California dreaming: Volkswagen bus updated with new tech
Volkswagen has updated its California camper for 2019. There’s a freshened face, living area upgrade, more safety tech and electric power steering.
Here’s what you need to know about the new bus.
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On the outside, the new California gains Volkswagen’s corporate nose. There’s a large grille spanning the area between the angular headlights, plus a larger vent beneath.
Other than that, it’s business as usual. What matters most with a camper is what’s inside, after all.
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New alloy handles on all cupboard doors join push-button opening for the sink, cooker and fridge. There are sliding doors in place of shutters for the rear cupboard and wood grain trim.
There are also new beds with a sprung base for better comfort. A ‘sunrise function’ uses individually selectable LEDs in the roof to slowly raise the brightness around wake-up time.
This and many other functions can now be controlled by the new full-colour touchscreen instrument panel. Menu items include Camping, Cool Box, Light and Set-Up.
The hydraulically deployable roof can be set on its way via the Pop-Up Roof menu, while there’s also a Level function, which acts as a spirit level for the bus. That should help when deciding where to park your California for a secure and comfortable night’s sleep.
The new overhead control panel joins upgraded infotainment, which comes with greater smartphone integration and connectivity – including the now-familiar VW Active Info Display as an option. Buyers can choose from 6.5-, 8- and 9.2-inch screens.
The new California switches from hydraulic to electric power steering. This allows for the integration of Lane Assist, Park Assist and Trailer Assist semi-autonomous driving functions.
The most innovative new feature is probably Cross Wind Assist, which helps stabilise the van when there are strong side winds.