CommercialFleet

First drive: Volkswagen Caddy Edition 30 TDI 140 DSG

Review

It’s easy to see where most of the cash goes, although for most big fleet operators, this particular version would not be cost effective as many of the models lower down the Caddy range will cope with the business needs of the owners just as well.

But for smaller businesses, or perhaps owner-drivers who, like me, can’t spend long behind the wheel without yearning for our little creature comforts, it’s a great choice.

Behind the wheel

As one of the judges at this year’s Fleet Van Awards I was heartily behind the decision to name the Caddy Small Van of the Year. You’ve only got to get behind the wheel of one to feel just how well built it is.

The doors all snick shut nicely, the interior is fuss-free and virtually indestructible and once under way, the Caddy glides along as if it’s on rails.

This year the Caddy will come up against the new small rival the Mercedes-Benz Citan and Volkswagen is pulling out all the stops to make the Caddy looks and feel its best.

It has certainly come up trumps with the Edition 30, which looks a treat in those alloy wheels and black and white paint job.

Of course, all this has to be paid for as mentioned above and at the end of the day many fleet buyers will opt for more lowly Caddys. In fact, you can get one for £12,950 ex-VAT at the very bottom of the range.

One of the problems with upmarket versions like this is the colour-coded bumper arrangement.

As most vans get scuffed and knocked about during their working lives, we reckon they are better off with the black plastic variety even if they don’t look quite as good.

We were also surprised that this Caddy didn’t come with reversing sensors as standard.

Once you get used to having them (most of our test vans come with them nowadays), it’s surprising how vulnerable you feel when they are missing.

The engine is whisper quiet and the DSG gearbox is a delight to use, saving lots of unnecessary exertion of the clutch leg.

The fact that this model only comes with a mesh bulkhead did mean, however, that a fair amount of noise from the rear end intruded into the cab.

Verdict

With models like this on offer, Volkswagen is well placed to do battle with the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz Citan.

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.