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VW California

Chris McGraw has a post up on autoblog with a review of the 2018 Volkswagen California.

20 minutes. That’s how long it took someone to stop and ask me about the cherry red Volkswagen California I was driving.

“Is this the new Volkswagen van?” a woman in the passenger seat of a Dodge Charger asked while we were both stopped at a stoplight. “That looks nice.”

It was the first of many times that I was going to disappoint onlookers this week. No, the California isn’t the new van from VW. In fact, Volkswagen is simply celebrating the original California camper’s thirtieth anniversary this year, which is why Volkswagen shipped a fleet of them to Los Angeles. The fact that they’re in California has more to do with the name than a particular connection to the U.S. – no Californias have ever been sold here.

It is the thirtieth anniversary of this unique camper van, named after one of my favourite states.

Sadly, you can’t buy one in North America. You can buy it here though.

When we were travelling through Norway, there were RVs everywhere and a number of camper vans like the VW California.

Here is one photo and if you look towards the very back row, you can see a couple of camper vans with their tops up. Norway, despite having a very short summer season, has one of the highest levels of RV ownership in Europe.

A few reasons why VW doesn’t make the California available to North American consumers: safety tests and cost. Spending roughly $100,000 Canadian for a camper van — after exchange rates and taxes — would seem expensive for such a unique vehicle.

Treehugger made the following observation:

Who needs a big RV when you can travel in tried-and-true style? If only they sold it here.

A lot of people (including me) have a dream of hitting the road and seeing the world, or at least the continent. The Volkswagen camper always seemed to me to be the perfect escape vehicle; it is no larger than a car (smaller in footprint than a lot of American SUVs), yet they pack so much into that box that you can almost live in it. They are magical transformers.

Well, for us, we really like the big RV. Especially for being out on the road mostly full-time.

Jason of Jalopnik had this video overview of the VW California. Cool machine.