Following up on the full-size Grand California it launched in 2018 and the updated midsize California it launched last year, Volkswagen now turns its vehicle-camping mastery to its smallest van. A new-generation Caddy calls for a new-generation Caddy Beach camper, and in this case, a new name: the Mini-Camper. One of the smallest, cutest camper vans we’re likely to see until the eBussy Camper comes rolling into the real world, the new Caddy Mini-Camper sleeps adventure-loving couples and turns into a larger “glamping lodge” on demand.
Volkswagen introduced the new fifth-generation Caddy back in February, and at the time, we figured a Caddy Beach might follow at the 2020 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon. Of course, a whole lot has happened since February 20th, casting future products of all types into doubt. So it’s good to see Volkswagen teasing the new Caddy Mini-Camper during the same month of July it previously teased the T6.1 California and Crafter-based Grand California.
A small van like the Caddy is already positioned as an inherently versatile vehicle, combining some of the volume and utility of a proper van with nimble handling and easy parking more similar to a passenger car. With the new Mini-Camper variant, VW adds to that versatility in creating a vehicle that commutes like a minivan for everyday use but holidays as a light camper optimized for “spontaneous micro-adventure.”
The new Mini-Camper looks to maintain a similar layout as the outgoing Caddy Beach, relying on a folding rear bench to create a two-person bed. Volkswagen says the bed has been redesigned for versatility, and while it doesn’t offer further explanation, that versatility could follow the California Beach 6.1 in offering a lounge chair setting between bench and bed so that occupants can enjoy a more relaxed sit at the campsite.