The 2.0-litre diesel engine and DSG 'box improve the package
The Caravelle can easily carry six adults
Taxi firms will be delighted with the new car's arrival
The Volkswagen Caravelle is a rugged workhorse to carry people and luggage. That's why it is so popular as an airport taxi
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.