2020 Volkswagen Caravelle EXECUTIVE TDI BMT 2 litre diesel DSG auto







Fuel Type

Engine Size



Finding a suitable wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) is not as easy as many think. This acquisition may well be a compromise that started with knowing you have to say goodbye to a car you want to travel in for a vehicle you need. Whether you need a new or a Nearly New WAV on the Motability Scheme, WAV rental, or a financed or outright purchase of a new or used WAV, we are here to help you with independent advice on your first or next WAV.

Volkswagen Caravelle Medium lowered floor mid wheelchair user position rear ramp WAV from Southern Mobility Vehicles

Iconic, yes, that’s the word for the VW Caravelle and the Transporter. Both models have lost their van image, which has taken a few years, and some upgrading of specifications and a suitable platform of engine power output variants have helped. Petrol engines are still not plentiful, but the Volkswagen marque tends to be synonymous with diesel and, of course, their legendary DSG, Direct Shift Gearbox or, as we refer to it, an automatic.

Not all VW Caravelle and Transporter conversions are equal and are certainly not ideal for every wheelchair user. A drive from a wheelchair, wheelchair passenger upfront, switch conversions, and rear wheelchair user positions are all possible in the Caravelle and Transporter. It is essential to eliminate the flat floor with a wheelchair lift conversion of the Caravelle and Transporter. This decision would come down to wheelchair user height in their wheelchair and wheelchair size, as both these factors are very significant when seeking the best conversion to suit your needs. The Caravelle and Transporter lend themselves to many conversion variations with flat and lowered floor conversions.

Focussing on the lowered internal floor and a rear ramp conversion, we can tell you that the maximum entry height through the rear is significant but will vary depending on the conversion type, so please feel free to check with us before you buy. We are here to help. Internally there is more headroom too, and we have found a lowered floor Caravelle or Transporter to suit a wide variety of wheelchair and scooter users.

The conversions that have had the floor lowered are almost always fitted with a rear ramp. They are also often equipped with lowering suspension, usually fitted to operate automatically with the rear tailgate opening and the lowering of the rear ramp. This cycle makes access to a WAV much more manageable but will always carry a premium cost as it is an expensive option. Some would say that automation is something else to go wrong, but we would beg to differ. These systems are phenomenally reliable, and our three-year warranty will cover you against failure up to its cost to repair; very little can go wrong with these systems that cannot be fixed.

Not all lowered floor Caravelle and Transporters will have a fully automated opening and entry sequence, and they may even have no automation. Automation shouldn’t be a deciding factor when choosing this kind of WAV unless it is essential because it will restrict the possibilities available; they are not out there in great numbers.

The internal structure of the lowered floor should be more important to consider. Lowered floors in Caravelles and Transporters vary, and broadly speaking, there are three different styles as described below:

The “short lowered floor” conversion

The lowered floor in this conversion ends in front of the third-row seat line. Sometimes the height of a wheelchair user will allow them to come further forward to the centre of the WAV even if the floor has not been lowered. In some conversions, the second-row pair of seats in a Caravelle are moved apart during conversion to allow a wheelchair to be settled between the second-row seats giving more space to receive a wheelchair. This conversion can offer the wheelchair user some flexibility and often passengers and carers excellent opportunities to attend to their charge in an emergency. It also will enable carers and passengers to attend more readily to others’ needs onboard, especially if the second-row seats are captain’s seats.

The “medium lowered floor” conversion

This conversion’s lowered floor would end behind the driver and passenger front seats. This conversion will offer the same benefits as the short lowered floor, but the internal vehicle height would be more significant in the centre of the vehicle, allowing taller wheelchair users to move further to the central position.

The “fully lowered floor” conversion

This conversion would extend to the front bulkhead into the footwell recess behind the vehicle’s foot pedals on both sides of the vehicle. This conversion allows the most flexibility and options should it suit your needs. The fully lowered floor is a case of “access all areas” for a wheelchair user. A fully lowered floor would allow a wheelchair to access the driving position (a standard removable seat in tracking would be present and evident). The same access would be afforded for the front passenger position too. Remember, the standard seats would usually be present for a seated driver or front passenger too, or at least one or the other, which could be interchangeable. Then there would be the rear and mid wheelchair user positions, too.

Should any of these lowered floor WAVs have a fully automated rear opening sequence, this would be hugely beneficial for front row wheelchair user occupancy because it gives maximum independence. Of course, some of these WAVs are not available in great numbers and are usually very costly. The fully automated

SMV conclusion: the Caravelle is one of the most popular larger WAVs available to the wheelchair user marketplace with a good variety of interior seating styles, specification levels, and engine outputs, and they are also available as a manual and the ofter preferred DSG auto gearbox. The array of conversion possibilities can be a little intimidating, so please ask us to help decide the best one to suit the wheelchair user in your life.

