Volkswagen Caddy 2013 review
The Volkswagen Caddy TDI 250 Maxi Van has just been upgraded with Volkswagen’s innovative BlueMotion technology, making the $27,990 technology-laden vehicle one of the most fuel efficient
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A van driver's lot is getting better, with improvements coming thick and fast to safety, economy, performance, equipment and reliability. Suffering in silence in a dangerous and uncomfortable little box on wheels is mostly a thing of the past.
Peugeot has recently upgraded its small Partner van with an extra airbag (passenger) and other goodies aimed at improving a delivery driver's working environment. No, it's not the driverless van (yet) but the new Partner wouldn't be a bad place to spend your day, hopping in and out, dropping stuff off and making a buck.
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION
Our test vehicle was a 1.6-litre turbodiesel with 66kW/215Nm output and there's also a 1.6 petrol. A five-speed manual transmission is the only one available with drive going to the front wheels.
It has good performance with strong acceleration on the move and plenty in reserve for hauling up to 750kg payload in the back. Practical 15-inch steel wheels are fitted and there's a full size spare under the floor.
Partner is available in two versions, short and long wheelbase. We had the long version and it's quite large offering up to nearly 4.0 cubic metres of load space as well as the handy variable front passenger seat that folds out of the way for longer loads. Six tie down hooks are provided in the load area floor which also features half height interior side protection.
The small van gains a slight style revision this year with a new grille and other detail changes. Still looks the same to us but there is an extra side sliding door on the short wheelbase model and other interior changes.
You get Bluetooth, ESP, aircon, stability control, three button remote controller, rear park assist, heated exterior mirrors, cruise control, OK audio, trip computer and storage options all over the place including overhead.
It needs a reversing camera first and foremost. All vans do.
Our turbodiesel test can proved to be very economical to run, and we achieved close to the manufacturer's claimed 5.5-litres/100km. It's all grey inside the cabin and pretty hard but undoubtedly resilient in a working vehicle. The dash-mounted gear shift is easy to reach as is the hand brake to the left of the driver's seat squab.
But you can get your feet tangled down in the driver's footwell. As long as you can get the right adjustment for the driver seat (we couldn't) It puts you in a sit up and beg position that wears you down after a while behind the wheel especially for taller drivers with limited seat backrest movement.
But that's because there's a cargo barrier behind. There's a price to be paid for safety this far down the pecking order in vanland. Perhaps we needed to persevere and fiddle with the adjustments a bit more.
We appreciated the remote headlight adjustment which comes in handy when the rear of the Partner is fully laden and squatting on its coil spring rear suspension. We also like the three passenger capacity afforded by the dual second seat (with belts).
|1.6 HDi||1.6L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN||$7,700 – 11,880||2013 Peugeot Partner 2013 1.6 HDi Pricing and Specs|
|1.6||1.6L, PULP, 5 SP MAN||$6,600 – 10,230||2013 Peugeot Partner 2013 1.6 Pricing and Specs|
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