It achieved Highly Commended status in the light van category in the What Van? Awards. So, has six months of living with the Caddy done anything to make Tony Rock doubt that assessment?
For me, the best aspect of spending half a year behind the wheel of Volkswagen’s Caddy in a long-term test was discovering how good it is on the road: this is a smooth performer, with responsive steering and a firm ride, and a pleasure to drive.
At 125hp, the 1.4-litre TSI engine is the highest-powered of the petrol options available in the line-up.
It offers a top speed of 115mph and a 0-62mph time of 10.3 seconds, which translates to plenty enough power for motorways and dual-carriageways, while the six-speed gearbox that accompanied it was a slick mover that was easy to engage and didn’t lurch when pulling away.
The Caddy’s a breeze to manoeuvre around town, too, and reverse parking is a doddle.
To help with getting into spaces, Highline trim models (which is what ours was) come with rear parking sensors as standard.
Meanwhile, the vehicle’s average fuel economy edged up from 36.3mpg to 37.4mpg during the roughly 6,500 miles travelled, with a high of 42.3mpg and a low of 32.2mpg for individual fill-ups.
A load area measuring 3.2m3 handled almost every domestic carrying task I asked of it – the one occasion when it couldn’t cope was when the longest parts of a dismantled, second-hand sofa bed that had been acquired wouldn’t fit, which meant commandeering a seven-seater car.
Moving towards the front, the cab isn’t the most thrilling-looking of environments – it’s mostly finished in hardwearing, practical, black plastic – but it is comfortable, and the technology that’s on offer (satellite navigation, DAB radio, smartphone connectivity etc.) works well.
The one downer we experienced in our time with the Caddy is the amount of road noise that enters the cabin, which was exacerbated on a couple of occasions by strips of rubber seal breaking free on the bottom of the windows and flapping against the vehicle exterior or window (I couldn’t tell which), causing a tapping that was particularly irritating, while it lasted, when travelling at motorway speeds.
When this long-termer first arrived we made use of the optional Winter Pack that was added to the Caddy, particularly features such as the heated seats and headlight washers, although you’ll have to decide if such extras, which come at a cost of £485 excluding VAT, are worth the benefits they provide for the months of the year when they’re useful.
As mentioned in the introduction at the top of this page, the Volkswagen Caddy is the current holder of the Highly Commended honour in the in the What Van? Awards light van category, and in its six-month stay on our fleet it did more than enough to confirm it deserves that exalted status.
The latest Caddy range is well endowed with up to date safety technology, which could make all the difference in the event of an accident.
Options list 3/5
Nice cold-climate extras to go with the standard aircon and heated windscreen and door mirrors, although you’ll probably survive without them.
Gets from A to B in good time and once there negotiates tight spaces easily.
Load bay 4/5
Accomplished almost all that’s been asked of it so far.
Sensible, if a little dull-looking, working environment, that lost a mark because of the amount of road noise you can hear.
Build quality 4/5
The “phenomenal build quality” we talked about when the Caddy picked up a Highly Commended recommendation in the Awards was let down by bits of window rubber seals coming loose.
OVERALL SCORE 73%
Highline C20 Eu6 1.4 TSI 125hp BMT 6-speed manual
Official combined consumption 48.7mpg
Our average consumption 37.4mpg
Price range (ex VAT) £14,625-£22,205
Price (ex VAT) £17,735
Service intervals 1yr/10,000mls
Load length 1,779mm
Load width (min/max) 1,170/1,556mm
Load bay height 1,244mm
Load volume 3.2m3
Gross payload 645kg
Engine size/power 1,395cc/125hp
Click below to see previous report