Volkswagen previews new 2021 Caddy van

Volkswagen has unveiled the fifth-generation Caddy in Germany. The new small van will reach the UK in early-2021, with prices expected to start in the region of £18,000 before VAT. 

The new Volkswagen Caddy is longer, wider and more practical than the outgoing model. All versions of the new van use a longer wheelbase, which provides more loadspace than before. The maximum cargo width has been extended by 50mm (to 1606mm), while the load width between the rear wheelarches increases by 60mm (to 1230mm).

That said, the maximum storage capacity of the short wheelbase Caddy is roughly the same as before at 3.3 cubic metres, while the long wheelbase Maxi model provides 4.0 cubic metres and a maximum load length of 2150mm. The side doors have also been widened, which means the Maxi version of the Caddy can take two Euro pallets via the side opening.

Powertrains are split between petrol and diesel engines, with the latter expected to make up the majority of sales in the UK. The Euro6 2.0-litre TDI diesel has been carried over from the old version of the Caddy and is offered with 75, 102 or 122PS. The engine has been updated with a 'double-dosing' AdBlue system, which operates via two SCR catalytic converters that makes the Caddy diesel one of the "cleanest in the world", says Volkswagen.

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The 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine has been carried over from Volskwagen's passenger car range and produces 116PS. The four-cylinder unit is mated to a petrol particulate filter (PPF) for the first time, which will lower the levels of harmful exhaust emissions. 

Specifications and official fuel economy figures for the Caddy are still to be confirmed, but Volkswagen is promising savings of up 12 per cent over the old model. Buyers get the choice of a manual or automatic DSG transmission and all versions get an electric handbrake as standard.

Volkswagen has given the cabin a makeover, which means high spec versions of the Caddy get a fully digital instrument binnacle and 10-inch touchscreen located at the centre of the dashboard. The cabin also gets a voice control function, which allows the driver to program the navigation or call a colleague with the "Hey Volkswagen..." voice command. 

The Caddy also features a comprehensive array of driver aids - 19 in total. Blind spot monitoring, for example, warns the driver of vehicles and cyclists that are alongside the van and potentially hidden from view. A new Rear Traffic Alert system will also detect approaching traffic when the van is reversing out of a driveway or parking space and provide an audible alarm. 

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Semi-autonomous driving tech is also offered in the Caddy for the first time, with the optional Travel Assist being the headline feature, due to the fact it combines adaptive cruise control and lane guidance assist.

This means the van will be capable of automatically controlling its speed and steering on the motorway. However, for legal and safety reasons, Travel Assist will only operate while the driver has their hands on the steering wheel.

Automatic emergency braking is standard across the range and DSG models with Drive Assist will be capable of switching on the hazard warning lights and bringing the vehicle to a halt if the driver has a health emergency or becomes unresponsive. Once the Caddy has come to a stop, an emergency call (eCall) is automatically made to ensure that the driver quickly receives medical attention.

UK specifications for the new Caddy are still to be confirmed, but expect the new van to be available as a panel van or crew cab, with the latter getting five seats across two rows. LED headlights and LED daytime running lights will also be available, along with metallic paint and alloy wheels. Sportline trim will be added to the new Caddy range in late-2021.