They say fashion makes comebacks in cycles, constantly reinventing itself on each new iteration. It seems the people mover has made a similar return, with a reinvented vision from Volkswagen, in the form of the 2022 Caddy.
It’s versatile, spacious, and modern, and is perfectly suited for families of all sizes, as well as being practical for cargo of all shapes. It truly can serve as the family car and moving van, all in one.
From the front, the 2022 Volkswagen Caddy looks like a Golf that’s been fused to a cargo van. Love it or hate it, it’s certainly a unique look, with a sleek shallow bonnet that’s nicely paired with a set of twin halogen headlights.
Just below, there is a distinct honeycomb design to the front grille which completes a clean design. It’s from the side that the fusion into a van becomes a reality, thanks to the large windscreen and long roof.
Sliding rear doors on each side provide easy access to the rear. The 17-inch steel wheels with hub caps are decent looking, but we would have much preferred to have seen alloys in their place (which are an optional extra – tick the box, honestly).
The rear of the Caddy is all van, and there’s no mistaking it. The tail lights are well incorporated into the columns, providing a large space for a window and solid tailgate, etched with its brand name, distinctly positioned below the number plate.
It should be noted that the Caddy has a long wheelbase, and therefore, is large and long. That’s practical in the industrial parks and warehouses, but can be cumbersome when manoeuvring in the city, and in carparks.
It measures 4.85m long, 1.85m wide, and 1.8m tall. The upside to this bulk is that it’s quite spacious on the inside, whether you’re moving people or cargo. But the true joy of the 2022 Volkswagen Caddy begins when you climb into the driver’s seat.
That alone is quite effortless, thanks to the low floor and tall ceiling. The seats are cloth and unremarkable, yet comfortable and supportive. If you’ve been in a recent model VW, you’ll appreciate the consistency of the leather-wrapped steering wheel design.
Likewise, you’ll feel the same about the standard controls for audio, cruise control, and infotainment. We felt at ease operating the controls, without any learning required. We did find the cruise control quite odd though, with its 10km jumps in speed increase/decrease.
The standard tacho and speedo have a traditional feel, which is paired to a nice 8.25-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system in the centre of the dash. There are 2 USB-C ports just underneath and a nice amount of space for a smartphone to rest.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, you might just need a new charging cable. Other notable features include a spacious parcel tray above the driver and passenger, coffee cup holders and an ashtray container (we haven’t seen one of them in a while).
The gearstick is gone and replaced with a subtle switch. You suddenly realise how much space a gearstick takes up when it isn’t actually there. The air conditioning also seems to struggle with short trips, taking ages to find its way to the set temperature.
The highlight of the Caddy though would have to be the creativity of the rear space. The middle row fits three people comfortably and the third row houses two. Now this is where it transforms.
The second and third row seats can be removed, opening the whole rear space for cargo. The van literally shape-shifts from people mover to cargo carrier effortlessly, which then provides up to 3,105-litres of space.
When in people moving mode, there is a parcel tray for the rear, to cover up any goods in the trunk, and there are food/device trays built-into the rear of the driver and front passenger seats, for the ultimate middle row dining/play experience.
Whether you are in people or cargo mode in the 2022 Volkswagen Caddy, you’ll find plenty of gusto under the hood. You can choose between a petrol or diesel motor, with our tester powered by a 4-cylinder common-rail direct injection, turbo diesel engine.
It delivered maximum power of 90kW, and up to 320Nm of torque. Paired to a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG), it offered a claimed fuel economy of 4.9-litres/100km. Real world testing saw us run as high as 8.1-litres/100km.
In reality, it all boils down to how you drive your Caddy, where you drive it, and under what load. True to the Volkswagen standard, safety and family friendliness are both well considered too, including loads of airbags.
ABS, brake assist, traction control, electronic differential lock, and hill hold assist are just a few of the many inclusions. Young children are well considered too, with top tether anchors for the middle and third row seats. ISOFIX anchor points are on offer too.
The 2022 Volkswagen Caddy has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating, and is a a pleasure to drive. It features all the expected technology, safety, and space inclusions for a people/cargo transformer.
It’s backed by a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, and 12 months roadside assist. There’s a bevy of colours to choose from, including Candy White, Cherry Red, Pure Grey, Reflex Silver Metallic, Mojave Beige Metallic, and Costa Azul Metallic.
You can also opt for Golden Green Metallic (as tested), Fortana Red Metallic, Indium Grey Metallic, Copper Bronze Metallic, Starlight Blue Metallic, and Deep Black Pearl. It’s priced from $54,459 drive away.
Our test vehicle was provided by Volkswagen Australia. To find out more about the 2022 Volkswagen Caddy, contact your local Volkswagen dealer.