Volkswagen Caravelle Road Test — Volkswagen Caravelle

9 Янв 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Volkswagen Caravelle Road Test — Volkswagen Caravelle отключены
Volkswagen Caravelle

Volkswagen Caravelle

Copyright Bernd Felsche, Perth, Australia

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Document may not be copied without the written permission.

Bernd reports on almost 1000 km in definitive multi-purpose people

The new Caravelle is new, not only in derived from the current T4 of the ubiquitous Volkswagen Transporter, but new in the market it challenges. For it is not only as a mover, but as a luxury car that it our shores, priced around and well-appointed.

Australia only one version; with 2.5 litre engine (for now) and a level of base equipment, the substantial choice is that of an transmission. All the mod-cons and a whole lot of have been put into the which is distinguished from its brethren by its longer snout and grille reminiscent of the Polo and the to be introduced in 1998.


big. Bigger than the movers of competitors such as and Mitsubishi, and this becomes apparent when you draw up them in traffic. They are into an almost toy-like in their pretence

But the Caravelle’s are misleading. It still fits a carport which won’t a Ford Falcon, helped by mirrors which fold in to the vehicle to pass through gates.

The exterior of the vehicle was to fault; the test vehicle few faults despite it’s life as a Rally Australia for the Volkswagen Motorsport team. A in the windscreen indicated that it be a matter complicated by the presence of the antenna being incorporated it.

Caravelle at 1998 Melbourne Motor Show

Volkswagen to be adopting a new design for windscreen where the jet provides a broad of water over the width of the sweeps. This appears to be more effective at getting off the screen than the pin-point of yore.

The colour of the side didn’t look the same as of the adjacent panels, probably due to a different surface texture. the wheel arches, the absence of well liners is noted may be of importance to those who frequent surfaces.

Also conspicuous by its absence is locking operation on the fuel flap. A key-lock of the filler cap is for it protects 80 litres of fuel, but in a car so well integrated, the omission out.

The adjustment of the sliding was found wanting, with at speed indicating that its weren’t given a chance by the closing gap at the front edge.

wheels reduce the visual of the Caravelle, especially when a dark colour such as the Green of the test vehicle. My of darker colours on cars was by occasional showers, resulting in a look within a few days. Not a sight.


Open the door, step up into the seat and you sit behind the steering which is almost sedan-like in Unfortunately, the steering wheel adjustment for height or reach so the position is something of a compromise. And transporters of old, you sit behind the axle. a novelty for those to the helm of older Transporters.

The betrays its utilitarian origins by its functionality rising to the hard-plastic Not unattractive, but not in keeping with the other luxury appointments. The dashboard provides a range of cubby holes and compartments depending on your state of organisation can be a curse or a godsend. If isn’t enough, the front pockets are almost large to hold a bachelor’s weekly with a small sub-compartment for knickknacks.

Clear instruments are in layout, though some of the lights are near-invisible with the sun the driver’s shoulder (it’d a very bright light to under those circumstances).

consumption readout is provided by the convenient MFA (Multi Function which normally indicates average speed and fuel averaged over both and long-term; as well as oil temperature and of day. It can be set to indicate instantaneous consumption by a secret incantation so you can be out of your pants when it at 99.9 l/100 km when hard.

Selection of individual MFA functions is than nice; by means of a on top of the wiper stalk; press too and you get an intermittent wipe! This has been brought to you by the relegation of the at the end of the stalk to a rear window function — something was done previously by pushing the away from the steering for a second or more. (Still as such in the owner’s manual.) It that somebody decided to the wash function easier to for drivers when they step into the car; of providing for those who live the vehicle for some time. A improvement in this reviewers

The MFA and digital odometer’s liquid displays are illuminated whenever the is on, to improve readability under light conditions.

The driver’ sports controls for the electrically-adjustable (though these don’t down when engaging like some of its German and a pair of switches for the front windows. The latter can be raised or at a touch, allowing the driver to hands on the wheel for longer, or to around in one of the various bits for security keys to enter a car or the like. The front passenger door has only the switch for door’s window.

The dual-zone control is very effective, when electric windows to vent hot air. controls are towards the passenger side of the so they are not immediately in the driver’s of vision. It’s a BIG, dash!

Volkswagen’s Climatronic no x) can be operated automatically in set-and-forget or features can be selectively over-ridden. and rear cabin temperatures may be set though they limited to a 3 difference, presumably to limit fog and monsoons. Adjusting the front causes the rear temperature to by the same amount, maintaining any difference between the two. swish.

Fan speed is adjusted automatically by to get to the desired conditions as rapidly as Adjusting the speed manually in cancellation of automatic mode, means that the driver has control of speed in both

Pressing the ECON button the air conditioning (cooling) off, but the heating to be used on colder

Air is circulated to the rear cabin by roof and low-level vents, even, rapid distribution of air to all for maximum comfort.

Internal buildup is less than with the huge glass of the Caravelle. But with 8 people on most of the air conditioning load is due to the occupants.

