The interior layout, fit and finish
Compared with other van-based MPVs such as the Citroën Spacetourer, the Caravelle feels pretty plush inside. As well as a selection of attractive trims, chrome detailing and solid-feeling switches, there are even soft-touch plastics to be found. However, jump from the Caravelle to a purpose built MPV like Volkswagen’s own Sharan and you’ll notice that its materials and level of fit and finish aren’t quite at the same level.
Thanks to huge windows, visibility is for the most part very good. Although it’s tricky to judge where the nose is, the flat sides make placing it on the road easy. Even so, we’d recommend the optional front and rear parking sensors that, usefully, also come with a rear-view camera (these are standard on Executive models).
And it’s not just big windows that help visibility; the driving position is higher than in a full-sized Range Rover, even with the seat as low as it’ll go. That makes it easy to spot hazards on the road, or just to do a spot of sightseeing.
Entry-level SE trim Caravelles have a 6.5in touchscreen infotainment system called Composition Colour that comes with Bluetooth, DAB radio, two USB (type-C) sockets and an SD card slot, while a larger 8.0in system with sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a whopping 32GB of in-built storage comes as standard on the higher Executive trim. This Discover Media system is our favourite; with physical dials either side of the screen, functions such as zooming in and out of the map and changing the volume of the radio are both less distracting when driving.
The even larger, 9.2in Discover Pro touchscreen is optional throughout the range and is a backwards step in some ways, doing away with physical controls altogether. The way it works seamlessly with VW’s fantastic digital cockpit dials (optional on SE and standard on Executive) is impressive, though. With this setup, physical dials are replaced with a 10.25in screen, which augments the central screen to show sat-nav and other important information.
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