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Pur­pose. I've ut­tered this be­fore but it's one of my fas­ci­na­tions with mod­ern ve­hi­cles – do they ful­fil the role they were made for? When “Volk­swa­gen” and “Caravelle” popped up on my calendar I knew ex­actly what to do… or­ga­nize an epic fam­ily road trip into the mid­dle of nowhere. The idea came to me a few weeks ago while pass­ing Mat­jes­fontein, a lonely lit­tle ham­let I've al­ways wanted to ex­plore. At this point I should ad­mit that I had lit­tle more to do with the or­ga­ni­za­tion than bring­ing the car – once in­formed, my travel-mad wife and Mum- in- law jumped at the chance of book­ing ev­ery­thing. They also filled the VW Caravelle's seats with four gen­er­a­tions of fam­ily – from the ex­cited tod­dler Max to an equally thrilled great-granny Linda. Last but not least, our route from Winelands to Ka­roo was mapped over the back roads via Welling­ton, Ceres and plenty of dirt. We only touched the tar­mac upon ar­rival. To fi­nally de­scribe our mode of trans­port, we all piled into a beau­ti­ful blue metal­lic 2016 Volk­swa­gen T6 Caravelle High­line 2.0 BITDI 132kw DSG 4Mo­tion. I'm not jok­ing, that's its of­fi­cial ti­tle. Try say­ing that five times af­ter you've had one too many gee and tee's at the Laird's Arms… In plain English that means you're read­ing about the lat­est Vwkombi (T6, 6th gen­er­a­tion) in lux­u­ri­ous High­line spec­i­fi­ca­tion with the most pow­er­ful turbo-diesel en­gine (180hp or 400Nm), a seven-speed dual-clutch au­to­matic gear­box and all-wheel-drive with rear diff lock. This came in quite handy on slightly soggy bits of the hin­ter­land. Af­ter suc­cess­fully chang­ing the Caravelle's colour, our driver was full of praise for the ride, space, com­fort, tech­nol­ogy, smooth­ness and its qual­ity. Said pi­lot is a veteran VW Kombi owner and his one cri­tique fell on this MPV'S price of about N975,000 – he would pur­chase a cheaper and sim­pler model. An­other con­cern was the ab­sence of a rearview cam­era as ob­jects un­der one me­ter (chil­dren, pets, bol­lards, etc.) are ba­si­cally in­vis­i­ble. How­ever; big mir­rors and a small turn­ing ra­dius take the fear out of city park­ing where, thanks to beep­ers all around, I had no ma­jor prob­lems slot­ting into a Cape Town city cen­tre park­ing bay. Those who can af­ford this lux­ury rec­tan­gle – I sus­pect VIP and ho­tel trans­port – will be spoilt by su­perb ma­te­ri­als, LED light­ing, satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion and many me­dia in­puts. They can also en­joy the swivel­ing mid­dle (arm)chairs with col­lapsi­ble ta­ble on rails, plenty of arm­rests and airbags, power side doors, blind spot mon­i­tor, fine leather and rather fluffy car­pets. Back to our jour­ney and with the scenery whizzing by, most oc­cu­pants were happy chap­pies. Ru­mours even speak of snor­ing from the back. Some road trip­pers no­ticed a slight hard­ness from the op­tional 18-inch wheels fit­ted here so it is prob­a­bly wise to stick with the stan­dard 17 inch­ers if you dis­like tar­mac travel. For the record, the lit­tle ham­let with its old­world charm, re­laxed at­mos­phere and some colourful char­ac­ters did not disappoint. Nor was our filthy Caravelle alone out­side the big white ho­tel; among the 4x4's and some rather noisy mo­tor- bi­cy­cles was an older (pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion) Kombi tourist shut­tle – a fine tes­ta­ment to the travel-wor­thi­ness of these Volk­swa­gens. For your peace of mind, Volk­swa­gen in­cludes a gen­er­ous 3-year/120,000km warranty and a 5-year/60,000km ser­vice plan with the sale of each new Caravelle. Claimed av­er­age Diesel use is 8.8L/100km from the 80L fuel tank; our over­all trip av­er­age for the mini-get­away con­firmed this. Once all rel­a­tives had been evicted from the big boxy Volk­swa­gen, I even did a 0-100km/h test. It man­aged a best time of 11.94 sec­onds. That's all good and well but has very lit­tle to do with the Kombi's core pur­pose - its abil­ity to swal­low an en­tire fam­ily and head out into the coun­try­side. Like its pre­de­ces­sors, this new model got plenty of thumbs up and its in­te­rior was drenched with happy chat­ting, pho­tos, laughs, snooz­ing, pad­kos and ad­ven­ture. Per­fect Kombi mem­o­ries.

Text Hanjo Stier Images Gal­imoto Me­dia are the best - and even bet­ter in the new Volk­swa­gen Kombi / Caravelle...

CLICK HERE to watch the Ac­cel­er­a­tion Video!

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