Hotel California: the less epic Coach ride in a VW Camper


Of course, even for our less epic drive, we can’t resist the urge to hit the roads. And while using California as a daily driver in a Somerset town, with the occasional freeway jaunt, isn’t really his goal, he handles the task with ease. Of course it does: lower the retractable roof and fold down the table top the size of a tray and the California is essentially an extremely versatile midsize van, which means it has to be easy to drive in any situation. .

The raised, van-based driving position provides excellent visibility, the square design makes it easy to place and the 196hp 2.0-liter TDI diesel engine, driven by a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. reports, makes the relatively light work of a machine which weighs 3080 kg empty. Considering that weight, the ride is pretty decent as well, and as long as you’ve taken a bit of time to tidy everything up properly, you won’t hear too many rattles from the cabin.

So, is the reader dynamic? Thrilling? Well, no, of course not. It’s a commercial van, with all that that entails: it’s perfectly functional and incredibly easy, with no thrills or complaints. Certainly, you can drive one for hundreds of miles, say from London to central Germany, in ease and comfort.

But why waste time doing it when the real joy of California is not in the journey but in enjoying it once you arrive at your destination? Especially if that destination is, ooh, 10 feet from where you started.

It doesn’t take an epic effort to understand the Transporter’s enduring appeal. When Autocar evaluates cars, one of our main criteria is ‘fitness for purpose’ – how well it is doing the job it was intended to do. This is the most remarkable thing about the Transporter: For seven decades, it’s been designed to do a whole range of jobs, and it’s been successful because it excels at all of them.

And so, as California goes, it is with real sadness that I return to my current home office. Which gave me an idea: instead of reopening the Autocar office, maybe we could all work in California in the future …



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