White van man needs to think again, Volkswagen works hard
- 18 September 2015
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It’s not often I get to review a van, I’ve never had a purpose for one unless I’m moving house or something. That said I’ve always loved the Volkswagen California, it’s the first thing I’d buy if I won some kind of lottery.
Volkswagen are taking a stand at the Ploughing Championships which has become one of Europe’s biggest events with people coming from all over to both show their goods and buy new products.
It’s at this kind of event that a van makes a lot of sense, especially if it’s four-wheel drive. Both the Caddy and the Transporter come in 4-Motion, there’s no cost to the space in the rear, which is an incredible feat of engineering. 4×4 systems are much more clever than they used to be, the current system allows the car to engage the rear wheels when it detects slippage. That’s a far cry from the old chunk of metal that rested beside the gearstick.
The one thing about the Caddy is that it behaves like a car, there’s very little of the driving experience that feels van-like. This is the part I like because I’m old enough to remember a time when a van was not much more than an echo chamber and driving at any sort of speed meant wearing a set of ear defenders.
Today you are encased in a tough unit that allows you to get through the miles while carrying all kinds of stuff in the back. Now that I’ve mentioned it, the rear end is where all the action happens in a van and the Caddy can take a pallet fully loaded. There’s 1172mm of space between the wheels and 1244mm in the Transporter, both vans get wider closer to the cab but even at the narrowest point you’ll get what you need in there.
Vans have come such a long way, there’s more to them now and yet some things have remained the same. They still have to move large things without breaking them and keep the driver safe. While I don’t profess to be an expert in all things van, I can still tell when a company is trying hard to please the customers and Volkswagen are trying hard with the current line up of van offers. 0% APR and free servicing along with Sortimo partnerships makes me feel confident in the Volkswagen’s intentions for the Irish market and that should result in good sales for 2016.