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First look: VW revitalises Caddy van

Family values: VW's all-new Caddy range takes on styling cues from other commercial and passenger car models.

All-new petrol, diesel engines feature in VW's fourth-generation Caddy van

Volkswagen logo23 Jul 2010

VOLKSWAGEN has unveiled its redesigned Caddy compact van range ahead of its world premiere at the IAA commercial vehicle show in Hanover, Germany, in September and its arrival in Australia late this year.

As anticipated, Australia’s biggest-selling compact van will enter its fourth generation with significant powertrain improvements, plus higher levels of standard equipment – including ESC as standard across the range in Europe – and modernised exterior and cabin styling.

The Australian model range and equipment levels are still to be finalised, but small business operators can take heart that Volkswagen has seen fit to install into Caddy its latest engines, all of which offer lower fuel consumption and emissions.

The four-cylinder diesel and petrol line-up comprises four TDI and two TSI units respectively. These are all new to the Caddy range, equipped with turbocharging and direct fuel injection, and meet the tough Euro 5 emissions standard, which is not expected to come into force in Australia until at least 2013.

Also featuring a diesel particulate filter as standard, the common-rail TDI diesel range will be offered in two states of tune in both 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre form – the 1.6 with 55kW or 75kW, and the 2.0 with 81kW or 103kW.

The petrol engine is a 1.2-litre TSI unit available in either 63kW or 77kW form.

3 center imageVolkswagen is still to provide full specifications and performance details, but has used the 77kW TSI petrol to show the efficiency gains achieved with the new Caddy, with consumption for the panel van variant down to 6.6 litres per 100km and CO2 emissions now at 154g/km.

The current model, by comparison, is 1.6L/100km thirstier, or 21 per cent less economical.

An 80kW 2.0-litre EcoFuel compressed natural gas version will also be carried over from the current generation, although it is unlikely to be offered in Australia.

As well as carrying claims of being the first urban delivery vehicle and compact van in its class to be equipped with ESC across the range, the new Caddy is being touted as the first to offer the option of a (six-speed or seven-speed) dual-clutch gearbox and hill-start assist.

Based on the information released this week, VW’s seven-speed DSG will be available as an option with the 75kW TDI, while a “specially designed” six-speed DSG has been developed for the 103kW diesel.

BlueMotion technology, which includes automatic idle-stop and brake energy regeneration, will also be offered with the new Caddy on select model variants, although Australia’s status by Volkswagen as a ‘hot country’ rules them out for the time being.

In Europe, these will be the most efficient model variants, with the 75kW 1.6 TDI BlueMotion the greenest of them all with 4.9L/100km mileage and 129g/km in CO2. According to VW, this also enables a range of 1176km on a single tank.

The 55kW 1.6 TDI can also be ordered with BlueMotion.

As is the case now, the new-generation Caddy will be offered in regular and long-wheelbase (Maxi) form, with panel van and passenger ‘kombi’ body styles, and with the option of VW’s 4Motion four-wheel drive system (mated exclusively with the 81kW TDI engine).

The front end takes on familiar styling cues from the T5 Transporter range and passenger cars such as Polo, while the rear has a new set of tail-lights.

In general terms, the redesigned Caddy’s cabin is now fitted out with improved materials, a new steering wheel, better stereo, fresh instruments and more equipment.

Daytime running lights have emerged as standard across the range in Europe, while options include Bluetooth connectivity, adaptive cornering lights (integrated into the front foglights) and, also for the first time, roof rails.

For five-seat versions of the Caddy, the cabin is now available with a removable second row of seats, which in turn enables a maximum cargo capacity of 3030 litres, or 3880 litres for the Maxi.

The Maxi will also be available with an optional Flexi-Seat Plus pack, which increases cargo space on the front passenger’s side and brings total capacity to a class-leading 4.7 cubic metres.

Volkswagen Group Australia will be expecting the new-generation Caddy to cement its position as the biggest-selling compact van in this country, despite recent upgrades to established models and new entrants in the segment.

First-half sales are up 7.1 per cent this year for Caddy, which has passed 1000 sales YTD and is currently in third place for the entire van segment, behind the Toyota HiAce and Hyundai iLoad.

Last year, VW sold 1800 Caddy vans in Australia, which was up 4.8 per cent on 2008.

Globally, the European auto giant has sold around 800,000 units of the third-generation model from 2004 to 2009.

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