First drive: Volkswagen Caddy Edition 30 TDI 140 DSG


The old adage “cheapest isn’t always best” is obviously ringing in the ears of van buyers at present.

The van on test here, labelled Edition 30 in honour of the three decades that the Caddy has been around in one format or another, certainly isn’t cheap.

It weighs in at a hefty £19,060 ex-VAT against £14,015 ex-VAT for a top-of-the-range Citroën Berlingo Airdream LX 90 ESG 6.

But if it’s quality you want, this Caddy just oozes it from every pore. It has that hewn-from-stone feel and is predicted to keep 23% of its original value against 19% for the Berlingo, so what you lose at the front end will be clawed back to a certain extent later down the line. It also outshines the standard Caddy’s 24% RV.

But that doesn’t tell the full story – this Caddy has a good 50bhp advantage over the Berlingo, so part of the extra cash is paying for performance.

The Caddy’s six-speed DSG transmission is also a more expensive piece of kit than the ESG on the Berlingo, too, and many drivers will prefer its smoothness and lightnig-quick gearshifts compared with the lag-laden sequential manual of the Citroën.

The model on test here offers a more-than-lively 140bhp from its 2.0-litre common rail diesel engine and, with 236lb-ft of torque coming in at a low 1,750rpm, this van certainly won’t be left behind at the traffic lights.

In the back, the Caddy will swallow 3.2 cubic metres of cargo weighing 698kg.

When it comes to standard spec, the list is a long one.

There is a natty set of alloy wheels and roof rails outside while under the bonnet we get electronic stability control (ESC) as standard (unlike in the aforementioned Berlingo), along with ABS, Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), Traction Control System (TCS) and engine drag torque control (MSR).

There’s stop-start to reduce idling time and save fuel in traffic, air-conditioning, cruise control, leather steering wheel and upholstery, rubber floor covering in the rear and a rear tailgate to replace the more usual double doors.

To top it all, the Edition 30 has special decals to distinguish it from lesser models.

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.