Why not give Southern Mobility Vehicles a call if this WAV isn’t quite right for you. We are independent WAV advisors, so you will get the best of all worlds, whatever your wheelchair access needs are. Whether you are looking for a new Motability WAV, a Nearly New Motability WAV, short-term hire, or an outright purchase, we are the WAV dealer to call first. We are here to help; we know how hard it is to be confident you are buying the right mobility vehicle for your needs.

Accessibility Experience
  • A fully remote automated rear tailgate and lift entry system for quicker and easier wheelchair user access
  • Second row standard manufacturer's seats sitiuated further apart to accommodate wheelchair users
  • Rear second-row captain's seats for forward or rear-facing seated passenger travel
  • An actual mid vehicle inclusive position for most wheelchair users
  • An ideal accessible family car with four standard manufacturer's seats
  • Good all around visibility for wheelchair users and passengers alike
  • Superior second-row passenger legroom for better wheelchair user inclusion
  • A low centre of gravity means a more stable ride for most wheelchair users
  • More car-like and less van-like than many wheelchair accessible vehicles
  • The low internal road noise in this WAV improves the quality of sociability
  • Good quality suspension makes for a smoother ride for wheelchair users
Driver and passenger experience
  • Seat upholstery: black leather
  • Automatic air conditioning with three climate control zones and rear controls
  • Electrically heated windscreen
  • Driver and passenger seat: captain's type, heated
  • Front electric windows with one-touch on two windows
  • Engine start/stop
  • Leather covered multi-function steering wheel with tilt adjustment and telescopic adjustment
  • Side and 3rd row side manual blind
  • Front and rear wheels: 17 inch two-tone alloy rims ; width: 7.0 inches 43.2 and 17.8
  • Four disc brakes including four ventilated discs
  • Twin turbo-charger
  • Independent strut front suspension with anti-roll bar and coil springs, independent trailing arm rear suspension with anti-roll bar and coil springs
  • Transmission: 7-speed dual clutch manual sequentional with automatic mode featuring gear lever mounted on the dash
  • Hill holder
  • Speed limiter
  • Illuminated driver and passenger vanity mirror
  • Alloy trim on doors and alloy look gearknob
  • Centre armrest between front seats
  • Centre armrest between rear seats
  • Rear air conditioning
  • Auxiliary heater
  • Electric boot/hatch pull down
  • Automatic door pull shut on boot/hatch
  • Storage compartment under rear seat
  • Secondary ventilation controls with digital display for front passenger and rear passengers
  • Steering wheel mounted remote audio controls
  • Six speakers
  • Audio system with touch screen ; radio receives AM/FM, digital, internet and RDS colour screen
  • 12v power outlet located in boot/cargo section, front section and rear section
  • Front and rear reading lights
  • Cup holders for front seats and rear seats
  • Bluetooth includes phone connection and music streaming
  • Connections for USB (front)
  • Apps control
  • Text to speech / speech to text
  • TFT Screen dashboard
  • Voice activating system includes audio player, includes phone and includes navigation system
  • Telematics Via SIM in vehicle with advanced automatic collision notification , includes 999 months subscription
  • Media control touch screen
  • Navigation via mobile phone
  • Satellite navigation system with colour, 8.0 inch display, touch screen, 3D and voice, maps updated via internet and traffic information 20.3
  • 5.0 inch touch sensitive multi-function display screen(s) Instrument panel 1 and 12.7, 8.0 inch touch sensitive multi-function display screen(s) Dashboard 1 and 20.3
  • Mobile Integrationusing Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink
  • Front radar-type parking distance sensors, rear radar & camera-type parking distance sensors, side radar-type parking distance sensors
  • LED low beam LED high beam headlights with ellipsoidal lenses
  • Headlight controlsystems: dusk sensor and automatic height adjustment
  • Privacy glass on the rear window and on the rear side windows
  • Front fog lights
  • Day time running lights
  • Body colour power door mirrors ; heated
  • Electrically foldable mirrors
  • Rain sensing windscreen wipers
  • Electronic traction control
  • Drivers airbag, passengers airbag with de-activation switch
  • Stability controlsystem
  • Electronic brake distribution
  • Brake assist system
  • Low tyre pressure indicator
  • Collision warning system which activates brake lights and brakes at low speed and includes brake assist, driver monitor and visual/acoustic warning
  • Anti-theft protection with interior monitoring
  • Adaptive cruise control with stop/go function
  • Particle filter system
  • Ventilation system with digital display, air filter and active carbon filter combustion
  • Cornering lights/kerb illumination
  • LED brake lights, dipped headlights, day time running lights, rear lights and main beam headlights
  • Heated washers
  • Front/forward and rear/reverse full auto park & perpendicular & exit
  • Roll stability control

Please note that some vehicles specification may not match the manufacturer supplied information due to the nature of vehicles being converted for wheelchair accessibility. Please ask us to check anything that is important to you.

