It may not be the biggest or the cheapest van in its segment, but as an all-rounder the Volkswagen Caddy remains unbeatable.
Further enhancing the package is the introduction of an optional Business Pack for entry-level Startline models, designed for fleet operators.
Costing £950, the Business Pack adds air conditioning, an alarm and rear parking sensors – saving businesses £520 against the individual option prices.
Models fitted with the pack also enjoy a £450 residual value uplift.
All Volkswagen Caddys come fitted with autonomous emergency braking as standard, as well as remote locking, digital radio and a multifunction steering wheel.
Prices start at £14,770 (OTR) for models fitted with a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine.
Our test vehicle featured the 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine with 102PS, costing from £16,974 (without the Business Pack).
In durable Startline trim the Caddy is equipped with steel wheels and unpainted plastic bumpers and door mirror caps, making it ideal for use in urban areas where light damage is more likely to occur.
Inside, the coherent dashboard feels every bit as sturdy as that found in Volkswagen’s passenger cars. Rubber floor covers are fitted as standard, or operators can choose carpets at no extra cost if a more comfortable cabin is required.
Driver fatigue shouldn’t be an issue in the Caddy as it is easy to drive and is well insulated. The only road noise emanates from the open bulkhead – a fixed one is also available.
The phrase “it drives like a car” is overused in the commercial vehicle sector, but when it comes to the Caddy the reality is that it drives better than some cars.
Light controls balance with fairly firm suspension meaning body roll is minimal and steering is direct. The Caddy’s short wheelbase offers agile handling.
The 102PS version of the diesel engine sits in the middle of the range. We feel the 75PS version would be too sluggish for regular ‘loaded’ use and the 150PS may be unnecessarily fast for fleet use.
Fuel economy is billed at more than 60mpg and during our testing we were able to easily reach 50mpg. Even around town, the 2.0-litre engine was happily sipping fuel at a rate of about 45mpg.
A sliding side door and rear barn doors provide access to the 3.2 cubic metre load space.
The Caddy has a maximum payload of up to 734kg, which puts it behind rivals such as the Ford Transit Connect which offers up to a tonne.
Fleets that need more space can opt for the Caddy Maxi, costing from £17,205. It features a 4.2 cubic metre load space thanks to an extra 470mm load length.
The Caddy is our top pick in the small van category and the new Business Pack further enhances its value and adaptability to fleet customer needs.
There are almost endless levels of customisation available with the Caddy. Alongside the Business Pack fleets can specify all manner of luxury extras such as; electric folding door mirrors, adaptive cruise control, sat-nav and heated seats.
A DSG automatic gearbox can also be added in place of the five-speed manual unit.
Model tested: Volkswagen Caddy 2.0 TDI 102 Startline with Business Pack