Volkswagen Caddy Maxi The Window Van remains a dual purpose vehicle and the rear load space makes no pretence at being anything other than a van with an extra row of seats.
The Window Van remains a dual purpose vehicle and the rear load space makes no pretence at being anything other than a van with an extra row of seats. These have a 60:40 split and tumble-fold function for when extra carrying capacity is needed.
The Caddy Maxi Life, on the other hand, has carpeting throughout and more trimmings and plastic mouldings to the roof and sides. It is altogether more hospitable and car-like but there are elements that show its origins, such as the open glovebox.
Above the driver and front passenger, is an overhead storage tray, which runs the full width of the car. It is particular to the Life and as well as being useful, it also serves to lower the interior roof-line, making it feel a little less cavernous. Two items of which there is no shortage are cup and bottle-holders; these are to be found between the front seats and in the door mouldings although, they don’t have quite the same capacity as the van.
The dashboard displays the same VW efficiency throughout the Caddy Maxi range except that the dash-top document tray gains a lid in the Life. Other Life differences include a central armrest, electric front windows, front foglights; height-adjustable driver’s seat to go with the rake-and reach-adjustable steering column, and odd mirrors. By that I mean the driver’s side door mirror is a different shape and size to that on the passenger side, for better visibility.
As with the Window Van, the second row of seats have the tumble-fold action, which is the only way to gain access to the third row. This rearmost set of two seats in a bench format, also fold or can be removed altogether.
The extra length of the Caddy Maxi Life means that there is plenty of legroom for all without compromising the luggage space, which is where the Life wins over the Sharan. Both have seven seats but with all of them occupied, the Sharan can only manage 256-litres of load-space while the Life has 530-litres (to the window line), so there is plenty of room for family holiday suitcases and bags.
Nevertheless, it is still a van and although it has car-like driving qualities, the rattling of the rear parcel shelf over bumps makes it clear that this car is designed to carry loads, whether that be cargo or people. Driving light, over speed bumps causes the single, rear leaf springs some confusion, which manifests itself as a double bounce, even at modest speeds, which can be a tad annoying. So, unless you intend going into the courier or taxi business, perhaps the Sharan would be the better option if £2,600 dearer, depending on the model.
Volkswagen Caddy Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life 2.0 TDi PD|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||11.2 Seconds|
|Top Speed||116 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||50.4 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3-Year warranty comprising 2 years unlimited mileage manufacturer's warranty plus 1 year Van Centre Warranty. |
The Van Centre Warranty extends the manufacturer's warranty for a third year, or up to a maximum of 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
|Price (when tested on the 05/06/08)||£17,995|