By Sala Masindane
There are vehicles that you don’t think that you need until you step inside and drive one. Truth be told, the Volkswagen Caddy doesn’t get the consideration it deserves and there are a number of reasons. Those would include its MPV design that is based on a panel van and possibly it’s not winning any design contest anytime soon. However, once you have spent time with one like we have, your outlook on it drastically.
The styling of the Volkswagen Caddy Trendline is simple and not sporty like the Alltrack version. It comes with a suburban look that includes black lower plastic mouldings, silver roof rails, electrical adjustable mirrors and chrome finished grille. The front look also benefits from fog lights with static cornering light and daytime running lights.
The Caddy Trendline rides on 16-inch ‘Bendigo’ alloy wheels.
Inside, the Caddy can be summed up as being adaptable. This means you will get a vehicle that is made for work but also has soft touch materials that are built for durability and all the amenities you will usually get in most passenger Volkswagen vehicles. These also includes a standard ‘Composition Media’ touchscreen infotainment with Bluetooth and USB connectivity. A multifunctional steering wheel which can also be used to control the media. This comes in handy as the screen is a bit too low and accessing it might be distracting when driving. There’s more than one USB port so those at the back, can charge their devices. If that’s not enough, there are also two 12V ports
Keeping with its origins, the Caddy Trendline has stacks of storage space with an overheard shoving unit, decently sized door bins, 750-litres of boot space and rear foldable seats if additional space required. Although the seats don’t fully fold flat on the floor, which would create more space, they are detachable if required so as to create more space. This is great for commercial purposes.
Under the hood of the Caddy is a 1.0-litre engine with 75kW and 175Nm of torque. It may not be as powerful as the Caddy 2.0-litre Alltrack, but the power is sufficient to carry the body without any fuss. The Caddy Trendline is paired with a five-speed manual transmission. It’s smooth, but there are couple of drawbacks with the gearbox. One being the need for a sixth gear and lack of power on the first gear. This requires the driver to constantly apply a bit of throttle at takeoff but this is forgotten once the car gets going as the other gears appear to be adequately matched to the power that they transfer to the wheels. Having driven the six-speed DSG automatic transmission, it would be our preferred transmission although we can live with the manual transmission. Handling of the Caddy is quite impressive and that is thanks to it sharing a similar platform with some of Volkswagen heavyweights. This compliments the family aspects of owning the Caddy. As it is comfortable when ferrying passengers. Legroom and headroom are also generous in the Caddy Trendline. Convenience features like rear park distance control make the case for the Caddy even stronger. The standard cruise control also assists in taking the hassle out of driving and also with keeping the fuel consumption low. We managed a good fuel consumption of 6.5l/km which is not too far from the claimed 5.6l/km.
The Caddy Trendline may not be on top of everybody’s shopping list but if you are looking for a vehicle that can do both work and life well, then the Caddy is worth looking into. It drives like most hatches, sedans and SUVs whilst managing to be also a practical workhorse. The Caddy Trendline 1.0 TSI 75kW is priced from R387,900.
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