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Ibhasi with Class – VW Caravelle T6.1 2.0BiTdi DSG 4Motion : Launch Drive

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Facelifts are always interesting, they keep brands relevant, updated and shows they are always keen to improve their products. The best way to weigh improved is to measure them against the previous model, in this case Volkswagen had even added a new engine and power upgrades , which just as well be a new car.

What’s Fresh?

Most striking is the new front end, bolder, wider , well detailed to enhance what has become more than likely the most good looking luxury people carrier. Daytime LED headlights surround an elongated chrome grille, the lower valance of the bumper is dominated by huge black plastics that house foglights which are activated by steering input when doing slow turns, unless you switch them on manually via the switch on left side of the dash. New set of standard and optional alloy wheels, most are 17’ s size which is testament of the multiple usability of the Caravelle. The rear end has reworked LED tail lights with a spending lighting pattern. The Caravelle is available in no less than 19 colour options, which include 7 two-tone combinations.

The Interior is still one of the best I’ve experienced thanks to arm rests for all single seats, covered in deep grey leather with silverfish stitching, the rear bench has a very comfy centre arm rest that can she shared by occupants. That “Masijongane “set up is still proving to be a mission to achieve as the seats need to move in a symphony of sorts to achieve it. In my view it’s not necessary as it may lead to car sickness, rather use it when the Cara –Cara is stationary for a while, plus feet of passengers intertwine unintentionally.

The powered front row seats now boast memory settings, a new dash with a 10.2” touchscreen infotainment system is the highlight, active info display cluster, a new multi-function thick leather flat bottomed steering wheel felt great. It looks fabulous!

The Heart

A new more powerful bi-turbo diesel engine does duty, married to a very good 7 speed DSG gearbox that transfers power to all wheels thanks to 4Motion. Power is at 146kw of power and 450nm of torque, a notable increase that is delivered seamlessly thanks to the optional adaptive chassis control, 5 drive modes are available to enhance the drive experience, we were in comfort mode which allowed us to glide on N10 enroute to Kuzuko Lodge at the recent launch. My stint on the shared drive was on the famed Oliphant’s Kop Pass, for a vehicle this size I was quite blown away especially in Sports mode, the handling was top notch, how it dishes out the torque is no less than amazing. The trusted 4motion allows users to drive off road as well, the launch route had an off road stint leading to the 5 star over night stay.  

The refreshed Caravelle comes with an electro –mechanical power steering system which helps with crosswinds, easier maneuverability of parking a trailer, we all know iyasokolisa laway. Parallel park assist for a car this size is also a great addition.

The drive is quite impressive!

The standard list of specifications include , Navigation, Power sliding doors and power tail gate, Park distance control front and rear, sunblinds and seat heating for front seats, this is just to mention but a few as the list is very comprehensive.

It’s well rounded in avenues that matter, looks, practicality, luxury and performance, it gets my NOD!

Priced at R1 149 400 with a 5Year/60 000Km Maintanance plan, and a 3year/120 000 km warranty, when looking at competition in this exclusive segment, it is right up there, especially with all the tech and safety features.

For me it’s the best.

Thanks for an awesome outing on an epic route and an equally great place (Kuzuko Lodge), yerrr that lamb shank iyahamba maaaan.

Thanks to the entire team(Andile,Siya,Nozipho,Yusuf,Shaun,Zikhona,Wara,Chrystal,Mark,Stewie) for a great launch.

Yours in motoring Wezile Lorenzio Bonani  

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