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By Mark Jones

Road Test Editor


Extended VW Caddy family was well worth the wait

There are now nine models to choose from with a seating configuration to suit everyone's needs.


You know when the universe conspires against you over and over, and eventually you end up challenging it to show what more it can throw at you?

Well one thing life has taught me is never challenge the universe to a duel.

It’s a phenomenon that has now come to haunt Volkswagen and their attempts to get stock of, and launch, their all-new Caddy range of vehicles to their dealers and the buying public.

Covid-19 came and caused death and mass destruction, and just when we thought we were getting on top of this, a full-blown war breaks out in Eastern Europe.

All-round practicality is the name of the game.

You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried. For VW all of these translates into component shortages and supply chain delays. I can now finally reveal that I actually got to drive a new Caddy when it was rolled out locally last week.

ALSO READ: Volkswagen puts sticker price on all-new Caddy

The above-the-line-stuff that you might want to know is that this being the fifth generation, it is based on the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform which does duty for the Golf 8.

Caddy gets new family members

The car has now spawned into a whole new list of names which includes Caddy Maxi, Caddy Kombi, Caddy Maxi Kombi, Caddy Cargo and Caddy Maxi Cargo.

You need to pay attention now because I am going to explain in very basic terms what all these new model designations translate into.

The Caddy and Caddy Maxi are basically for passengers and lifestyle use. The entry-level derivative comes as a short wheelbase with five seats and an optional seven-seat selection.

The Caddy Maxi with a long wheelbase comes standard with a seven-seat configuration. The Caddy Kombi and Caddy Maxi Kombi are for carrying even more people.

The Kombi is a short wheelbase with seven seats and the Maxi Kombi is a long wheelbase with five seats and an optional seven-seat configuration.

The familiar VW interior layout lends elegance to the cabin.

Both model lines feature easily removable and folding seats as well as easy-access sliding rear passenger doors. Do you understand the importance of paying attention?

Acres of space

The Caddy Cargo and Caddy Maxi Cargo are for carrying bigger loads. It runs on the short 2 755mm wheelbase and has a load compartment volume of 3.1 cubic metres.

The Maxi Cargo has a long wheelbase of 2 970mm and its load compartment volume goes up to 3.7 cubic metres.

Meant for cargo transportation, there are six lashing rings in the load compartment, a single near-side sliding door, twin near-side and off-side sliding doors (Maxi) and a rear wing door which is split into two thirds to one third ratio and has a maximum opening angle of 180 degrees.

This allows the loading of two Euro pallets.

The modern interior features digital indicator and control elements, new radio, and infotainment systems of which the Composition Comfort radio is smartphone compatible, LED interior lights and a roof vent to keep it a little cooler in the rear.

The two third row seats of the seven-seat configuration.

The high-tech journey continues with the fitment of cruise control, park assist paired with the rear-view camera that takes the hassle out of parking in tight spaces, and trailer manoeuvring that gives you extra confidence to guide the likes of a trailer easily.

Nothing worse than pulling up somewhere trying to reverse with an audience present. When you turn right, the trailer turns left and before you know it, you have a jack-knifed trailer.

Caddy powertrains

Where things move down a notch from high-tech to more practical, the range is available with only one naturally aspirated petrol engine and one old tried-and-tested diesel engine. The sole transmission choice being a six-speed manual gearbox.

I never drove the 81kW/152Nm 1.6-litre petrol, but the claim is it delivers fuel consumption of 7.3-litres per 100 km, and this particular engine is available in the Caddy, Caddy Kombi (SWB) and Caddy Cargo (SWB) derivatives.

I did sample the 2.0 TDI that develops an equal 81kW of power but almost double the torque at 300Nm, and even better claimed fuel consumption of 5.5-litres per 100 km. I had no complaints with what was on offer in terms of drive.

The turbodiesel is available in the Caddy, Maxi (LWB), Kombi (SWB), Maxi Kombi (LWB), Cargo (SWB) and Maxi Cargo (LWB).

Pricing

Cargo 1.6i – R404 000
Caddy 1.6i – R484 200
Kombi 1.6i – R412 100
Cargo 2.0 TDI – R460 600
Maxi Cargo 2.0 TDI – R487 200
Caddy 2.0 TDI – R573 800
Kombi 2.0 TDI – R476 100
Maxi 2.0 TDI – R600 400
Kombi Maxi 2.0 TDI – R502 700

The Caddy and Caddy Maxi are covered by a three-year/120 000 km warranty, while both Cargo and Kombi versions feature a two-year/unlimited km warranty.

For more information on the new VW Caddy, click here.

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