By BRENWIN NAIDU
It’s a particular favourite among that fast and furious fraternity of car-modifiers too. I’ve had the privilege of seeing some insanely tuned-up Caddy bakkies – some featuring load-beds laden with speakers, others with rims so large, they touch the car’s wheelarches ever so slightly when driving over slight ridges in the road.
It seems clever, that Volkswagen decided to revive the Caddy name by applying it to their minivan product. It’s a familiar name, and while it may not have as much street-credibility – being a minivan – it does have the same virtues of practicality and versatility as the bygone bakkie.
Having been launched locally in 2004, the Volkswagen Caddy was ripe for a mid-life transformation – which it recently received. Apart from significant changes to the exterior, there are also two new common rail TDI engines available for the Caddy. The 2-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engines have power outputs of 81-kilowatts and 103-kilowatts. The 81-kilowatt derivative is available with a five-speed manual transmission, while the 103-kilowatt TDI comes with Volkswagen’s semi-automatic DSG system.
The most notable updates on the Volkswagen Caddy are aesthetic. The Caddy’s countenance has been dramatically changed, with a facelift bearing strong resonance to recent models like the Amarok, T5 and recently revised Touran. It has that typical Volkswagen grille, coupled with some aggressive-looking headlamps – a touch you wouldn’t expect on such a vehicle. These nip-tucks ulitimately give the Caddy a fresher appearance, fit for the year 2011.The lettering and the Volkswagen badge at the Caddy’s rear has been redesigned, and a “two-part winged tailgate and top opening glazed ladder flap” is also being offered by the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles division. The Caddy has enjoyed a pretty successful run thus far. From 2004 to 2010, approximately 850,000 units of the Caddy have been sold worldwide. It’s only a matter of time before the figures hit the million mark.
Those looking to buy a Caddy for commercial use can chose from the Panel Van, Maxi Panel Van and Maxi Crew Bus. These commercial models are powered by either the 75-kilowatt 1.6i powerplant, or the 2-litre TDI engine that produces 81-kilowatts.
If you plan to purchase a Caddy for the application of transporting people, there are the Caddy Trendline and Caddy Maxi Trendline models. The Trendline models are also powered either by the 1.6i 75-kilowatt or 2-litre TDI 81-kilowatt engines. The Maxi Trendline model is available with the 103-kilowatt 2-litre TDI engine.
Prices range from R172 940 for the Caddy Panel Van 1.6i to R292 080 for the Caddy Maxi Trendline 2.0 TDI 103-kilowatt DSG model. Both commercial and passenger Caddy models come standard with warranties. For the commercial models, it is a 2 years/unlimited kilometres warranty and for the passenger models, the warranty duration is 3 years/120 000 kilometres. If you have a growing family, it might be wise to look into something like the Caddy Maxi Trendline. It costs around the same as an executive saloon – but just look at all the space you get.