Robust commercial vans

Brand Manager Shailesh Gounder With Volkswagen Caddy 1.6L TDI Van Which Is Going On Promotional Offer at Autohaus Fiji .Picture: AJESH SAGAR

THE biggest news about the latest Volkswagen Caddy is that the glove-box now has a lid — previously it was just a gaping hole in the dashboard.
Which sounds like a strange way to open a story, but it illustrates the new direction in which VW is aiming the Caddy. That is, moving it mildly upmarket.
The complete driving area of the Caddy has been given a working over to make it less van like and more in the manner of a car. Good idea, we’ve never understood why van drivers should be treated like second class citizens just to keep down the cost of vehicles in which they generally spend many hours every day.
Caddy also has a new, more powerful 1.6-litre TDI turbo-diesel engine that gives it close to car-like performance while it reduces fuel consumption and emissions. It produces 75kW of power and torque of 250Nm between 1500 and 3500rpm.
This petrol power-plant will be joined by new turbo-diesel engines in 2016. We are assured these will meet all emissions standards at all times.
Transmissions are either six-speed manual or seven-speed double-clutch DSG.
VW Caddy comes in a huge range of bodies, everything from a bare two-seater van to seven-seater people movers. The latter, tagged as Caddy Maxi, are extremely practical vehicles that should be a big success in the sales race. However, the appeal to macho looking SUVs of many buyers means the Caddy isn’t likely to achieve much success in Australia. Pity…
There are different wheelbases and heights.
The load area is accessible from the left side of the vehicle. Two asymmetrically split rear wing doors allow loading cargos of up to 1134mm in height. Cargo volume in the van ranges from 3200L in the SWB version, to 4200L in the Maxi. The compartment length is 1779mm in the standard van and 2249mm in the Maxi. The maximum height of the cargo space is 1259mm.
Safety is taken to another level if you choose the optional driver assistance package.
The first all-new Volkswagen Caddy since 2006 has done a lot of catching up in the technology field, incorporating a large number of safety and driver assistance systems. There are combined side/head airbags for Caddy vans and second-row curtain airbags for people movers. Safety is taken to another level if you choose the optional driver assistance package that includes autonomous emergency braking that works at speeds under 30km/h. If the driver isn’t paying attention it automatically applies the brakes, hopefully to avoid a crash, if not then to reduce the speed of the impact.
Fatigue detection recognises any deviations from normal driving behaviour and recommends the driver takes a break.
A reversing camera is standard for the new Caddy people mover and can be optioned on the van.
An optional 360-degree optical parking system (OPS) gives a graphic representation of the vehicle from above on the colour display of the multimedia system. By means of yellow and red signals the driver can see whether the Caddy Maxi has a sufficient gap from any obstacles at the front and rear.