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Volkswagen CALIFORNIA 2.0 TDI Coast 5dr DSG
Volkswagen CALIFORNIA 2.0 TDI Coast 5dr DSG
Volkswagen CALIFORNIA 2.0 TDI Coast 5dr DSG
Volkswagen CALIFORNIA 2.0 TDI Coast 5dr DSG
Volkswagen CALIFORNIA 2.0 TDI Coast 5dr DSG
Volkswagen CALIFORNIA 2.0 TDI Coast 5dr DSG
*images for illustrative purposes only.
Volkswagen CALIFORNIA 2.0 TDI Coast 5dr DSG
Volkswagen CALIFORNIA 2.0 TDI Coast 5dr DSG
Volkswagen CALIFORNIA 2.0 TDI Coast 5dr DSG
Volkswagen CALIFORNIA 2.0 TDI Coast 5dr DSG
Volkswagen CALIFORNIA 2.0 TDI Coast 5dr DSG
Volkswagen CALIFORNIA 2.0 TDI Coast 5dr DSG

Key Info Compare

  • FuelDiesel
  • TransmissionAutomatic
  • MPG43.50
  • 0-62mph secs
  • Top Speed111 mph
  • C02173 g/km
  • BHP150
  • Torque lbs/f
  • P11D37%


It's rather difficult to know what to compare this Volkswagen California model to. Since you can effectively live in it, you can't put it alongside conventional MPVs (and anyway, it only has four seats). Yet it's far more car-orientated (to drive and to look at) than a normal motorhome, a decent example of which would cost you much more. Quite simply, it's unique.

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Want a family vehicle you could really live with - and live in? Yes really. Jonathan Crouch checks out Volkswagen's improved California 6.1


In one sense, Volkswagen's California is a converted van with windows and a few beds in it. In another though, this vehicle could be seen as the key to a whole new life. Let us explain. Let's say you've retired: there are only two of you and you want to travel around the UK and Europe. You don't want the continual cost of having to fork out for accommodation. But neither do you want anything as large, clunky and pricey to run as a fully-fledged motorhome. You definitely aren't a caravanning sort of person either. If I've described you, then this is your vehicle. It's car-like for when you just need an MPV. And motorhome-like for when you're travelling. An ideal combination? Let's see.

Driving Experience

The engine range includes two diesel options, both paired to DSG auto transmission. There's a 150PS unit or a 199PS engine, which can be had alongside 4MOTION four-wheel-drive at the top of the range. As with the Volkswagen Caravelle 6.1 big MPV model this California is based upon, the cab area up-front is nicely constructed. It features a dash mounted gear stick plumbed into the centre console that frees-up floorspace for better walk-through access to the rear. This configuration shaves vital seconds off the time it takes a parent in the passenger seat to reach the back bench and apprehend a wayward child before they can 'make-over' their brother or sister with a felt-tip pen. The driving position and steering wheel are infinitely adjustable. So much so that, from Kylie Minogue to Giant Haystacks, virtually anyone's optimum driving position is attainable - it's just a matter of finding it. There are armrests on each chair too, along with supportive cushioning and fetching two-tone fabric. When stationary, you turn around the front two chairs to face the two in the rear.

Design and Build

Externally, the California looks like the van with windows that it actually is, the chassis platform also forming the basis for Volkswagen's Transporter 6.1 panel van and Caravelle 6.1 people carrier. Inside, California buyers get full central heating - or more specifically a fresh air system with manual air con, a separate timing switch-operated domestic heater for when you're parked up and even a remote radio control for the whole system. Plus there's split-level accommodation comprising of a fold-out double bed downstairs and (once you've opened the electrically elevated section) a bigger double in the roof. For mealtimes, there's a gas cooker with stainless steel sink and drainer and, naturally, alongside the cupboards and ample storage, a fridge. There are also great views all round (particularly if you pull up for the night in the Highlands). Other features include a revised infotainment system, a folding dining table, two folding chairs (stored neatly in the tailgate), a clothes cupboard, blackout blinds and smart draw curtains. Most owners will also specify the extra cost roll-out awning too. Downsides? Well, the ceiling is rather low and the kind of older people being targeted by Volkswagen for this car will struggle to reach the roof-mounted bed. Younger families meanwhile, will need more than four seats.

