We’ve got six months in which to discover whether Volkswagen’s Caddy light van is just our cup of tea.
Among the changes that Volkswagen has made to the 2018 model-year Caddy – the latest light commercial vehicle to join What Van?’s fleet of long-termers – has been the addition of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) as standard.
The manufacturer’s version of the safety technology is called Front Assist with City Emergency Braking, and it applies the brakes should the driver fail to react effectively to a vehicle that has slowed suddenly or stopped in front of the Caddy.
Driver Alert, which monitors the driver for signs of tiredness and advises them to take a break, is also included as standard across the range.
If we’re both fortunate and sensible, than neither AEB nor the Driver Alert feature will come into play in our six-month stint with the Caddy – however, we will be more than happy to sample Volkswagen’s Discover Media Navigation system, that comes with flagship Highline models such as this as part of the purchase price.
Our VW Caddy also comes with several optional extras that’ll be tested in the coming months.
First up is the Winter Pack. It includes headlight washers, heated washer jets, washer fluid level indicator, heated driver’s and front and passenger seats, and electric auxiliary air heater (the whole lot amounts to £582) all of which, with the exception of the washer fluid level indicator, have been put to the test in a UK winter and found to be up to the task.
App-Connect (£144), meanwhile, enables you to bring smartphone apps to the Discover Media Navigation touchscreen.
Further options include the Starlight Blue metallic exterior paint with Titanium Black upholstery on the inside (£492), rubber floor covering in the load area (£120), and the full, solid bulkhead, which is a no-cost extra.
The Volkswagen Caddy achieved the status of Highly Commended in the light van category in the recent What Van? Awards. We said in our Awards summary of the vehicle at the back end of last year that “the 2018 version of the van is more complete than it’s ever been, with a great blend of comfort and practicality”, and that it boasts “phenomenal build quality, a praiseworthy approach to safety, impressive on-the-road performance”.
We’ll see how both of those assertions stand up to long-term scrutiny over the next six months.
Report Card: Safety
The latest Caddy range is well endowed with the latest safety technology, which could make all the difference in the event of an accident.
Highline C20 Eu6 1.4 TSI 125hp BMT 6-speed manual
Official combined consumption 48.7mpg
Our average consumption 35.4mpg
Price range (ex VAT) £14,625-£22,205
Price (ex VAT) £17,735
Service intervals 1yr/10,000mls
Load length 1,779mm
Load width (min/max) 1,170/1,556mm
Load bay height 1,244mm
Load volume 3.2m3
Gross payload 645kg
Engine size/power 1,395cc/125hp
Options (ex VAT)
Winter Pack £485
Load compartment floor covering – rubber £100
Bulkhead – full solid, high without window £0