Road Test: Volkswagen Caddy
Volkswagen had already decided to offer the latest Caddy with a choice of Euro 5 and Euro 6 diesel engines before last year’s exhaust scandal. The 102hp EU6 was to be the first available, as it was expected to grab the lion’s share of UK Caddy sales, with 75hp and 150hp engines coming on stream this year. The company has also announced that it will offer petrol engines in Caddy.
The 102hp diesel will be available in standard and dedicated BlueMotion trim on the smaller Caddy, though there is no specific Bluemotion Caddy Maxi on offer.
That said all Caddy and Caddy Maxi vans get BlueMotion Technology, including Start/Stop, Hill Hold Assist, low rolling resistance tyres and regenerative braking. They also come with a 9-litre AdBlue tank beneath the bonnet, that will need refilling every 5-6,000 miles.
The result for this Caddy Maxi in range-topping Highline trim, is a promised 58.8mpg combined figure, with CO2 emissions set at 126g/km. Not too bad when you consider this 4.2m3 van can still carry a respectable 705kg payload.
The 102hp Caddy Maxi comes as standard with a five-speed manual gearbox, though a six-speed DSG is available as an option. Unusually the manual returns the better fuel figures, thanks no doubt to some long gearing that sees the larger Caddy happily tackling motorways, as well as the urban beat.
While the Euro 6 engine is undoubtedly very smooth and torquey, it isn’t the quietest installation in a van, even with a full height bulkhead. Admittedly a whistling driver’s door didn’t help, but the steering wheel-mounted audio controls were a useful addition as the van gained speed.
The Caddy Maxi cab is a very pleasant place to spend the day though, particularly in Highline trim. All Caddy vans come with a long list of standard kit, including heated and electrically adjustable mirrors, electric windows, a DAB+ radio with Bluetooth and a host of input options.
Mid-range Trendline trim adds a multi-function display, cruise control, storage under the seats, body coloured bumpers, door mirror housings and door handles, rear parking sensors and an eight-way adjustable driver’s seat.
Our Highline model tops that with Climatic air conditioning, a leather steering wheel (upgraded to multi-function for £702), a Light & Vision pack of auto wipers and lights plus auto dimming mirror, front fogs, a heated windscreen, a Cat 1 immobiliser and 15” alloy wheels. The van also boasted Front Assist including City Emergency Braking (£288) and, rather oddly given its range-topping status, leatherette trim (£30) that felt suspiciously like vinyl. Easy to clean perhaps, but not a box I would have ticked.
There is no denying the Caddy Maxi is a relaxing easy drive, with comfortable adjustable seating. The revised cab layout feels built to last too, though the A4 document holder on top of the dash would benefit from a lid to cut reflections in the windscreen.
Suffice to say if the fleet manager pointed one in your direction there would be little to complain about.
What we think
Whatever your feelings about exhaust emissions testing, there is little doubt that the Euro 6 Caddy Maxi competes at the very top of the sector.
MODEL Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Highline EU6
BASIC PRICE £19,060
ENGINE 4-cyl/1,68 cc
FUEL INJECTION Common-rail
POWER 102hp @ 4,400rpm
TORQUE 250Nm @ 1,500-2,500rpm
KERB WEIGHT 1,594
MAX TRAILER WEIGHT 1,500
LOAD SPACE LENGTH 2,249
LOAD SPACE WIDTH 1,552
LOAD SPACE HEIGHT 1,259
LOAD VOLUME 4.2 m3
COMBINED CO2/MPG 126g/km/58.8mpg
Oil Change 1 yr/18,000 miles
Warranty 3 yr/100,000 miles