What is it? While the VW Caddy Life is becoming almost as regular a sight on our roads as the commercial version the Caddy Beach adds a new dimension to this popular van.
Styling? The Caddy is a very stylish van and the tinted privacy windows of the Caddy Beach don’t detract from this. The model tested was in Blackberry Metallic and I was asked about the colour on more than one occasion during the test week – the retro colour is very like the Mulberry and Blackberry tones of the 90s VW MK3 Golf VR6 and Corrado.
Under the Bonnet? Powering out test model was a 2.0L 150bhp engine paired with a 6 speed manual gearbox.
What about inside? The Caddy Beach has an extremely spacious cabin with plenty of headroom. The windscreen is huge and visibility to the front and sides is great. However, the bed in the back does restrict vision to the rear! The seats are comfortable with plenty of adjustment and while it may not be a luxurious interior it’s important to remember that this is a practical camper based on a van. The sliding doors make getting in and out in tight car park spaces a breeze – especially if you’re lugging a baby seat around (there are 2 isofix mounts on the back seat).
There’s plenty of storage space in the back and longer loads can slide underneath the bed – this is where the van really stands out as not only is it a practical 5 seater it also comes with a folding bed in the back. While it may not be as spacious as its big brother the California sleeping in the back of a Caddy Beach is much more comfortable and safer than a tent under any circumstances and there are loads of storage pockets mounted up high which can be accessed from inside the van.
On the Road? The 150bhp engine has more than adequate power and apart from some extra engine noise the Caddy Beach is like a car on the road. It has an excellent suspension set up and is comfortable on long journeys.
And Safety? The Caddy comes with safety features such as ABS, Auto hazard lights, Electronic brake distribution, Electronic differential lock, ESP, seatbelt warning and traction control.
Options? Standard equipment on the Caddy Beach includes 16” alloys, rear park distance control, rear tinted windows, folding tables at back of front seats, Climate control, multi-function steering wheel, Composition media system, Auto lights & wipers, Cruise control, Lumbar support, magnetic torches and a folding mattress. You can also invest in a “camping” package which comes with a large tent to attach to the tailgate, 2 folding chairs and a table.
Will it break the bank? The Caddy Beach starts from €37,175 and the model tested was €43,744 OTR with options such as metallic paint, 17” alloys, Xenon headlamps, Discover Media Navigation System, Park Assist, Heated front seats and VW media control & App Connect. Road tax is just €280/year and the 150bhp engine consumes 6.4L/100km.
Verdict? The VW Caddy Beach is ideal for someone who needs the functionality of a van, the ability to transport passengers and a home away from home for the weekend in a single package.
Why you’ll buy one? Functionality, visibility and headroom
Why you won’t? If you’re a regular camper you may want to splash on the California instead
VW Caddy Beach
Engine: 2.0 TDi 150bhp
Max speed: 194 km/h
Emissions (Motor Tax): 133g/km (€280)
Model price range: starts at €37,175 (model tested €43,744)
No of Doors: 5 doors (2 sliding)
Isofix: 2 in the rear
Euro NCAP : 4 star
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 6.4l/100km
11th July, 2017