Silverstone Fleet Management

VOLKSWAGEN CARAVELLE DIESEL ESTATE

2.0 TDI SE 150 5dr DSG

Google reviews
Google rating: 5 | 171 reviews

Review

BY ANDY ENRIGHT

Introduction

All too often, even full-sized MPVs fall into a familiar trap. Load them with a few people and there's nowhere to put the bags. Some manufacturers such as Renault and Chrysler partly answered the question by introducing long wheelbase 'Grand' versions of their wares but the true solution was staring many customers in the face in the form of the Volkswagen Caravelle. With acres of interior space and a range of great engines, the Caravelle is a model which has subsequently spawned some imitators. The real thing remains in a class of its own however. As a used buy, the rugged Caravelle makes a lot of sense but demand remains strong. Here, we look at the 1994-2003 'T4' version.

Models

Models Covered: Full sized MPV T4 1992- 2003 (2.5TDI diesel 2.5, 2.8 petrol [Sedan , Variant, Limousine, Multivan]

History

How far back do you want to go? It's possible to trace the genesis of the Caravelle right back through the rear engined T3 generation of Volkswagen vans, but to keep things manageable, we'll kick off with the first of the 'modern era' Caravelles, the T4 version, with roots starting in 1992. This model was developed steadily over its lifetime with the latter models being powered by either a 102 or 130bhp 2.5-litre TDI diesel engine if you were practical or 2.5-litre or 2.8-litre VR6 petrol engines if you weren't. Earlier cars can be found with an 88bhp diesel option. A whole host of different body styles were available on both short and long wheelbase chassis. This model was replaced in late 2003 by an all-new T5 model which featured 130 and 174bhp versions of the 2.5-litre TDI Pump-Duse engine, the more powerful version offered with the option of 4motion all-wheel drive. Both diesel engines were also available with Tiptronic automatic gearboxes. Volkswagen also reprised the theme for a rather thirsty petrol engine, in this case a 3.2-litre V6 that was fitted as standard with the Tiptronic 'box but which was curiously not offered with a 4motion variant.

What You Get

The T4 model offers a dizzying amount of variety but in the passenger area itself, there are between seven and eight seats (depending upon which model you choose) and a ninth is an option. The middle row of seats can be removed at the flick of a couple of levers to create even more luggage room and a few minutes with the spanner will have the back seats out too. At that point, you're back (albeit in carpeted form) to the VW Transporter van on which the Caravelle is based. Even without removing the seats, you'd probably realise that once you climbed behind the wheel. The steering column is more upright than a car's and you sit with your knees bent at right angles. There are an enormous number of derivatives available in seven, eight or nine-seater format, with the choice of Sedan or plusher Variant trim. There's even a luxury Limousine trim option complete with leather, air conditioning, alloy wheels, tinted windows, an electric sunroof and front foglights. Sedan buyers can choose between eight-seat short wheelbase or nine-seat long wheelbase bodystyles. Air conditioning (usually pretty essential in a car with this much glass area) was a pricey option however, so check if the vehicle you're looking at has it. Variant buyers get an even wider choice of five different choices of seating configuration and enjoy air conditioning, electric front windows, remote central locking and velour upholstery. The Limousine models come only in 7-seat form. If you want an even more versatile Caravelle, there's the home-from-home Multivan. In the spirit of the VW Camper vans that were all the rage in the Sixties and Seventies, this seven-seater comes with offers a foldaway table and seats that convert into a large double bed. There are also a range of 12-volt sockets that can be used to power anything from a kettle to a TV. To give overnighters some privacy, this version comes with snap-on curtain blinds, too. Opt instead for a later shape Caravelle and there's less choice but better kit. The SE trim level is popular but if you're going to buy a Caravelle, it's worth stretching for the Executive models. The Climatronic air-conditioning system works across three zones in the vehicle so the people in the back can enjoy a separate temperature to those in the middle and the front. There is also cruise control, 17" alloy wheels, leather upholstery, sports suspension and heated washer jets for the windscreen. Then there's the crowning glory of the electric sliding side doors and tailgate. These can be opened and closed remotely so you can play with them from your office window and surprise passers-by in the car park. Externally, the Caravelle looks like the van with windows that it actually is, the chassis platform also forming the basis for Volkswagen's Transporter panel van. On the inside, however, it's up there teetering on the cutting-edge of MPV design in terms of innovation and practicality. The basis of the rear seating area is a rail-mounting system designed so that each chair can be individually manoeuvred or removed for greater flexibility. The seats slide along, and slot in or out of, rails cut into the cabin floor. So you can create the legroom, luggage space and passenger provision that you want. There are trays, storage options and cup-holders in abundance, including draws beneath each seat and a 'refuse bucket' (bin, to you and me) incorporated into the rear bench. There's also a freestanding table attachment that folds out to various sizes and offers yet more storage beneath, plus the bench seat at the back can transform into a flat sleeping surface - after a bit of pushing and pulling. The cab area up-front is similarly cleverly constructed, to the usual Volkswagen standards. It features a dash mounted gear stick plumbed into the centre console that frees-up floorspace for better walk-through access to the rear. This configuration shaves vital seconds off the time it takes a parent in the passenger seat to reach the back bench and apprehend a wayward child before they can 'make-over' their brother or sister with a felt-tip pen. The driving position and steering wheel are infinitely adjustable. So much so that, from Kylie Minogue to Jonah Lomu, virtually anyone's optimum driving position is attainable - it's just a matter of finding it. There are armrests on each chair too, along with supportive cushioning and fetching two-tone fabric.

