My week’s trip from Cape Town to East London in the Caravelle Comfortline was a great experience. I simply loved the driving position, sitting high up, with good all-round vision. The 7-speed DSG auto gearbox (with Tiptronic function when required) moves effortlessly through the gears, offering an enhanced driving experience.
Cup holders, armrests, cubby holes and storage spaces in a variety of forms are plentiful in this vehicle, and this just adds to the joy and ease of the ride. The rear bench seat can be shifted forward on its rails to create extra packing space in the boot, as can the two individual middle seats.
There was ample packing-space in the boot for my tents, thermo cooler, pots, pans, clothing, and all the other camping goodies. The rear door to access the boot is a monster, but the looped grab handle makes it pretty easy to pull it down to close.
The infotainment system is an easy to operate touch-screen affair with USB and Aux capabilities, and the multifunction steering wheel allows easy radio operation while on the go. The cruise control is great on the open road, and I used this extensively on my trip.
Safety levels are high on the Caravelle, with six airbags, ABS, EBS, electronic stability program, traction control, and park sensors front and back. The reverse camera helps a lot when getting in and out of tight spots or busy parking lots. I’m not quite sure why the hazard lights are positioned at such a stretch, as there are dummy buttons closer to the driver which could have been used for this function − but maybe that has something to do with the manufacturing of right-hand-drive and left-hand-drive vehicles.
Fuel consumption for this vehicle, which weighs just over two tonnes, is frugal: it hovered around the 9.5 l/100km mark on my trip.
Power: 132 k W @ 4000 r/min
Torque: 400 Nm @ 1500 – 2000 r/min
Tare: 2055 kg
GVM: 3080 kg
Max towing braked: 2500 kg
Max towing unbraked: 750 kg
Ground clearance: 178 mm
RETAIL PRICE: R860 200