Little seems to be either recorded or published about the performance of full-sized motorhomes by the specialist press that concerns itself with them and less still is claimed about the same subject by their manufacturers.
Since this is the first such vehicle to undergo an Autocar road test, relevant benchmark comparisons are hard to make about the Grand California’s performance statistics. What we can say, having tested back in 2015 an example of the VW Caravelle on which the regular California is based, is that someone ‘trading up’ from the smaller recreational vehicle would quite plainly notice what they were giving up on the road, as well as what they were gaining in cabin furnishings. The Grand California feels, and goes, very much like a large commercial vehicle – and, unlike the regular California, there is nothing you might call ‘car-like’ about it.
Despite being evidently short-geared, it’s an order of magnitude slower than even a slow modern passenger car; and although the automatic gearbox combines with decent engine isolation to make it relatively mechanically refined in use, it’s still far from an effortless thing to drive, mostly because of its sheer size. The upshot? That while a regular California or a Mercedes Marco Polo could just about serve as a second family car, a Grand California definitely couldn’t.