What You Pay

Refer to Car & Driving for an exact up-to-date valuation section. <a href="mailto:info@caranddriving.com&subject=Used Car Price Request: Volkswagen Caravelle 6.1 (1991 - 2010)">Click here</a> and we will email it to you.

What to Look For

Check that the timing belts on the VR6 engine have been changed according to service specifications and that coolant levels are topped up religiously. The diesel engines virtually look after themselves and higher mileage TDI Caravelles offer a cost effective entry point for cash-strapped used buyers. As Caravelles developed, they grew in complexity and later models have a wide range of electronic functions, all of which possess the scope to go wrong, so check carefully. The all-wheel drive models are generally trouble free, but listen for whining differentials and uneven tyre wear. Finally check the interiors for signs of kiddie damage.

Replacement Parts

(Based on a 2000 Caravelle 2.8 VR6) For a new clutch, expect to pay around £70. A set of front brake pads will set you back £30 to £35 and a headlight lens should be about £20. Some parts prices will scare you, though. Try £790 for a full exhaust system - the catalytic converter alone is over £425.

On the Road

The T4 Caravelle offered the choice of four engines (two petrol, two diesel). If you're happy with petrol-power, then you can select between a 2.8-litre 140bhp VR6 unit and a five-cylinder 2.5-litre unit. The TDI diesels were more appealing to the majority of buyers though, for their combination of economy and performance that beats most of the competition. Limousine models come only with VR6 petrol power or the more potent of the two turbo diesels. All Caravelles could be specified with the option of permanent Syncro four-wheel drive. This system is based on a viscous coupling which automatically shifts drive away from the front wheels to the rear wheels when the onset of slip is detected. Drive is then smoothly and gently shifted to the wheels with the best grip. The Syncro models are highly prized by dirtbag skiers the world over. The highlight of the T4 generation Caravelle is probably the 3.2-litre V6 engine that generates 232bhp at a high 6,200rpm. You'll rarely find yourself venturing into the upper echelons of the rev-range, though, because the 315Nm maximum torque is available just below 3,000rpm. There's strong acceleration available from low revs but under normal driving conditions, the V6 never comes across as anything but relaxed and unflustered despite the bulk of the vehicle it's propelling around. If you do put the hammer down, the 6-speed Tiptronic gearbox and the engine will contrive to get you to 60mph in 10.5s. There's a 127mph top speed to be explored where conditions allow too, marking the Caravelle V6 out as a vehicle with an unexpected turn of pace. What's more predictable is the average fuel economy figure of 21.9mpg and CO2 emissions that measure in at 310g/km. The Caravelle V6 is not a cheap vehicle to run but you must weigh this up against the benefits in performance given by its petrol engine. The range-topping diesel unit in the Caravelle develops 173bhp and is a little less than £800 cheaper than the V6. On the road, it's noticeably less refined with a harsher engine note that will prove more intrusive for passengers on long trips. The diesel is marginally more torquey than the petrol at low revs but the V6 unit's better top-end means it gets to 60mph around 2 seconds quicker. You'll get approximately 35mpg from the oil-burner which is impressive but its 216g/km CO2 emissions still place it in the top tax bracket. The diesel option gives most of the petrol's performance with markedly better economy but the type of customer who buys this sort of people carrier may well value the smoothness of the V6 enough to tip the balance in its favour.

Overall

If space is a key priority and you want a people mover that's rugged, reliable and which never intended to be fashionable, the Caravelle makes a very interesting option. The diesel models are the most sensible bet, with the 130bhp variant offering probably the best compromise. Buying a Caravelle is an adventure in itself as no two vehicles seem to be specified identically. Take your time, drive a few and pick a well looked after example that vaguely approximates what you're after.

