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CAR REVIEW | Volkswagen Caddy

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Volkswagen Caddy | ★★★★☆

What Have We Got?

Here we have VW’s venerable Caddy van. Things in van land run at a slower pace and this Caddy, believe it or not, is the Mk3. The Caddy has been part of the VW catalogue since 1980, so what has it been doing with itself for the past 38 years? 

Moving, that’s what. That was what it was made to do and that’s what it does. The current Caddy on sale today is 15 years old. Does age really matter or can the Caddy still cut it?

Driving

This is your bread and butter van. Power at the front, nothing in the rear except load space. With that in mind, it makes for the rear to become rather happy on uneven road surfaces. Working vans don’t really travel empty and for the demonstration, VW placed a pallet with around 12 bags of sand on it. Even so, it still managed to be compliant in the handling department and for what was effectively an open space with no sound deadening, there were no din or road noises bouncing around the load area. 

Inside

Car drivers might not like it and if you play with a lot of Volkswagens, you’ll walk away a bit disheartened. Don’t be. The nice thing about the Caddy is its simplicity. It’s a van. Unless you want a van, you won’t be looking at one of these. There is a Caddy Life, a Caddy with rear windows and seat. That itself is like a Touran for the harder working lifestyles and less about luxury and it costs less too.

The Caddy insides are all about wipe clean surfaces and hard work. Carpets are an option! What is apparent and perhaps down to age, is the lack of storage compartments. 

What does show its age is the position of the infotainment screen. It’s a far to low down the dashboard and using the satnav means taking your eyes off the road for what feels like an eternity.

Living With It

As small vans go, there is still life left in the now 15-year-old Caddy. The simple layout in the back with minor wheel arch intrusion but still able to take that all important pallet that seems to be the benchmark for small vans. The sliding door aids access too and it’s all pretty neat. It does, however, require a load area liner. That painted area won’t stay showroom glossy for long.

The Verdict

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It’s a slower pace in the van world and when a new van comes out, the maker needs to get it right first time around. The fact that the Caddy 15 years old, in typical Volkswagen philosophy, has seen some changes to keep it up to date and is still a good seller says more about the van than I can put in words but I’ll try: It’s still competitive.

Love

Simplistic inside

Nice driving position 

Equipment

Loathe

Needs more odds and ends storage places

Satnav position

Unprotected paint on the rear bumper

The Lowdown

Car –  VW Caddy SWB Highline 2.0 TDi

Price – £ 24,287(as tested)

MPG – 60.1 mpg (combined)

Power – 102ps @2900 – 4000 rpm

0-62mph –  12 seconds

Top Speed –  107 mph

Co2 – 124 (g/km)

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