VW Grand California UK Debut Announced

The UK date has been announced for the all new VW Camper

By William Coleman

The CaravanTimes team got a good close up look at the Volkswagen Grand California way back in early September at the 2018 Dusseldorf Caravan Salon. Now just a few months away from a major UK caravan show VW have announced their newest camper’s UK debut.

In just a couple of short months at the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show at the NEC in Birmingham, 19-24 February, you will get your chance to the the all-new Crafter based campervan which is Volkswagen’s first vehicle in the six-metre class. After seeing it for the first time in February 2019 it will hit the UK market mid year just in time for the summer.

Retaining many of the strengths of the original Transporter-based California which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, the Grand California’s appeal is extended by the addition of extra space, and a bathroom with toilet, shower, a fold-out wash basin, shelves, cupboards and a skylight for ventilation.

Two different versions will be available: the ‘680’ and the ‘600’, which not only has a large sleeping area at the rear but also a high bunk bed for children.

You will also find an electrically powered step to help you gain access via the sliding door, while a 2 part mosquito net in the door has also been included as standard.

For those out there who are into their on board audio options VW have added a new innovative feature, the option to control the loudspeakers in the living area via Bluetooth. Something that is missing from a lot of modern leisure vehicles I have used. This makes it possible to listen to music independently of the infotainment system using a smartphone, tablet or laptop.

VW has not stopped their with the new additions. Also available is the option for additional roof mounted air conditioning units at the rear, an awning, a rear bicycle rack and a camping table and chairs (which can be stowed in the wing doors). The standard gas heating can be expanded as a heating system to run on gas- or diesel-generated electric power. There will also be a solar panel system mounted on the roof, a satellite dish (for TV reception) and an LTE/WiFi hotspot.

In addition, the Grand California will be available with the Crafter’s driver assistance and infotainment systems. The driver assistance systems include the Front Assist surroundings monitoring system with City Emergency Braking function, Lane Assist to help the driver stay in lane, Blind Spot Monitor for changing lane, Rear Traffic Alert for reversing out of parking spaces and Park Assist for steering into them, the sensor-controlled side protection system, Adaptive Cruise Control and a Rear View reversing camera.

From what I saw at the Salon this really is a camper worth considering. Not only are you getting the Volkswagen design and build quality you also getting a perfectly constructed camper van that will last for years and years.

The Grand California really does live up to its name too. The onboard living space is plentiful and does not compromise any other onboard aspects.

As always we will be at February’s NEC show and I am sure we will have a lot of fun bringing you some more coverage on VW’s newest.