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2022 Volkswagen Caddy California price and features: New camper-van set to arrive with adventure-ready versatility and plenty of technology

The California is based on the long-wheelbase, five-seat Caddy Maxi.

Volkswagen has launched a new version of its Caddy light commercial van, the California Maxi camper, adding a timely, lifestyle-focused dimension to the compact workhorse’s personality.

Priced from $54,990 before on-road costs, this latest addition to the recently released fifth-generation Caddy range is poised to take advantage of the fact overseas holiday travel is off the Australian tourist agenda for the foreseeable future.

A smaller sibling for the full-size Transporter-based California, this newcomer is based on the long-wheelbase, five-seat Caddy Maxi people mover and powered by a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine producing 90kW and handy 320Nm of pulling power, driving the front wheels through a seven-speed ‘DSG’ dual-clutch auto transmission.

Car-spotters will be flat-out picking the California Maxi out from the Caddy crowd, with discrete graphics the only external clue to its identity.

But inside the folding seats morph into a double bed, and there are curtains for the windscreen, doors, tailgate and (optional) sunroof.

Louie the fly and his mozzie mates are kept at bay courtesy of ventilation grids with integrated flyscreens for the driver and front passenger windows, plus there are two storage bags for the rear windows and drawers under the front seats. A fold-out table and two chairs are also included.

The Caddy California features folding seats that morph into a double bed. The Caddy California features folding seats that morph into a double bed.

Seat trim is VW’s distinctive ‘Double Grid’ fabric. There’s also LED tailgate surround lighting and preparation for a trailer hitch is onboard.

This is on top of standard features incorporated in the new-generation Caddy, including a ‘digital cockpit’ instrument cluster, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, dual-zone climate control and an 8.25-inch colour multimedia touchscreen with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, as well as digital radio.

Volkswagen Australia has confirmed the Caddy California Maxi is available to order online and in dealers now, with deliveries scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2022.