Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Should you buy a Volkswagen Caravelle?

It’s not always going to be the easiest thing to park – simply because of its height, rather than length or width – but if you’re looking for a superbly practical family car, or a large vehicle that can carry up to eight adults in comfort, then the Volkswagen Caravelle is a brilliant starting point. And frankly, it’s tough to beat.

Exterior styling aside, it hides its van origins well – especially the new dashboard of the 6.1 facelift, which is very smart – and it is both comfortable and easy to drive. The engines are powerful, though the DSG automatic transmission could be a bit more responsive.

Copper 2020 Volkswagen Caravelle side elevation

It’s not a cheap vehicle by any means, and if you get sucked into the options list you’ll find the price gets higher very quickly. But nor does it feel like poor value for money – you’re getting plenty of practicality and quality for your cash.

As such, the Caravelle is an unapologetically expensive choice in the van-based people carrier market – something that it justifies with its versatility, its quality and its outright desirability. It also holds its value very well, so you should get a substantial amount of your money back when you come to sell it.

Any must-have optional extras?

They do come well-equipped as standard, but fitted sat-nav and other optional practicality features are worthwhile investments that will help make your example more attractive when it comes to selling it on.

And as a vehicle with something of a cult following, there are always plenty of keen used buyers for the Caravelle.

Some of these will be looking for individual style right from the factory, others will be after a blank canvas that they can make their own – so it’s actually quite difficult to get the colour and spec completely wrong on one of these. And there is a wide choice of paint and interior trim finishes available, but those attractive two-tone ones are pricey.

We would definitely recommend spending extra on the adaptive suspension package, and going for the punchier of the engine options.

More charming than Mercedes’ otherwise excellent V-Class, plusher than Vauxhall’s Vivaro Life and simply better at carrying passengers and their stuff than a Ford Galaxy, the Caravelle’s the pick of the bunch.

Further reading:

Copper 2020 Volkswagen Caravelle rear three-quarter driving