Volkswagen Caddy Maxi review

How the Current Model Looks

How the Current Model Looks

Back in 2008 something a little strange happened in the small van market. Perhaps in an attempt to gain a little ground by segmenting the market further, the main players such as Citroen and Peugeot started to launch bigger versions of their Berlingos and Partners. The VW Caddy Maxi is also a result of this trend. You could think of these vans as small vans on steroids, and they generally have boosted load areas as well as heftier payloads. The VW Caddy Maxi, for example, is 470mm longer than the normal Caddy, giving a load area of 4.2 cubic metres, up from 3.2 cubic metres on the standard van. The payload, meanwhile, has been bumped up to 800kg. This is quite an increase when you remember that the older Citroen Dispatch, which was always considered to be in the next size sector up, is actually smaller than the VW Caddy Maxi.

The VW Caddy Maxi came in a number of different formats, including a panel van, crew van and a Life model, which was really a seven-seat MPV. The bigger van also came with a range of engines, including a 2.0 litre diesel generating 140bhp and a slightly smaller 1.9 TDI PD giving out 104bhp and 185lb-ft of torque. There is also a choice of transmissions, with a five-speed manual as standard and a DSG six-speed automatic box as an option.

The VW Caddy Maxi had a pretty decent specification, which included ABS brakes, engine braking control, electronic brake distribution, remote central locking and traction control. Those were all standard on the base model, which sold for around £12,500 plus VAT. If you went for the £14,000 version, you also got 15-inch alloys, electric windows and heated mirrors, air conditioning, metallic paint, carpets, body-colThe Caddy Back in 2008oured bumpers and mirrors and handy under-seat storage bins.

The VW Caddy Maxi had a reputation for being robust, and as these vans age a little this reputation is clearly well deserved. There is a lot of quality in the build and the fit and finish, and you get the feeling behind the wheel that everything is pretty much where you expect it to be. The dash is particularly solid, with no evidence of the annoying rattles and squeaks that you get from badly fitting panels. The seats are very firm, but on longer journeys you will appreciate this extra support. Do look out for the full bulkhead behind the seats, though, which means that you can’t really recline the seat if you fancy a snooze or just like a more laid-back driving position.

Access to the loading area is excellent, with sliding doors to either side and a 60/40 split rear door. The base engine is easily powerful enough for most applications and will take you from 0-60mph in a tad over 13 seconds and on to a top speed of 103mph. The automatic gearbox is particularly good, especially if you work on busy urban routes, and the 41mpg you get on the combined cycle isn’t at all bad. If you can find a cared-for second-hand VW Caddy Maxi, you could be on to a winner.

Categories: Volkswagen / Caddy /

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