Silverstone Fleet Management

VOLKSWAGEN CARAVELLE DIESEL ESTATE

2.0 TDI SE 150 5dr LWB DSG

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Google rating: 5 | 171 reviews

Review

Volkswagen's improved Caravelle 6.1 might look like a straightforward large People Carrier but it's almost unique in today's market. Jonathan Crouch explains why.

Background

What is the Volkswagen Caravelle? It's a good question. Based on the Volkswagen Transporter panel van and sold through Volkswagen Van Centres, one perfectly reasonable assumption would be that it's a van. It's got seven seats, though, so you could also finger it as a minibus. Then you'd clamber inside and see that those seats slide, fold and rotate. Could the Caravelle be an MPV? It could be but with those arm-chair style seats and the superior materials in the range-topping models, it's quite upmarket for the kids. Maybe it's an executive limousine. Let's stop this. What we do know for sure is that the Caravelle has been enhanced in its latest T6 MK6 model guise and it looks just as versatile and difficult to pin down as ever. There are no prizes for guessing that this vehicle has its origins in the van sector. It looks identical to the Volkswagen T6 Transporter, apart from the side windows running its length. Volkswagen offers minibus versions of the Transporter without the plush cabin and adaptable seating system and those vehicles act as the bridge between the highfaluting Caravelle and its more workmanlike relative. It's been around for a while and, from commercial vehicle to mobile office space for the chairman of the board, it's been put to no end of uses but Volkswagen has worked to improve the range in this sixth generation form, with smarter looks, extra equipment and more efficient engines.

Driving Experience

You'll want to know whether it drives like a car-like MPV or a van-like minibus, so let's get that out of the way right up-front. The on-road experience is somewhere between the two, though your reaction might be more positive than that if you're not up to speed with just how dynamically adept the latest generation of large vans really are. This feeling you get at the wheel of this one varies a little of course depending on whether it's fully loaded with passengers, a state in which both ride and composure are much improved. If there's no one in your Caravelle but you, you're probably more likely to notice the vague power steering and the slightly lumpy low-speed ride. And of course the high-sided shape and 2.5-tonne kerb weight don't take particularly kindly to sharp high speed cornering antics. Better of course to settle back and use this vehicle as intended, wafting around on the potent wave of torque delivered by the common rail four cylinder 2.0 TDI diesel engines. There are two on offer here, base models being powered by a single turbo 150PS unit that gets this sizeable chunk of German real estate to 62mph in 12.9s en route to 113mph. Ideally though, you want to opt for the pokier 199PS version of this TDI unit, which offers a touch more pulling power that'd be useful when towing: all Caravelles can tow a braked trailer of up to 2,500kgs. All models now come with a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox.

Design and Build

This improved '6.1'-series Caravelle gets the smarter nose section introduced with the Transporter 6.1 van. There's a new front grille and bumper - actually, everything below the bonnet line has been restyled, plus the headlamps are narrower and now more seamlessly merge with the grille crossbar. As before, this MPV is available in either short or long wheelbase bodystyles. Inside, the '6.1'-series updates include a redesigned dash offering a choice of two centre-dash infotainment screens, measuring either 6.5 or 8.0 inches, and there's 'Apple CarPlay'/'Android Auto' smartphone-mirroring All the excitement though, is in this MPV's sheer cabin flexibility. At 4,892mm long and 1,904mm wide in short wheelbase form, the Caravelle was never going to be anything but roomy. The seating layout is comprised of two arm-chairs in the front and two more behind with a three-seater bench in the back row. Unlike many seven-seater MPVs, there's also a usable luggage area behind the third row and it can be made more usable by sliding the rear bench forward on its runners. The front and second row seating is also mounted on a system of runners in the Caravelle's floor so these chairs can be moved around to tweak the layout. The front seats can even be rotated 180 degrees to face backwards, creating a kind of living room layout around the multi-function table that's mounted on its own rail in the centre of the cabin. If you get tired, the back seats fold down into a bed. Adaptability is not in short supply then, but how well does it all work? It's theoretically possible to lift all of the furniture out of the Caravelle but you'll need biceps the size of breadbins: it's not light. Sliding the chairs around is quite straightforward, although you might need to think ahead before embarking on a rearrangement as the multi-function table can get in the way. The build quality impresses and even in standard trim, the Caravelle doesn't feel like a commercial vehicle. The switchgear and instruments will be familiar to VW passenger car owners and there's an abundance of storage options around the vehicle.

