Volkswagen Caddy Interior Layout & Technology | Top Gear
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Car Review

Volkswagen Caddy review

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Published: 27 Aug 2021
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Interior

What is it like on the inside?

No, seriously. That’s the interior. You’d be forgiven for thinking a bizarre web error had accidentally shown a shot of a new Sharan or Touran interior. Not so. The Caddy can be specced with all the latest touchscreen technology from the Volkswagen road car range. No, we’re not enormous fans of that interface, and the touch-sensitive climate control sliders are a bit of a fiddle. But it doesn’t half lend a humdrum van a look of class inside. 

Is it too posh for a van?

Perhaps wipe-clean surfaces make more sense on a vehicle that’s going to live life getting mucky inside and out. Oh, and the sliders do indeed work when you prod them with a gloved hand. We checked, because we thought we’d catch VW napping there. Nope.

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The entire dashboard is designed to swallow any work paraphernalia you may be carrying; there are crevices, cubbies and trays that’ll easily hold a clipboard, a newspaper, your lunch, your mate’s lunch, and very possibly a variety of small pets. All of the trim feels hard-wearing and solid, but it’s not cheap and nasty. There’s as much of a sense of thick-set quality here as you’ll find in a Mercedes-badged van. 

The new fifth-gen Caddy is bigger where it matters: in the back. Cargo bay width is up 57mm to 1613 mm. The gap between the rear wheelarches has grown by 60mm to 1230 mm. And even the rear door opening is 50mm wider. There’s space for a sideways Euro pallet in the standard Caddy, and two together in the Caddy Maxi. Of course, VW’s Transporter and Crafter vans make it look positively pocket-sized, but they feel like vans to drive. The Caddy is no harder to place than a mini-MPV. 

What about the bit where all the stuff goes?

Go for the split rear doors and there’s an irritating delay as the electronic latch disengages when you want to access the cargo area. Sounds trivial but if you’re in and out of the back fifty times a day, this will quickly become tiresome. And it feels like it’ll be the first thing to break. The sliding side doors don’t appear to suffer from this problem, though they do take one heck of a slam to close properly. Our test van was only a few hundred miles old, so this may ease up over time. 

The interior of our Caddy Cargo felt vulnerable, with little in the way of plastic or wooden cladding to protect the interior. Course you’re not expecting to keep your Caddy in concours quality for long, but it feels like an oversight that wouldn’t have added much in the shape of weight or cost, but would have helped keep the business end tidier over time.

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