar system on the roof
Gas heating and hot water cylinder
Front assist & emergency braking