THE city van segment is not one a lot of people think about, so it may come as a surprise to many that in 2019, Volkswagen’s Caddy absolutely dominated in Australia with 70 per cent of sales, sometimes higher in the years before that.
Renault closed the gap in 2020 and 2021 but the world has gone mad, so that may be a blip.
Perhaps in an effort to prove that it was just a blip, the fifth generation of the Caddy arrived in Australia in August. Given Australia went especially mad during that time, it’s only now that we have had the chance to drive the all-new machine in both Cargo and people mover versions.
The biggest news for the Caddy 5, as it’s known, is the shift to the VW Group’s MQB platform. Pretty much every front-wheel drive car in that huge group is built on MQB, which is meant for transverse engines.
A practical result of this is a decade or so of continuous development and a great deal of knowledge around what can be done.
Building a nearly five-metre-long commercial van is a logical thing to do given the cost savings, parts availability and compatibility, as well as the fact it should be much easier to make it nice to drive.
So has Volkswagen succeeded in making its Caddy more car-like and, more importantly, is it good enough to reclaim the sales crown from its French rivals?