The 2023 Volkswagen Caddy Cargo VAN TSI220 is one of the many variants of the 2023 Volkswagen Caddy series. There are a number of different versions released by the German manufacturer for this same model, including the panel van (which goes by the name of “Cargo”), the people mover (which goes by the name of “Maxi”) and the campervan (which goes by the name of “California”).
In each of these categories viz., Cargo, Maxi, and California, there are further variants that are differentiated on the basis of their features and pricing.
The TSI220 is the most basic variant of the lot, and it also has the smallest price tag. We’ll be reviewing it by taking a look at its features, performance, and more.
The Caddy TSI220: A Brief Introduction
The Caddy TSI220 is mainly differentiated from the rest of the variants in the “Caddy Cargo” range by four main factors: the lower price, manual transmission, single sliding door, and 16-inch wheels.
The majority of the variants in the VW Caddy are available in automatic transmission and they come with a somewhat iconic minimalistic gearbox. However, with the TSI220, the gearbox is the good old manual one. (To find out more about this, head over to the “Engine and Performance” section.)
The Caddy Cargo vans are named thus due to the fact that they come with a large space at the back, with the bulkhead partitioning off the front two seats. The rest of the van i.e., the entire back section comes with an empty cargo space that can be used for commercial purposes e.g., moving and transporting goods, etc.
In the TSI220, there is one sliding side door that can be used to access the payload area. There are two swinging doors in the back, but the side access is limited to just one. In the other higher-priced variants, there are sliding doors on both sides, which makes access easier.
And lastly, the TSI220 comes with 16-inch wheels, which can be a bit of a downgrade from the 17-inch wheels that the manufacturer provides with the other higher-end variants.
We will be discussing these features in detail in the review below. The purpose of mentioning all these differences here was to help you understand which variant we’re going to be talking about. It’s possible that you could have misunderstood the names of the variants and you could read through the review just to find out that it was not about the one you were looking for.
Caddy Cargo VAN TSI220 Review
Since the interior of the Caddy Cargo TSI220 is partitioned off into the “cockpit” and the payload area, we’ll look at them one by one.
a. The Cockpit
There is much to talk about when it comes to the cockpit of the Caddy Cargo TSI220.
On the driver’s side of the dashboard, there is an aesthetic leather-covered steering wheel embossed with the VW logo in the middle. There are different control buttons on each side of the center that you can use for audio control and the like.
Controls and Infotainment
Behind the steering wheel is the digital gauge cluster. Since the cluster is large and lit with LEDs, it is easy to spot when driving.
Coming to the left side i.e., the center of the dashboard, there is an 8.25-inch infotainment system. The infotainment unit is angled to the right, making it easy for the driver to access.
The Caddy Cargo TSI220 also comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (wired). There are a total of two USB Type-C ports that you can use for connecting your mobile device to the car. And if you just want to charge your device without any connectivity gimmicks, you can simply use the wireless charging feature provided by the van.
All in all, judging from these features, we can say that the Caddy Cargo embraces the tech side of things pretty nicely. With Android Auto and CarPlay support – as well as wireless charging – there isn’t anything that you’ll have to worry about as far as using and sustaining your phone goes.
Every display inside the cockpit is LED-lit, which makes it easy to spot during the day and during nighttime drives as well.
The TSI220 comes with cloth upholstery, and this is something that is common in pretty much most of the variants. Some of the high-end ones come with what is referred to as “premium cloth upholstery,” which is the same thing but with better quality.
b. The Payload Area
Let’s come to the payload area now.
Since the payload area is just a big empty space at the back of the van, there isn’t as much impressive stuff to talk about as was the case with the cockpit. But still, there are some useful features that we think are worth mentioning here.
There is a mesh screen on the bulkhead that allows the driver/passenger in the cockpit to easily see inside the back area. Having a mesh screen there is a lot better than glass or another similar material since the mesh is not that likely to break/shatter should something come flying at it from the back. And since the mesh is semi-see-through, it serves the purpose (albeit deficiently) of allowing the driver to use the rear mirror to look straight behind the van.
In the payload area itself, there are a total of six connection points that you can use to tether the cargo securely to the flooring. Positioned strategically in pairs of two, the connection points highly complement the overall nature of the Caddy Cargo as a panel van.
Single Sliding Door
With the TSI220, a significant drawback and con that you’ll have to deal with is the lack of two side sliding doors. If you happen to get off from the driver’s side, you will have to walk around to the back or back around the front to the sliding door on the left side.
Of course, since you’ll just be storing stuff in the back, you won’t actually need to access it too frequently. Nevertheless, if we think about people who’ll be buying the TSI220 to use it as some sort of custom/makeshift camping van, the single sliding door could be a bit of a bug.
Although we don’t mean to paint the Caddy Cargo a bad picture, we’re going to mention one more drawback that we found in the back area. The floor of the payload area doesn’t come with a full protective covering. Although this is something easily fixable with custom lining/layering, the bare metal floor was somewhat disappointing.
Now, let’s talk about the exterior of this van.
a. Headlights and Taillights
Headlights and taillights, apart from playing their obvious “illuminative” role, have a big effect on how aesthetic a car looks.
The Caddy Cargo performs well in this department. On the front, there are two typical halogen headlights with daytime running lamps. The front headlights work nice and look nice.
On the rear side, you get the iconic vertical light units on either side of the swinging doors.
We’ve talked about the doors on the TSI220 a lot in this post. There are a total of five doors at four different points:
- Standard front door on driver’s side
- Standard front door passenger side
- Single sliding door on the side
- Two swinging doors at the back
c. Miscellaneous Features
There are some other cool features that you can enjoy on the outside of the Caddy Cargo, but since they are a little diverse in nature, we’re gathering them here under this one heading.
- One cool feature that comes with the TSI220 is the rain-sensing wipers. Rain-sensing wipers have a simple but useful gimmick. They can sense the amount of rain falling on them to adjust their speed.
- Another excellent feature is the heated and controllable side mirrors. Controlling the side mirrors from inside the car makes things a lot easier. Plus, since they are heated, they won’t fog up if it gets cold outside.
3. Engine and Performance
Now, let’s talk about the engine and performance of the Caddy Cargo TSI220.
The TSI220 comes with a 1.5 petrol engine (turbo-charged) that produces 84kW and 220Nm. The transmission on the TSI220, as described earlier, is a standard six-speed manual one. This model is also available with a seven-speed automatic transmission as well but with an increased price tag.
According to VW, the fuel efficiency for this vehicle is 6.2L per 100km. Apart from sounding somewhat difficult to believe, professional real-life testing has proved that the fuel efficiency is a bit lesser than claimed.
The VW Cargo Caddy TSI220 is a great panel van for commercial use. It comes with a decent enough engine and has some great features both on the interior and exterior. Although the TSI220 is the most basic variant from the lot, it has enough to offer to make it a nice choice to consider.
The price for the TSI220 is around $38,000 – $40,000. The exact price tag can vary depending on where you buy it from and which version you buy (auto or manual).