Volkswagen Caravelle -2004- motoring com au — Volkswagen Caravelle

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Volkswagen Caravelle

Volkswagen Caravelle (2004-) 2004)

Quiet highway

Not so much

Too much body

Jiggly ride on rough

Some fit and finish not up to std


For the new T5 range –- which numbers 30 variants of vans, cab chassis and movers -– has been about 10 coming, so you would expect big upgrades.

Visually, there’s no change of shape but then there isn’t too much you can do a large box-like van whose big is carrying capacity, whether it be or goods.

The T5 however, does an all-new body that is wider, higher and sits on a wheelbase than its predecessor. But it is the skin that the biggest have been made new engines, transmissions and front Engine choices run to four, V6 and four-cylinder petrol and four and turbo diesel powerplants, all drive the front wheels five-speed manual gearbox or manual or automatic transmissions.

choices are enormous, ranging short and long-wheelbase vans and movers with low, mid and roof options, to single and chassis. For our first taste of the new T5, we on the people movers.


In what is a very segment of the market, VW offers the range of people carriers no fewer than five trim/seating options. At the time of VW had yet to release prices but the range is to cost between about and $65,0000.

At the entry level is the which shares its exterior with the Transporter van. it offers seating for nine in three rows and despite the base-model, is still well-equipped. features include air conditioning, locking, CD sound, and power windows and mirrors. A higher-spec version, that in Australia be called the Caravelle Shuttle, is an vehicle in a 3/2/3 configuration. It gains an upgraded air conditioner and — as opposed to left-hand only — sliding doors.

Moving up in the range the Caravelle, which is visually from the base models by body-coloured bumpers, alloy minor cosmetic treatments and the of a V6 engine. As a seven-seater with two two separate centre-row swivel and a third-row three-position bench the Caravelle is available in Comfortline and trim.

At the top of the lineup is the Caravelle Business, shares its body style the two other vehicles but inside has three rows of two separate It also has a single driveline being a V6 automatic.


The has always been among the people-movers on the market and in the new T5, this into significant interior The Caravelle models, which we the most time in, all feature and third-row seats on tracks can be slid forward or backward, reclining backrests and armrests the seats are separate.

This you to move the seats according to the size and even with all six or spaces filled, there is a decent amount of luggage in the rear. Passengers are well-catered with plenty of storage and cupholders, a pop-up round separate front and rear air controls and a 6-stack CD audio Highline and Business models get a standard DVD entertainment system and with the latter also power-operated rear sliding and a sunroof.

The seats are comfortable and supportive, with our only being that the drawers in the of the seat frame mean you can’t slide your under the seat in front.

The interior is well-finished, although of the cubbies and cupholders seemed a bit and the dash layout, while looks a bit industrial. Having the lever or tiptronic auto shifter mounted on the dash, for very good ergonomics.

VW has always delivered a high-level of equipment in its cars and the T5 is no different. are adjustable headrests and three-point belts with pre-tensioners and adjustment for every passenger

Other passive safety in the form of airbags, of which are four — dual and front-side. Given the nearly 2.5 kerb weight of the Caravelle, traction and stopping are crucial and VW has with a full complement of electronic systems, including brakes with an electronic lock and ESP stability and traction


With the T5, VW is introducing a of new engines and transmissions that with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. This 85kW/170Nm is only available with the Kombi in conjunction with a manual gearbox.

The 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo engine is offered in two states of with the lesser 96kW/340Nm only offered in the Kombi and Shuttle models. All other diesels use the higher-output version generates 128kW of power and a 400Nm of torque at a low 2000rpm.

Volkswagen Caravelle

models are also available a 173kW/315Nm 3.2-litre V6 petrol Transmission options for both the and V6 are a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

For T5, VW has also the T4’s double wishbone suspension with a MacPherson arrangement.


The people-mover continues to shrink but with the Volkswagen believes it’s will be in the corporate/fleet business, as so retail buyers looking for seats are turning to SUVs for people-carrying capacity.

But none of can match the full-size … of the Caravelle and the only real in the market are Toyota’s big Tarago and the Voyager. The Voyager is $53,000- 3.3-litre V6 auto only, and a top-of-the-range all-wheel-drive version. sits in the same price but power is limited to a 115kW/221Nm 2.4 engine.

Honda and Mazda feature, with the seven-seat, Odyssey and MPV but neither are as big as the other Kia also serves up the V6 Carnival for $30,000 but you get what you pay for.


VW claims that T5, it was the commercial Transporter that was from the people carrying and not vice versa, to ensure the variant was not just a van with And in the drive experience, some of translates.

The V6 engine is reasonably as is the six-speed auto, but with a load of big blokes, it is by no means off the line. Once on the move, it is fairly responsive to right inputs and is quiet and refined at speed along the highway.

The time the quality of the shifts to go down a gear was when it was to haul over three up the winding, hilly roads the Gold Coast hinterland.

It was rough, country roads also showed-up the Caravelle’s two deficiencies — ride and Many of the sharp irregularities of the were transferred through to the and although it wasn’t too uncomfortable, the about became rather

What was worse though was the Obviously with six adults on and given the size, height and of the vehicle it is not a sports car, but travelling at a moderate speed, the car feel that well down.

This feeling was more noticeable when in the rear, with the amount of roll induced by the tight, roads producing a queasy in at least three of our crew.

For its applications, the Caravelle is a comfortable, and well-equipped people-carrier. You just want to take one fully-loaded on a country drive.

Published. 1 March 2004

Volkswagen Caravelle
Volkswagen Caravelle
Volkswagen Caravelle
Volkswagen Caravelle


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