VOLKSWAGEN

VOLKSWAGEN CARAVELLE DIESEL ESTATE 2.0 TDI SE 150 5dr LWB DSG

Fuel

FuelDiesel

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph13s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2220 g/km

WIDE OPEN SPACE

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. Click here 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.

  • Electric front windows
  • Fixed side window front and rear in load/passenger compartment left and right
  • Rear window with heat insulating glass, heated, rear window wiper and washer system
  • Without adhesive film
  • Windshield wiper intermittent control with rain sensor for windshield wipers

  • Electronic stability control, ABS, ASR with deactivation button, hill start assist, brake assist system
  • Front assist with autonomous emergency braking
  • Traction control
  • Electronic brake force distribution
  • Brake pad warning light

  • Velour non woven floor covering in cab
  • Reinforced carpet floor covering in passenger compartment
  • Without floor mats

  • 16 inch chassis with 16 inch brake system

  • Mobile phone interface
  • Without voice control
  • Bluetooth handsfree set
  • Volkswagen app connect

  • Rest assist
  • Adaptive cruise control including speed limiter and city emergency braking
  • Cross wind assist

  • Tailgate with window aperture and with power latching
  • Tailgate closing with unlatching from the inside
  • eCall emergency system
  • Start/stop system with regenerative braking

  • Premium multifunction display with multicolour display
  • Without navigation system
  • Coolant temperature indicator
  • Trip computer
  • Service interval indicator
  • Digital clock
  • Warning lights

  • Left and right convex exterior mirror

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

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

  • Body coloured exterior door handles
  • Sliding door on the right in load/ passenger compartment with power latching
  • Sliding door on the left in load/ passenger compartment with power latching
  • Black radiator grille with 5 chrome trims
  • Caravelle nameplate on the fender and on the rear
  • Additional dust seals on the outside
  • 10 feet standard roof with mounting points for roof rack system
  • Body colour bumpers

  • Automatic headlight control system
  • Headlight range control
  • Break away auto dimming rear view interior mirror
  • Manual coming and leaving home function

  • Air vent in driver's door
  • Air recirculation system
  • Dust/pollen filters

  • Front cupholder
  • Storage pockets in backrests of front seats
  • Leather handbrake grip
  • Two 12V accessory power outlets
  • Lockable glovebox
  • Rear cupholders
  • Luggage compartment cover
  • Jack and tool kit
  • 3 Spoke leather multi function steering wheel
  • Roller blinds for side windows
  • Storage net on lower dash passenger side
  • Storage compartment on outer side of front seats
  • Soft folding grab handles on roof frame
  • Grab handles on A pillar for access, on driver and front passenger side
  • Refrigerant R1234yf
  • Special interior noise suppression measures
  • Glove compartment with illumination
  • Special sound deadening measures in cab and passenger compartment
  • Dashboard illuminated dimmable instruments
  • Comfort headliner in cab and headliner for recirculated air vents in passenger compartment
  • Step illumination with caravelle lettering
  • Illuminated steps in passenger/load compartment
  • Interior loading edge protection in plastic
  • Lashing rings for load restraint system for reinforced floor covering
  • Comfort side trim panel in passenger compartment
  • Sunshades for side windows in passenger compartment
  • Electromechanical speed sensitive power steering, height and longitudinally adjustable steering column

  • Interior lighting with LED technology in load/passenger compartment
  • Interior lighting with switch off delay and contact switches on all doors
  • Variable intensity instrument illumination
  • Front/rear reading lights

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

  • Front side airbags with curtain airbags for driver and front passenger
  • Single tone horn
  • Height adjustable 3 point seat belts on outer seats in cab with electric pretensioners
  • Driver and front passenger airbag with front passenger airbag deactivation
  • Power operated child safety locks
  • 3 point automatic seatbelts in rear
  • Warning buzzer and light for driver seat belt not fastened

