2020 Volkswagen Caddy van revealed: price, specs and release date

Fifth-generation Volkswagen Caddy small van gains technology from VW's passenger cars, as well as more equipment...

2021 Volkswagen Caddy front

On sale Early 2021 | Price from £21,000 (est)

Of all the global events happening in 1978 – the launch of Grease in cinemas, for example, or the world’s first mobile phone going on sale – you might think that the introduction of the Volkswagen Caddy small van wouldn’t be considered big news, but think on this: since then, more than three million have been sold. 

It’s easy to see why, too: the Caddy offers van drivers many of the same technologies and engines from the big-selling Golf hatchback, meaning those in the commercial sector don’t have to sacrifice comfort and driving enjoyment at the altar of space.

This new, fifth-generation Caddy picks up right where the outgoing van left off, using underpinnings from the latest Golf and bringing with it a suite of new technology – keyless ignition, an electric tailgate and Volkswagen’s digital instrument panel among them.

As now, there will be multiple versions of the new Caddy. The regular Cargo model will be most relevant to commercial drivers, but it’s also available as an estate version with passenger windows, and as a regular people carrier in the same vein as our MPV of the Year, the Citroën Berlingo – itself based on the Dispatch van.

2020 Volkswagen Caddy equipment and interior

Buyers can choose from Caddy, Life and Style trim levels, with Volkswagen promising more standard kit on each version than previously.

Inside, the new Caddy can carry up to two Euro pallets in Caddy Maxi form, but the most noticeable changes are on the dashboard, where fully digital instruments are optionally available for the first time. They join a new infotainment touchscreen measuring up to 10.0in. It all looks suitably high-tech, but be warned: our experience of this system in the latest Golf suggests that operating it on the move could be distracting. Like the Golf, too, the new Caddy is always online, meaning it can show you the latest fuel prices, for example, or real-time traffic information.

The Caddy’s array of driver assistance technology has been expanded to include ‘Travel Assist’ (which functions in the same way as adaptive cruise control), a trailer assistance feature and a system that watches out for passing traffic behind you while you’re manoeuvring.

2021 Volkswagen Caddy rear

2020 Volkswagen Caddy engines and pricing

Diesel engines form the core of the Caddy line-up, with drivers able to choose from 74bhp and 120bhp versions. A single 114bhp petrol is on offer, and while Volkswagen hasn’t released any fuel economy or emissions figures, the company says drivers can expect improvements of up to 12% on today’s Caddy engines.

Prices for the new Caddy aren’t expected to rise dramatically compared with those of the existing model, with a starting price of around £21,000 (including VAT) likely for the panel van. The passenger-carrying Caddy, meanwhile, is likely to cost from around £24,000.

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The best small vans

If this new Volkswagen Caddy has got you thinking about your next small van, you'll want to know which models deserve a place on your shortlist and which should be avoided. Here, we sort the best from the rest.

8. Fiat Doblo Cargo

Fiat Doblo Cargo front

Fiat updated the Doblo Cargo some years ago, adding a new engine and an updated interior. Further engine improvements have since followed but, disappointingly, the all-new interior never made it out of Europe and to the UK. That leaves the Doblo looking a little tired.

On the plus side, it was the first small modern van to top a one-tonne payload and continues to lead the pack in its carrying capacity, especially if you can stomach the looks of the challenging Doblo Cargo XL variant.

Read our full Fiat Doblo Cargo review

7. Nissan NV200

Nissan NV200 front action close up

The Nissan NV200 has the footprint of a city van but the capacity of a medium van. Its higher-than-usual rear load space also makes this one of the best volume movers on the market. What's more, it's great to drive, despite its upright stature.

Act quickly if you want one, though, because Nissan is replacing the NV200 with a new Nissan NV250 based on the next-generation Renault Kangoo, making this little city van’s unusual proportions a thing of the past.

Read our full Nissan NV200 review

6. Ford Transit Courier

Ford Transit Courier driving

Not quite the smallest van in the Ford range (that honour falls to the Ford Fiesta Van), but the Transit Courier is certainly the smallest traditional-looking van on sale in the UK.

It shares its underpinnings with the Fiesta, making it a first-rate van to drive, but more importantly, its load space is three times that of the car-derived Fiesta van. Excellent build quality and particularly low fuel consumption make this microvan a great choice for anyone requiring only a small payload.

It has few rivals, too, with the Citroën Nemo and Peugeot Bipper having been discontinued and the Fiat Fiorino continuing to be sold as the 2008 model – albeit with a facelift in mid-2016 and the addition of new Euro 6d engines in 2018.