This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Volkswagen California review.

Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The interior has a high-quality feel typical of Volkswagens. Huge door mirrors offer a great rearward visibility, but visibility through the rear of the cabin is hampered by an overhead storage compartment inside the tailgate. Overall the driver has a good view, thanks to the high seating position while the instruments and controls are laid out in a logical fashion.

The gearstick is mounted on the dashboard and is ideally positioned while the front seats can be turned around to face the rear, allowing passengers to eat meals off the table.

The California has large supportive seats in the front and a two-seat rear bench which can slide along rails. Air conditioning is standard (with the option of upgrading to automatic climate control) and there is an auxiliary heater to keep it warm when camping. Cruise control is optional on manual versions (standard on the auto) and front windows and mirror adjustment is electric.

The upper bed is a little more comfortable than the rear seat folded flat. Its wooden slatted base under the thin mattress means it’s sprung and easier to sleep on. The lower bed is firmer and the seatbelt points are hard to avoid.