Volkswagen’s Caddy range combines car-like driving characteristics and interior features with a tough, durable chassis. There’s a wide range of choice for businesses looking for a smaller delivery van or working vehicle. With a choice of the standard Caddy or the larger Maxi, plus a Kombi version with a second row of seats, it’s easy to find the specification you need.
From the front, the smart, distinctive full-width grille and faired-in headlights are distinctively Volkswagen family, with more than a hint of Golf. It’s a timeless and businesslike exterior, while the interior is comfortable, car-like and well laid out. The Caddy comes in 2,681mm wheelbase form for the standard van or 3,006mm for the Caddy Maxi, with a standard roof height in both versions giving volumes of 3.2m3 for the Caddy and 4.2m3 for the Maxi. Maximum payload is 857kg. The rear doors open to 90 degrees but can be fully opened to 180 degrees at the flick of a lever, for maximum access. A sliding side door with a 700mm opening comes as standard and you can specify a second sliding door on the opposite side. If you need to carry more than two people there’s a Maxi-based version with a second row of seats, the Caddy Kombi.
The Caddy is available with a choice of three 2.0 TDI diesel
engines with power outputs of 74bhp, 101bhp and 148bhp respectively. The two
more powerful units can be matched with a dual-clutch DSG gearbox. If you
prefer petrol, there’s a choice of three engines, including the 1.2TSI 84PS,
the advanced three-cylinder 1.0TSI 102PS, and the 1.4TSI 125PS, which is
available with the DSG box. For the ultimate in economy, the Bluemotion 102PS
TDI version features a lower ride height, aerodynamic aids and a remapped ECU
to over 70mpg on the combined cycle. All engines, both diesel and petrol, are
Caddy models are available with a high level of safety equipment. Driver and passenger airbags are standard, and side airbags are optional. Front Assist monitors the distance to obstacles at the front of the vehicle and sounds an audible warning, as well as priming the brakes for an emergency stop if it thinks a collision is imminent. Emergency City Braking takes it a step further to apply the brakes at low speeds to prevent, or lessen the impact of, a collision.
Other safety options include Adaptive Cruise Control, Light Assist, which automatically dips the main beam (standard with Highline), and Driver Alert, which detects changes in driving style that could indicate tiredness and sounds a warning.
Verdict: if you’re looking for a reliable, smart and well-equipped compact panel van, the Volkswagen Caddy is a safe choice in more ways than one.