Market and Model

Prices start at just over £52,000 for the entry-level 'Beach' version - or just over £55,000 for the mid-range 'Coast' variant, both only offered with the 150PS TDI engine. Most buyers opt for the plusher 'Ocean' variant, which can be had with both engines at prices starting from around £64,000 - though you'll need around £70,000 if you want the top 199PS 4MOTION variant. The California can sleep four occupants courtesy of its acclaimed pop-up roof (electro-hydraulic on Ocean models) that neatly integrates a 1.2m x 2m double bed. Ocean models also feature a fully-equipped kitchen, complete with 42-litre refrigerator, twin-burner hob and stainless steel sink unit. Ocean models also gain a dimmable LED lighting system for the pop-up roof and tailgate and a clever multi-functional holder for the rear compartment that incorporates a cup, ashtray and towel holder all in one. Driver and passenger safety is another area where the California comes fit for purpose. Features include a Driver Alert System, Brake Assist and an Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. Finally, Volkswagen's Automatic Post-Collision Braking System triggers braking after a collision, with the aim of preventing secondary collisions. After a short delay, the vehicle begins a phased braking action down to 6mph, during which the driver can take control at any time.

Cost of Ownership

Volkswagen claims that the engines fitted to this 6.1 generation California model are cleaner and more frugal than those fitted to the previous version of this vehicle. Owners of the diesel variants should expect to average over 30mpg on a regular basis. WLTP CO2 emissions start at 221g/km for the 150PS 'Coast' variant (which manages a WLTP combined cycle fuel figure of up to 33.6mpg). This rises to 223g/km for the 150PS 'Ocean' model (33.2mpg), 222g/km for the 199PS 'Ocean' variant (33.2mpg) and 237g/km for the 199PS 'Ocean' 4MOTION derivative (31.4mpg).


The California 6.1 won't suit everyone but the select few whose needs it meets will just love the thing, provided their retirement incomes stretch to the upfront purchase price. Living with your car doesn't get much easier than this.

