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How new Caddy narrows gap between van and passenger car

Close Up: Volkswagen Caddy

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Volkswagen Caddy

Volkswagen Caddy

Volkswagen Caddy interior

Volkswagen Caddy interior

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Volkswagen Caddy

The new Volkswagen Caddy, the fifth generation of the compact van, will go on sale in Ireland towards the end of the year.

The current model was the country's best-selling van in 2019.

Indeed if the panel van version alone was measured against the car market, it would have ranked in the top 20 best-selling vehicles of last year.

It would have outsold individual models from such illustrious and popular brands as Renault, Opel and SEAT - or indeed anything from the premium brands

This latest model is going back to its roots - it shares its underpinnings with the Golf. The original Caddy (from 1978) which started life as the Rabbit pick-up in the US, was a Golf 1 derivative whereas subsequent versions were based on the Polo and the Touran.

This fifth generation Caddy is also entirely new; not a single body panel is carried over from the predecessor.

As before there are a range of model types - including two wheelbase lengths and passenger MPV versions

The manufacturer also unveiled some concept models that are likely to find their way into production at some point in the future - including the promise of a camper van version.

There will be a new trim specification naming system of Caddy, Life and Style which replace the familiar Startline, Trendline and Highline.

One of the advantages of using the Volkswagen group's flexible MQB platform is more load space.

The standard Caddy is 62mm wider than before while there is a significant increase in the wheelbase width of 93mm.

As a result the load area is 50mm wider and 7mm taller than the last model, and there is an additional 60mm between the wheel arches.

Meanwhile the Caddy Maxi long-wheelbase is now able to accommodate two Euro pallets with loading via the side door as well as through the rear.

Inside, the once huge gap between van and car products continues to narrow.

This new van gets some of the latest technology introduced into passenger versions.

The dashboard is completely redesigned and features Volkswagen's Digital Cockpit as an option with third generation MIB3 infotainment screens ranging from 6.5ins to 10ins.

A new fold-down front passenger seat can be converted into a mobile desk.

There is a host of driver assistance systems.

Notable is Travel Assist, whose functions include lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control to keep the vehicle from straying off the road. It also gets Side Assist for helping to deal with cross winds, and Trailer Assist when reversing and manoeuvring with a trailer on tow.

There will be a choice of three new diesels and one petrol.

With outputs between 75PS and 122 PS, the 2-litre diesels use a new twin-dosing system to significantly reduce NOx levels.

Fuel consumption is a claimed 12pc better than before.

Surprisingly, there isn't an electric version in the offing.

But a hybrid is likely to feature down the line.

Indo Motoring