Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has introduced a new Caddy and VetCar was one of the first to take it on extended test drive. While it may look the same in the distance, the new generation Caddy with more fuel-efficient engines, new design, added safety and extra functionality
Globally the third generation Caddy sold around 800,000 units within just 6 years. It quickly became a very popular choice with the veterinary profession The new Caddy now promises a dynamic continuation of this success story and it is the first van in its class to be equipped as standard with ESP on all models.
The compact van with its practical rear sliding door system has been enhanced in every area. Six new TDI engines with up to 21% lower fuel consumption a completely restructured model range, a more precise, fresh front design in the style of the new Amarok and current Transporter, and an upgraded interior, plus further reduced maintenance costs make the new Caddy one of the most innovative compact vans on the market.
The new Caddy will also be the only vehicle in this market segment available with the option of an efficient 6 or 7-speed direct shift gearbox (DSG) and Hill-Start Assist. Naturally, the new generation of this best-selling vehicle is once again available with an extended wheelbase (Maxi) and – uniquely in this market segment – with (4MOT
ION) 4-wheel drive. 4MOTION being available for the Caddy Maxi and Caddy Maxi Life (the passenger version).
There are four new high-tech engines, all of them are completely new to the range and equipped with turbocharging and direct fuel injection. The turbocharged four-valve (TDI) diesel engines deliver 75 bhp, 102 bhp, 110 bhp and 140 bhp respectively. All of the TDIs now work with very quiet and efficient common rail direct injection. All TDIs are also linked as standard to a diesel particulate filter. The 102 bhp TDI can be ordered as an option with a 7-speed DSG. For the more powerful 140 bhp TDI there is also a specially designed 6-speed DSG available. The 110 bhp is exclusively available as a 4MOTION
model with four-wheel drive for the Caddy Maxi and Caddy Maxi Life.
The 75 bhp TDI can also be ordered as a BlueMotion Technology variant Every Caddy equipped with BlueMotion Technology has a Start/Stop system and an automatic battery regeneration system for utilising the energy that would otherwise be lost during braking. With this system, whenever the driver lifts his or her foot from the accelerator or concertedly brakes, the generator’s voltage gets increased and is used to top up the battery. That reduces the load on the engine and thus lowers consumption.
The most fuel-efficient model in the range is the new Caddy 1.6 TDI with BlueMotion Technology (75 kW / 102 bhp). Average consumption: 4.9 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres (panel van). This new fuel consumption figure produces a range of 1,176 kilometres on one tank.
ON THE ROAD
My test van was the 1.6TDi developing 102 bhp. The outgoing 1.9 TDi engine developed similar power and torque to the new engine. Thus the performance will be the same, but the new engine is much quieter. Fuel consumption of this engine is good and the official VW figures for the new Caddy are 6.5 L/100km (43.38mpg) for urban driving and 5.6L/100km (50.3 mpg) on the combined cycle.
The Caddy is very pleasant to drive. The suspension does a good job on our irregular roads and soaks up all the bumps quite well. Cornering is good for this type of van. The driving position is very good .and the two large door mirrors give a good view. From the drivers seat the rearword visibility is compromised somewhat by the bulkhead and the divide in the rear doors. The bulkhead is a great idea for safety purposes. The optional hatch type rear door offers better visibility (and cover for the vet getting undressed for obstetrics).
FOR THE VET.
The Caddy Panel Van has a very roomy load compartment with a volume of 3.2 m3 and convenient access on the front passenger side through a 70 cm wide sliding door – incidentally, the widest in its class. Materials and veterinary drugs can be loaded quickly and easily through the standard tailgate or optional rear wing doors. On request, you can receive the Caddy Panel Van with a second sliding door on the driver’s side which is well worth the extra E150 . This makes it easy for you to transport even long and bulky items weighing up to 800 kg. To ensure that your load is always firmly secured on its way to your destination, the vehicle has six lashing eyes as standard and a full partition to the cab.
Prices for the new Caddy range are very competitive, starting at €14,710 for the panel van with the 75 bhp engine (VAT/VRT included, delivery extra). The 1.6 Tdi 102 BHp is listed at E16,495 and the extra power is helpful when the van has a 200kg cargo of drugs and the driver needs to overtake swiftly. This is probably the best value for the country vet. The very desirable 102 BHP with DSG (6 speed automatic transmission) costs E18,725 and if you need the 2.0 TDi with 140 BHP the cost rises to E19,035 for the manual and E21,265 for the DSG.
Like the outgoing model the new range includes a Maxi version with prices start at E17,415 for the 1.6TDi 102 BHP. Perhaps the most interesting model in the range is the Caddy Maxi 2.0Tdi 4Motion (four wheel drive). While the Maxi is the same width as the standard van, it is much longer for parking purposes. A 4Motion version of the standard model would suit vets better but that option is not yet available in right hand drive format.
The Caddy Life (passenger vehicle) model range has also been expanded. This relates to a standard upgrade of equipment levels, to new interior materials, steering wheels and other equipment details. Now there are two model lines available: the Life Trendline as the new entry model and as the new top model there will also be the Comfortline Edition. Standard on all versions: new daytime running lights. Optional extras on the new range include adaptive cornering lights (integrated into the front fog lights), roof rack (standard on Comfortline) and the newly designed RNS 315 radio/navigation system. Prices for the caddy Life start at E22,785 (75bhp) and E25,690 for the 102 bhp model. Both are in Band B and the annual road tax is E156.
The new Caddy range is now more competitive in its segment thanks to the new engine refinement and the standard ESP. Its popularity is assured within the veterinary profession and without, and whichever Caddy you choose (and there is a big choice), you are unlikely to be disappointed.