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On-test: VW’s canny Caddy delivers

Insights

Build quality and driving dynamics in vans have changed considerably in recent years. And sitting behind the wheel of VW’s latest Caddy - a Euro 6 compliant short-wheelbase van - I could easily be sat in any of the German maker’s small cars. Geoff Ashcroft reports.

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VW’s latest Caddy packs a Euro 6 compliant 2.0TDi with AdBlue. Drives like a Golf.
VW’s latest Caddy packs a Euro 6 compliant 2.0TDi with AdBlue. Drives like a Golf.

The Caddy van does boast incredible build quality, with a level of fit and finish that could embarrass other car companies. VW has strived to provide an exceptional approach to safety too, and despite this model having only 102hp in the nose, a reasonable amount of performance is available.

 

Yet externally, to the untrained eye, this version looks strikingly similar to, er, the last Caddy van.

Interior of the Caddy is on a par with any of the maker's cars.

Caddy buyers do get plenty of choice. Engines can be Euro 5 compliant 75hp or 102hp 1.6’s, or Euro 6 compliant 102hp and 120hp two-litre versions. An AdBlue filler can be found under the bonnet.

 

When it comes to body styles, you can choose from short-wheelbase or long-wheelbase Maxi, and trim levels can be varied from Startline, Trendline and Highline.

 

This BlueMotion version came with stop/start, regenerative braking and low rolling resistance tyres, which helps it to sip its way through the 55-litre fuel tank at an alarmingly slow rate. Up to 61.4mpg is on offer to the careful driver.

The Caddy offers up a useful 663kg payload.

A useful 663kg payload can be accessed through rear barn doors and a left-hand sliding side door. Oddly enough, our test van had windows in the rear doors, a solid, full bulkhead and a rather pointless auto-dimming rear-view mirror.

 

This aside, the Caddy delivered a refined performance, apart from some slight wind noise creeping in around the driver’s side A-post as speed rose.

 

And while the first two gears in the five-speeder get the Caddy off to a flying start, bigger jumps between third, fourth and fifth mean you will need to work the engine a little harder if you want to maintain progress when loaded.

Need to know

  • Model: Caddy SWB Trendline panel van
  • Price: £16,690+vat (£18,695+vat as tested)
  • Engine: 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo diesel, 102hp @ 4,000rpm, 250Nm @ 1,300rpm
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
  • Performance: 12sec 0-62mph, 107mph, 61.4mpg combined, 120g/km
  • Towing capacity: 1,500kgs
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