The Kombi’s back as the VW Multivan

Pretty much everyone has a memory of the VW Kombi – whether via real-life situation that happened once in their lives decades ago, or just a pop culture experience with the renowned nameplate. Personally, I belong to the latter, with Scooby-Doo and other hippie flicks at the top of my list.

Volkswagen Philippines wants to hit nostalgia by bringing back the Kombi nameplate. Known as the VW Transporter in other countries, the Ayala-owned company launches the VW Multivan Kombi as a premium offering in the people-hauling van market.

I had a brief encounter with it at Volkswagen’s BGC dealership and frankly, it looks overwhelming in person than in photos.

Size-wise, the VW Multivan Kombi is shorter than the Toyota Hiace Super Grandia by almost 400mm but it’s wider by over 300mm. With that said, the new Kombi has a wide presence in the metal, which looks great, if you ask me.

Probably the best trait of the Multivan Kombi is the available Bi-Color variant that removes the mundanity of the car’s form. It does come with an additional price, though, but not substantial.

According to VW President Felipe Estrella III, the new Multivan Kombi is both for work and play – business meetings and trips during the weekdays, then family outings and leisure drives on the weekends.

For the specifics, the Multivan Kombi comes with LED lighting with DRLs, while the doors are also electronically opened, including the tailgate. The full-size van is available in these three colors: Reflex Silver, Black Pearlescent, and the Bi-Color Reflex Silver/Starlight Blue. Other color options are also available but they can be ordered through special orders only.

Inside, the Multivan Kombi comes with Nappa leather for that premium cabin vibe. Despite having a shorter 200mm wheelbase than its closest rival, the Hiace Super Grandia, the Multivan Kombi has a spacious cabin at the expense of fewer passengers. Of note, it can only accommodate seven passengers, with the second-row captain’s seats having a swivel function, which means business meetings on wheels are possible.

Probably the biggest advantage of the Kombi is the plethora of tech and safety features it carries. The 8-inch infotainment system comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, while other standard features include six airbags, a digital instrument cluster, an automatic climate control, a multi-function table, and park assist, rear camera, hill start assist, and electronic stability program.

The new 2021 Volkswagen Multivan Kombi is powered by a 2.0-liter Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engine that produces up to 148hp and 340Nm of torque. This oil burner is connected to a 7-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG), which is VW’s speak for dual-clutch automatic transmission. It also comes with Tiptronic function and coasting feature.

The VW Multivan Kombi has a starting price of P3,595,000 for the Monocolor variant, while the Bi-Color comes with a P3,640,000 price tag. VW Philippines said that the next batch of Multivan Kombis is underway, which will arrive with an additional standard exterior color, two-tone Reflex Silver/Fontana Red.

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