Van on the run

This is thevw­peo­ple-mover for tour­ing rock bands or big fam­i­lies

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Road Test -

VALUE

Peo­ple-movers (or MPVs) start at $25,990 for Kia’s Rondo and range up to the Mercedes-Benz Viano at $79,490. The Mulit­van TSI350 is at the top end of the field along with Toy­ota’s flag­ship Tarago ($71,990).

TheVWs­tarts in Com­fort­line spec for $54,990 with chrome ac­cents, Blue­tooth, win­dow blinds, cli­mate con­trol and cruise.

For $71,990 the top-price Highline adds pow­ered dual slid­ing side doors, rain-sens­ing wipers, fog lights, auto head­lights, cabin ta­ble, pre­mium sound sys­tem and 17-inch al­loy wheels.

The true value is in the abil­ity to carry seven big adults in com­fort, with plenty of lug­gage space and the abil­ity to con­fig­ure the cabin in myr­iad ways.

Volk­swa­gen also has good re­sale and war­ranty for this type of ve­hi­cle.

TECH­NOL­OGY

The turbo petrol TSI350 engine brings sporty and re­spon­sive dy­nam­ics and rel­a­tively good econ­omy. With 150kW/350Nm, it’s not as MPV as the V6 Kia Grand Carnival (202kW/ 336Nm), but mar­ried to the seven-speed DSG au­to­matic trans­mis­sion it’s slightly more eco­nom­i­cal at 10.1L/100km com­pared with 10.9.

SAFETY

There is no ANCAP safety rat­ing for the Mul­ti­van, but it comes with six airbags, in­clud­ing cur­tain airbags that cover the whole cabin.

Side as­sist and a rearview cam­era are op­tional, how­ever since it is a rec­tan­gle, the ve­hi­cle ex­tends as far as the eye can see at the win­dows, so park­ing and ma­noeu­vring in small ar­eas is lit­tle prob­lem.

It also comes with sta­bil­ity con­trol, ABS and brake as­sist, and there are five child seat an­chor points.

DE­SIGN

It’s ba­si­cally a brick on wheels and only Bauhaus fans— the ra­tio­nal and func­tional art style, not the ’ 70s Brit-punk band— would find it re­motely ap­peal­ing. ef­fort­less. Slid­ing floor rails al­low the two sec­ond-row seats to be moved sep­a­rately and ro­tated 180 de­grees and the third row bench seat also moves for­ward and back for max­i­mum ver­sa­til­ity.

Bauhaus: The brick-on­wheels de­sign is re­flected inside with aus­tere and func­tional in­stru­ments

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