…because it’s a comfortable drive?
…because of its versatile features?
…because of its dependability?
…because it offers many solutions to the different disability mobility needs?
For most people with a mobility impairment, the answer to this question is easy, it’s because of the ample loading space. As soon as any mobility equipment needs to be transported, whether it’s a wheelchair, scooter, commode, sporting gear, the space inside a vehicle becomes a critical part of the decision making process.
For a small vehicle like the Caddy, the space on the inside is quite impressive! The added benefit of the space inside is that the floor is ultra-versatile, it’s flat and open which enables seats to be easily moved in and out, or folded, making the space ultra-usable!
The Caddy Crew Bus comes with a choice of a short or long wheelbase (Maxi), this provides the option of a 5 or 7 seater. So, on that family outing there is space for everyone, granny, the dogs, wheelchair and more space to fit the walking frame at the back.
Transporting a wheelchair inside the vehicle is always preferential to transporting it on the roof or rack as it reduces the risk of it being stolen or damaged by dust and weather. For larger heavier wheelchairs, a Boot Hoist can be fitted to lift it into the vehicle.
Not many vehicles in this size range are available with this amount of space and come with the option of an automatic DSG gearbox. This opens up the possibility of adaptive driving with hand controls and adapted foot pedals, which has made the Caddy a firm favourite in the disability sector.
If you need to access a vehicle from a wheelchair:
The seat height of the driver and passenger seats is perfect for a standing transfer. With the height adjustments the seat height ranges from 0.63 – 0.71m off the ground. This makes it a fairly high transfer for a sitting transfer from a wheelchair which is usually around 0.52m.
For people with a weaker transfer, they may require a lifting platform for assistance onto the driver’s seat or a Turny seat into the passenger seat.
The rear door opening space is 1.1m high and wide, with a floor height of 0.58m. This can fit a small platform lift into the rear of the vehicle. With the internal height of 1.2m, this can only accommodate small people in wheelchairs and may require a lowered floor conversion with a ramp access from the rear for taller passengers. This conversion can be done by Shoprider, Advanced Vehicle Engineering, EZ Drive, Easy Drive Western Cape and Ronnie’s Automobility.
If it’s comfort and convenience you are looking for:
For a vehicle that is well-recognised as a workhorsevan, it has remarkably comfortable seats and it has the smooth ride of a car, not a typical commercial vehicle. The panel van and crew bus have a very basic and minimalistic finish with no frills and fuss as this vehicle is expected to work, although you will be surprised by what Volkswagen have managed to pack into this commercial vehicle.
For a more luxury finish, the Trendline and Alltrack have generous lashings of comfort and convenience. From the climatic air-conditioning, heated driver’s seat(on the Alltrack model), lumbar support for the driver, multi-function leather steering, cruise control and servotronic power steering to the composition media radio with touch screen and voice recognition and optional park distance control, rear camera and rain sensor wipers. The touch screen is set low on the dashboard, making it easy to reach for people with weak shoulders.
These features may be convenient for an abled-body driver, but for a driver with physical limitations, these extra features make a very big difference totheir ease of driving.
If you want a car for keeps:
The Caddy is here for the long-hall. It’s not one of those cars that needs to be sold as soon as the warranty runs out. The Caddy just keeps going and you can count on it to give you plenty miles of uncomplicated driving. If you are going to spend money on getting it adapted you know that it is designed to outlive the conversion. Reliability is one of its really valuable features when it comes to the responsibility of transporting a person with a disability.
If you have a family:
The short-wheel or long-wheel base (maxi) variants offer a 5 or 7 seater options, with lots of leg room, clever storage spaces, cup holders plus space for luggage at the rear.
And, if you are a camping family and need the torque to pull a caravan, the Trendline 2.0l TDI produces 320 NM @ 1750 – 2500 while the Alltrack 2.0TDI produces 250@a500-2500. This gives plenty of grunt to pull a caravan with ease.
If you want to manage your running costs:
Volkswagen give the option of a 1.0TSI petrol which produces 75kW power with an average consumption of around 5.6litres per 100km. The 2.0l DTI produces 81kW and has consumption ranging from 5.0 litres per 100kms on the open road to 6.9 litres per 100kms around town.
The new Caddy comes standard with a 3-year/60 000km Genuine AutoMotion Service Plan, 3-year/120 000km warranty and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service Interval is 15 000km.
So, Volkswagen seem to have a winner here that ticks so many boxes for drivers and passengers with disabilities. By keeping their design honest, dependable and uncomplicated it keeps the doors open for creative solutions and can accommodate a huge variety of needs.