VOLK­SWA­GEN CAR­AVELLE

Nam Wheels - - Front Page -

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 f i nally 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 VW Kombi (T6, 6th gen­er­a­tion) in lux­u­ri­ous High­line spec­i­fi­ca­tion with the most pow­er­ful turbo-Diesel en­gine (up to 180hp or 400Nm), a seven-speed dual- clutch auto’ 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 qual­ity.

Said pi­lot is a vet­eran VW Kombi owner and his one cri­tique fell on this MPV'S price of about R900,000 – he’d pur­chase a cheaper and sim­pler model.

An­other con­cern was the ab­sence of a rear- view 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 prob­lem slot­ting into a Bree Street bay.

Those who can af­ford this lux­ury rec­tan­gle – I sus­pect VIP and ho­tel trans­port – will be spoilt by su­perb ma­te­ri­als, LED l i ght­ing, satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion, many me­dia in­puts, 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 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 a good idea to stick with the (stan­dard) 17 inch­ers if you dis­like tar­mac travel.

For the record, the lit­tle ham­let with its old-world charm, re­laxed at­mos­phere and colour­ful char­ac­ters did not dis­ap­point.

Nor was our filthy Car­avelle alone out­side the big white ho­tel; among the 4x4's and some noisy mo­tor-bi­cy­cles was an older Kombi tourist shut­tle – a fine tes­ta­ment to the travel- wor­thi­ness of these Volk­swa­gens.

For your peace of mind, Volk­swa­gen in­cludes a 3year/120,000km war­ranty and 5- year/60,000 km ser­vice plan with each Car­avelle.

Claimed av­er­age Diesel use is 8.8L/ 100km from the 80L fuel tank; our over­all trip av­er­age for the miniget­away con­firmed this.

Once all rel­a­tives had been evicted from the big boxy VW, 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 into the coun­try­side.

Like its pre­de­ces­sors, this new model got plenty of thumbs up and its in­te­rior was drenched with happy chat­ting, pho­tos, laughs, pad­kos and ad­ven­ture. Per­fect Kombi mem­o­ries.

Text Hanjo Stier Images Galimoto Me­dia

Fam­i­lyF ad­ven­ture for your next hol­i­day? We tested the per­fect car for the trip...

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