The 2021 Volkswagen Caddy has been officially launched in Germany, with the all-new van and people mover expected to land in Australia in the middle of next year – a little later than the first-quarter timing expected when it was first revealed in February.
This means the new Caddy not only benefits from the powertrains and technology offered across the upcoming Golf range, but its on-road manners should be more closely aligned with the popular hatchback, rather than a traditional commercial vehicle.
A number of different body styles were displayed alongside the traditional small commercial van configuration, including a people mover, a campervan and a long-wheelbase (LWB) Maxi variant, which is able to carry two (European) pallets.
In standard format however, the Caddy's wheelbase has grown over its predecessor, from 2682mm to 2755mm. This translates to 3.1m³ of cargo space, or up to 3.7m³ in the LWB Maxi.
In the seven-seater people mover, a large panoramic sunroof stretches across two rows of seating, while an electric hands-free sliding door and hatch are now optional.
Nine different powertrain specifications have been announced, including five 2.0-litre turbo diesel engines, two 1.5-litre turbo petrol engines, a 1.5-litre natural gas engine and a hybrid variant.
Both the diesel and petrol engines can be matched to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive form.
However, as these motors have been designed to comply with the stringent 'Euro-6d' emissions regulations coming into effect in Europe in 2021, it's likely Australia will get some slightly different powertrain options due to our more relaxed laws.
While traditional gauges are still the norm, the new Caddy can be optioned with a digital instrument cluster ahead of the driver, with infotainment duties performed via a 6.0-inch, 8.25-inch, or 10.0-inch screen.
Gone are the familiar rotary dials for heating and air conditioning duties, which have also moved to a digital format and now sit below the infotainment screen in the centre console.
There are five new safety systems on the new Caddy, these being emergency assist, blind-spot assist, trailer assist, semi-autonomous driving assist and rear cross-traffic alert. These are in addition to the 14 safety features being carried over.
Despite retaining the overall shape of the previous Caddy, the new model is lower, wider, and longer, and has larger openings for the sliding door and rear hatch. It also picks up new LED headlights and tail-lights, and optional 18-inch alloy wheels.
When will the new Caddy arrive in Australia?
While final specification and pricing has yet to be announced locally, a spokesperson for Volkswagen Australia told CarAdvice the new 2021 Volkswagen Caddy will see a local launch in mid-2021.