Volkswagen California 6.1 Coast 2.0 TDI 150 take a look at: the most successful fitted van?

Volkswagen was one in every of the pioneers in the world of camper vans or campervans with conversions carried out by Westphalia. From now on, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is chargeable for changing its fashions with the California vary.

A (small) MPV is obtainable, the Caddy California, in addition to a (giant) van, the Grand California, however the central mannequin of the vary stays the California Van. These fashions are notably well-liked as a result of they’re compact and discreet. Their top, normally lower than 2 meters (1.99 meters for California), permits them to enter extra automotive parks than a conventional motorhome and is assessed as a lightweight car on the French toll.

The California 6.1 is on the market in numerous variations: Beach Camper, Coast and Ocean, all accredited as a mounted car (VASP Gray Card). The first affords a lighter format with a mini-kitchen and not using a sink, whereas the different two variations share a extra conventional format for a fitted van. The California coast, which we try right this moment, is a bit more accessible and fewer plush than the ocean, however retains a lot of its qualities. However, throughout this important interval the vary was faraway from the catalog to rationalize it. However, they are often discovered second-hand and even for hire.

As an official conversion, the California is straight distributed and serviced by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. It begins at €65,420 for the Beach Camper model and €85,420 for the Ocean model. When it was nonetheless provided, the California Coast was sandwiched between these two variations, about €10,000 other than every of them.

Aesthetically, the California could be very near the Transporter 6.1 utility car with which it shares its bodywork. If you are not on the lookout for absolute discretion, it is attainable to go for a two-tone gown or at the very least a extra unique colour than the grey of our take a look at mannequin.

Editor's Rating: 5 out of 5

Life on board

Once put in, it’s attainable to open the exterior awning and place the two tenting chairs and desk provided with the van. The chairs are constructed into the tailgate and the desk into the sliding aspect door.

Volkswagen California 6.1

However, we remorse that the tailgate doesn’t open electrically, as it’s fairly tough to function resulting from its excessive mass.

(*150*)Volkswagen California 6.1

Light oak-style cladding on this Coast Edition brightens the inside. Contains solely 4 seats. If it isn’t attainable to camp greater than 4 anyway, we’d admire a fifth seat. In truth, a van can also be designed for every day use and it’s typically very helpful to have the ability to journey with 5 or extra folks.

Interior Volkswagen California Coast

The rear seat will be sliding and the entrance seats can swivel. Unfortunately, operation shouldn’t be very sensible for the driver’s seat, requiring you to play with totally different settings and launch the handbrake to permit rotation. Once the seats are in the front room configuration, it’s attainable to uncover the inside desk.

Storage Volkswagen California Coast

The California board has loads of space for storing. For instance, there’s a giant drawer below the rear bench seat, in addition to a compartment with a mirror to the left of the kitchen space.

Mirror Volkswagen California

It can also be attainable to retailer suitcases in the trunk. In our take a look at mannequin, nonetheless, the area was occupied by a baggage set.

Trunk Volkswagen California

It’s additionally from the rear that you simply entry the out of doors bathe, provided by a 30-litre clear water reserve. The grey water tank has the identical capability – fairly restricted – and the two auxiliary batteries have a capability of 150 Ah.

Shower Volkswagen California 6.1

These batteries recharge whereas driving, however will be powered by an outside outlet for longer tenting journeys. However, the electrical vary must be sufficient to remain parked for about three nights.

Several kinds of sockets are built-in in the cabin: home, 12 V, USB-A and USB-C.

Volkswagen California 6.1 Plug

When it is time to eat, it occurs in the heart of the van. By elevating the roof, it’s attainable to face whereas cooking, even for the tallest. The operation could be very easy, as a result of the roof is electro-hydraulic and so all it’s a must to do is press a button.

Volkswagen California Coast Kitchen

The galley has a small sink, a two-burner fuel cooker powered by an R907 cylinder (2.75kg fuel) and a 42-litre refrigerated compartment.

Volkswagen California Sync

In the absence of an actual work plan, inner tables can be utilized as such.

Volkswagen California Refrigerator

The kitchen models have storage, notably a cutlery drawer.

Storage Volkswagen California Coast

California Coast consists of two beds. Folding the bench seat and unfolding the mattress topper provides the 1140mm x 2000mm first mattress. Width is restricted for 2 folks and folding the mattress every morning will be limiting.

Curtains make it attainable to cover the entirety of the glazing. Unless it plunges the van into full darkness, ideally at windshield degree, mild penetration is restricted.

Bed Volkswagen California 6.1

A second mattress is built-in into the roof, with a field spring. It is barely wider (1200 mm x 2000 mm). If you are not nicely insulated from outdoors noise and temperatures, this mattress is straightforward to arrange and retailer due to a jack system. However, it may be tough to get to and not using a ladder.