Key Information

Transmission Type
Transmission TypeAutomatic
Fuel Type
Fuel TypeDiesel
Fuel Efficiency
Fuel Efficiency45.60mpg
Emissions
Emissions204.00g/km
Top Speed
Top Speed113mph

Full Details

Standard Equipment

Driver Convenience

  • Adaptive cruise control including speed limiter and city emergency braking
  • Bluetooth handsfree set
  • Coolant temperature indicator
  • Cross wind assist
  • Digital clock
  • eCall emergency system
  • Mobile phone interface
  • Premium multifunction display with multicolour display
  • Rest assist
  • Service interval indicator
  • Start/stop system with regenerative braking
  • Tailgate closing with unlatching from the inside
  • Tailgate with window aperture and with power latching
  • Trip computer
  • Volkswagen app connect
  • Warning lights
  • Without camera systems
  • Without lane change system side Assist
  • Without navigation system
  • Without voice control

Entertainment

  • 2 (type C) USB interfaces in dashboard, 2 USB charging sockets in the left C pillar
  • 6 speakers - 2 tweeters, 2 woofers, 2 full range speakers
  • DAB digital radio reception

Exterior Features

  • 8 feet standard roof with mounting points for roof rack system
  • Additional dust seals on the outside
  • Automatic headlight control system
  • Black radiator grille with 5 chrome trims
  • Body colour bumpers
  • Body coloured exterior mirror housings and door handles
  • Break away auto dimming rear view interior mirror
  • Caravelle nameplate on the fender and on the rear
  • Daytime running light with automatic headlight control, leaving home feature and manual coming home feature
  • Electric front windows
  • Fixed side window front and rear in load/passenger compartment left and right
  • Headlight range control
  • Left and right convex exterior mirror
  • Manual coming and leaving home function
  • Rear window with heat insulating glass, heated, rear window wiper and washer system
  • Red LED rear combination lamps
  • Sliding door on the left in load/ passenger compartment with power latching
  • Sliding door on the right in load/ passenger compartment with power latching
  • Windshield wiper intermittent control with rain sensor for windshield wipers
  • Without adhesive film
  • Without trailer hitch

Interior Features

  • 3 Spoke leather multi function steering wheel
  • Air recirculation system
  • Air vent in driver's door
  • Armrest for both cab seats
  • Comfort headliner in cab and headliner for recirculated air vents in passenger compartment
  • Comfort seat on the left and right with lumbar support, in 1st row of seats (not swiveling)
  • Comfort side trim panel in passenger compartment
  • Dashboard illuminated dimmable instruments
  • Dust/pollen filters
  • Electromechanical speed sensitive power steering, height and longitudinally adjustable steering column
  • Front cupholder
  • Front/rear reading lights
  • Glove compartment with illumination
  • Grab handles on A pillar for access, on driver and front passenger side
  • Height and tilt adjustable head restraints for all seats
  • Illuminated steps in passenger/load compartment
  • Interior lighting with LED technology in load/passenger compartment
  • Interior lighting with switch off delay and contact switches on all doors
  • Interior loading edge protection in plastic
  • ISOFIX and top tether child seat anchorage in 2nd to 4th rows
  • Jack and tool kit
  • Lashing rings for load restraint system for reinforced floor covering
  • Leather handbrake grip
  • Lockable glovebox
  • Luggage compartment cover
  • Lumbar support on the left and right single seat in the 1st row of seats(Both manually adjustable)
  • Multifunction table with separate guide rails in the floor
  • Rail seat system in passenger compartment
  • Rear cupholders
  • Refrigerant R1234yf
  • Reinforced carpet floor covering in passenger compartment
  • Roller blinds for side windows
  • Seat height adjustment for left and right single seat in cab
  • Soft folding grab handles on roof frame
  • Special interior noise suppression measures
  • Special sound deadening measures in cab and passenger compartment
  • Step illumination with caravelle lettering
  • Storage compartment on outer side of front seats
  • Storage net on lower dash passenger side
  • Storage pockets in backrests of front seats
  • Sun visors with illuminated mirror and airbag label on front passenger sun visor
  • Sunshades for side windows in passenger compartment
  • Two 12V accessory power outlets
  • Variable intensity instrument illumination
  • Velour non woven floor covering in cab
  • Without floor mats
  • Without seat heater

Packs

  • Non smokers pack - Caravelle
  • Without chrome package - Caravelle

Safety

  • 3 point automatic seatbelts in rear
  • Brake pad warning light
  • Driver and front passenger airbag with front passenger airbag deactivation
  • Electronic brake force distribution
  • Electronic stability control, ABS, ASR with deactivation button, hill start assist, brake assist system
  • Front assist with autonomous emergency braking
  • Front side airbags with curtain airbags for driver and front passenger
  • Height adjustable 3 point seat belts on outer seats in cab with electric pretensioners
  • Power operated child safety locks
  • Single tone horn
  • Traction control
  • Warning buzzer and light for driver seat belt not fastened

