OKAY, so there’s a new Caddy just around the corner, but we already know what a great van the current one is, with the 1.6 TDI 102PS C20 Highline taking the Best Local Delivery Van in our 2015 Business Van Awards.
So I jumped at the chance to find out what it would be like to live with the current Caddy on a day-to-day basis and a six-month long-term test was arranged.
My Caddy was powered by the same 1.6 TDI 102PS diesel as our winner, but that’s about where the similarity ends.
in the PR’s words has been ‘pimped by VW’
Why you might ask? Well, I’ve got (or rather did have, more on this later!) one of the special ‘Black Edition’ models, that in the PR’s words has been ‘pimped by Volkswagen’.
The Caddy Black Edition is basically a special run out version of the Caddy, which in my opinion, proves you can have most of the luxury features of a car in an attractive van. Good really, as this is my first van long-termer and I admit I’m used to such luxuries!
Standard kit on the inside included electric windows and mirrors, air-conditioning, Bluetooth, rear parking sensors and seats half trimmed in luxurious Alcantara. The package was finished off on the outside with chrome trim, pearl black paint, lowered suspension and a very attractive set of 17-inch alloys, all for £17,860 excluding VAT.
It looked great when delivered not long after I arrived back from a couple of busy days at the Geneva Motor Show. Despite the arrival of a £300,000 Bentley Mulsanne test car, I got to test the practical 3.2 cu. m load area during my first weekend’s ownership, whilst clearing my parents garage of my old car magazine collection. The sliding side door in particular, was very welcome when loading.
Over the course of three-days, this van proved to be easy and comfortable to drive
I felt I really bonded with this stylish van on the car launches it’s been on this last month, contributing to the 600 odd miles I wound on to the Caddy. My favourite was two launches in the Cotwolds and Forest of Dean. Over the course of three-days, this van proved to be easy and comfortable to drive, with enough power to be fun – yet still frugal. Even though I wasn’t really trying, I still managed to get almost 520miles out of my first tank of diesel.
Plus, it attracted a lot of positive attention and comments at all of the events which was nice.
Even though the Black Edition is well-equipped for a van, these long trips made me wish it had a DAB radio and the sat-nav of my last car long-termer (my portable Tom Tom stuck to the windscreen was a regular feature of long Caddy trips!). Still I was grateful for the air-conditioning and the fact that the Bluetooth allowed streaming of music from my iPhone.
So why then am I talking about my new long-termer in the past and a very orangey Golf SV is in its parking space as I write?
Well, just two days before the end of the month I was on my way to another launch and seeing that I was in good time, I thought I’d stop for a break at some services. Already quite attached to this van, I thought I’d park next to a hashed area, so only one side was vulnerable to damage. How wrong could I be!
On my return, I found that my Caddy’s previously perfect bodywork had been assaulted by a careless driver who had left me with a now w-shaped off-side door that was jammed shut!
Volkswagen was quick to get my damaged van back to HQ and provide me with alternative transport. The long wait to see how long it will be before I get it back begins – I miss it already!
Facts, figures, likes and dislikes
Official MPG: 55.4mpg Our average MPG – 44mpg over 610 miles Our best MPG – 44mpg over 610 miles
We like: Spacious load area, all the standard kit, looks, comfortable and refined performer, high quality, impressive economy
We don’t like: No sat-nav or DAB, careless drivers