Bed Volkswagen California 6.1

If vital, a stationary heating system is built-in. It runs on diesel gasoline from the gasoline tank. However, it makes a little bit of noise when turning it on. It is managed by a distant management or clever camper management unit.

Control Unit Camper Volkswagen California

It is a contact display screen built-in in the ceiling and used to regulate sure features of this fitted model. It is feasible to program the heating, activate and management the fridge, configure the lighting and even program an alarm clock. Water tank degree and battery cost standing are displayed on this display screen.

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Information Technology and Connectivity

In addition to this primary display screen, a second is built-in into the dashboard. These two interfaces don’t talk. The central contact display screen is kind of small (6.5 inches) and has restricted performance, aside from on-board navigation for instance. Yet it’s fairly straightforward to make use of and somewhat responsive. It is primarily used to hook up with your smartphone to make the most of Android Auto or Apple CarPlay by way of a USB-C socket.

Volkswagen California Coast touchscreen

We suggest the most tech-savvy go for the California Ocean which advantages from a 9.2-inch display screen with an interface taken from the final Golf, however not essentially extra intuitive.

Finally, the proposed cellular app can also be fairly sparse by way of performance. As with Volkswagen vehicles, it is attainable to find your van, examine that it is correctly locked, and even activate horn or headlight calls remotely. However, we remorse that it isn’t attainable to lock it remotely.

Volkswagen California Mobile App

Similarly, no format features are accessible from the utility. We would have appreciated the risk of controlling the fridge or heating remotely, for instance.

An app devoted to California is obtainable in Germany known as California On Tour, which lets you seek for campsites. Unfortunately, it isn’t accessible for us.

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Handling and efficiency

At 4.904mm lengthy, the California is not that removed from a automotive the measurement of a automotive. So his conduct shouldn’t be so scary. The driving place although is of common utility with a excessive seat, however not uncomfortable. The dashboard is ergonomic with bodily controls for air flow and even multimedia.

Dashboard Volkswagen California 6.1

Unlike the ocean model, this California coast does not have a full “digital” instrument cluster. Here, solely a small display screen is built-in between two conventional counters. The show is evident, however a bigger display screen would have been adequate to show extra info concurrently.

Volkswagen California Coast Speedometer

The California is on the market in two diesel variations: 2.0 TDI 150 and 2.0 TDI 204. This is the 150 hp model we examined This leaves the alternative between a two-wheel drive transmission (Traction) that outfitted our take a look at mannequin, or a 4MOTION model with four-wheel drive. It is the solely model accessible with a guide gearbox, the relaxation are mechanically mated to the DSG7 robotic dual-clutch gearbox.

Volkswagen California 6.1

For this model to maneuver greater than 2.5 t, 150 hp present their limits, as evidenced by the 0 to 100 km/h that takes 14.3 seconds. Fortunately, 340 Nm of torque and the fast DSG gearbox enable correct revving. If the noise typical of diesel engines is current, this engine remains to be fairly gentle in use.

Rear Volkswagen California

Noise measurement at 130 km/h

Editor's Rating: 2 out of 5


Road conduct is wholesome. This Californian does not drift in turns, steering is exact, whereas consolation is kind of good. In phrases of noise air pollution, we noticed 71 dB (A) at 130 km/h, which is comparatively excessive.

However, the provision of driving aids for this Coastal model could be very restricted as normal: cruise management shouldn’t be adaptive, computerized emergency braking or lane protecting help and never even much less autonomous driving or parking programs… even parking radar and reversing digital camera are elective! Unlike the windshield wipers, the headlights have an auto-on function, however they’re halogen bulbs that do not present optimum visibility.

Volkswagen California Coast Reversing Camera

Finally, we’d have appreciated keyless entry and begin, in addition to an electrical parking brake.

robust factors

  • Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles are straight offered and serviced.

  • Electro-hydraulic pop-up roof.

  • Well thought out format.

  • Two actual beds.

  • Many kinds of sockets (native, 12 V, USB-A and USB-C).

  • Convenient command display screen.

  • Integrated tenting chairs and tables.

  • Easy and nice driving.

  • Height lower than 2 meters (1.99 meters).

weak spot

  • Tailgate is tough to function.

  • The driver’s seat is tough to swivel.

  • Clean water tank capability is restricted (30 L).

  • Only 4 seats.

  • Slightly restricted efficiency.

  • Slightly greater gasoline consumption (8 l/100 km in WLTP mixed cycle).

  • Errors in driving aids.

  • Lack of on-board navigation.

  • Mobile app that does not have the perform.

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