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Source: Autocar

Volkswagen Multivan

March 17th, 2023

01 Volkswagen Multivan RT 2023 lead driving The latest in VW's long line of Transporters is car-based but still capacious Things diverge now that we have reached the 'T7' stage of the Volkswagen van's life. This, the T7 Volkswagen Multivan, is one of three commercial-type vehicles that replace the T6 VW Transporter. Another is the all-electric VW ID Buzz and the third will be a VW/Ford joint van venture.Those are both, in different ways, significant tangents from the otherwise steady lineage that has brought us to here, and leave this T7 Multivan as the only VW with a direct, unbroken model-line heritage dating back to the firm's air-cooled, rear-engine origins.The first 'T' van was the Type 2, developed after VW's workers took a Type 1 (Beetle) chassis and rudimentarily modified it, placing a useful flat bed on top for moving parts around the factory. VW's Dutch importer, visiting, saw the potential of this 'Plattenwagen' and sketched a consumer-ready version in 1947. Production began in 1949.As the Beetle moved from being perceived as austere, cheap, utility motoring into the charming, sun-kissed love bug, so too did the Type 2 (T1) Microbus. As, to a lesser extent, did the T2, T3, T4, T5 and T6 Transporters that followed. Look more closely at today's vans and a high proportion of the modified or family-used ones are modern VWs.Which brings us to the divergence of the latest generation. The true utility VW van will, presumably, be the commercial-focused joint venture with Ford. The overtly cool variant draws on the 'ID' theme, the electric Buzz, with a price that starts with at least a five and which, despite its van-ishness, was recently named What Car? magazine's Car of the Year.And then there's the subject of this week's road test, the only model of the three with T7 officially in its job description. Will it inspire people the way the original did 76 years ago?Range at a glanceThere are two trim options on the Multivan: the base Life variant and this plusher Style derivative. Life is available with the 1.5 petrol, 2.0 diesel and plug-in hybrid, badged eHybrid. Style, meanwhile, gets the diesel and hybrid but the petrol option is a 2.0, not the 1.5.Style commands an 10,000-plus premium over Life and all variants are available as standard length (as here) or extended rear overhang, at a 1350-1710 premium.VersionPowerVolkswagen Multivan 1.5 TSI134bhpVolkswagen Multivan 2.0 TDI148bhpVolkswagen Multivan 1.4 TSI eHybrid215bhpVolkswagen Multivan 2.0 TSI201bhpTRANSMISSIONS7-spd dual-clutch automatic (TSI, TDI)6-spd dual-clutch automatic (PHEV)