From £33,248
Revised Caravelle is pleasing and will be popular with taxi firms

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Caravelle 2003-2015
The Caravelle puts capaciousness above all else, but it is still comfortable and attractive

The Volkswagen Caravelle is a rugged workhorse to carry people and luggage. That's why it is so popular as an airport taxi

14 April 2010

What is it?

It’s the latest version of VW’s hardcore people-mover, the Caravelle, powered by a twin-turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel motor driving through a seven-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission.

External changes include new front-end styling that’s supposed to make the van-like Caravelle more in tune with the Golf and Polo, while inside there are new instruments and improved front seats.

What’s it like?

Surprisingly decent, as long as you never expect it to feel like anything other than a converted van. The twin-turbodiesel motor has enough low-end torque to make the Caravelle feel sprightly, and while its exhaust note isn’t quite as appealing as the old five-pot unit, it quietens down at motorway cruising speeds.

Cruising is all you’ll want to do, of course - there’s no real driver involvment - but the DSG’s shifts are quick enough to ensure smooth progress on the twistier routes.

Inside, the Caravelle is the paradigm of rugged practicality that it has always been. The dashboard manages to look like it’s from the 1980s while feeling like it could last until 2030. The seats spin into what seems like a thousand configurations and there are countless cubby-holes.

Should I buy one?

A thousand minicab firms probably have their orders in already - and they’ll be well served. For domestic use, it’s probably a little excessive unless you regularly travel with six other adults.

John McIlroy

Join the debate

Comments
28

22 April 2010

[quote Autocar]External changes include new front-end styling that’s supposed to make the van-like Caravelle more in tune with the Golf and Polo[/quote] How many times have we read that exact statement in the last 12 months? (Polo to look like Golf, Golf plus like Golf, Tiguan like Golf, Toureg like Golf - have I missed any?) I actually think it looks quite good on the Caravelle, but I don't agree with VW crafting identical noses on every one of their cars - some design cohesion is nice, but this is just getting silly. So, if autocar review this maybe they could review a transit/tourneo which fulfills the same role? I'd love to know how the 200PS 3.2TDCi drives as I normally got lumbered with the 85bhp 2.2tddi/tdci!

22 April 2010

Ever since i was a kid i've wanted a VW California, badly :D The DSG box on this one just makes it even more perfect. All it needs now is a raised suspension and ( maybe ) 4motion.

 

Please insert paragraps where needed.

22 April 2010

I don't agree that minicab firms would be getting their orders in at £38k a pop. More likely to bulk buy Ford Galaxy's ....... This vehicle is amazingly overpirced ......

22 April 2010

[quote Cheltenhamshire] don't agree that minicab firms would be getting their orders in at £38k a pop. More likely to bulk buy Ford Galaxy's ....... This vehicle is amazingly overpirced ...... [/quote]

The only people who will but this are the midlife crisis, socalled surfer dudes, more money than sense brigade.

The only place you'll see one is S Wales or Cornwall.

Its a van with windows, who'd pay nearly forty grand for a van?

22 April 2010

...and does it have the 4-wheel steer and electric doors like the Mercedes London Cabs. They're brilliant!

22 April 2010

[quote Richard H]

[quote Cheltenhamshire] don't agree that minicab firms would be getting their orders in at £38k a pop. More likely to bulk buy Ford Galaxy's ....... This vehicle is amazingly overpirced ...... [/quote]

The only people who will but this are the midlife crisis, socalled surfer dudes, more money than sense brigade.

The only place you'll see one is S Wales or Cornwall.

Its a van with windows, who'd pay nearly forty grand for a van?

[/quote] Sorry Richard, but this is an excellent vehicle as it is only one of three large MPVs in the UK available with an automatic transmission that I can drive and can fit a Ricon wheelchair lift to for my wife. I have not had a mid-life crisis, I don't surf, I can barely afford one and have a BSc and I don't live in either South Wales or Cornwall! Yes, it is a van with windows, brilliant!! Can anyone lend me £40K and I will order one tomorrow?

22 April 2010

[quote weenedonpetrol]Sorry Richard, but this is an excellent vehicle as it is only one of three large MPVs in the UK available with an automatic transmission that I can drive and can fit a Ricon wheelchair lift to for my wife. I have not had a mid-life crisis, I don't surf, I can barely afford one and have a BSc and I don't live in either South Wales or Cornwall! Yes, it is a van with windows, brilliant!! Can anyone lend me £40K and I will order one tomorrow?[/quote]

That's a different story, but the market to which I refer has pushed the price to ridiculous levels.

I hope someone sees sense and offer it to people such as you, who NEED this type of Vehicle, at a more affordable price.

22 April 2010

[quote Richard H]

The only people who will but this are the midlife crisis, socalled surfer dudes, more money than sense brigade.

The only place you'll see one is S Wales or Cornwall.

[/quote]

30yo, can't swim, Lisbon Portugal. What should i drive then?

 

Please insert paragraps where needed.

22 April 2010

Something yu can pull the birds with!

22 April 2010

Surely the engine here deserves some comment? This is VW's twin turbo 2 litre, 4 cyl. diesel, the 'BiTDI', tuned for 180 (PS) horsepower and 400 newton-metres of torque. Not bad. The same engine, slightly detuned for power, has just been launched in the Amarok pick-up. Looks like a 200 (PS) horsepower version will be launched in the new Passat in September, giving VW(and its brands) a 140, 170 and 200 horsepower spread offering for their 2 litre diesel, making them competitive with BMW and Merc's offerings. Jaguar Land Rover need that around 200 horsepower 4 cylinder diesel urgently.

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