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Driver Convenience
Driver alert system
Front/rear park distance control
Without camera systems
Without lane change system side Assist
Without navigation system
Cross wind assist
eCall emergency system
Mobile phone interface
Multifunction display premium with color display
Service interval indicator
Speed limiter
Start/stop system with regenerative braking
Tailgate latch without unlocking function from inside
Tailgate with window aperture and with power latching
Volkswagen app connect
Washer fluid level indicator
Without voice control
Exterior Features
Awning housing and rail in black
H7 twin halogen headlamps
Heat insulating windshield made of laminated glass
Manually opertated pop up roof with side windows, canvas in basalt grey
Separate daytime running light
Sliding door on the right in load/ passenger compartment
Solid paint
Without front fog lamps
Without trailer hitch
Additional dust seals on the outside
Auto dimming breakway interior rearview mirror
Body colour bumpers
Body coloured exterior mirror housings and door handles
California nameplate on the fender and on the rear
Fixed front and rear side windows in load/passenger compartment on driver side
Green heat insulating glass
Headlight range control
Left convex exterior mirror
Manual coming and leaving home function
Mounting rails on the roof (preparation for movable roof rack)
Power adjustable, heated, power folding exterior mirrors, folding possible via vehicle key
Radiator grille with 2 chrome trims
Rear heated window with window wiper and washer system
Red LED rear combination lamps
Right convex exterior mirror
Sliding window in front and fixed window in rear in load/passenger compartment at left
Sliding window with fly screen in front passenger compartment at right
Windshield wiper intermittent control with rain sensor for windshield wipers
Without left sliding door in load/passenger compartment
Interior Features
Air condition system in cab with electronic control and separate controllable 2nd heating system in load/passenger compartment
Bed extension with sleeping mat
Cupboards in bright oak
Interior light concept for camper in passenger compartment
Seat trim covers in mixed dots fabric upholstery
Velour non woven floor covering in cab
Without seat heater
1 waste bin in door storage compartment of the cab
12V outlets in dashboard X 2
2 seater bench/bed (camper), movable and folding to build 2 beds, in 3rd row of seats
230V inlet with charging feature for vehicle batteries and 230V outlet in the interior
3 spoke leather wrapped multifunction steering wheel
Armrest for both cab seats
Camping table for inside/outside in sliding door and 2 folding chairs in tailgate
Child seat anchors ISOFIX and top tether for Multivan/California in 2nd to 4th row of seats
Dimmable illuminated instruments
Electromechanical speed sensitive power steering, height and longitudinally adjustable steering column
Fresh air intake system with combination filter
Front head restraints
Glove compartment with illumination
Grab handles on A pillar for access, on driver and front passenger side
Illuminated steps in passenger/load compartment
Illuminated sun visors with mirror and airbag label on front passenger sun visor
Interior loading edge protection in plastic
Jack and tool kit
Manually adjustable lumbar supports for left and right single seat in the 1st row of seats
Operating voltage 12V including 230V outlet on driver seat
Plastic floor covering in passenger compartment
Programmable parking heater with radio remote control and auxiliary heater
Rear head restraints
Refrigerant R1234yf
Roof bed (2000 x 1200 mm) with spring plates and mattress
Soft folding grab handles on roof frame
Special interior noise suppression measures
Special sound deadening measures in cab and passenger compartment
Step illumination with California lettering
Swivel seat on the left, with lumbar support in 1st row of seats
Swivel seat on the right, with lumbar support in 1st row of seats
Waeco compressor fridge
Without floor mats
Without height adjustment for driver and single passenger seats
Tyre pressure monitoring system
Warning triangle and first aid kit
Airbags - Drivers and front passengers side and curtain airbags
Driver/Front Passenger airbags
Electronic stability control, ABS, ASR, EDL, brake assist system
Front assist with Autonomous emergency braking for Adaptive cruise control (ACC)
Height adjustable 3 point seat belts on outer seats in cab with electric pretensioners
Hill start assist
Passenger airbag deactivation system
Power operated child safety locks
Single tone horn
Warning buzzer and light for driver seat belt not fastened
2 remote folding keys
Anti theft alarm system with interior monitoring in cab, backup horn and towing protection
Central locking system with radio remote control, system controls inside and safelock
Lockable wheel bolts
70 litre fuel tank
16 inch chassis with 16 inch brake system
2 additional batteries with free maintanace including 1 additional battery with cut-off relay
16" Clayton alloy wheels in silver
Steel spare wheel with original equipment tire
2 (type C) USB interfaces in dashboard
8 speakers (4 tweeters + 4 woofers)
Composition colour radio with 6.5 inch touchscreen
Digital radio reception (DAB+)
Smokers pack - California
Comfort dashboard lower part in palladium with chrome elements and bezels painted in black
Inlays - Bright brushed grey
Emissions - ICE
CO2 (g/km) 173
Standard Euro Emissions EURO 6
WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb 221
WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max 244
WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min 221
Engine and Drive Train
Camshaft DOHC
Catalytic Convertor Yes
CC 1968
Cylinder Layout IN-LINE
Fuel Delivery COMMON RAIL
Gears 7 SPEED
Transmission SEMI-AUTO
Fuel Consumption - ICE
EC Combined (mpg) 43.5
EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies No
EC Extra Urban (mpg) 47.1
EC Urban (mpg) 37.2
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb 8.4
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max 9.3
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min 8.4
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High 8.7
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High 7.3
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low 10.1
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium 8.5
WLTP - MPG - Comb 33.6
WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max 30.4
WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min 33.6
WLTP - MPG - Extra High 32.5
WLTP - MPG - High 38.7
WLTP - MPG - Low 28
WLTP - MPG - Medium 33.2
Alternative Fuel Qualifying No
Badge Engine CC 2.0
Badge Power 150
Coin Description TDI
Coin Series Coast
Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07 26E
Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years 12
Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years 3
Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern? No
Special Edition No
Special Order No
Vehicle Homologation Class M1
Engine Power - BHP 150
Engine Power - KW 110
Top Speed 111
Test Cycles
Emissions Test Cycle WLTP
Alloys? Yes
Space Saver? No
Tyre Size Front 215/65 R16
Tyre Size Rear 215/65 R16
Tyre Size Spare FULL SIZE
Wheel Style CLAYTON
Wheel Type 16" ALLOY
Weight and Capacities
Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres) 70
Gross Vehicle Weight 3000
Max. Loading Weight 515
Minimum Kerbweight 2485
No. of Seats 4


