There are only so many times you can tell someone they should consider buying a Caddy, then see them park a new SUV on their driveway, before you start to question your sanity. Mzansi’s wholehearted embrace of bakkies, SUVs, and crossovers has done a shockingly efficient job of squeezing out the humble work horse (read: Caddy) from consideration.
Recently the 2020 Volkswagen Caddy graced our test driveway and I used it to drive to photograph a wedding in Vierfontein. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to really put the Caddy to the test and see how this car would perform driving it over a long distance. One thing I knew for sure was that the space was not an issue.
First Impressions Count
The exterior design of the Caddy is a bit of a weird shape but I didn’t seem to mind it. In fact, the more time I spent in it and looked at it the more attracted I became to it. The chestnut brown metallic colour works very well on our test model. The removeable tow bar is an optional extra and I think with this car being a workhorse it would be recommended for you to bite the bullet and check it as an option on your spec list.
The best thing I enjoyed about the vehicle has to be the versatile space. I didn’t struggle to pack some of the gear I needed in it. In fact, there was a surplus of space. The boot opens up very well allowing you to get maximum entry into the vehicle. However, I thought a split tailgate would work even better more especially if you’re parked in reverse and need to get entry into the boot where there’s shading or short hangs involved.
The Caddy also has a 60:40 split on the foldable seats increasing your cabin capacity. To maximum interior space, the side doors slide open and are slim enough for tight parking spaces. The tall roof allows you to take on large items and the storage compartment above the driver and front passenger could come in handy to store valuables out of sight. The Caddy boasts lots of space and has ample legroom for even the tallest of passengers. Our editor Papi Mabele (1.9m) is the tallest person in the team and he could fit perfectly comfortable in the rear seats.
The optional park assist is a great touch, the front and rear distance control do come in handy and more especially the rear-view camera if what you hauling is blocking your rear-view mirror. The infotainment is touch enabled and supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay – a welcomed touch to the interface. The multifunction steering wheel make it a lot easier to manage your playlist and calls while driving. Cruise control always comes in useful and its great knowing that the Caddy didn’t skimp out on that.
Safety wise VW has incorporated the Caddy with 6 airbags, ABS and remote central locking as a standard feature on the new line.
The engine has a displacement of 999cc and produces 75kW and 175Nm of torque enabling it to do a 0-100km/h sprint in 12.1 seconds. The turbo charged engine isn’t that great but I felt it was adequate for the vehicle.
However, the 5-speed manual transmission paired with the small engine does leave you frustrated when driving in the city. A yield pushes you to get into first gear instead of second gear. Besides that, the gearbox is smooth and responds like a gearbox should, true to Volkswagen fashion.
We caution you though that this is not a car build for speed but one that’s built to work for you and your business and with that said the claimed 5.6litres/100km is not too wild of a statement from VW as I managed to get it to 6.0litres/100km while averaging between 100 and 120km/h on the highway. Meaning some fuel savings are on the cards for you.
All in all, I really enjoyed my time in the VW Caddy, the drive was comfortable and the car has ample space for goods and passengers. The rear seat allows passengers more than ample leg room. In total the car can seat 5 adults comfortably and the air conditioning will ensure all are cool while in transit. I personally think a 1. – something engine should be on the cards just lift the power a little. However, this current Caddy Trendline does offer great value.
The VW Caddy comes with a 3 year/120 000km warranty, 3 year/60 000km Genuine AutoMotion service plan with a 15 000 km service interval. All this carries a R348 900 price tag.