April 9, 2020

New platform gives Caddy 5 room to grow

Volkswagen has taken the wraps off its fifth generation Caddy van.

Based on the VW Group’s MQB platform, also seen under the latest Golf Mk 8, the new van is 93mm longer, with a 73mm longer wheelbase and up to 62mm wider. The van has also achieved the combination of an overall 25mm drop in height, despite a slight 7mm increase in load area height.

The load volume is set at 3.3m3 in the short wheelbase Caddy, while the Caddy Maxi, which will follow later, will be able to carry up to 4.0m3. In both cases, with an increase in the space between the rear wheel arches, it is now possible to carry a Europallet sideways in the cargo space, increasing versatility. The Caddy Maxi will have longer sliding side doors, providing wider access for loading.

However, despite the availability of a folding passenger seat back, to form a table for the driver, VW still seems reluctant to offer the folding bulkhead and fold-forward seating that many competitors use to boost internal load volume.

Caddy will continue to offer three diesel engines, at 75hp, 102hp and 122hp, along with a 116hp petrol engine for those that prefer. The diesels use two SCR catalytic converters with double AdBlue dosing to meet the latest Euro 6 emissions standards. Volkswagen is promising up to a 12% fuel saving across the range. Six-speed manual gearboxes or seven-speed DSG automatics will be offered with front-wheel drive as standard, though VW’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system will be available in some countries.

A compressed natural gas engine will also be offered in some European markets, though not in the UK. The Abt full electric conversion of the current Caddy will not be carried over to the fifth-generation model, as Volkswagen will be launching its own compact electric vans, including the ID Buzz Cargo, in the coming months.

Of course, the most noticeable change for the new Caddy is its appearance, both internal and external. The van has a higher bonnet line, with a redesigned radiator grille and headlamps. From the side the Caddy is more muscular, with distinctive wheel arches that emphasise the width of the vehicle.

People-carrying versions of Caddy are very popular on the Continent, with around 40% of overall Caddy sales in Germany being the car versions rather than the vans. Much of the styling has therefore been aimed at improving the looks of the car models, with the secondary benefit of updating the commercials.


It’s a similar story inside the van, where as many as 19 of the latest driver assistance and safety systems can now be offered. This includes Front Assist, Park Pilot, Lane Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and Travel Assist, which includes level 2 autonomous driving features.

All of the vans are equipped with a e-SIM, providing connectivity already seen on the latest T6.1 Transporter. This includes the We Connect Plus and We Connect Fleet telematic offerings, along with We Upgrade functionality.

The interior of the van features an all-new layout to accommodate a digital dash up to 10.25” in size, with the option of 6.5, 8.25 or a 10” central screen. VW’s Digital Cockpit can also be specified, though the company is expected to only make that technology available on people-carrying models, as with Transporter.

Volkswagen has yet to release trim levels or pricing for the UK, as pre-sales won’t commence until October, with the first customer deliveries expected early in 2021. It is doubtful that the van will make an appearance at this year’s CV Show either. However, we can expect to get the full story at this year’s IAA show in Hanover in the autumn.

The company sold over 10,900 Caddy vans in the UK last year, split 60/40 between the shorter van and the
Caddy Maxi.