Volkswagen Caddy Beach: The New Kombi

2019 VW Caddy Beach Campervan Review

2019 Volkswagen Caddy Beach campervan.Why VW Caddy Beach?

First came Type 1. The much loved people’s car became known as the Käfer, German for Beetle.

Shortly after, type 2, Came. Kombi was born. Both models became instant classics and were produced by the million

VW briefly considered calling the special edition, a Kombi. In the end, VW erred on the side of caution, and stuck to Caddy. But, What to call this special edition?

After many late nights, they decided Caddy” Beach” was the go.

2019 Volkswagen Caddy Beach

What’s a Caddy Beach Look Like?

It looks like a van because that’s what it is. Although not on the latest MQB platform, it does the job well.

There is modern plastic, and automatic Xenon headlights.

The solid grille badge hides radar for smart cruise control, and a camera for autonomous emergency braking the sits high on the windscreen.

There are seven exterior colour: Candy White, Reflex Silver, Fortana Red, Indium Grey, Viper Green, and Sandstorm Yellow. The latter is the hero colour.  All but the Candy white are metallic, and all are no cost options.

Options include:

  • Roof rails
  • Bicycle carrier
  • Roof box
  • Surfboard carrier
  • Tow bar
  • Weather shields for the front windows
  • Rubber floor mats

17”Canyon  alloys are standard, including a full-size spare. There is a BEACH decal adding a final special touch.

Black roof rails are a must-have even though there is plenty of room inside..

Without the BEACH upgrades, Caddy might look a little ordinary, but as it stands, looks great

2019 Volkswagen Caddy Beach

How Cosy is the Cabin?

The seating is flexible. Rear seats can be removed, as can the camping accrotrements.

Front seats have tray tables on their rear faces. Rear seats tumble forward or can taken out for picnics. With rear seats flat, a fold out bed can be deployed, and has a table and chairs are stowed underneath.

A neat tent slides over the tailgate, and adds 2.3m X 2 m of extra space. It does a decent job of keeping weather out but like all tents, is not lockable.

A rechargeable LED torch comes standard, but you’ll need a couple of extra camping lights.

Pockets in the side store camping essentials, and the standard blockout window shades.

It is easy to set up, and fast, to set up

The driver isn’t forgotten either.

There is loads of modern technology to go with the modern look. All Caddys get standard safety gear but this top model has autonomous braking (Front Assist and City Emergency Brake), Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Assist and fog lights with cornering functionality.

VW says “Caddy has more standard gear in it than some models from other brands used for towing”. Speaking of towing, Caddy takes 1,300kg of braked, and 630kg of unbraked load.

Plastic is decent quality for a van of such humble origins.

You get decent sound from the speakers, and the standard VW touch screen comes complete with Apple Carplay/Android Auto.

2019 Volkswagen Caddy Beach

The engine:

Its diminutive 1.4-litre 4 cylinder turbo petrol engine has start-stop. Output is a modest, but more than acceptable, 92kW and 220Nm. The  7-speed DSG automatic has super-fast changes and allows the little camper to get a decent 6L/100km.

2019 Volkswagen Caddy Beach

The Drive:

It is fun. That’s not something you can say about many cars.

Caddy Beach is still a commercial vehicle. It’s a camper for sure, but glamping means a bit more than just a few pillows and a blanket.

Ride is firm. Springs are set to carry heavy boxes. Instead of deliveries, a camper will take bags and food, and life’s other essentials.

Getting to your camping ground is both easy and economical. Light steering and a nippy engine combine with a thrifty 7 speed DSG automatic in a car that drives quite like a small hatch. A reversing camera makes parking simply, and safe.

Caddy Beach has a large hatch to which the tent can quickly be added. It adds 2.3X2 metres of extra space. At a pinch, the table and chairs can be used in the tent, but it better outside.

There are openings either side for a walk-through, but can be zipped up at night. Drafts are minimal but not quite the standard of a purpose built tent.

If you want to do any cooking, you’ll need a portable gas ring or two, and showers will be in the camping ground facilities. Don’t forget to wear your thongs.

2019 Volkswagen Caddy Beach campervan.

You really can go anywhere.

You can carry 5 in relative comfort when not in sleeping mode. There is loads of room for gear under the bed. With 5 seats up, the cargo area would take large bags.

While you’re on the road, you can navigate using Carplay/Andriod Auto using phone maps. There is no need to take your hands off the wheel to navigate, handle calls, or to make or receive texts. The system does it all for you with voice control.

2019 Volkswagen Caddy Beach

Conclusion:

Surfers and small familes would find Caddy Beach perfect. I say this from time to time, but if I wanted to steal myself away for a cheeky weekend by the water, I can’t think of a better, cheaper way to spread my wings.

Facts and Figures: VW Caddy Beach

  • Engine: 1.4 L 4Cyl Turbo producing 92kW/220Nm
  • Transmission: FWD, 7 speed DSG Auto
  • Warranty: 5 Yr/ Unlimited km with 1 Yr roadside assist
  • Safety: 5 stars 2015 (short wheelbase models only tested)
  • Origin:
  • Price: from $44,990 MLP*
Volkswagen Caddy Beach: The New Kombi
  • Rating
3.7

Summary

Surfers and small familes would find Caddy Beach perfect. I say this from time to time, but if I wanted to steal myself away for a cheeky weekend by the water, I can’t think of a better, cheaper way to spread my wings.

About Alan Zurvas 73 Articles
Alan’s interest in cars began in his early teens and has been a member of several car clubs having owned a number of classic cars himself. He has a background in the corporate sector and has reviewed everything from restaurants to theatre and accommodation before settling on motoring. Alan is the founder of Gay Car Boys and is a contributor to AnyAuto