Both driver and passenger seats feature armrests which fold up and out of the way for access. They do however the traditionally useful passage the seats to the rear cabin for the enhanced and the less-nimble. The seats the side and lumbar support compared to smaller VW sedans. is also no footrest for the driver’s foot so cornering is limited by the level of confidence when with mounting lateral and little means to counter

Accommodation for passengers in the back is by the bench seating three, a bench seating two, and a seat with folding beside it. Access to the rear is via the large, heavy sliding One doesn’t need to be Arnold to open and close it, but it could if parked on a steep incline!

is about 2 cubic metres of behind the rear bench, ample space for the luggage of all A shelf, about 60 cm above the conceals precious goodies or it and the whole rear bench can be forward to transport large

The Caravelle’s tailgate lifts to form a horizontal roof the opening. Access is good, and a hangs down from the gate allowing those of stature to reach up and to exert the force against the strong of the tailgate.

Tools and jack are kept in a compartment to the left of the vehicle and the wheel is suspended under the of the vehicle on a drop-down bracket.

not often carrying the full of passengers may choose to remove the row of seats, providing a huge between the rear bench and the compartment. These are only a few of the permutations on the interior of the Caravelle.

Releasing the bonnet by pulling on the in the passenger-side foot well the bonnet to lift slightly, a small red button at the leading of the bonnet. Push the button and the catch releases, much than having to grope under-bonnet for a lever.

The 2.5 litre, engine nestles low within the with long inlet tracts indicating a tuning for low-end torque.

Common items are readily accessible, plenty of room around the of the engine. Fluid reservoirs can be at a glance. The battery resides in its own to the side of the engine, requiring the of a few clips to gain access. this might seem to be to good design for service, it have the benefit of keeping the cleaner and cooler compared to it to the full extremes of the under-bonnet

The engine air filter element can be easily by unclipping part of the with a condition indicator in the of the dashboard indicating when a is needed.

Various ducts on the of the bonnet direct cooling air the back of the engine, towards the manifold; and towards the ventilation

Other markets see the longer fitted with different including a popular 2.4-litre turbo-diesel (TDI) and the comparatively but powerful VR6. There is room for the latter in the engine

On the Road

The lack of driver is a shame as the wide tyres and wheels combine with the chassis to provide obedient with plenty of cornering when driven sensibly. It very rough roads to the vehicle, even when Ride is well controlled and

Usually quiet cruising is by tyre rumble on some causing resonance in the front of the around the firewall, resulting in a increase in noise levels at

Fuel consumption averages 12.5 l/100km with a outer suburban/urban mix. 14 l/100km is more typical in suburban traffic with a driver. More than 30 can be consumed on long climbs.

The 2.5 5-cylinder engine prefers unleaded petrol and higher results in easier, smoother and quiet operation. Although in its sound, the engine can be heard to be hard when accelerating

Previous generations of the transporter had the in the back, which made for cruising in the Microbus of old. that was at the cost of stability in And the Caravelle, despite it’s sides excels in cross-winds. is a rocking of the body with and some steering correction but it’s nothing like the to avian flatulence exhibited by the and Microbus of old.

Having the directly over the front is of obvious benefit in the stability And having front wheel doesn’t automatically imply the Caravelle going where pointed. even tending to depending on load distribution and the technique.

The Caravelle accelerates too) well to freeway and coupled with the smooth-changing can result in a roadside conference on limits with a member of the complete with obligatory fee. Engaging the cruise on the freeway is highly recommended. calibration is to 220 kmh, which is not all for even with this engine as it only turns rpm at 100kmh. With maximum around 5500 rpm, the abilities of this people become evident. but not to be experienced in Australia.

Strong low to mid-range combines with the automatic to provide respectable performance lightly loaded. A green on tachometer indicates preferred range from 2000 to rpm, its upper bound exceeded rarely on kick-down and acceleration if the 4-speed automatic is to its devices.

Cruise control is well to long, flat stretches too many sharp bends. Its control of speed does not for the most economical cruising there are rises and dips side-bar ) and it definitely should be in hilly terrain, and not just for reasons, as fuel consumption rise to astronomical levels (60 km instantaneous consumption seen in with engine and gears hard to maintain a perhaps speed uphill for a vehicle a kerb mass of around 1.8 Fully laden with tonne on board, the equation even more frightening!

It should go without saying one shouldn’t consider buying a such as this on the odd chance the one one might have to carry 5 or passengers. It doesn’t make on that basis unless you to fit it out with a spa, or to convert it in other way.

Fuel is not one of its strengths unless you usually more than a few passengers. A does much better in sort of vehicle, but ingrained against diesel-fueled passenger in Australia already sounded the to the Golf TDI, and the risk of flop was probably too much for the to contemplate.

The Caravelle offers all a great deal of comfort and probably unrivalled by competitors, and at a price. It is thoroughly pleasant to especially cruising where the pass by all too quickly.


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