  • Seat height adjustment for left and right single seat in cab
  • Comfort seat on the left and right with lumbar support, in 1st row of seats (not swiveling)
  • Armrest for both cab seats
  • Height and tilt adjustable head restraints for all seats
  • Rail seat system in passenger compartment
  • ISOFIX and top tether child seat anchorage in 2nd to 4th rows
  • Lumbar support on the left and right single seat in the 1st row of seats(Both manually adjustable)
  • Without seat heater

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

  • Without trailer hitch

  • Differential lock

  • Sun visors with illuminated mirror and airbag label on front passenger sun visor

  • CO2 (g/km): 168
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • HC: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 220
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 242
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 220

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

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • EC Urban (mpg): 38.7
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): 48.7
  • EC Combined (mpg): 44.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 28.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 33.6
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 38.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 32.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 33.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 33.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 30.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 10
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 8.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 7.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 8.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 8.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 8.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 9.2

  • Generation Mark: 6
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 25E
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Badge Power: 150
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • AdBlue: True
  • Coin Series: SE
  • Coin Description: TDI 150
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12

  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 13
  • Top Speed: 113
  • Engine Power - BHP: 150
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • Engine Power - KW: 110
  • Engine Power - RPM: 3250
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 251
  • Engine Torque - NM: 340
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1500
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 34.7

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2

  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Wheel Style: CLAYTON
  • Tyre Size Rear: 215/65 R16
  • Tyre Size Spare: FULL SIZE
  • Wheel Type: 16" ALLOY
  • Tyre Size Front: 215/65 R16

  • Height (including roof rails): N

  • No. of Seats: 7
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 2417
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 2500
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Max. Loading Weight: 663
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 70
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 3080

  • Green tinted heat insulating glass: Included
  • Heated laminated windscreen: £498
  • Privacy glass in passenger compartment with heat green insulating glass in cab: £354
  • Sliding front and fixed rear side windows in passenger compartment on driver side: £246
  • Sliding front and fixed rear side windows in passenger compartment on passenger side: £246
  • Heat insulating windshield made of laminated glass: Included
  • Heated washer nozzles in front and washer fluid level indicator: £54

  • Standard suspension and shock absorption: Included

  • Rear view camera: £294
  • Front and rear parking sensors: Included
  • Driver alert system: Included
  • Traffic sign recognition: £282
  • Park sensors - front and rear park with park assist: £342
  • Active lane change assist with side assist: £1,386
  • Without camera systems: Included
  • Without lane change system side Assist: Included

  • Electric tailgate without interior release: £708

  • Radio composition with 6.5 inch colour touch screen: Included
  • Radio discover media navigation system with 8 inch touch screen including streaming and internet: £1,338
  • Discover media pro navigation system: £1,734
  • Digital cockpit and driver alert system: £468
  • Washer fluid level indicator: Included
  • Basic CFCU with terminal block: £498

  • Exterior mirrors heated and electronically adjustable: Included
  • Exterior mirrors - power adjustable, heated and power folding, folding possible via vehicle key: £168

  • Second battery with cut-off relay and battery monitoring: £360
  • 70 litre fuel tank: Included
  • 80 litre fuel tank: £78
  • Second battery with cut-off relay: £294

  • Body coloured exterior mirror housings: Included
  • Mounting rails on the roof (preparation for movable roof rack): £138
  • Pearlescent paint: £762
  • Two tone paint: £2,880
  • Solid paint: Included
  • Metallic paint: £762
  • Front/rear mudflaps: £162
  • Special solid paint: £300
  • Driver and passenger electric sliding side door: £882

  • LED headlights with LED daytime running lights and tailgate with red LED tail lights: £1,290
  • H7 twin halogen headlamps: Included
  • Daytime running lights: Included
  • Cornering front fog lights: Included
  • High beam assist: £162
  • Red LED rear combination lamps: Included

