Choose Between 3 Variants – All Ideal for Work and Play


Are you looking for a versatile vehicle that’s equally suitable for business and personal use? Then the latest VW Caravelle range was made with you in mind. This practical, yet comfy multi-purpose vehicle (or MPV) range currently consists of three distinct variants. They are:


  • The VW Caravelle 2.0BiTDI PanAmericana 4Motion
  • The VW Caravelle 2.0BiTDI Highline
  • The VW Caravelle 2.0BiTDI Highline 4Motion


In this VW Caravelle review, we won’t be focusing on any specific model, but rather be giving an overall review of the range at large. If you’re looking for more specific information on any of these variants, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with your nearest CFAO Volkswagen dealer. Our sales staff across the country will assist you in any way they can.


The VW Caravelle Entry-Level Model Overview


Just because it’s an entry-level model variant, doesn’t mean the VW Caravelle 2.0BiTDI PanAmericana 4Motion is anything less of an incredible vehicle than its more expensive siblings and the competition. This variant offers business owners and families a wonderful solution if they’re on the lookout for a roomy ride to transport larger groups in comfort, safety and style.


To give you a better idea of the standard features you can come to expect across the range, we’ll be taking a closer look at the PanAmericana’s specs. For a full overview of all available models’ specs, be sure to read our VW Caravelle specs blog or check out Car Magazine’s handy comparison table.


VW Caravelle 2.0BiTDI PanAmericana 4Motion Fact Sheet


  • Average fuel consumption: 8.8 l/100 km
  • Average fuel range: 909 km
  • Drive wheels: All
  • Engine details: 2.0 turbo diesel
  • Fuel type: Diesel
  • Gear ratios quantity: 7
  • Power: 132 kW
  • Torque: 400 Nm
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Doors: 5
  • Seat quantity: 7
  • Vehicle type: MPV


VW Caravelle 2.0BiTDI PanAmericana 4Motion Dimensions


  • Height: 1 970 mm
  • Length: 4 904 mm
  • Wheelbase: 3 000 mm
  • Width excluding and including mirrors: 1 904-2 297 mm
  • Load volume: 4 300 l


Some VW Caravelle 2.0BiTDI PanAmericana 4Motion Standard Features


  • Air conditioning
  • Alloy wheels/rims
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Cup/bottle holders
  • Heated front seats
  • Multi-function steering wheel
  • On-board computer
  • Partial suede-cloth and leather upholstery
  • Power steering
  • Remote central locking


Enjoy the Journey, No Matter How Long the Drive – VW Caravelle Ride and Performance Review


Overall, Volkswagen’s Caravelle cabins are decently isolated from both mechanical and wind noise. The engine is well-muffled when driving at cruising speed, but when driving at higher speeds, you may find the engine running less silently. Tyre roar is held to a minimum as is wind noise, caused by the Caravelle’s steep, vertical face and large door mirrors. When compared to an SUV, it’s not the quietest vehicle out there, but it more than makes up for it in space and comfort.


“For the most part big SUVs tend to drive like cars, but the Caravelle still has a bit of van to it. That’s not a criticism, though. Once you’ve adapted your driving style to suit its peculiarities, it’s a very easy, dare we say satisfying thing to pilot.” – Top Gear


Drivers and passengers alike will enjoy the latest VW Caravelle’s elevated seating arrangements, as well as the big and beautiful windows. Everyone inside the vehicle will have access to incredible views of the surrounding terrain, which is especially wonderful when travelling long distances across scenic landscapes. Ride quality is nice and the Caravelle responds duly to all intentional inputs.


It’s also great for navigating settings ranging from towns to motorways and can even take on some minor off-roading action. Depending on the model you choose, you’ll get to enjoy the distinct combination of 4Motion all-wheel drive and a DSG dual-clutch gearbox – ideal for taking on rougher roads. The permanent presence of 4Motion all-wheel drive results in much-improved grip, no matter what the road’s surface is like.


We can highly recommend the addition of mechanical differential lock on the Caravelle’s rear axle. This, along with 4Motion all-wheel drive, makes actions such as pulling off the road in less than ideal conditions, far easier.


