2008 Volkswagen Multivan First Steer

$49,990 Mrlp
  • Fuel Economy
  • Engine Power
  • CO2 Emissions
  • ANCAP Rating

Options Fitted: None – although you can get a glass sunroof for $2000 – which for this kind of freight, should be standard kit along with roof racks, no ifs or buts.

Recommended Retail Price: $76,990

Where it sits: It’s a proper Limited Edition – Volkswagen has only produced 50 of these – so you are guaranteed exclusivity. You have a choice of just two colours, Samoan Red (as you can see) and Reflex Silver M – which we haven’t seen.

I should have been writing this review about the base model Touareg R5 TDI but when I arrived at Volkswagen Australia to collect it – a funny thing happened. I was given the keys and was wondering around the compound trying to locate this sizeable SUV when this Multivan T5 flashed its lights at me.

Someone had made a wrong entry in the schedule and until Volkswagen could arrange the Touareg – I decided to see what a Multivan was all about.

I’ve never owned a van but as far as vans go, this is the business. The Samoa Red metallic paint job looks particularly sweet as does the 235/50 Pirelli P Zero Rosso rubber all round, on some very unique 18-inch alloys.

At 1954mm though, it leads the class in the height department. You can literally walk around inside this thing without stooping, it’s that tall.

The seating configuration is hugely versatile. There’s a three-seater rear bench along with two middle row swivel seats with dual armrests. All seats, including the rear bench, are on a track so that you can move them into almost any position possible. You can also remove all rear seats, which will free up a massive 4.3 square metres of load space.

Although there’s no centre console – there are endless compartments for all your bits and pieces and the side door pockets are enormous. You’ll also find sliding drawers under all of the rear seats.

Let’s talk about access – this is half the fun. Both sliding side doors are electrically operated from either the remote fob, or via buttons on the dash. Perfect for school picks ups and drop offs although, hotels and their guests would also find this feature useful.

Front and rear parking sensors, 3 zone climate control, Sports leather steering wheel, rain sensors are just a few of the goodies.

Powered by Volkswagen’s 2.5L TDI with 128kW and a serious 400Nm at 2,905rpm, this van can accelerate up one of the steepest roads in Sydney’s Balmoral – and that’s no mean feat.

Highway cruising is effortless, regardless of a full load or not although, the engine drone is a little on the noisy side under revs, but it’s not that nasty diesel clatter that affects some auto species. That said, it could be quieter.

The six-speed Tiptronic does a fine job with smooth gearshifts making the Multivan Sport a piece of cake to drive, as does the rack and pinion power steering delivering a respectable turning circle of 11.9m and that’s not far off your average SUV.

Handling for such a large and tall vehicle is surprisingly good with minimal body roll through corners. Poor road surfaces are not much bother either, with McPherson Struts and anti-roll bars handling suspension at both ends.

If you’ve never driven a large van like this before, don’t panic, you’ll be able to drive a Multivan, no experience necessary.

If you’re a petrol miser – you’ll like VW even more. Even with a decent load aboard the Multivan, your 80-litre tank of diesel will probably get you close to the official figure 8.7L/100km. I was driving around for a day or two before the fuel needle finally moved off the “full” mark.
As a people mover – you would expect plenty of airbags and electronic safety aids, and that’s exactly what you get.

Passive safety includes; dual front airbags, front side airbags with curtain airbags front and rear.

Electronic Stability Program – a must for any large people mover and SUV is of course standard, as are Anti Lock Brakes with Electronic Diff-Lock (EDL) and Anti Spin Regulation with Engine Drag Torque Control (EDTC) which all assist with traction in various conditions.

By Anthony Crawford