Our exclusive and comprehensive Autoguard Nationwide All Mechanical and All Electrical Premium Warranty and Breakdown Assist cover always runs for 3 years and includes:

Full Breakdown Assist to include Roadside Recovery, Onward Travel, Home Start and Accident recovery

Unlimited Number of Warranty Claims on unlimited mileage

Maximum individual claim limit of £2400 including VAT

Breakdown & Recovery 24 Hours a Day/365 Days a Year 

Key WAV component cover Included

Parts and Labour are included

Continental warranty repair cover

A Free Downloadable Autoguard Contract Holder App

Transferable to a New Owner if sold Privately


Our warranty also covers you for - In Car Entertainment Systems, Air Conditioning, Driver Interface Systems, EGR Valves, Catalytic Converter and Fuel Injectors, Misfuelling Cover and Broken or Lost Key Cover 

For new WAVs you will get our exclusive and comprehensive WAV only warranty to run alongside your manufacturer’s warranty

Your Warranty & Rescue booklet

We have partnered with disability insurance specialists, Fish Insurance, who can offer Disability Car Insurance policies specifically to cover disabled drivers, adapted cars, and WAVs.

Options for any driver cover, as well as policies for non-drivers, so you can insure the vehicle in your name and it be driven by yourself, family, friends, or carers

Cover for the repair and replacement of adaptations to your car that you’ve told Fish about

Free courtesy car while your car is being repaired at one of Fish’s approved garages (or up to £700 mobility allowance if a suitable car isn’t available)

If your car is stolen, any settlement will take into account any modifications that you’ve told Fish about

Cover for accidental damage to other people’s property or injury to others up to £20m (and up to £5m per claim)

Lifetime guarantee on repairs. If you maintain the vehicle to the manufacturer’s schedule, any repairs carried out by approved repairers are guaranteed while you own the car

Protection up to £2,500 for wheelchairs or other mobility aids being transported in your car

To get a tailored quote, call 0333 331 3869 and quote code 2487.

As with any policy, limits and exclusions apply. For full details of the cover provided by Fish Insurance, click here.

Southern Mobility Vehicles ltd is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Fish Administration Limited. Fish Insurance is a trading style of Fish Administration Ltd. Fish Administration Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Firm Reference Number 310172. Fish Administration Ltd is registered in England & Wales. Company Registration Number 4214119. Registered Office: Rossington’s Business Park, West Carr Road, Retford, Nottinghamshire, DN22 7SW. Fish Administration Ltd is part of the PIB Group.

Height 1950mm
Width 1904mm
Length 4904mm
Fuel Consumption
Combined MPG 33.6
Extra Urban MPG
Urban Cold MPG
Power (BHP) 195
Maximum Speed (mph) 126
Torque (Nm) 450
Engine and Drivetrain
Cylinders 4
Driven Axle FRONT
Engine Capacity (cc) 1968
Forward Gears 7
Emissions (CO2) 219
Engine Euro Status 6
Seats 4
More information
  • Euro NCAP crash test results: Overall: 4.00, Adult occupant: 79.00, Child occupant: 74.00, Pedestrian: 32.00, Safety assist: 57.00, Version tested: Volkswagen T5 Transporter Kombi 4dr CC, Date tested: 27 Nov 2013
  • Power: (from primary fuel) 146 kW , 199 HP EEC @ 3,800 rpm; , 450 Nm @ 1,400 rpm
  • External dimensions: 4,904mm long, 1,904mm wide, 1,950mm high, 178mm ground clearance, 3,000mm wheelbase, 1,628mm front track, 1,628mm rear track, 11,900mm turning circle (wall to wall), 193.1 inches long, 75.0 inches wide, 76.8 inches high, 7.0 inch ground clearance, 118.1 inch wheelbase, 64.1 inch front track and 64.1 inch rear track

Please note that some vehicles specification may not match the manufacturer supplied information due to the nature of vehicles being converted for wheelchair accessibility. Please ask us to check anything that is important to you.

Enquire now