The Volkswagen Caddy Van is getting a modern makeover
What is it?
Even if the mid-range van from Volkswagen is in the spotlight in the brand’s commercial vehicle range, the other models must certainly not be sidelined – not least the Caddy, the smallest of the vehicles.
The new generation hit the market in 2014, although – in truth – it was little more than a slight update of its predecessor, a van that hit the market nearly two decades ago. It’s safe to say that a new Caddy was needed pretty badly back then, and here we are with this brand new generation, but does it work?
There’s a lot going on in this new Caddy, and a large part of it comes from Volkswagen’s latest Golf. This also includes the use of a new MQB platform, which enables further technological developments – not least the same button-less, fully digitized interior as the famous hatchback from Volkswagen, which we will go into in more detail later.
The Caddy’s exterior has also been redesigned quite a bit, or as much as possible with a van, with the most noticeable changes including a bold color-coded grille and glossy black stripes that extend around and above the taillights. A number of new driver assistance functions have been added, including the optional Travel Assist, which combines adaptive cruise control with lane departure warning.
What’s under the hood?
Though electrification is sweeping the van world, the memo hasn’t made it to the Caddy yet, and instead there is just a range of 2.0-liter diesel engines to choose from and a 1.5-liter gasoline engine that produces 112 hp.
The diesel output levels of 74 PS, 101 PS and 120 PS are available, the latter being used in our test car. You get this model with all-wheel drive and a DSG automatic transmission, but our model is satisfied with a manual six-speed drive on the front wheels.
While it does provide a healthy amount of punching power for a van, it’s also an efficient option. It wasn’t difficult to get close to Volkswagen’s claimed fuel economy of 57.6mpg, while the CO2 emissions of 127g / km are very respectable. This efficiency is supported by a “double dosing system” that can convert the harmful NOx emissions into water and harmless nitrogen.
How is it to drive
Perhaps the biggest compliment you can give a van is to say it drives like a Golf, but that’s essentially how the Caddy behaves. With car-like handling and a punchy and nifty engine that feels a lot more powerful than its 120 horsepower figure suggests, it’s really a very pleasant thing to be behind the wheel.
The driving experience is also fantastic, proves to be particularly comfortable and is supported by the excellent “ErgoComfort” seats from Volkswagen, which offer a lot of support and adjustment – ideal for those who spend a lot of time behind the wheel.
However, everything is not perfect as there is disappointing wind and road noise. Additional soundproofing is certainly a task for the facelift.
How does it look like?
Divisive is arguably the easiest way to describe the new Caddy. Perhaps we were all so used to his predecessor that after nearly two decades, when it was time to change him, he always split opinions. The body-colored grille is one of the most interesting details, and while it didn’t look bad on our dark blue test car, in lighter shades it looks like someone got carried away with a spray can.
The dimensions have also changed, so the new Caddy is noticeably longer – even in series production – and at the same time a bit wider and lower than before.
How is it inside?
Step out of the old van in the new caddy and you’d wonder if the cars were even the same make, let alone the same model. There is hardly a button to be seen, and a touchscreen controls most of the important functions. It looks good – and gives the Caddy the most modern interior of all vans – but operation is not that easy, especially the climate settings integrated in it.
Things look better behind the passenger area, however, with noticeable improvements in cargo space. The highlights include wider-opening rear doors and a wider cargo area so that a Euro pallet can now also be transported across the rear. Maxi models are 21.5 cm longer and also have wider sliding doors that can accommodate two Euro pallets. Despite the improvements, the competitors offer even more space.
What is the specification?
The Caddy Cargo – don’t let yourself be confused, the passenger model, which is simply called the “Caddy”, is available in three equipment variants – Commerce, Commerce Plus and Commerce Pro.
Normal models get the basics such as cruise control, a 6.5-inch touchscreen and an alert for the driver, but we recommend the “Plus” class, which gives you bumpers in body color, rear parking sensors, air conditioning and the aforementioned “ErgoComfort”. offers. Seats. If you’re keen on spending money, choose the Pro, which offers 16-inch alloy wheels, LED taillights, power folding mirrors and a large 10-inch touchscreen system similar to that of the Golf.
Prices for the Caddy Cargo (including VAT) start at £ 22,674 for the standard car, although our mid-range model costs £ 26,418 with a few optional extras.
There’s no denying that Volkswagen did a great job bringing the Caddy-Bang up to date. Where the old van felt dated, this new model feels as modern as many cars on the road today and drives better than many of them.
Although the technically charged interior doesn’t quite hit the mark, the new Caddy is generally a pleasant van and one of the best models in its segment today.
Model: Volkswagen Caddy Cargo
Base price: £ 22,674 (inc VAT)
Tested Model: Volkswagen Caddy Cargo Commerce Plus SWB 2.0 TDI 122PS
Price as tested: £ 26,418 (inc.VAT)
Engine: 2.0 liter turbo diesel
Power: 120 hp
Top speed: 115 mph
0-60 mph: N / A
MPG: 57.6 mpg
Emissions: 127g / km