As a result, if you’re looking for something Citroen Berlingo, Renault Kangoo or Ford Transit Connect-sized, it’s a difficult option to ignore.
On the move, the main change with the fourth generation Caddy lies beneath the bonnet. A range of Euro6-compatible 2. 0-litre TDI diesel engines replace the previous 1. 6-litre units and are offered in three states of tune. The 102PS unit offers a decent turn of speed and, thanks to 250Nm of torque, has strong pulling power too, enough to tow a 1,300kg braked trailer. It’s also reasonably economical, you’re talking 61. 4mpg on the combined cycle and 120g/km of CO2. If you do want a pokier powerplant, then Volkswagen also offers a 150PS version of this engine. Avoid the entry-level diesel model and you also get the option of the brand’s smooth 6-speed DSG auto gearbox.
If at first glance, you’re tempted to dismiss the styling changes made to the fourth generation Caddy as being mere detail alterations, then Volkswagen is keen to put you right. True, not much about the overall look, feel or size of the vehicle has fundamentally changed but examine the LCV a little closer and you begin to appreciate the sheer depth of thought that’s gone into improving it.
The headlamps, radiator grille and bumper have been redesigned to form a distinctive horizontal band across the front of the vehicle, while the rising V shape that stretches from the grille edges to the base of the window aims to give the front of the Caddy a more striking appearance.
Behind the wheel, the redesigned dashboard looks pretty similar to the previous one, but closer inspection reveals higher quality materials, strong build quality from the Polish factory, rectangular rather than circular airvents and, most importantly, provision for a 5-inch infotainment touchscreen just below the ventilation controls in the centre of the dash – in this case upgraded to the larger 6. 5-inch ‘Composition Media’ display.
Time to check out the practicality of the Caddy, the doors are fractionally bigger than before, 1183mm in width and 1134mm in height, so most of what you want should go in, including a standard euro pallet.
Inside, there’s a completely level cargo floor with a loadspace width of 1,340mm, narrowing to 1,172mm between the wheelarches. There’s no option to specify a higher roof height, so all Caddys get 1,259mm of vertical space. That means a load capacity of 3. 2m3 in the standard model. If you need more, then you’ll need to be looking at the Caddy Maxi variant, which adds 470mm to the vehicle length, increases interior load length to 2,249mm and ups the load volume to 4. 2m3.
Size-wise then, most of what you want to carry will probably fit – but what about weight? Well, payloads are very similar to what they were before, ranging from 582kg to 735kg, with Gross Vehicle Weights from 2,135kg to 2,350kg.
Want to load in from the side? Well, there’s a standard sliding door on the left-hand side of the vehicle with another available for the other side as an option. This opening provides a loading width of 700m and a loading height of 1,097mm.
And in summary? Well there are, it’s true, bigger and more affordable vans than this one in the compact LCV sector. We reckon though, that most business drivers in this segment, most of the time, would rather have a Caddy. And that really says it all.