The Volkswagen Caravelle has enjoyed a long and successful history here in South Africa, in fact the legendary Kombi and Caravelle have been best-sellers for the past six decades. Now in its sixth generation, the Transporter range has sold around 12 million units worldwide with 10 097 units of the T6 range being sold locally since its launch in 2015. The T6.1 promises to be the best yet. Here are our top 7 facts about the latest Caravelle model.

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  1. Design

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: One might find a rectangular vehicle to be somewhat boring in its appearance but Volkswagen designers have managed to craft an attractive block. The newcomer features a refreshed front design with new LED headlights, a redesigned grille which is significantly larger and forms a single stylistic unit as well as a refreshed bumper design. All the elements bring the Caravelle into line with other Volkswagen models hitting the showroom floors.

  1. Interior

Volkswagen designers have completely redesigned the dashboard which, like the exterior has been brought into line with other offerings. One of the more tasteful additions is a digital instrument cluster which makes use of a 10.25-inch display which can be customised to display various forms of information. Two of my preferred settings include the classic view with dials and the navigation view which sees the entire screen become a navigation screen.

  1. Infotainment and technology

The visual appeal continues with the introduction of an updated infotainment system in the form of the Discover Pro Media system which now features an array of web-based functions and services as well as wireless smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system is easy to use and is indeed visually appealing.

  1. Improved under the skin

Engineers have, for the first time, incorporated electro-mechanical power steering. This has two major benefits: unlike the hydraulic system it replaces, the new steering system can be controlled as needed and this reduces fuel consumption. The electro-mechanical power steering system transmits steering commands to the wheels more directly than the systems in previous models. That makes the T6.1 noticeably more agile and precise.

  1. Driver safety and convenience

The Caravelle offers a blissful driving experience highlighted by the addition of various safety features such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Automatic Post-Collision Braking, Lane Assist and a new system called Crosswind Assist. This feature uses the Electronic Stabilisation System (ESP) and applies the brakes (undetected by the driver) if the vehicle encounters a strong crosswind. It is also standard across the T6.1 range, Crosswind Assist is activated automatically when travelling above 80 km/h.

  1. Spacious and practical

The Caravelle is also spacious inside with two individual seats occupying the second row. These can rotate and be adjusted to suit your needs. There is even a storage compartment which can be transformed into a table. Designers have also added a host of new storage compartments under the seats for added practicality. The luggage compartment remains impressive and the third row of seats is also adjustable to make for more space if needed.

  1. Frugal yet powerful

Under the bonnet one will find an updated and more powerful version of the brands 2.0-litre BiTDI motor. The engine now develops 146kW and 450Nm. That power is sent to all four wheels via 4Motion as well as Volkswagen's impressive 7-speed DSG gearbox. The combination results in an effortless driving experience.

The Volkswagen Caravelle remains an attractive offering within the segment but if one needs something that offers similar luxury at a more attractive price then Volkswagen has also updated its Kombi offering as well as others in the T6.1 range, from the pick-up to the uber luxurious California.

Browse a wide range of Caravelle and Kombi models here on the CHANGECARS website.