Fleet News

Volkswagen Caravelle Business 2.0 BiTDI DSG

BIK List Price
Volkswagen Caravelle BIK list price
BIK Percentage
Volkswagen Caravelle BIK Percent
Volkswagen Caravelle CO2
Combined MPG
Volkswagen Caravelle MPG


Often when selecting a vehicle suitable for carrying VIPs or executives who will work as they travel, the easy choices are one of a number of large saloons, most of them German.

Cars such as the Jaguar XJ are particularly popular in the UK when viewed alongside rivals such as the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Audi A8.

To a lesser extent, the Lexus LS (in a market dominated by six-cylinder diesel) sometimes features as an alternative.

But there is also a Volkswagen-badged alternative that actually beats those luxury saloons in many areas.

Before you think I’ve gone mad and begun touting the brand’s 10-year-old luxury saloon as a convincing rival, I’m not talking about the Phaeton.

The wi-fi equipped Caravelle Business is an upmarket version of the van-derived people carrier.

It is designed as a chauffeur vehicle, with the highest levels of comfort reserved for rear-seat passengers.

Two individual third-row seats are large, comfortable, electrically-adjustable armchairs, trimmed in two-tone fine hide.

The interior has lacquered walnut veneer on panels that would normally be finished in plastic.

The middle row seats, upholstered in the same fine leather, can face the rear for meetings and a folding table is also fitted (on runners so it can be moved).

There is a fridge as standard as well as an auxiliary heater to keep the vehicle warm when parked.

No luxury car combines all these features as standard for the money and in such a spacious interior.

In outright purchase terms, the Caravelle Business costs as much as a six-cylinder diesel luxury saloon with a few options selected.

It’s almost £66,000 (inc VAT) in standard front-wheel drive form (as tested here).

You get even less change from £70,000 for the all-wheel drive 4Motion variant. Volkswagen’s seven-speed DSG is standard, and the 2.0 BiTDI 180bhp diesel is the only engine offered.

It drives well enough and is refined, but is slower and more ungainly on the road than a 730d or Jaguar XJ. But it would also have lower SMR costs than those luxury cars.

For the driver, the Caravelle Business has VW’s top tier audio system and sat-nav as standard.

CO2 emissions
The Caravelle's LCV origins means it can't compete with luxury saloons on CO2 emissions, at around the same level of the first Mercedes-S-Class diesel of 2002.
Fuel costs
Fuel economy on the mid-30s is not great but perhaps not far off what you'd expect given the size of the vehicle.
Residual values
The Caravelle Business has very impressive residual values for a car of this value, succeeding in offsetting its higher fuel costs compared with luxury car rivals.
Running costs
Although the fuel costs are rather high, the Caravelle Business doesn't come with the same levels of depreciation as a luxury saloon, nor its potentially high SMR costs.
Driver appeal
There is little here for the driver to enjoy, although the Caravelle Business is comfortable and easy to drive. It is a great vehicle to travel in for business, however.
FN Verdict
It might not have the same badge appeal of a luxury saloon, but the Caravelle Business can easily be justified as a cost effective business purchase for a a chief executive or company chairman who spends a lot of time being driven.
Top Speed
Volkswagen Caravelle Top Speed
VED band
Volkswagen Caravelle Ved
Fuel Type
Volkswagen Caravelle Fuel Type
Residual Value
3 Year 60k : £25,225
4 Year 80k : £20,525
Running Cost (ppm)
3 Year 60k : 89.06
4 Year 80k : 78.77

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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