Caddy tops NZ city van seg­ment


VOLKSWAGEN’S NIFTY CADDY IS THE UNDIS­PUTED KING OF the city vans in New Zealand. When the all-new fourth-gen­er­a­tion Caddy ar­rived in 2016, Volkswagen NZ dropped the TDI diesel engine from the range, and of­fered an all-petrol line-up.

For 2017, the NZ Caddy line-up con­sists of four mod­els, the en­try-level short-wheel­base Caddy Run­ner TSI, the big­ger-en­gined Caddy Van, also on a short wheel­base and the long-wheel­base Maxi Van and Crew­van.

The Caddy Run­ner has a 1.2-litre tur­bocharged petrol mo­tor driv­ing the front wheels through a man­ual six-speed gear­box. The engine de­vel­ops 62kw of max­i­mum power and peak torque of 160Nm be­tween 1500 and 3500rpm.

VW quotes com­bined cy­cle fuel con­sump­tion of 5.5 litres/100km.

The other mod­els all use a 1.4-litre tur­bocharged four-cylin­der de­vel­op­ing 92kw of max­i­mum power and 220Nm of peak torque that’s avail­able be­tween 1500 and 3500rpm.

All three 1.4-litre mod­els are avail­able with a choice of six-speed man­ual or seven-speed DSG au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

Quoted fuel use for the Caddy Van is 5.8 litres/100km (man­ual) and 5.5 litres for the DSG.

VW says the Maxi Van is ca­pa­ble of 5.9 litres and 5.5 litres per 100km.

We haven’t driven the 1.2-litre Caddy Run­ner, but the 1.4-litre SWB Caddy Van we tested dur­ing 2016 pro­vided brisk per­for­mance (VW quotes a 0-100km/h ac­cel­er­a­tion time of 10.3 se­conds), and its over­all re­sponses were car-like.

The lat­ter is not sur­pris­ing as the van is ba­si­cally a car in com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle trim, and is built on the same MQB plat­form as the lat­est Volkswagen Golf hatch­back.

The Maxi’s load com­part­ment length is 2249mm and height and width height and width are 1556mm and 1532mm re­spec­tively.

The Caddy Maxi’s load space is 4.2 cu­bic me­tres, and the pay­load is 832kg. An op­tional max­i­mum pay­load kit lifts the Maxi’s pay­load to 1075kg.

Six load tie-down eyes are pro­vided on the floor of SWB mod­els, and the Caddy Maxi gets eight.

A side-load­ing slid­ing door on the left-hand side is stan­dard on SWB Cad­dys, and the Maxi comes with dual slid­ing side doors. A sec­ond slid­ing door is avail­able as an added-cost op­tion on the SWB mod­els.

A neat over­head stor­age area in the pas­sen­ger com­part­ment pro­vides a handy out-of-the-way place to stow bits and pieces, and there are stor­age com­part­ments un­der the front seats.

Cli­mate-con­trol air-con­di­tion­ing, height-ad­justable driver’s seat, power win­dows, elec­tri­cally-ad­justable, heated door mir­rors and a leather-wrapped multi-func­tion steer­ing wheel are stan­dard fare, but cruise-con­trol is an added-cost op­tion.

Cad­dys have front seat airbags, and driver and front seat pas­sen­ger side cur­tain airbags are an added cost op­tion.

Stan­dard safety fea­tures in­clude a Front As­sist Sur­round­ing mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem, and City Emer­gency Brak­ing which ap­plies the brakes au­to­mat­i­cally if a col­li­sion is im­mi­nent when trav­el­ling at speeds of up to 30km/h.

It also has a multi-col­li­sion brak­ing sys­tem which, in a crash, au­to­mat­i­cally takes con­trol of the brak­ing func­tion if the driver can’t.

There is also a Rest As­sist fea­ture, ad­vis­ing the driver to take a break if it’s de­tected he or she is be­com­ing drowsy, and there’s hill hold as­sist on DSG mod­els and rear park­ing aid with a re­vers­ing cam­era, a first in this seg­ment.

Caddy pric­ing starts at $29,990 for the SWB Run­ner; SWB 1.4-litre Caddy Vans are $33,990 and $37,490 for the DSG auto, with Maxi mod­els list­ing at $37,990 and $41,490 for man­ual and auto mod­els.

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