WHAT IS IT?
It’s the latest generation of the Volkswagen Caddy and this is the five-seat passenger version although, of course, there is a commercial Caddy Cargo version – and there’s even a small campervan.
The Caddy is now in its fifth generation and while there are larger five-seat VWs around, this version is probably the best value, starting at under £25,500, and the most practical as a family vehicle.
It sits on the same VW Group MQB platform which means it shares many of the attributes of the latest Golf, including engines, safety equipment and many interior features.
Engines include a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel with either 101bhp or 120bhp – the version we tried which came with seven-speed DSG auto . Six speed manual is also available.
One petrol engine is available, a 112bhp 1.5-litre turbo four-cylinder, but no hybrid, PHEV or fully-electric options.
As the market is swamped with SUVs, people-carriers, or MPVs, so popular a decade or more ago, have taken something of a back seat. The Caddy Life keeps the genre going for the time being.
WHAT DO WE THINK?
The Caddy Life certainly benefits from the use of the dynamic MQB platform which provides it with decent car-like driving dynamics and better equipment while it has pretty good looks as well.
Not as pretty as a saloon or SUV, what the Caddy Life has going for it is practicality and a lot of room for the money. It is also very good to drive.
The 2-litre engine sounds like a big lump for a relatively small car but it feels smooth and responsive enough and provides enough confidence for overtaking.
The 2-litre is also pretty impressive on fuel consumption with 55+ mpg claimed and we certainly achieved more than 50mpg.
Lots of glass means there is good all-round visibility as well as providing the cabin with a spacious, airy feel. Maybe an issue for some people in that the windows in the rear sliding doors do not open.
While there’s a lot of space in the cabin, it can sound a bit boomy as noise echoes around and it can be a little jolty over rough road surfaces – but it’s a lot better than most van-derived people carriers.
Then there’s the kit – lots of it, with no less than 19 different driver aids including city emergency braking, lane assist, pedestrian monitoring and, if towing is your thing, trailer assist.
There’s plenty of use of hard-wearing plastics and there are five fabric seats as standard. It is possible to upgrade to seven seats for around £850, although this is going to cut down the 1,213 litres cargo capacity considerably. The other option is to upgrade to the long-wheelbase Maxi version of the Caddy Life.
Remove the rear seats and you open up 2,556-litres. That’s impressive.
With Life trim you get plenty of goodies such as a larger 8.25-inch infotainment screen while there is also a higher cost option of the even bigger 10.0-inch Discover Media sat nav system, as featured in the Golf.
Volkswagen Caddy 2.0 TDI 122 Life 5dr DSG
P11D Value: 32,381
Engine: 2-litre diesel
Max Power: 122hp
Max speed: 116mph
0.62mph: 11.4 secs