Volkswagen put the finishing touch on a very compelling range of modern California camper vans when it debuted the new Caddy California in September. The smallest camper van of the family, the new Caddy mini-campervan becomes a full-blown motorhome with an available slide-out kitchen to complement its fold-out bed. Despite its move up in designation, the Caddy California still starts under €30,000 (approx. US$35K).

The Caddy California followed the debut of the fifth-generation Caddy cargo and MPV vans that took place earlier this year. The tiniest California would have undoubtedly debuted at the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, but Volkswagen opted not to participate at the show, which was among the few major international expos to take place this year. Instead, VW hosted a virtual camper van exhibition.

The California family, from left: Caddy California, T6.1 California and Grand California

The California family, from left: Caddy California, T6.1 California and Grand California

VW Commercial Vehicles

The new-generation Caddy camper van drops the “Beach” name of the previous Caddy camper, sliding over to the always-strong California brand, which now includes small, mid-size and full-size models. By virtue of its optional outdoor slide-out kitchen, the Caddy California also becomes a proper motorhome, not just a sleeper van with bed and no kitchen option, as the Caddy Beach was. The new camper also features an independent fold-out 198 x 107-cm (78 x 42-in) spring bed that can be set up on top of the folded rear seats or with the seats removed from the van.

Volkswagen held quiet on pricing information until a few days ago, when it put the California Caddy up for preorder in Germany and announced a base price of €29,887 (approx. US$35,350) with VAT. That sounds impossibly affordable for those of us in markets in which camper vans cost much, much more, but it represents an increase from the €25,688 base price of the outgoing Caddy Beach.

The mini kitchen includes a utensil drawer

The mini kitchen includes a utensil drawer

VW Commercial Vehicles

The €29,887 is the price for the base sleeper van, which does not include the optional kitchen or inflatable auxiliary tent. The kitchen adds €1,375 after VAT, bringing the price of the full motorhome variant up to a still-quite-affordable €31,262 ($37,000).

Unlike on the larger California and Grand California models, there’s no sleeper roof option, so the base Caddy California is a two-person mini-campervan. Those wishing to add more sleeping space will eventually have the option of purchasing the inflatable tent system that can secure to the tailgate, but that won’t launch until early 2021. Volkswagen will release pricing information at launch.

The tent will follow the new Caddy California to market, adding extra sleeping and protected storage

The tent will follow the new Caddy California to market, adding extra sleeping and protected storage

VW Commercial Vehicles

The base 450-cm (177-in) Caddy California comes built on a Caddy Life trim with 74-hp TDI engine. Vehicle options include a panoramic roof with blackout sleeper shade and 19 available driver-assistance features. Volkswagen will introduce a larger 485-cm (191-in) model next year.

Source: Volkswagen