Road test: Volkswagen Caddy Bluemotion SWB 2.0 TDI 102 van review

VW Caddy


Only Caddy and Amarok have been identified in Volkswagen’s LCV line-up as having test-busting emissions software. For Caddy it means that Euro 5 versions are, for the time being, withdrawn.

Our test van is Euro 6-compliant, featuring a 102hp 2.0-litre diesel engine. It is expected to be the biggest seller and carries a BlueMotion moniker to show off its green credentials (for some reason the Germans say blue when they mean environmentally aware). The old 1.6-litre unit is being deleted in the Euro 6 range.

Priced at £15,930, this model is slated to return a healthy 65.7mpg, although it must be remembered that any fuel savings will be offset against the cost of filling up on AdBlue. Heavy loads, steep hills and bad driving will also affect this.

Meanwhile, there are a number of new safety advancements under the bonnet such as curtain airbags, a traction control system, ABS, electronic stability control, electronic brake distribution, engine drag torque control, plus goodies such as a digital radio and CD player with aux-in socket and a five-inch touchscreen control. 

The new Caddy can also be specified with items such as automatic parking (which our van didn’t have) and city emergency braking which helps prevent collisions at slow speeds, which was fitted to our test vehicle for a cost of £288. It’s arguably a price worth paying, but sadly most fleet buyers probably won’t go for it.

While looking not too dissimilar to its predecessor, the Caddy is everything we have come to expect from Volkswagen – top notch build quality, doors that shut without a hitch and sharp handling on corners. We were, however, surprised to see that it only had five gears –- a sixth cog would have been greatly appreciated at motorway speeds.

The seats feel much more moulded to the body than the ones in the old Caddy and proved superbly supportive on a long trip we undertook during our test week. There are two coffee cup holders plus a large overhead parcel shelf and, although the redesigned dash won’t win any prizes in a beauty contest, it looks solid enough to withstand a nuclear blast, with all knobs and switches easily accessible.

In the rear, our test van features a mesh bulkhead and a fair amount of sound emanated from the rear end; plus the diesel tank made an annoying sloshing noise, which was rather like the Chinese water torture after an hour or two.

Lastly, our van didn’t have a non-slip load floor, which meant our half load charged from one side of the vehicle to the other on corners – until we stopped to tie it down.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.