Long-term report: As time moves on, it’s clear that complacency isn’t in the Caddy’s dictionary
A fair few miles have gone under the Caddy’s wheels, but what has it been like to live with? Zaak Andrews explains
The longer you spend with any vehicle, the more educated and attached to it you become. It’s why we love being able to test them over an extended period of time.
You can really get under their skin, and sometimes, so can they with you. Although we have said before our Caddy doesn’t inspire a particularly exciting drive, it continues to be consistent when we need it to be.
Video life with KY68 ADV is proving easier and easier as the relationship develops. This Caddy doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, but it’s as practical as can be for a small production crew with a fairly extensive amount of equipment.
You may remember previously that we ran a Transporter Kombi, and that was a country-mile-winner when it came to providing everything you needed from a van as a production crew, so we were speculative of how our SWB Caddy would perform without the extra row of seats and that bigger load area.
We needn’t have fretted though as its 3.2m3 load area is the perfect size and shape to house all of our camera peli cases, and now playing Tetris to load it up is faster than ever. Everything slots into place with room to spare and there’s no danger of any of it flying around – we’re still loving the LED bulbs in the back too! The lack of that extra row of seats isn’t an issue at all as we can build a make-shift desk out of peli cases and have the sliding side door open to work from.
Transporting our equipment is a major factor of the way we work and it’s something that doesn’t need to become a hassle. The set-up of our Caddy’s load area means it never is, which takes a load off – pun definitely intended.
In our first month with the Caddy you’ll remember we discussed fuel economy and how it was a little off the mark for its claimed combined MPG figure, but after having kept a keen eye on the figures we are delighted to report we are now averaging well over 55mpg on a daily basis. This culminating from a mixture of different driving styles on a variety of the UK’s road network.
Commercial vehicles are designed to be economical for the most part, and their lifespans often see them racking up a lot of miles because of this. We get around – a lot. So, we like to economy closely and the 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel unit fitted to our van really fulfils that difficult mix of power and economy.
The Caddy doesn’t ever feel underpowered, although it can get a bit noisy occasionally without that 6th gear at cruising speed on the motorway and for that reason we’d recommend the six-speed DSG automatic gearbox if you’re planning on doing a lot of highway miles with it. Of course, MPG figures are a little down with the auto ‘box automatic, but not by much.
KY68 ADV has become a super reliable tool for the job at hand and it’s much clearer now why the Caddy has been around for so long, and how it has kept true to its name. The Oxford dictionary definition of Caddy is ‘a small storage container’ and in reality, that’s what we have.
The Viper Green paint has still split opinions on all of its various outings so far including trips to Hull, Bristol, Devon and Brighton however, it was nice to hear that a guy we met on a shoot was ‘glad Volkswagen had kept the colour as it looked great on the Scirrocco and looks even better on the Caddy.’
We’ve got no major complaints to write home about at the moment, but the parking sensors fitted to the van are starting to niggle. While being incredibly helpful for a van with no rear-view mirror and a distinct lack of windows, they are very sensitive and incredibly loud which has meant living with them has become quite frustrating.
Often, what I can only imagine to be large flying insects regularly set them off at T-junctions, which really distracts from driving as there is nothing visible in the area around the van. This was a similar bug bear of ours with the Transporter Kombi and we can’t help but feel that maybe there is a bit of a pattern with these systems on VW vehicles, so while helpful, they perhaps a little too helpful at times.
Our Caddy makes our life progressively easier and we will definitely miss it when it does eventually head off on its next adventure.
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