Volkswagen Caddy Sportline Van Review
Facts At A Glance
PAYLOAD CAPACITY:800kg [Maxi]
LOAD VOLUME:4.2m3 [Maxi]
GROSS VEHICLEWEIGHT: 2315-2350kg
VolkswagenCaddy Sportline Van - COMMERCIALBREAK
Volkswagenis offering small van buyers a dash more style with its Caddy Sportlinemodels.
With an increasing number of owner-drivers populating the small van market,there’s an increasing need for van makers to make their products standout. To make them sporty. To make them desirable. Hence Volkswagen’sCaddy Sportline models.
Therecipe here is pretty simple. For a modest extra outlay, buyers of bothCaddy and Caddy Maxi models can buy into an LCV that’s altogether moreeye-catching. So you get chrome side rails and front grilles, a lowerfront spoiler with integrated fog lights, a rear roof spoiler,body-coloured bumpers, mirrors and door handles, plus unique 17-inchsix-spoke alloy wheels with a Sportline centre logo. The interior is abit more special too, with the luxury of bespoke black Italian leatherupholstery with red stitching, microperforated red centre panels and anembroidered Sportline logo, plus electric windows, ‘Climatic’ airconditioning, a radio/CD and electrically operated and heated doormirrors.
Asix-speed gearbox and a top-of-the-range 140 PS, 2.0-litre TDI PDdiesel engine delivers decent performance with the flexibility providedby 320Nm of torque from 1,800 to 2,500 rpm. The Caddy Sportline cansprint to 62 mph in 10.1 seconds and the Caddy Maxi Sportline in 10.5seconds, both with a top speed of 116 mph. Both models are available ina choice of three paint colours – Tornado Red or optional Reflex Silvermetallic and Diamond Black pearl effect paint – with basic retailprices (excluding VAT) starting from £17,000 for the Caddy Sportlineand £18,280 for the larger Caddy Maxi Sportline.
Otherwise,the package is exactly as you’d get on any other Caddy or Caddy Maxivan. If you’re not familiar with the line-up, the Caddy Maxi offers anextra cubic metre of extra load space and 80kg of extra payload overits standard stablemate. Neat but unspectacular styling in the bestVolkswagen traditions dominates the outside while the interior issimilarly efficient with build quality that’s as good as anything inthe small van sector. The Caddy Maxi is 470mm longer than a normalCaddy van with 151mm of that accounted for by a longer rear overhangand 319mm squeezed into the wheelbase. It all makes for a vehicle of4,875mm in length with a 4.2m3 load volume that’s up 1m3 on thestandard van. The maximum payload is increased too. You can take around720kg in a Caddy and 800kg in a Caddy Maxi.
"Fora modest extra outlay, buyers of both Caddy and Caddy Maxi models canbuy into an LCV that’s altogether more eye-catching…"
Onthe move, there’s the usual diesel rumble at start-up but onceoperating temperatures are achieved, the Caddy goes about its businessin a reasonably hushed manner. The driving position is nice and highaffording good viability and easy access. The dash-mounted gear shifterhas a nice, positive feel and the braking performance inspiresconfidence. The Caddy isn’t as enjoyable to hustle along as some of theother offerings in this sector but its suspension irons out the bumpswell for an overall driving experience with high levels of comfort.
TheCaddy is kept in check by disc brakes on all four wheels controlled bythe standard ABS system. There’s traction control too. Not many smallvans can offer that as standard but not many small vans have the optionof 138bhp. The whole package rides on suspension based on that of theMkV Golf at the front but the rear set-up has been beefed-up to copewith the Caddy’s more taxing load-lugging duties. The rigid rear axleis mounted on leaf springs, while there are anti-roll bars fore and aftto keep everything nice and rigid for more composed cornering.
AllCaddy Maxi models have twin sliding side doors and glazing rear doorswith opaque glass. The also have a solid bulkhead which helps keepcabin noise down. Standard equipment includes remote central locking, amust when you’ve got six doors to think about, a driver’s airbag and aCD stereo. There’s also height, rake and reach adjustment for thedriver’s seat and rake and height adjustment on the steering wheel, sogetting comfortable should be simple.
Hopin behind the steering wheel: you’ll see the cabin is typicalVolkswagen and very similar to the Golf. Neat and unfussy with darkgrey plastics prevailing on every surface. In passenger cars, thistried and tested VW decor occasionally comes in for criticism on thegrounds that it’s lacking in visual flair but it’d be rude to turn yournose up when you get an interior of this quality in a humble van. Thelayout is simple but effective, with the dials and buttons you needfeeling solid and falling easily to hand. The extra weight that theCaddy carries over its competitors might not be obvious in the van’sdriving dynamics but it certainly manifests itself in the cab wherethere’s an air of sturdiness that’s uncommon in small LCVs.
Storageprovision is good too. The glovebox, dash-top trays and door pocketsoffer plenty of space for the tools of your trade but the long shelfabove the windscreen may be less handy. Such arrangements are common insmall vans but the presence of only a small lip along the leading edgealways suggests they’re angling to deposit their contents onto yourhead during sudden inclines or under hard acceleration. Paperwork andclothing won’t be too much of a problem but, just for safety’s sake,keep hammers, tins of paint and drinks flasks in the door pockets.
Overall,we can see why self-employed plumbers, electricians, decorators andother who like an eye-catching daily commercial ride would like theidea of a Caddy Sportline. And if the sport bits and pieces draw extraattention to your company logo and ‘phone number on the side of yourvehicle, then so much the better.