With the platform, technology and engines of the Golf, the new Volkswagen Caddy was designed to become the benchmark in the compact van segment in terms of functionality, versatility, equipment and technology. One of the versions available is the Cargo Business with a 122 hp engine.
Based on the modular transverse platform (MQB), used by several Volkswagen Group front-wheel drive models – including the Golf VIII – Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has developed the fifth generation of its Caddy compact van range, which has already amassed more than three million vehicles. of units sold since its launch in 1978.
The new generation was designed to become the new benchmark in the segment, which in our country is dominated by the three musketeers of the PSA Group, but which, as in the famous novel by French writer Alexandre Dumas, there are four: Peugeot Partner, Citroën Berlingo , Opel Combo and…Toyota Proace City.
Four decades later, the Caddy once again shares the Golf’s platform, including not only the main mechanical components, but also the technological solutions, with emphasis on digitalization and connectivity.
The adoption of the MQB platform made it possible to increase the wheelbase from 2682 mm to 2755 mm and the brand’s design team took the opportunity to create a completely new body, with balanced proportions and an outer length of 4.5 meters in the case of the short chassis version. The designers also managed to reduce the drag coefficient from 0.33 to 0.30, becoming the new benchmark in the category.
Keeping its traditional DNA, which combines versatility and functionality, the Caddy presents a more aggressive style and sporty traits. The exterior design is dominated by a raised, SUV-like hood, while the front section adopts the brand’s latest visual signature. Volkswagenhighlighting, of course, the engine grille and the optical groups, which, together with the redesigned bumpers, constitute a homogeneous and functional unit.
On Cargo Business versions, like the unit tested, the bumper is painted in the body color to give a more elegant appearance.
Larger cargo compartment
The side silhouette is more muscular than the previous generation, based on the Volkswagen Touran, and the surfaces are also more sculpted. The double roof line contributes to lowering the new Caddy’s center of gravity. The rear, for its part, has a cleaner shoulder line and has a vertical section with narrow optical groups. The lower part is dominated by lines with a vertical orientation and includes the new logo alluding to this model. The rear doors also have a new design, being in the van with double hinges and entirely in sheet metal.
The longer wheelbase made it possible to increase the load compartment by five centimeters of the short version of the Caddy Cargo. Despite lowering the vehicle’s overall height by 25 mm to 1819 mm, the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles design team managed to increase the interior height of the load compartment by 7 mm to 1259 mm.
The combination of an internal length of 1797 mm and a width of 1614 mm, makes it possible to provide a useful volume of 3.1 m3 and to load two Euro pallets transversally, thanks to a distance of 1230 mm between the wheel arches, which also becomes a category references. Side access is ensured by a sliding door with a width of 840 mm.
The load compartment has six eyes for lashing the load and the floor of the Cargo Business versions has a rubber coating, while the side walls have platex protection at half height.
The introduction of the new MQB platform was also reflected in the cabin of the new Caddy, as the main controls and instrumentation are already familiar from the eighth generation of the Volkswagen Golf.
The new Caddy is now available with the “Digital Cockpit”, which includes a fully digital instrument panel, which has two screen configuration options, thanks to the new multifunction steering wheel. The center console receives a touchscreen, which allows access to the infotainment system, as well as the images transmitted by the rear camera or the side assistance system (Side Assist).
The cabin also has digital surfaces for the light, audio and multifunction menu functions. The traditional swivel control of the lights has disappeared to make way for the “Light & Sight” touch panel, located to the left of the steering wheel.
The driver can thus quickly and easily access the menu items of the central control system via the direct access buttons. In turn, the parking brake becomes electric, while the start system does not have a key (Keyless Access). In addition, LED interior lights, multiple stowage spaces – including a top shelf and two cup holders in the center console – and a power supply for external devices add to onboard comfort.
The new Caddy’s driving position is elevated, similar to a compact SUV, ensuring good visibility of the road and traffic conditions. Finding the right driving position is not complicated, thanks to the various adjustment possibilities for the seat and also for the steering wheel, which is adjustable in height and inclination.
Volkswagen Caddy Cargo Maxi is now available in Portugal
The new Caddy continues to offer a capacity in the cabin for two occupants, with a version with three forward seats not being planned. Those who want a third place will have to opt for the Kingcab Business variant, which offers an additional seat in the second row.
All versions of the Caddy Cargo receive more complete equipment as standard than the previous generation to ensure greater competitiveness against the main competitors, namely the PSA Group and Renault.
The Caddy Cargo Business version, which should correspond to most sales, is distinguished from the outside by its bumpers painted in the body color. The standard equipment also includes air conditioning, parking sensors, a multifunction steering wheel and a rubber-covered cargo area and the “City Drive” driving assistance package, which includes the driver alert system, the multifunction steering wheel, the Rear parking sensors and the “Plus” multifunction indicator
The unit tested had several options that provide greater comfort in driving, highlighting the dual-zone automatic air conditioning, the rear camera, the lane change assistant “Side Assist”, the lane maintenance assistant ” Lane Assist”, which corrects the trajectory, or the brightness sensor.
Quite interesting and useful is the also optional active cruise control with Front Assist and autonomous emergency braking, which allows you to maintain the predetermined speed and distance to the vehicle in front. The system is simple to use, just program the desired speed and distance on the multifunction steering wheel. With the system active, the vehicle maintains the set speed, automatically slowing down when approaching the rear of another vehicle, maintaining the distance to the same.
122 hp engine
In the mechanical chapter, the new Caddy receives 2.0-liter direct injection turbodiesel engines, which offer power levels of 75 hp, 102 hp and 122 hp. The unit tested had this last engine, associated with a six-speed manual gearbox. This engine offers interesting accelerations and recoveries for a vehicle that weighs around 1.5 tons empty.
The fuel consumption during the test was 7.0 l/100 km, a value above the 4.9 l/100 km in the WLTP cycle announced by the manufacturer, but it is also explained by the low mileage of the tested unit.
As for the retail price, the Caddy Cargo Business 2.0 TDI with 122 hp and a six-speed manual gearbox starts at €26,473. The additional equipment present in the tested unit, namely driving assistance, raise the final value to 34,888 euros.
For those who want a compact van with the technology and diesel engines of the Volkswagen Golf, and with a build quality above the segment average, the new Caddy is an excellent alternative. Price positioning was also revised to ensure greater competitiveness against French competitors.
Essay originally published in Turbo Commercials 42 – March/April 2021
Volkswagen Caddy Van Sport 2.0 TDI 122 hp M6
|MOTOR||4 CILs; 1968 CC; 122 HP|
|STREAMING||Forward; 6 Vel; man|
|GROSS WEIGHT||2220 KG|
|USEFUL VOLUME||3.1 M3|
|CONSUMPTION||4.9 l / 100 KM (WLTP) / Heads 7.2 l / 100 KM|
Electric front windows, electric exterior mirrors, electronic parking brake with Auto Hold function, H7 headlights, automatic headlight control, sliding side door, air conditioning, LED license plate lighting, painted bumpers in body color, parking sensors, multifunction steering wheel, rubber-covered cargo space, “City Drive” driving assistance package, which includes the driver alert system, multifunction steering wheel, rear parking sensors and the “Plus” multifunction indicator