New VW Caddy California is the ultimate compact camper

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New VW Caddy California is the ultimate compact camper

If you’re looking for a compact camper for your summer staycation, the new Volkswagen Caddy California could be right up your street.


The chances of any of us jetting off to sunnier climes this year are currently looking pretty slim, thanks to the ongoing repercussions of the global pandemic.

That means a fair few Brits will be looking at an affordable camper as they stay put in Blighty. 

And the VW Caddy California, with prices starting from just under £30,000, looks an attractive proposition when it comes to that big UK summer getaway. 


The Caddy sits behind the larger T6.1-based California and larger-still Crafter-based Grand California, meaning it won’t break the bank.

Yet it’s also really well equipped as standard - essential when it comes to convincing the family to join you on your dream road trip.

You get a new, foldable bed (1,980mm x 1,070mm), with cup springs and high-quality mattress, that is stored in the parcel shelf and opens out above the rear seats.


There’s also plush seating for five, with the second row entirely removable for better flexibility. If you want even more living space, you can pay extra for a tail-tent, which also includes a sleeping compartment.

If you’re going to make your van your home, you need a kitchen - which is also included as standard.

It’s a retractable unit that extends from the rear and features a single-burner cooker and integrated gas bottle. There’s also clever and practical stowage compartments to stash your cutlery, as well as California camper chairs and a camper table.

There are also other nice touches to boost practicality.


The interior blinds for the rear windows double-up as window storage bags. And light is provided from integrated LED reading lights in the passenger compartment and tailgate.

Of course, the Camper experience isn’t just about lounging around inside at journey’s end,  it’s about getting there in the first place.

Thankfully the Caddy California is packed with driver assistance tech, including Lane Assist, Cruise Control including Speed limiter, Front Assist, and towing protection.

Inside the cabin there’s a 8.25-inch colour touch screen, Bluetooth, DAB, and six audio speakers. Standard specification also includes black roof rails and 16-inch alloy wheels.


Again, if you pay a little extra you can opt for the ‘California Plus’ pack, which adds more home comforts, including a 230V inverter and three-pin UK domestic plug socket, dark tinted rear glass, two USB points, power latching on all doors to avoid waking your camping neighbours at night and LED rear combination lights.

Powertrain wise, you’ve got two options - a 1.5 litre petrol TSI engine with 114 PS, or a more powerful 2.0 turbocharged diesel unit, which has power of 122 PS and also comes with a 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox.

And if the regular Caddy California isn’t quite large enough, there’s a ‘Maxi’ size option available, which adds less than a couple of grand to the list price.

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Very pleased with the remote Covid19 service and very pleased with my car.
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