Security

  • Alarm deactivation switch of interior and tow away protection on B pillar
  • Anti theft alarm system with interior monitoring in cab, backup horn and towing protection
  • Central locking system with radio remote control, system controls inside and safelock
  • Deadlocks
  • Electronic immobiliser
  • Lockable fuel cap
  • Locking wheel bolts

Technical

  • 16 inch chassis with 16 inch brake system
  • Differential lock
  • Standard suspension and shock absorption

Trim

  • Bright brushed gray decorative inserts
  • Comfort dashboard titanium black lower part with black chrome elements and bezels

Technical Data

Emissions - ICE

  • CO2 (g/km)
    164
  • HC
    Not Available
  • Standard Euro Emissions
    EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb
    204
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max
    241
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min
    204

Engine and Drive Train

  • Camshaft
    DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor
    Yes
  • CC
    1968
  • Cylinder Layout
    IN-LINE
  • Cylinders
    4
  • Engine Layout
    FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Fuel Delivery
    COMMON RAIL
  • Gears
    7 SPEED
  • Number of Valves
    16
  • Transmission
    SEMI-AUTO

Fuel Consumption - ICE

  • EC Combined (mpg)
    45.6
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies
    No
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg)
    49.6
  • EC Urban (mpg)
    39.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb
    7.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max
    9.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min
    7.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High
    8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High
    6.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low
    9.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium
    7.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb
    36.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max
    30.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min
    36.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High
    35.3
  • WLTP - MPG - High
    42.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Low
    28.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium
    36.2

General

  • AdBlue
    Yes
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying
    No
  • Badge Engine CC
    2.0
  • Badge Power
    150
  • Based On ID
    Not Available
  • Coin Description
    TDI 150
  • Coin Series
    SE
  • Generation Mark
    6
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07
    24E
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years
    12
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years
    3
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %
    Not Available
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %
    Not Available
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09
    Not Available
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %
    Not Available
  • NCAP Safety Assist %
    Not Available
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?
    No
  • Special Edition
    No
  • Special Order
    No
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage
    100000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years
    3
  • Vehicle Homologation Class
    M1

Performance

  • 0 to 62 mph (secs)
    13
  • Engine Power - BHP
    150
  • Engine Power - KW
    110
  • Engine Power - RPM
    3250
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT
    251
  • Engine Torque - MKG
    34.7
  • Engine Torque - NM
    340
  • Engine Torque - RPM
    1500
  • Top Speed
    113

Test Cycles

  • Emissions Test Cycle
    WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level
    RDE 2

Tyres

  • Alloys?
    Yes
  • Space Saver?
    No
  • Tyre Size Front
    215/65 R16
  • Tyre Size Rear
    215/65 R16
  • Tyre Size Spare
    FULL SIZE
  • Wheel Style
    CLAYTON
  • Wheel Type
    16" ALLOY

Vehicle Dimensions

  • Height (including roof rails)
    Not Available

Weight and Capacities

  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres)
    70
  • Gross Vehicle Weight
    3000
  • Max. Loading Weight
    619
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked
    2500
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked
    750
  • Minimum Kerbweight
    2381
  • No. of Seats
    7
  • FREE Delivery
  • Hassle-free Process
  • Expert Advice
  • Competitive Prices
  • Full Warranties
  • Price Match Promise

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Choose colour and optional extras

Driver Convenience

Exterior Features

Interior Features

Packs

Paintwork

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Security

Technical

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Contract Length
Initial Rental
Annual Miles
Vehicle Maintenance
Service Charge
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Additional Extras

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Customer Reviews

   
Julie Judge

Julie Judge

"Excellent Service I would definitely recommend. Scott and Holly have been outstanding. Thank you so much I love my new car!!."

"a week ago"

Sean Annells

Sean Annells

"First class service from start to finish. Great communication and very competitive on pricing. Always wanted to help and nothing was to much trouble. Tom always replied to my emails as soon as he could and always went the extra mile to answer my questions. Would definitely recommend Silverstone Fleet to anyone."

"3 months ago"

Jen Lamplough

Jen Lamplough

"Excellent friendly, advice when helping me to choose a new electric vehicle. Customer service has been great thank you :)"

"a week ago"

Sonia Smyth

Sonia Smyth

"Very professional service, great communication from start to finish. I would highly recommend."

"a week ago"

Craig Ablett

Craig Ablett

"The whole team at SFM have been great from start to finish! Aby talked me through lots of options before I finally made a choice and ordered. Holly has kept me updated through out and been on hand to answer any questions I have had. Scott also spent time with me and rid me of my range anxiety going across to a full EV. I would highly recommend getting in touch with SFM for any of your car needs."

"a week ago"

Google reviews
Google rating: 5 | 171 reviews