What is it about vans? Or should I say, van-derived vehicles. I picked the up the new VW Cross Caddy and within minutes I had a smile on face driving along the M50. For some reason they seem to bring out the child in me and I was already more entertained than the previous 7 days driving a €40,000 saloon. The ironic thing is the new Cross Caddy is not all that van like inside and features the creature comforts you would normally associate with luxury saloon or MPV. Sat Nav, heated seats, cruise control and a leather multi-function steering wheel are just some of the delights you get and its nice and silent in the cabin. Powered by VW’s renowned 1.6TDI 102hp engine it is frugal but yet still more than quick enough to get you in trouble. During my time with the Cross Caddy I traveled some 800 kilometers including a trip to the Balmoral Agricultural show just outside Belfast and found it to be a comfortable mile muncher.
VW claim the Cross Caddy will return 5.8-litres per 100 kilometers and even with some spirited driving it returned just shy of that figure. So what’s so unique about the Cross Caddy and how does it differ from the Caddy Life we tested last year? Well first off you get the cool off road looks with the Cross body styling pack. This gives you revised bumpers, side skirts with decent ground clearance, a silver roof rack and Cross decals. Although our test vehicle was not all wheel drive you can order a 4 Motion version but its probably better suited to the 2.0TDI power-plant. The wheels are 17-inch Canyon alloys that look superb against the metallic paintwork and the tinted passenger windows give you a touch of privacy when in the rear.
Inside you get ample space as you would expect from a vehicle of this size and a 7 seat option is available for an additional €810 over the basic price of the vehicle which is €36,740. Annual road tax is at the rate of €280 and you get the massive boot that grows further by simply folding the rear seats forward or removing them altogether. Access is superb thanks to the sliding side doors. I really enjoyed my 7 days with the Cross Caddy. It drives well and has plenty of aids such as Park Assist, Auto dimming rear mirror, and the all-important Electronic Stability Programme to ensure confidence.
Some might say it’s a little bit pricey against similar sized SUV’s but few will offer the practicality the Caddy can. If you want to work your vehicle day in and day out, use it as a family wagon on weekends with the dog and bikes loaded up, I think the Caddy becomes the perfect all-rounder. If you are keen to stand out from the norm then this could be the vehicle for you. The Cross Caddy can be viewed at commercial dealerships nationwide and we would urge you to take a test drive. Who knows you might even get that uncontrollable grin appearing on your face.
Engine Size – 1.6 TDI
Fuel Type – Diesel
Power – 102hp
Torque – 250Nm
Acceleration (0-100km/h) – 12.9 seconds
Top Speed – 216 km/h
Consumption (Combined) – 5.8L/100km
CO2 Emissions – 147g/km
Road Tax – €280
Base Price – €36,745