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VW Caddy 2021: Driving Report for MQB Platform

More edge, more lifestyle, more current technology: the VW Caddy, Generation 5, takes numerous steps into the modern age. While the previous model, which has been produced since 2003, including facelift measures, was still based on the old basic technology of the Golf V, the practical large box is now moving to the Group’s latest MQB Evo platform.

For customers who can now also order the VW Caddy presented in the spring, this means, above all, considerable progress in the available assistance systems, which are now on the level of the current Golf VIII, for example, semi-autonomous, assisted driving or assisted maneuvering Allow followers.

Plenty of new assistance systems

The new platform technology is packaged in a visually familiar, but still heavily modernized shell that takes maximum distance from the partly baroque roundness of the previous generations. However, it would be an exaggeration to see the new VW Caddy as a Golf with a high roof. Because the genes naturally remain commercial vehicles, the closed, unglazed panel van remains the most important model of the series in Europe.

VW Caddy 2021
VW Caddy 2021

For the VW Caddy, which is in greatest demand in Germany, this also means, for example, a solid, rigid axle in the rear designed for heavy loads. However, this is now elaborately guided by longitudinal and wishbones and is also based on comfortable coil springs, while the previous VW Caddy still came with leaf springs. In terms of noise insulation and the appearance of the material, it is still important to make slight compromises compared to other MQB partners such as the Golf. However, the touch quality in the cockpit of the new VW Caddy is quite successful, with the optional digital cockpit and the large multimedia screen, modernity also moves in optically.

At the market launch, VW will initially only bring diesel engines. The two-liter TDI relies on “twin dosing” – exhaust gas cleaning with two SCR catalytic converters and two-fold AdBlue injection, which reduces the pollutant values ​​to a very low level in real operation. The 55 kW basic diesel is only available for the VW Caddy Cargo, the car Caddies get the 2.0 TDI in versions with 75 kW / 102 PS and 90 kW / 122 PS. Even with the 102 hp engine, the 1.7-tonne large-capacity station wagon goes to work sufficiently lively, at least in the lower gears, and only from the fifth of six gear steps does the propulsion tend to become more comfortable. Completely sufficient for unexcited everyday use, which, according to VW, customers also see, this engine will take the lion’s share in the orders. In comparison, the VW Caddy with 122 diesel horsepower and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, driven for comparison, deserves the attribute “lively” and can keep up for a considerable time even on the motorway.

VW Caddy 2021
VW Caddy 2021

Even the basic diesel is powerful enough

What both performance variants have in common is the perceptible but not annoying background sound in the interior, which conveys the combustion principle. The wind noise at high speeds is within acceptable limits, but the van genes come through when it comes to the rolling noise: the occupants are not wrapped in cotton wool, but the new VW Caddy never gets booming. Noticeable progress is the new, more directly translated Servotronic steering, which makes the VW Caddy look more manageable. Together with the more precisely guided rear axle and the 122 hp engine, a kind of sporty driving style can be implemented, which the station wagon responds to with a very neutral and unsteady appearance. Even with the new coil-spring rear axle, the VW Caddy is not a litter, either, slight stuttering and trampling on the poor ground is a nuance more reminiscent of vans than modern cars.

VW Caddy 2021
VW Caddy 2021

Whether the operating landscape introduced with the MQB Evo with “sliders” and touch-sensitive surfaces instead of mechanical switches and controls is a step forward has been discussed in the VW scene for some time and remains a rather personal assessment. Especially for everyday, intuitive operations such as driving lights, audio control, or air conditioning settings, the new system is, objectively, clearly only the second winner compared to classic control formats, and long-term familiarization does not change anything.

On the other hand, the VW Caddy’s parade discipline remains emphatically practical: loading. The high-roof station wagon, available in the car version as a five- and seven-seater, offers plenty of space with an exterior length of just 4.5 meters. The variably foldable, divisible, and removable seating area enables up to 2.6 cubic meters of cargo space, and thanks to the new rear axle construction, the Caddy has also become slightly wider in the luggage compartment.

VW Caddy 2021: Dates and Prices

VW Caddy 2021
VW Caddy 2021

Both diesel caddies can be ordered immediately and series production has already started. However, this is only a start, as further variants will follow in quick succession by spring 2021. The engines include the 114 hp 1.5 TSI, a natural gas version of this machine with 130 hp, and the ehybrid Caddy with plug-in hybrid technology. Also in the pipeline is a VW Caddy 4Motion with all-wheel drive (only with 122 hp diesel) and the VW Caddy California camper variant. The basic model, the VW Caddy Kombi Eco Profi with 102 diesel hp, starts at 25,044 euros, the cheapest 122 hp variant is the equipment line simply called “Caddy” for 28,872 euros. According to VW, the most popular variant, the VW Caddy Life with 75 kW, comes to 29,330 euros. The price list currently ends with the VW Caddy Style and 90 kW for 33,297 euros. VW has not yet announced the prices for the other engine variants and the DSG transmission (as of October 2020).

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