Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles launched the current generation of its Caddy in 2015 and has now given the light van range a boost with the addition of a business pack for the entry-level Startline model.
Debuted at the Commercial Vehicle Show in April, VW claims the pack includes the items small and large business customers most frequently specify for a competitive price.
The Caddy business pack costs £950 (all prices exclude VAT) and brings on board an alarm, rear parking sensors and air-conditioning. The brand says the price amounts to a saving of £520 compared to adding these options individually.
Standard spec on the Startline already includes front assist with city emergency braking, a five-inch colour touchscreen infotainment module including DAB radio, a leather multi-function steering wheel, and electric windows with electrically heated and adjustable wing mirrors.
The Startline panel van C20 2.0 TDI 102hp five-speed manual we drove also came with a wealth of extras that belied its nominal position as an entry-level model. These included App Connect (£158), an alloy spare wheel (£192), which seems somewhat extravagant, a Light and Vision pack (£149) with auto-dimming rear-view mirror (the rear doors are glazed), automatic headlights with daytime running lights and windscreen wiper with rain-sensor, VW’s Discover Media Nav system (£682), rubber floor mats (£101), 17in alloy wheels (£1,176), which look nice but may not be most operators’ priority, and metallic paint (£403).
The cabin is tidy, finished in robust materials and functional, and a reach- and rake-adjustable steering wheel as well as a height-, reach- and rake-adjustable driver’s seat (which the passenger side also gets) makes it easy to find the most comfortable driving position. Storage provision is generous and includes a large overhead shelf.
The touchscreen is positioned low down in the central console, however, which is not ideal for the driver’s sight line when on the move.
A full-height bulkhead with a solid lower and mesh upper separates the cab from the load bay, which is accessed via twin rear doors that activate two interior lights when opened. Six load lashing rings are installed to secure cargo.
An efficient stop/start system combines with regenerative braking and low rolling-resistance tyres to keep down fuel consumption, and hill-hold assist stops you rolling backwards when moving away from stationary on steep inclines.
Slick gear changes are well-wedded to the responsive 102hp engine, although a long ratio means you sometimes need to hold onto low gears for longer than expected. The five-speed manual ’box is fine for urban assignments and A- and B-road drives but operators spending a lot of time on motorways may prefer the sixth, cruising gear available with more powerful engines.
VW Caddy Startline Business Edition C20 2.0 TDI
Price (ex VAT) £16,105
Price range (ex VAT) £14,625-£22,205
Insurance group n/a
Warranty 3yrs/unlimited miles
Service intervals 10,000mls
Load length 1,779mm
Load width (min/max) 1,170/1,556mm
Load bay height 1,244mm
Gross payload 668kg
Load volume 3.2m3
Engine size/power 1,968cc/102hp
Combined fuel economy 60.1mpg
VW has also introduced a business pack to its Crafter large van for £1,000, excluding VAT. It’s available on entry-level Startline models and the mid-spec Trendline derivative, which is the one we sampled.
As well as an alarm, front and rear parking sensors and aircon, the pack includes a pair of remote folding keys with the alarm and a big overhead storage compartment in the cab.
VW says the pack delivers a saving of over £1k versus buying the items separately and can result in an RV uplift of £450.
Other useful extras in our test van included full-height ply-lining protection in the load bay for £485, VW’s Car-Net telematics system (£922), which can send location addresses to the Discover Media Navigation system – an option with a price tag of £692 – and a heated leather multi-function steering wheel (£254).
Powered by a 177hp 2.0-litre TDI engine mated to six-speed manual transmission the CR35 MWB van is easy to handle in town and is an accomplished long-distance load-lugger.
The business pack is a useful, value-for-money addition to an already competent light van.