Review: New Volkswagen Caddy (2016) 2.0 TDI
Got a group of friends who need to be transported around? A large family? Or, if you just want to lug some old boxes here and there in relative comfort, without going the relatively expensive SUV route, the 2016 Volkswagen Caddy Trendline seems like the logical fit when it comes to multitasking.
As a stalwart on our roads for many generations, the Caddy only seems to be getting better with age. Evolving from the once boxy van that graced our streets, the latest fourth generation Volkswagen Caddy encompasses some of the finest German engineering, particularly in the powertrain department.
You see, the good folks at Volkswagen decided to share some of its passenger car technology with the Caddy, so while the chassis remains familiar, the engine line-up is impressive, adding to the car-like feel.
The biggest talking point is the redesigned look of the exterior. From the new grille that shares similar traits to the Amarok and the stylish headlight clusters that seamless flow into the new grille. Even the Caddy’s rear has been tightened up and the new taillights blend in well with the nicely sculptured boot.
Scooting our Caddy test car along is the new 2-litre TDI unit, which may be the slightly detuned version of the two diesel derivatives available – there is a 103kW version in auto only – but it certainly doesn’t take away from the smoothness of the 81kW oilburner. The TDI goes about its business with complete finesse and there is plenty of tug power on hand thanks to the 250Nm of torque and sips fuels at an economical rate of a claimed 5.7 litres per 100km.
Regardless of the frugal side, the Caddy has got plenty of drive and is wonderful on the open road. Smooth and almost carefree, the car whizzes along at different speeds pleasantly without much wind or tyre noise. If you need that quick pull off, the Caddy is up for the challenge, but it does prefer settling in at the 120km/h mark, where the engine hums along.
Firmly planted on the black stuff, the Caddy has evolved into a polished family commuter. The ride position is slightly upright, but the steering is direct and responsive so interacting with this German transporter is easy in any environment.
While our test car boasted the five-speed manual box, my first choice would be the phenomenal six-speed dual-clutch transmission as the five-speed gearbox needs to worked.
Nonetheless, dressed in its Trendline attire and equipped with the TDI powertrain, the Caddy marches along purposefully. The cabin is airy and the luggage compartment is abundant making it more than adequate to fit five-passengers plus a vacation load of baggage in the boot. The sliding passenger doors makes loading and unloading easy, as the Caddy becomes a functional people-carrier. One of those that might seem slightly utilitarian but boy does it grow on you.
I really enjoyed the intuitive cockpit as the familiar dials and buttons are easy-to-use and the fit and finish places the vehicle in a league of its own when stacked up against its rivals.
Admittedly the newly refreshed Volkswagen Caddy isn’t a complete overhaul from its predecessor, the small changes are enough to keep the transporter relevant and the modern styling will certainly drive the vehicle along until the completely new VW arrives.
Next time you find yourself stuck in the busy Joburg traffic, look around. There are a lot of Caddys gracing our roads. They’ve become a choice vehicle for small businesses in the form of the panel van, to a long-wheel base derivative. There seems to be a Caddy for all occasions, and even with a pricetag of over R350 000 for our test car, it offers familiar German engineering in a problem-solving package.
|Base Price||R351 200|
|Engine Capacity||1 968 cm³|
|No. Of Cylinders||4-cylinders|
|Power||81kW at 4 200 r/min|
|Torque||250Nm at 2 500 r/min|