There are no exterior clues to this particular Multivan's Plug-in status, so unless your neighbours happen to notice the badging or the extra flap for the charging point, they'll be none the wiser. This model's wider and longer than the old Caravelle (and sits lower). To be specific, it's 1,941mm wide and 1,903mm tall and, in standard-shape SWB form, 4,973mm long. There's an even bigger extended wheelbase LWB version that's 5,173mm long. Style-wise, the Multivan looks, well, much less like a converted van, helped by its smart full-width grille and sharp LED headlights. Plus you can have the split two-tone paint finishes that typified so many previous Caravelles.
But what Volkswagen thinks will really sell larger families this model is its flexible interior and modular seating system. Seven seats are standard, with a six-seat layout optional. All the seats are individual chairs which sit on various rails running the length of the cabin. The seats are 25% lighter than those in the previous Caravelle, making them easier to remove and reposition (especially compared to the old 90kg rear bench). Unfortunately, the middle seats no longer swivel on their bases, so if you want to turn them to face those at the very rear, you'll have to unclip them, lift and turn them round.
Up front, because Volkswagen hasn't fitted a conventional handbrake or gear lever, there's no centre console, but if you miss that, the passenger cabin sliding table can be pushed right up to the front to function as one. There's a smart multi-function steering wheel through which you view a 'Digital Cockpit' instrument display. Infotainment is taken care of by a 10-inch centre screen.
Impressively, luggage space isn't affected by the PHEV drivetrain. With all the seats in place, boot capacity is 469-litres on the SWB model and 763-litres with the LWB version. Maximum load space with all seats folded on models without a sunroof is rated at 3,672-litres for the SWB model and 4,005-litres for the LWB version.