Long-term introduction: Volkswagen Cross Caddy 2,0 TDI
It had finally arrived! Months earlier, VW promised it would send us a vehicle that would be ideal for weekend getaways, but one which would also fulfil a pressing need in CAR’s photography department for a tracking vehicle. The artful images you see in the pages of this magazine are often snapped by a photographer contorted into an inhuman shape while hanging out of a test vehicle. We do this only when it’s safe, of course, but we needed to make a plan to alleviate the sore necks and backs that follow a CAR shoot. The Caddy, with its dual sliding doors, multiple storage spaces and removable seats, was therefore welcomed with smiles all-round. The photographers appreciated its practicality, while the editorial team was relieved to discover the R340 600 Cross Caddy is very well equipped.
Among the standard-equipment tally are items such as cruise control, light and rain sensors, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and Bluetooth capability with audio streaming.
While practicality is a major consideration when choosing a photography vehicle, it also has to ride well in order to create a stable platform from which to snap those beautiful long exposure shots at magic hour.
And the Caddy has surprised even on this front; fearing it would ride like a truck owing to its utilitarian underpinnings, we soon appreciated the composed suspension setup.
The Caddy faced its first major challenge mere days after its arrival. Our annual Performance Shootout consists of five intense days of cross-country driving, track and performance testing and interaction with passionate CAR readers. All the while, the action must be committed to memory card without much disruption to the schedule. The Caddy handled the challenge with aplomb. The wide-opening sliding doors
made packing and unloading the Caddy a doddle, while the 2,0-litre turbodiesel engine required few time-consuming fuel fill-ups. We removed the seats before departure and the boot carried myriad camera cases and tripods, and boxes of snacks (and a few spare tyres, just in case the abrasive surface at Aldo Scribante hungered for rubber).
Back home and treated to a good scrub, the Cross Caddy eased into its commuting/photography role without a trace of the ordeal it had gone through.
It might just turn out to be the most useful vehicle we’ve ever had on the CAR fleet.
After 1 month
Mileage now: 2 288 km
Fuel consumption: 6,61 L/100 km
We like: sheer practicality, equipment level, good ride
We don’t like: seats are cumbersome to remove