VW Commercial Vehicles is to launch its fourth-generation Caddy in the autumn of 2015, and it’s given the run-out a bit of polish with the Caddy Black Edition to keep the model in the spotlight. The limited run of 500 vehicles was added to the range late last year, and with production extended to the end of March, the last ones will be on offer in dealers now.
Priced £17,860, excluding VAT, VW claims the Caddy Black, which is based on the top Highline specification, offers £2150 of additional kit, representing a customer saving of £1515 compared with adding the extras independently.
Highline spec already includes, for example, body- coloured bumpers, mirrors
and door handles, fog lights, rear parking sensors, climatic aircon and cruise control. The Caddy Black Edition strives for more kerb appeal with black pearlescent paint, black 17-inch alloy wheels, silver roof rails, and radiator grille surround. Drivers also get a multi-functional steering wheel, heated wing mirrors and electric windows as standard.
VW has lowered the suspension to reduce the ride height by 27mm, which gives the Black a sportier look, but despite an edgier appearance that garners some admiring glances, it cannot quite shake off the conservative styling of the mainstream Caddy – now getting a tad long in the tooth as it nears replacement.
The special edition model is available in short-wheelbase panel van form only and has a full- height solid bulkhead to separate the cab from the load cube.
VW’s 1.6-litre TDI common- rail direct-injection engine that develops 102hp and 250Nm of torque, powers the van, which comes with five-speed manual transmission, although it could really do with a sixth gear for dual- carriageway or motorway journeys.
Standard Bluemotion Technology – including hill-hold assist, energy recuperation and stop-start – gives the Black official combined-cycle fuel economy of 55.4mpg and emissions of 134g/km.
The Caddy Black is reasonably responsive on the road, but it is no match in terms of agility for Ford’s Transit Connect or indeed the revised Fiat Doblo Cargo.
The gear lever is low down and a bit of a stretch compared with the easily reachable one
on the new Ford light van, but the rake- and reach-adjustable steering is sharp and direct,
and we couldn’t fault the seats for comfort. They are firm and supportive, with lumbar support and adjustable for height, reach and rake. The dash, however, is plain and a little drab – we were disappointed there is no DAB radio and the aux socket isfairly crude.
Attractive package, but special edition models can’t disguise the fact the Caddy is showing its age.