The Volkswagen Caddy is a small light commercial van, which drives like a car. VW has equipped its medium-sized panel van with an array of technology including advanced safety kit and up-to-the-minute infotainment options.
It’s not just a panel van, as VW offers the Caddy for sale in a range of body styles including a five-seat Combi and a window van. For panel van buyers you have a choice of wheelbases, with the longer version known as the Caddy Maxi. The Caddy Life is a more up-market version which comes in both five and seven-seat options.
The external design of the Caddy has been face-lifted, although it will take a close look to immediately pick the fourth generation from the third. However, the improvement in the interior will be instantly obvious. The van is designed as a working vehicle, with a large open tray in the top of the dash and a lockable glove box for added security. Additional storage compartments can be found under the front seats and there’s a huge roof shelf behind the windscreen. Heater controls are logical and simple to use, as are the controls for the Infotainment system.
The VW Caddy model line-up comprises of base model (just called ‘Caddy’), Trendline, Highline and Alltrack, and all come with a generous amount of standard equipment including driver’s seat height adjustment, DAB radio/cd player, electric windows and mirrors, a near-side sliding door, remote locking and class-leading safety features including ABS, Brake Assist, 4 Airbags, EBD, EDL, ESP, HHC, seat belt warning and post-collision warning. The Caddy Trendline adds cruise control, sun visors with vanity mirrors, more cab storage and driver seat adjustment, plus body-colour bumpers, mirrors and door handles to replace the standard black items. The Caddy Highline moves things further upmarket, with climate control, leather steering wheel, auto lights and wipers, front fog lamps and stylish alloy wheels. The Alltrack model adds body cladding, carpet in cab, Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights (DRL’s) and silver roof rails.
My test vehicle was the Caddy 1.2-litre TSI (petrol) Panel Van SWB with a five-speed manual gearbox, finished in Candy White. A payload of up to 838kg is possible in this SWB model. Power was provided by VW’s 4-cylinder engine with 84bhp, with VW quoting an official fuel consumption figure of 6.0L/100km on an extra-urban driving cycle. The cargo area in my SWB van is 3.2 cubic metres and the towing capacity is 1,400kg with a braked trailer. The LWB Caddy increases the cubic capacity to 4.2 cubic metres. Other petrol engines available are a 1.0-litre TSI with 102bhp and a 1.4-litre TSI with 125bhp. Diesel power is supplied courtesy of VW’s tried & tested TDI engines, with between 75bhp and 150bhp available in a variety of guises. At tick-over, I found the petrol engine to be quiet and, although it may seem unusual to consider buying a commercial vehicle with a petrol engine, it is ideal for businesses where ‘heavy-duty’ carrying of goods is not an everyday occurrence.
All TDI Caddy vans come with Volkswagen’s SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) technology that provides the Caddy with impressive NOx emissions by injecting AdBlue solution into the exhaust gasses. Economy figures are good with a spread of between 4.6-litres/100km and 5.1-litres/100km depending on the engine chosen.
Although the current VW Caddy looks a lot like its predecessor and is built on the same platform, it’s passenger car-derived running gear and technology has done a lot to keep the van at the head of the pack. Prices start from just €14,990 (ex-works, but incl. Vat) and represent excellent value for money.