Something for the van fans
Sometimes Justus Visage fantasises about owning a van. Not some skorokoro, but a van like the Hyundai turbo-diesel Multicab or the smaller Volkswagen Caddy Crew Bus 2.0 TDI, which are as good at carrying cargo as people. They are the bunny chows of the mo
Hyundai H1 2.5 turbo-diesel 6-seater Multicab Price: R492 900
Have you ever heard someone complain that their vehicle has too much luggage space? “I’ve got everything in,” they would say, “including gogo’s wheelchair, and still there’s room left! Sweetie, we should have more kids. And until they arrive, we’ll give lifts to hitchhikers.”
With the H1 Multicab, this scenario isn’t far-fetched at all. Think of a Toyota Corolla’s boot, now multiply that space by seven – that’s more or less how much cargo space the Multicab has. Yet it’s a six-seater that will transport five adults in comfort, with a jump seat up front for a child or slender grown-up.
The Multicab recently received a midlife refresh. Not much was done cosmetically, but the interior was brought up to date with the addition of Bluetooth, cruise control, a folding key and a brand-new dashboard and instruments.
Driving the H1 gave me a strange sense of purpose. Sports and high-performance cars are wonderful and all that, but their enjoyment is often a selfish activity with, dare I say it, a dash of onanism. Not the H1 – it’s in essence about other people.
Whether delivering supplies to that children’s home you support, transporting your daughter’s hockey team (with all their gear), helping friends move house or going away with them for a weekend, the H1 does it all like a champ.
Other options in the H1 range are the nine-seater petrol and diesel buses, and the threeseater panel van. However, the Multicab is the pick of the bunch, marrying that 2 500-litre cavern with spacious seating for five or six.
VW Caddy Crew Bus 2.0 TDI 81kW Price: R270 500
If the H1 has a rewarding sense of purpose about it, the smaller VW Caddy Crew Bus has that plus a dose of driving pleasure.
Though it’s basically a van with a body and suspension designed for load carrying, there’s nothing vanlike in the way it drives. Close your eyes (metaphorically) and it’s easy to imagine you’re piloting a Golf or a Polo with the associated stable ride quality, refinement and responsive engines. But like the H1, it squarely beats passenger cars for cargo space.
Though the new Caddy closely resembles the previous generation of what was already a brilliant vehicle, much has changed, especially inside. Apart from the most basic versions, all Caddies now come with an LCD touch screen infotainment system that includes Bluetooth. The dashboard, centre console and switchgear were redesigned and improved. Like the H1 Multicab, the Caddy Crew Bus has two air bags, but in typical German car fashion, you can order many extras, including more air bags. More importantly, the buyer can order another bench, which will bring the seating capacity up to seven.
Naturally, that takes up most of that wonderful cargo space, but longer Maxi Caddies are available, returning all those cubic centimetres.
Starting at R226 800 for the basic 1.6 litre petrol version (air-con optional), the Crew Cab range represents good value for money, coupled with practicality. It’s enough to turn you into a van fan.
BIG ON CLASS The H1 Multicab will transport five adults in comfort, with a jump seat up front for a child or slender grown-up
SPACE TO STRETCH The Caddy Crew Bus represents good value for money and practicality