Market and Model

Caravelle 6.1 customers have a lot of decisions to make when it comes to specifying their vehicle. For standard 'SE' variants, prices start at around £50,000, with premium of around £2,500 if you want the long wheelbase version which is 400mm longer. If you're happy wih the short wheelbase shape, then a premium of around £6,000 will get you plusher 'Executive' trim, which starts from around £55,000. Both of the TDI engines come only with Volkswagen's 7-speed DSG twin-clutch system that allows manual or automatic shifting. The 199PS version of this engine can also come with the 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system. There's even a California model based on the Caravelle that amounts to a full motorhome conversion. SE trim gets you air-conditioning, alloy wheels, Bluetooth and a DAB 8-speaker stereo but the Executive spec really goes to town. It adds alcantara/leather trim, cruise control, heated front seats, electric sliding side doors, speed sensitive power steering and a climate control system with separate controls for the rear seat occupants. Ths Caravelle's pricing will limit its appeal for family buyers but there's little to match its combination of opulence and space outside of the similarly priced Mercedes-Benz V-Class models, so there may still be some takers. The Executive model has obvious appeal for companies needing to transport personnel over long distances in comfort with all the bells and whistles.

Cost of Ownership

The 2.0-litre diesel engines powering the Caravelle have a weighty role to fill but they still turn in reasonable economy figures that have significantly improved in this Euro 6 guise by around 15%. The base 150PS 2.0 TDI variant manages up to 34.4mpg on the WLTP combined cycle and up to 216g/km of WLTP CO2, figures that fall only fractionally if you specify the long wheelbase bodyshape, the 199PS TDI engine or 4MOTION AWD. The Euro 6 engines have Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) with an AdBlue exhaust additive. The AdBlue filler is in the same flap as the vehicle's diesel tank neck and the adoption of a 13-litre AdBlue tank has seen the fuel tank drop in size from 80 litres to 70 litres.

Summary

Whether you see it as a posh minibus, an executive MPV or some kind of lifestyle vehicle in the mould of VW's classic Camper vans, the Volkswagen Caravelle's unique selling point is space. There just aren't many vehicles that can seat seven in this kind of comfort and take a significant amount of luggage along for the ride. The pricing will deter some but buyers are getting a big hunk of vehicle for their money and there aren't too many alternatives with similar qualities.

Key Information

Transmission Type
Transmission TypeAutomatic
Fuel Type
Fuel TypeDiesel
Fuel Efficiency
Fuel Efficiency44.10mpg
Emissions
Emissions207.00g/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

  • 10 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)
    168
  • HC
    Not Available
  • Standard Euro Emissions
    EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb
    207
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max
    240
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min
    207

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)
    44.1
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies
    No
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg)
    48.7
  • EC Urban (mpg)
    38.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb
    7.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max
    9.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min
    7.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High
    8.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High
    6.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low
    9.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium
    7.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb
    35.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max
    30.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min
    35.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High
    34.9
  • WLTP - MPG - High
    41.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Low
    28.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium
    35.8

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
    25E
  • 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
    3080
  • Max. Loading Weight
    649
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked
    2500
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked
    750
  • Minimum Kerbweight
    2431
  • No. of Seats
    7
  • FREE Delivery
  • Hassle-free Process
  • Expert Advice
  • Competitive Prices
  • Full Warranties
  • Price Match Promise

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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