New VW Caddy: prices, specs and release date

Most vans are business tools bought for practicality over desirability. The new Caddy changes that though, with sharp looks and a posh cabin

Chris Rosamond
Apr 29, 2020

With more than three million examples churned out to date, it’s fair to say the Volkswagen Caddy has been a sales hit. The Caddy is VW’s smallest van and like many of its rivals has also spawned people-carrier versions that appeal to car drivers looking for space and practicality on a relatively tight budget.

The Caddy goes up against small vans and van-based MPVs like the Peugeot Partner and Citroen Berlingo, the Vauxhall Combo Cargo and the Ford Transit Connect - so it has some pretty stiff competition.

The latest fifth-generation version of the Caddy has recently been unveiled, and will bring plenty to the fight when deliveries start in early 2021, not least because it’s based on the same elements that underpin the VW Golf and many other VW Group passenger cars.

This should not only bring significant driving improvements over the current Caddy, but has also enabled VW to load the Caddy with a wide range of technology, media system and safety upgrades that give it formidable showroom appeal. It’s also the first time the Caddy has ever shared its basic engineering with passenger car models.

Quick facts

  • All-new model sharing VW Golf engineering
  • Maxi version will swallow two euro-pallets
  • Super low-emission diesel versions
  • Best-yet fuel economy across the range
  • High spec models have 10-inch touchscreen
  • Plenty of safety tech on board

With a trio of petrol and one diesel engine option expected for the UK, the next Caddy has an engine to suit most drivers - including the option of a fast-shifting dual-clutch automatic 'DSG' gearbox. It’s possible VW will eventually bring plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and 4Motion four-wheel drive options to the UK too, but that has yet to be confirmed.

There are significant cabin technology upgrades too, and a new body makes this fifth-generation Caddy even more practical than before. Read on to find out more about VW’s smallest van and its spin-off MPV models.

VW Caddy design and practicality

While the new Caddy has a clear visual relationship to the existing model, it also looks fresh and new - as befits a van that has been completely redeveloped from the ground up. One that is based upon a car, no less.

Designed to look more sporty than before, the new shape features slimline light designs, and a distinctive crease along the body side. The roof is marginally lower, and the sliding side doors and tailgate are both available with remote electronic closing. High-tech features include LED head and taillamps on upmarket models, and there’s also a big panoramic glass sunroof above the first and second row of seats available in the passenger car versions. 18-inch alloy wheels will also be fitted to the top-spec models.

Practicality is assured for the new Caddy thanks to its wide opening side doors and large load space. Pick the Caddy Maxi – the extended version of the standard Caddy – and you’ll be able to fit in two Euro pallets. One goes sideways in the middle, while the second can be loaded either sideways or lengthways via the rear doors. The standard rear ‘barn doors’ of the van are unglazed for security reasons, but the passenger car versions have a lifting tailgate with a big rear window.

The cabin has its share of storage compartments, with a large bin in the centre console, and the passenger seat folds flat to use as a desk or workspace in case you need the cab to function as a mobile office.

VW Caddy versions and specifications

The VW Caddy will be sold as a standard wheelbase and long-wheelbase van, the former likely to be called the Caddy Cargo, and the latter the Caddy Maxi. There’s only one roof height across all models.

There will be a Caddy Kombi which is a commercial-grade people carrier with side windows and up to seven seats in the long wheelbase version. The Caddy will also be available with a more luxurious and car-like interior trim, again as a five-seater with the standard wheelbase and as a seven-seat long wheelbase MPV. This version will be ideal for use as a family people carrier, and trim levels for this model will be known as Caddy, Life and Style.

They’ll all be well-equipped with a minimum of a 6.5-inch touchscreen media system in the dash, while top-spec versions will be available with both VW’s latest 10-inch touchscreen and its 'Innovision' digital dash with a configurable electronic display replacing standard dials. Other features include LED interior lights, new comfort-focused seats and a 230V power supply so you can plug in your laptop or other devices.

VW is yet to announce trim grades or specifications for its latest van, but we can speculate that it’s likely to use its established Startline, Trendline and Highline grades.

There are 19 driver assistance systems available as standard or optional equipment, six of which are entirely new. Standout features include Travel Assist, the autonomous driving assistant which can steer, brake and accelerate for you. There’s also a driver alertness monitor which reminds you to keep your hands on the wheel, and Trailer Assist which helps with manoeuvring when towing. All of these should help to keep the Caddy in a low insurance group and make it cheaper to insure.

VW Caddy emissions and performance

You will be able to pick from three turbocharged diesel engines and one turbocharged petrol motor in the new Caddy, and a PHEV plug-in hybrid version could also be on the cards in the longer term.

The trio of 2.0 diesels use ‘double dosing’ and twin catalytic converters to reduce emissions, and VW claims its TDI engines are amongst the cleanest in the world. The power output options are 75hp, 102hp and 122hp. In short, expect them to be muscular enough to cope with a full load easily enough, but not powerful enough to be anything other than mildy sprightly.

The petrol engine is a 116hp 1.5-litre unit that comes with a particulate filter to cut pollution. Both the petrol and highest powered diesel will be available with a DSG dual-clutch seven-speed automatic gearbox.

Official fuel economy figures have not yet been released, but VW reckons its new Caddy line-up offers an improvement of up to 12% against the previous models.

VW Caddy prices and delivery

There’s no official pricing yet, but as the new Caddy won’t be open for orders until the latter part of 2020 that’s hardly surprising. That said, we can expect the Caddy to be priced competitively against rivals like the Ford Transit Connect, and only marginal price rises over the current model are expected.

First deliveries of the new Caddy generation are not expected in the UK until early 2021.

 

 

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