Sitting in the middle of the new range, the VW Caddy Commerce Plus appeals to both owner-drivers and small fleets for its pleasant mix of creature comforts and smart kerb appeal. However, with prices around £1,500 more than its key rivals, does this middle trim pack the spec to justify the increased upfront cost?
The Commerce Plus generates plenty of kerb appeal with its body-coloured bumpers and stylish 17” steel wheels complementing the sleek and modern exterior design. However, door handles and mirrors are black plastic which, although durable, taint the premium image.
On the inside, the dashboard is neatly appointed and practical with the 6.5” colour touchscreen display angled slightly to face the driver and ample storage space. The Climatic air conditioning system and Ergonomic driver’s seat with electric lumbar support are very welcome touches but the height and reach adjustments are manual.
VW Caddy Commerce Plus payload and weights
At the business end, the VW Caddy is very spacious and our long wheelbase version offers up to 3.7 cubic metres of load volume. Our long wheelbase version, called the ‘Maxi’, has a maximum load length of 2,150mm which, although over a foot longer (353mm) than the short wheelbase, can still only accommodate two Euro pallets.
In terms of weights, the new Caddy is surprisingly heavy and despite the 2.3-tonne gross vehicle weight, the huge kerbweight means there’s just 668kg left for payload. There is a 1.5t towing capacity, one of the best in the small van segment.
Ride and handling
Our model came with VW’s famed 2.0 TDi engine which, in this guise could produce up to 122PS and 280Nm and hooked to a 6-speed manual transmission. Even with half a load onboard, the engine packed plenty of punch and provided a quick turn-of-speed in every scenario.
One highlight that has always shone through with the Caddy is its solid and composed feel on the road. Whether it’s a speed bump and pothole, the Caddy’s suspension soaks up the bumps and vibrations well although sound dampening isn’t that comprehensive and quite a lot of road noise perforates into the cab at higher speeds.
VW Caddy Commerce Plus price and life costs
Our version, the VW Caddy Maxi Commerce Plus Manual, has a sticker price of £22,445 plus VAT – enough to make any small business owner wince – but this is countered by its whole life costs. The Caddy is widely regarded as the most reliable in the small van segment by the most trusted surveys and, as a result, benefits from the best residual values in the sector.
Diesel bills will also be low with a combined WLTP consumption of 57.6mpg on manual models and peace of mind is provided by a 3-year, 100,000 mile warranty. VW’s reputable Van Centre network comes at a cost for servicing and repairs and has shrunk over recent years, but there are still over 65 sales and 30 authorised repairers across the UK.