There's a new people carrier in town, and it has set its sights on the likes of the Toyota Hiace Super Grandia. After announcing its imminent return to the Philippines, the first batch of the 2021 Volkswagen Multivan has arrived in the country.
But the price has many of us surprised, though there is an explanation why. Before we get to that, let's see what the sixth generation Multivan Kombi has to offer van customers in the Philippines.
A wide array of colors are available on the 2021 Multivan. Aside from the Bi-Color Reflex Silver/Starlight Blue we already saw displayed at Volkswagen BGC, the people carrier can also be had in plain Reflex Silver, and Black Pearlescent. Other color variants will also be available by special order.
Providing ease of entry/exit on the Multivan are dual power sliding doors. It also benefits from a power tailgate to allow drivers to easily load/remove cargo from the back. Last but not least, the Multivan gets LED headlights/taillights, stylish alloy wheels, and a chrome grille.
Inside, Volkswagen says the people carrier comes with Nappa leather, along with captain seats on the second row. The aforementioned seats can swivel to allow occupants to face those seated at the third row.
There's even a multifunction folding table in the middle that can be positioned between the second and third rows. Other key features present in the Multivan include a digital instrument panel, automatic climate control, touchscreen infotainment, and a D-cut steering wheel.
At the heart of the 2021 Multivan is a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel inline-four. It makes 150 PS with 340 Nm of torque and is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with a Tiptronic function.
There are multiple challenges for Volkswagen to overcome, chief of which is the price.
According to Volkswagen, the new people carrier has an indicative price range of PHP 3,650,000. That makes the Multivan PHP 1,042,000 more expensive than the most affordable Toyota Hiace Super Grandia. Actually, just a little bit more and you've already got an Alphard at PHP 3,910,000.
This comes as no surprise, however, as the Multivan is not sourced from VW-SAIC in China. Instead, the all-new Kombi actually comes straight from Hanover, Germany. The vehicles that Volkswagen Philippines are offering is also the Highline version, so the costs are relatively high and do not benefit from a free trade agreement. That means it is subjected to a 30% duty at customs.
The other challenge is the recent reveal of the T7 new generation model; meaning the T6 won't be in the market internationally for long. Volkswagen knew the challenges and that the price would be relatively high compared to Japanese models, but decided to go through with the introduction. Insiders tell us they set more modest sales targets for the T6.
The good news for VW Philippines is that we're learning from our contacts at dealers that the T6 is already selling well and many units from the first batch have already been spoken for.