Volkswagen Caravelle & Kombi Motoring Review
Volkswagen's Kombi and Caravelle have recently undergone a facelift. The new generation Kombi and Caravelle sport a number of technological updates and a revised front end which fits in with the new VW family look. Over the years, Volkswagen have diligently held fast to the ideal of this stalwart multi-purpose vehicle. At some point in 2004 it was given a more technical name, being a “T5”, but keeping the “Kombi” name down was never going to work here in South Africa and was re-instated some time ago.
Up front the Kombi and Caravelle both sport a sleek front grille which is framed by two slender halogen headlights with daytime running lights and double reflectors as standard. The vehicles have a sloping front end and together with colour-coded bumpers, their front faces are neat looking and streamlined. From the side, generous dual sliding doors blend in seamlessly with the horizontal lines of the side panels and large tinted windows form a focal point here. All models have colour-coded wing mirrors and bumpers giving it a uniform look and their back doors open at a lower than usual level for easy loading. Weighing in at 3-tonnes, in short wheelbase trim, the new Caravelle and Kombi's are 4.89 m long and 1.9 m wide.
Of all cars for sale in its class the VW Caravelle and Kombi boast the largest amount of space – there's 1200 litres of space available with the seats in place and an astounding 5800 litres of space with the seats removed. With more than enough room for any family adventure, the 8-seater Kombi includes a 2-seater bench and separate seat as well as a 3-seater foldable rear bench in the passenger compartment. The 7-seater Caravelle offers two swivel seats with armrests in the passenger compartment together with a 3-seater rear bench. Up front there is a new three spoke steering wheel and redesigned instrument clusters. The air-flow system has been updated with an air-conditioned interior headlining complete with adjustable nozzles fitted in the rear.
The VW Kombi and Caravelle line-up encompasses a range of different engines and specifications, tailored to suit every family's individual needs and pocket. Significant upgrades to the turbo-diesel (TDI) variants includes new unit injector technology - offering improved fuel consumption and exceptional performance. The 2.0 litre TDI four-cylinder engines have outputs ranging from 75kW to 103kW to the range topping 132kW bi-turbo unit. Available in certain models (and for the first time), an innovative 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG) will also be an option. Four-wheel drive (4MOTION) is available for the first time in the 132kW version.
Buying a car in this segment always requires careful consideration, especially when transporting people-cargo on a regular basis. In this regard the Caravelle and Kombi still benefits from excellent active and passive safety systems that have been seen before in previous generation models. Added to this is the latest generation ESP fitted as standard across the range including trailer stabilisation and hill hold assist. A rapidly flashing warning brake light during emergency braking is also new.
Gone are the days of squashed up kids in the back of family cars fighting amoungst themselves for room to breathe! The new VW Caravelle and Kombi range makes family outings a pleasure and offers advanced technology, safety and fuel economy. In terms of pricing, the Volkswagen Kombi 2.0TDI 75kW SWB Fleetline will set you back R387 000, while the top of the range Volkswagen Caravelle 2.0BiTDI 4Motion auto costs around R602 300. (Prices are subject to change according to various factors so please consult your dealer for the latest price.)