The Grand California has several evident strengths that (thankfully for us) you needn’t have expert knowledge of the motorhome scene to appreciate. Where we needed the aforementioned to position it relative to its rivals, we sought help from our former colleagues at Practical Motorhome magazine, to whom we’re grateful.

Readily apparent even to us, though, was the appealing perceived quality and classy material ambience of this vehicle; likewise, its impressive comfort, refinement and drivability.

New California is classy but not half as clever as smaller namesake

However, among its disappointments, we noted an inefficient cabin layout, which seems to present the on-board ‘wet room’ as if it were some kind of totem and generally makes the vehicle interior feel quite a bit less spacious than you expect.

If the regular California is a packaging miracle for its on-board adaptability, then, it’s clear that, while this Grand version is a lot bigger, it’s not half as clever; nor can it hide its commercial vehicle derivation half as cleverly when driven. A betting person might expect the former to matter more to seasoned motorhomers than the latter, and possibly neither as much as Volkswagen’s fairly ambitious pricing – but only time will tell.

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