  • Auxiliary heater with parking programmable function, radio remote control and second battery: £2,610
  • Air conditioning system in cab with electronic control and 2nd heating system in passenger compartment with ventilation in passenger compartment: Included
  • Climatronic 3 zone air conditioning with 2nd evaporator, auxiliary heater, air conditioned headliner and additional passenger control: £1,224

  • Multifunction table with separate guide rails in the floor: Included
  • Artvelours microfleece cloth upholstery and seat bolsters in leather look: £1,614
  • Circuit fabric upholstery: Included
  • 1 waste bin in door storage compartment of the cab: Included
  • 2 waste bins for door storage compartments, 3 drawers under 3-seater bench in passenger compartment: £60
  • Bi colour nappa leather upholstery: £3,066
  • Nappa leather upholstery: £2,826
  • Cooling/warming box 32 litre including second battery with cut off relay, maintenance free: £564
  • Without table: £0

  • Driver assisstance pack plus - Caravelle SE: £2,640
  • Sports styling pack with tinted LED tail lights - Caravelle SE: £4,200
  • Premium front seat pack - Caravelle: £1,818
  • Good night pack - Caravelle: £462
  • Chrome pack - Caravelle: £876
  • Laminated glass pack with improved outside noise insulation: £702

  • Metallic - Bay leaf green: £762
  • Metallic - Ravenna blue: £762
  • Metallic - Copper Bronze: £762
  • Metallic - Fortana red: £762
  • Metallic - Starlight Blue: £762
  • Metallic - Mojave beige: £762
  • Metallic - Reflex Silver: £762
  • Metallic - Indium grey: £762

  • Pearl - Deep black: £762

  • Solid - Cherry red: £0
  • Solid - Ascot grey: £0

  • Special solid - Candy white: £300

  • Two tone - Candy white/Copper bronze: £2,880
  • Two tone - Candy white/Ascot grey: £2,880
  • Two tone - Candy white/Bay leaf green: £2,880

  • First aid kit with warning triangle and safety vest: £60
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit: Included
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system: £174
  • Front side airbag with head airbag and optimized head impact elements: £522

  • 2 integrated child seats swivel seats in 2nd row: £936
  • 3 seater movable bench with reclining action and storage tray in 3rd row: Included
  • Heated driver and single front passenger seats: £372
  • 2 swivel seats with longitudinal adjustment on rail system in 2nd row: Included
  • 2 Single seats with armrest in 3rd row: £540
  • Without seats in 4th row: £0

  • Two remote control folding keys: Included
  • 4 remote control folding keys: £120

  • Towbar preparation includes trailer stabilisation: £264
  • Removable/lockable towbar includes trailer stabilisation: £768
  • Trailer assist including park assist, front and rear parking sensors, rear view camera and side protection: £912
  • Trailer assist including front and rear parking sensors: £666

  • Circuit cloth - Titanium black: £0
  • Art velour cloth - Palladium/Titanium black: £1,614

  • Bi colour nappa leather - Marrakesh/Titanium black: £3,066
  • Bi colour nappa leather - Moon rock/Titanium black: £3,066
  • Bi colour nappa leather - Palladium/Titanium black: £3,066
  • Nappa leather - Titanium black: £2,826

  • All weather tyres 235/55 R17 with optimised rolling resistance: £162
  • 215/65 R17 with optimised rolling resistance: £0
  • 255/45 R18 with super low rolling resistance: £0
  • 215/65 R16 Low rolling resistance tyres: Included

  • 17" Woodstock black diamond turned surface alloy wheels: £840
  • 18" Teresina black diamond turned alloy wheels: £2,058
  • 16" Clayton silver alloy wheels: Included
  • 17" Devonport alloy wheels: £732
  • 18" Palmerston alloy wheels: £2,364

  • Tyre mobility kit in lieu of spare wheel Includes 12V compressor and tyre sealant: £0
  • Steel spare wheel with original equipment tire: Included

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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