The spirit of the Volkswagen Kombi lives on with the 2016 Volkswagen California which has just been revealed in Europe.

THE 2016 Volkswagen California, complete with kitchenette and dinette with pop-top roof has been revealed in Europe offering buyers a new take on the iconic Kombi. The only factory-built camper van on the market, the new California is based on the recently-released Transporter T6 (which will arrive Down Under later this year). It’s unlikely the California will be imported alongside it, but we’ve asked the question and will update this article when we hear back from Volkswagen Australia.

2016 Volkswagen California revealed

The new California is the fourth model to bear the name, and the range incorporates all the key features introduced on the Transporter T6, including new engines, driver assistance systems, a completely refreshed infotainment system and the availability of cost-optional adaptive suspension. There will be two engines available from launch, a 2.0-litre turbi-diesel and 2.0-litre TSI petrol.

1025870_New California_05

Available in two forms; Beach and Ocean, the California can sleep four people thanks to its pop-up roof (electro-hydraulic on Ocean models) that integrates a 1.2m x 2m double bed. Ocean models also feature a fully-equipped kitchen, complete with 42-litre refrigerator, twin-burner hob and stainless steel sink unit. Ocean models also gain a dimmable LED lighting system for the pop-up roof and tailgate and a clever multi-functional holder for the rear compartment that incorporates a cup, ashtray and towel holder all in one.

2016 Volkswagen California revealed

As mentioned, we’ll update this article about the potential availability in Australia of the California when we hear back from VW Australia.

2016 Volkswagen California revealed


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  1. I’m an Aussie living in Switzerland with my wife and 3 little kids. We have one of these (5 seater Beach) and it’s by miles the most fun car I’ve ever owned. VW have been making these for 60 years and have kinda figured the design. There are literally dozens of design features not mentioned here. Camping table and chairs that fold into the body of the car anyone? Hard to imagine living in Australia and not having one of these.

    1. This is the first comment I’ve seen in my research on the the California with a 5th seat – which we would need as we have 3 kids. I have a few questions about the added seat. Is it removable? I’ve read that you can’t do the 5th seat with AWD, is this true? Is there a shower? Would the van have enough power to tow a small-ish trailer? I’m just wondering if it’d be easier to buy the Mercedes Marco Polo without the kitchen, and then just have your own set up in a custom trailer.

      1. We have the “Beach” model which is without the kitchen. It comes with a 3er bench seat at the back which folds into a *huge* bed. Our kids are 9 7 6 now and really have plenty of room. Im 184 and sleep with them sometimes.

        It also comes with 2 single seats which took out (easy)

        We use it as a family car during the week and actually didn’t fancy driving around with the smell of it. That’s just a pers choice. Note there is a LOT of space for bags, camping stuff, grill and gas bottles etc. We spent 61 nights in the camper between Apr and Aug this year and we have a lot of stuff. Never felt like we were missing space.

        1. ie Didnt want the smell of the kitchen.

          I think the 2.0 TDI is the perfect motor for this car. You can tow an anything with it

        2. Thank you for your feedback. More and more I’m thinking this is the way to go. Just need to figure out the kitchen/shower thing, if we don’t buy the built in unit.

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