It’s unbelievable how solid this car’s roots are. It remains on sale even after its next generation was introduced, and despite the fact that its technical basis has not changed in fundamental points since 2003, when the T5 generation was introduced. Even today, its list price can easily exceed the two million mark. And people keep buying it – and not only that, the price on the second-hand market is holding up and finding a slightly used and well-equipped piece requires a lot of patience. Almost no one sells the “six”, and when they do, there is enormous interest in it.
I borrowed the T6.1 generation on purpose to compare it with its successor less than a month later. Some things were clear to me in advance – for example, an older car cannot have more advanced driving assistants, because they are linked to the MQB personal platform, which has also supported the Multivan since the seventh generation. This effectively puts it out of the category of “humanized” commercial vans and into the category of large MPVs. However, you will also read in all the T7 tests that “it finally drives like a regular passenger car”, or something like that. But is it true?
I have two problems with that statement. First – no, the Multivan does not drive like a passenger car, it drives, let’s say, like a really big passenger car. It sits high and upright, has its own weight, flat sides react to crosswinds… It’s just a specific car. On the other hand, it certainly doesn’t drive like a rickety van – but that was true at least as far back as the T5 generation. The difference between the state-of-the-art T7 and this tested T6.1 is of course some, but it is so marginal that few will be able to describe it without a direct comparison.
Even this older Multivan simply drives very nicely, I enjoyed it, and it also has some decent tricks up its sleeve. In addition to the current discount of over 350,000, which will soften the overwhelming price tag, it can also offer a more powerful diesel engine or all-wheel drive – which the new generation cannot do, at least for now. Inside you will find a proven variable interior that replaces a school minibus, a mobile office or a practically full-sized van. That depends on how many seats you leave inside and how you arrange them.
You can find out how I drove the Multivan T6.1 and how I see its pros and cons in the video.