VW al­lows you to shape the ideal van for your needs, PETER BARN­WELL writes

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

VW has been making light com­mer­cials for more than 60 years, which gives it a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence in the de­liv­ery ve­hi­cle game. A new gen­er­a­tion

just come through with ar­rival the gen four Caddy small van nu­mer­ous de­riv­a­tives and two wheel­bases, and big­ger T6 range even more de­riv­a­tives wheel­bases along with a choice in roof heights. There are so many vari­ants so

op­tion packs avail­able for both Caddy and the that you could vir­tu­ally tai­lor make your van a spe­cific re­quire­ment. It may take bit of time to roll down as­sem­bly line though, oh, cost bit too.

The Caddy, from $28,990 in twoseat van, five-seat crew and seven

Maxi has a firm foothold Aus­tralia and rests at the top of the tree in small van land, as well as ac­count­ing for good few peo­ple mover sales Caddy Maxi-van guise.

That’s be­cause it been loyal and re­li­able ser­vant to thou­sands of work­ing peo­ple over the years.

The lat­est gen­er­a­tion is built on a new shared VW plat­form used across a wide range of ve­hi­cles. It brings with it much more stylish ex­te­rior and bet­ter in­te­rior, with ac­cess to truly as­ton­ish­ing ar­ray op­tions for com­fort, safety prac­ti­cal­ity.

The big news, apart from diesel power be­com­ing avail­able next year, is the adop­tion of a new 1.4-litre Blue­mo­tion turbo petrol four­cylin­der en­gine with 92kW and 220Nm out­put. En­gine stop/start re­gen­er­a­tive brak­ing are fea­tured.

Most im­por­tant to de­liv­ery driv­ers is the level of torque (pulling power) from this at a low 1500rpm. It makes dash/dart city driv­ing eas­ier as well as aid­ing load car­ry­ing.

And it’s eco­nom­i­cal, too, us­ing lot less fuel than the pre­vi­ous and less pow­er­ful 1.2. The new donk can achieve a com­bined fuel consumption fig­ure of as lit­tle as 6.0-litres/100km in base model man­ual. It rises a bit with the larger vans but the sev­en­speed DSG manu­matic trans­mis­sion helps keep it down to around 6.5.

Load ca­pac­ity in the work­ing van is be­tween 773kg 841kg de­pend­ing on the model and wheel­base.

All Cad­dies get some ad­vanced safety kit, in­clud­ing multi-col­li­sion brak­ing, which au­tonomously brakes ve­hi­cle af­ter you’ve had a prang. There’s also fatigue de­tec­tion that mon­i­tors how you drive and warns if it thinks are on the blink.

Be­cause it’s based VW’s new small car plat­form, Caddy gets bet­ter steer­ing brak­ing along with su­pe­rior ride from in­de­pen­dent front and rigid axle with leaf spring rear sus­pen­sion.

Cruise con­trol is stan­dard but a re­verse cam­era op­tional on the work­ing vans, peo­ple movers. A would be handy for the work­ers too.

The in­te­rior looks bet­ter and has some pas­sen­ger car style func­tion el­e­ments, but is still cheap look­ing and hard. That could a good thing for a work­ing ve­hi­cle that may never ben­e­fit from be­ing cleaned.

VW has fit­ted plenty of handy kit in­side the cabin, such as the roof bins and nu­mer­ous stor­age com­part­ments

bot­tle hold­ers. De­pend­ing on model, there’s a not bad in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem through to pretty good one. They have gone down the phone stream­ing path for sat­nav though.

The ex­te­rior is much im­proved, with more an­gles and smarter grille.

new VW Caddy of­fers plenty of per­for­mance from plucky 1.4litre en­gine. We didn’t get a drive in the man­ual but the seven-speed DSG is a crack­ing good de­vice de­liv­er­ing crisp gear changes at right time.

It gets off mark smartly and from be­hind wheel, feels much like Golf with cheap in­te­rior.

Ride qual­ity is im­pres­sive empty or par­tially loaded on our brief test drive, the work­ing Caddy was reg­is­ter­ing a measly 7.4 litres/100km in mostly city driv­ing.

It’s easy to op­er­ate, has log­i­cal­ly­placed switches and really, would be a rel­a­tively pleas­ant en­vi­ron­ment to spend your work­ing days.

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