Term Annual Mileage Monthly Payment Maintenance
24 months 5,000 miles p/a £1052.91 p/m £6.38 p/m
36 months 5,000 miles p/a £815.84 p/m £4.80 p/m
48 months 5,000 miles p/a £709.60 p/m £13.58 p/m
No contract hire deals found. Please call us to discuss your requirements.
* Prices shown based on 6 month initial payment.
Lease Type
Contract Length
Initial Rental
Annual Mileage
Include Maintenance

An excess mileage charge will apply if you exceed the contracted mileage. The exact charge will be confirmed on the official quotation prior to your acceptance to proceed

Selected Options
Optional Extras
Driver Convenience
Active lane assist with side assist includes rear traffic alert £1,386.00
Digital cockpit and driver alert system £468.00
Discover media pro navigation system including streaming and internet £1,734.00
Driving profile selection "Drive Select" and Adaptive Chassis Control DCC with dynamic chassis £1,458.00
Front and rear park assist, park distance control and sensor based side protection £342.00
Navigation system discover media including streaming and internet £1,338.00
Rear view camera £294.00
Traffic sign recognition £282.00
Exterior Features
Awning housing and rail in silver £228.00
Basalt grey canvas side bellows includes panorama window £270.00
Front and rear mud flaps £162.00
Front fog lights with cornering light £426.00
Heated front windscreen £498.00
High beam assist £162.00
LED headlamps with LED separate daytime running light £1,290.00
Metallic paint £762.00
Pearl effect paint £762.00
Power sliding door on the right in load/passenger compartment £378.00
Privacy glass in load/passenger compartment with heat insulating glass in cab £354.00
Removable/lockable towbar includes trailer stabilisation £768.00
Towbar preparation includes trailer stabilisation £264.00
Trailer assist including park assist, front and rear parking sensors, rear view camera and side protection £912.00
Two tone paint £2,880.00
Interior Features
Additional rail for subsequent installation of fifth seat £84.00
Additional swivel seat in second row on rail system £474.00
Art velours microfleece upholstery with leather seat side bolsters £1,248.00
Bed extension with comfort sleeping mat £318.00
Climatronic 3 zone air conditioning with 2nd evaporator, auxiliary heater, air conditioned headliner and additional passenger control £990.00
Floor covering in wood effect £498.00
Heated driver and front passenger seats £372.00
Interior light concept for camper with comfort in passenger compartment £726.00
Kitchen cupboard in bright oak wood effect with outdoor shower connection £348.00
Magnetic flashlight £84.00
Storage compartment pack - California £210.00
Metallic - Bay leaf green £762.00
Metallic - Copper Bronze £762.00
Metallic - Fortana red £762.00
Metallic - Indium grey £762.00
Metallic - Mojave beige £762.00
Metallic - Reflex silver £762.00
Metallic - Startlight blue £762.00
Pearl - Deep black £762.00
Solid - Ascot grey FOC
Solid - Candy white FOC
Solid - Cherry red FOC
Two tone - Candy white/Ascot grey £2,880.00
Two tone - Candy white/Bay leaf green £2,880.00
Two tone - Candy white/Copper bronze £2,880.00
First aid kit with warning triangle and safety vest £60.00
Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (direct measurement) £162.00
4 remote control folding keys £120.00
80 litre fuel tank £78.00
Art velours microfleece - Titanium black/Palladium £1,248.00
Mixed dots fabric seat trim covers - Titanium black/ Palladium FOC
17" Devonport alloy wheels in silver £732.00
17" Woodstock black diamond turned surface alloy wheels £1,164.00
18" Palmerston black diamond turned alloy wheels £2,730.00
18" Teresina black diamond turned alloy wheels £2,244.00
215/65 R17 tyres with optimised rolling resistance FOC
255/45 R18 tyres with super low rolling resistance FOC
All weather tyres 235/55 R17 with optimised rolling resistance £162.00
Alloy spare wheel with original equipment tyre £276.00
Tyre mobility kit in lieu of spare wheel Includes 12V compressor and tyre sealant FOC
* option prices shown are estimated