0 - 62 mph13s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2220 g/km

The commercial vehicle origins of the sixth generation Volkswagen Caravelle endow it with more interior space than most large MPVs but it masks its links to the Transporter van very well inside where quality is high, especially in this improved '6.1'-series version. With ample space for seven adults and luggage, strong common-rail diesel engines and a classy feel, there isn't much else that can do what a Caravelle can.


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.

Ten Second Review

The commercial vehicle origins of the sixth generation Volkswagen Caravelle endow it with more interior space than most large MPVs but it masks its links to the Transporter van very well inside where quality is high, especially in this improved '6.1'-series version. With ample space for seven adults and luggage, strong common-rail diesel engines and a classy feel, there isn't much else that can do what a Caravelle can.


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.


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.

  • 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.

Lex Autolease
Leasing Broker Federation

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