This improved '6.1'-series Caravelle gets the smarter nose section introduced with the Transporter 6.1 van. There's a new front grille and bumper - actually, everything below the bonnet line has been restyled, plus the headlamps are narrower and now more seamlessly merge with the grille crossbar. As before, this MPV is available in either short or long wheelbase bodystyles. Inside, the '6.1'-series updates include a redesigned dash offering a choice of two centre-dash infotainment screens, measuring either 6.5 or 8.0 inches, and there's 'Apple CarPlay'/'Android Auto' smartphone-mirroring
All the excitement though, is in this MPV's sheer cabin flexibility. At 4,892mm long and 1,904mm wide in short wheelbase form, the Caravelle was never going to be anything but roomy. The seating layout is comprised of two arm-chairs in the front and two more behind with a three-seater bench in the back row. Unlike many seven-seater MPVs, there's also a usable luggage area behind the third row and it can be made more usable by sliding the rear bench forward on its runners. The front and second row seating is also mounted on a system of runners in the Caravelle's floor so these chairs can be moved around to tweak the layout. The front seats can even be rotated 180 degrees to face backwards, creating a kind of living room layout around the multi-function table that's mounted on its own rail in the centre of the cabin. If you get tired, the back seats fold down into a bed.
Adaptability is not in short supply then, but how well does it all work? It's theoretically possible to lift all of the furniture out of the Caravelle but you'll need biceps the size of breadbins: it's not light. Sliding the chairs around is quite straightforward, although you might need to think ahead before embarking on a rearrangement as the multi-function table can get in the way. The build quality impresses and even in standard trim, the Caravelle doesn't feel like a commercial vehicle. The switchgear and instruments will be familiar to VW passenger car owners and there's an abundance of storage options around the vehicle.