Depending on the variant, the Caravelle’s 0-100 km/h acceleration rate comes in at between 11.3-12.1 s, which is more than respectable for a vehicle of its size and weight (gross weight = 3 080 kg across all current models). Its average turning circle isn’t bad either at 11.9 m.


The Caravelle is a vehicle with a friendly, calming disposition – you’ll find yourself being more considerate towards your fellow road-users and even wishing longer drives don’t have to end just yet. Maybe it’s the vehicle’s overall aesthetic, but there’s something truly special about this MPV and the effect it has on people. It’s so much more than a glorified van.


Room Enough for All Your Precious Cargo – VW Caravelle Space and Safety Review


The VW Caravelle is by and large a practical vehicle. Seven seats, all able to comfortably accommodate adults, are a standard feature across the range. The seats are spaced out between three rows, the first and second rows featuring two individual seats each and the third row featuring a 3-seated bench.


Caravelle seating arrangements are highly customisable, depending on your transportation needs. Both the second and third-row seats can slide back and forth quite a bit, thanks to the long rail system. Alternatively, these chairs can be removed altogether, leaving you with, essentially, a van. This is ideal if you ever need to move a large piece of furniture or simply need a whole lot of extra baggage space. Load volume across the range is an impressive 4 300 litres.


Second-row chairs can also be swivelled around to face the third row, creating a mobile lounge or meeting space, depending on your reason for wanting to invest in a Caravelle. Another welcome feature is a small folding table, also secured on the rails – ideal for going over paperwork or holding colouring books while on the road.


A flat floor makes it easy to move between rows. Plus, there’s plenty of head, leg and elbow room available for all seat occupants, even when the vehicle is filled with fully grown adults. You’ll also be happy to hear that there’s more than enough cup/bottle holders and cubbies available throughout the cabin for miscellaneous bits and bobs.

In terms of safety, the latest VW Caravelle models have a lot of standard features to offer across the range. Electronic stability control helps to compensate for the Caravelle’s lack of agility, caused by its sizeable frame. A total of six airbags can be found throughout the vehicle, as well as enough ISOFIX mounting points for four child seats. These will help keep your most precious cargo safe, should the unthinkable happen.


Other VW Caravelle standard safety features include:


  • ABS
  • Approach home safe/time delayed park headlights
  • EBD
  • Rest assist/break alert
  • Tyre pressure monitor


The latest Caravelle range is yet to be Euro NCAP tested. Its safety features are, however, similar to the previous generation, which received 4/5 stars during the crash test.


For added peace of mind, new VW Caravelle models are sold with a 3-year or 120 000 km warranty. Recommended service intervals span every 15 000 km.


All in all, the inside of a VW Caravelle is a wonderful place to be.


Cruise Around in Comfort – VW Caravelle Interior and Price Review


“[The] Caravelle feels pretty plush inside. As well as a selection of attractive trims, chrome detailing and solid-feeling switches, there are even soft-touch plastics to be found.” – What Car?


All materials used in the Caravelle’s interior construction hold up to the brand’s famous high-quality standards. The inside is sleek and stylish, despite what preconceived notions of MPVs might have you believe.


You’ll find all switches and buttons clearly marked and straightforward to use. This is also the case for the infotainment system. Using the touchscreen and sat-nav is a breeze. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration is possible too, but owners of older smartphones may want to invest in converters, as the only ports in here are USB Type C. If you’re looking for a more detailed discussion of the VW Caravelle interior, be sure to check out our blog dedicated to the topic.


Volkswagen’s current Caravelle starting price is R986 200. It may seem costly at first, but remember: you get what you pay for. For a closer look at different model prices, read our Caravelle price blog.


Final VW Caravelle Review Verdict: This MPV Is a Well-Rounded Crowd-Pleaser


Some may see the VW Caravelle as big and bulky, but this versatile vehicle’s merits far outweigh any drawbacks. How many other vehicles can say they’re equally good at keeping large families and groups of business people happy?


If you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding the Caravelle range, be sure to reach out to your nearest CFAO Volkswagen dealer. Our dedicated staff will respond promptly, helping you find and buy the vehicle best suited to your needs.