For years at a stretch, the Volkswagen Caddy has been the market leader in the segment of compact vans in the Netherlands. By a wide margin at that. To give you an idea, in 2019, 27% of the vans sold in said segment was a Caddy. It’s competing with the Ford Transit Connect, Peugeot Partner, Renault Kangoo, Fiat Doblò and the like.
Just across the street, I caugth a Caddy Type 2K, introduced in 2003. This generation was rolling on the same PQ35/A5 platform as the Golf Mk5 and the Touran Mk1 (a compact MPV), among others. Unlike that duo, the Caddy had a solid rear axle with leaf springs.
This is the SWB-version (268 cm~105.5”), powered by Volkswagen’s 1.9 liter TDI engine. In its heyday, that engine could be found under the hood of pretty much all cars and light commercial vehicles of the VAG Group.
The turbocharged and direct injected oil burner is good for 105 DIN-hp. Plentiful, for sure. It’s noteworthy that Caddies come with a towing capacity of 1,500 kg (3,307 lbs), the top of the segment.
Last year, the new Caddy (it says so on the plate) was unveiled. It’s generally referred to as the Caddy V, now based on the MQB-Evo platform.
The mid-size Transporter (FWD or AWD) and the full-size Crafter (FWD, RWD or AWD) complete Volkswagen’s line-up of commercial vehicles in Europe.
Personally, I’m a fan of their clean design, both exterior- and interior-wise. They don’t look like the end result of a designer’s psychedelic experience. Furthermore (and for the time being), there are no clones and multiple rebadges driving around. The current Caddy, Transporter and Crafter are Volkswagen only. Never mind the MAN TGE, for now.
What about the Amarok pickup? Well, its European production run ended in May 2020. Our VW dealerships don’t offer it any longer. If you insist on driving a Volkswagen with an open bed, you simply order a Transporter or Crafter chassis-cab with a flatbed and dropsides. The Amarok was too much of a niche vehicle, like all of its competitors. Light trucks with fixed sides just don’t cut it around here.
There will be a successor in the near future alright, but that one will be based on the next gen Ford Ranger. On a related note, the new generation of the Ford Transit Connect will have Caddy V genes. You see, FoMoCo and the VAG Group have become official partners in the field of light commercial vehicles.