The Caddy Maxi Life is a curious beast
The Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life comes with a choice of two engines; both are the excellent TDI PD diesel variety. The 1.9-litre unit develops 104PS and is mated to either a 5-speed manual ‘box or the clever DSG automatic. The other is the 2.0-litre version, which produces 140PS at 4,000rpm and 320Nm of torque between 1,750- and 2,500 rpm. This is the engine in the test car and is mated only to a 6-speed manual gearbox. The torque is seemingly ever-present and there is plenty left in sixth gear for motorway overtakes.
The top speed is 116mph and it takes 11.2 seconds to do the 0-62mph sprint. The Life is surprisingly agile on minor roads and will happily cruise all day long on motorways, as will the driver.
High mileage customers will also appreciate the fuel consumption figures of 36.2mpg (urban), 50.4mpg (extra-urban) and the combined is 44.1mpg. Generally, Volkswagen use sensible loading for true-to-life economy figures, so these should be quite accurate but driving style and load are clearly a factor.
The tailpipe emissions are measured at 169g/km, putting the Life in VED Band E, which is £170 per annum at the time of this report but, with prices starting at £15,995, customers might not mind too much.
The test car bore a price tag of £17,995 but the differences in pricing are due to the engine and whether or not it has a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). The specification is the same for all three Life variants and comprises of semi-automatic air-conditioning, four small luggage nets in the roof lining, remote central locking and a single CD/radio with six speakers, in addition to the features already mentioned.
It’s not exactly brimming over with goodies but the list of optional extras is quite lengthy with reasonable pricing. For instance, rear parking sensors add £245 and there are two Satellite Navigation systems. One has a monochrome screen and replaces the radio, as it has its own RDS version built in for £240 and the other, is a much more expensive £1,550, DVD-based system with a full colour monitor. In either case, audio CDs cannot be played at the same time, for that you need the £235 autochanger, which sits in the centre console.
As for safety, all Caddy Maxi models have ABS with EBD, Engine Braking Control (EBC), TCS traction Control, while ESP plus with Driver Steering Response (DSR) and trailer stabilisation function is available as a £282 option. Only the driver and front passenger have front and side airbags and I couldn’t find curtain airbags on the options list but the two outer seats of the second row do have ISOFIX mountings.
The Caddy Maxi Life is a curious beast, it feels bigger than it is, it drives like a car but you know it is a van made just to carry loads. But it is just so nice to drive.5 June 2008
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|