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Volkswagen Caddy 2011 review: snapshot

This little jigger gets up and goes.
EXPERT RATING
8

IF our maths is right consider this: a Volkswagen Caddy Van could fit some 1800 cans of beer in that big-little cargo area.

That'd be some 58 blocks of 30 cans with a spare pair of cartons up front to even out the load. And no doubt the VW would do its level best to haul that cargo _ close on 700kg _ around.

We didn't try anything quite that demanding (or rewarding) with this Caddy but did come away with respect for its workman-like approach to business without bruising the workers; small delivery vans have come a long way.

VALUE

The newest line of Caddys, released late last year, starts at $21,990 through to $32,990 for the top-spec Maxi version. There's the choice of petrol and diesel engines plus auto or manual transmissions.

The Holden Combo (one model only) is $21,280, Citroen's Berlingo starts at $22,990 and there's not a lot of other competition in this area.

DESIGN

The Caddy, by default, is a simple and compact box on wheels.

But with attention to detail it offers a comfortable driving position, excellent ergonomics and 101 storage spots which include big door pockets with bottle holders, dashboard spots for pens plus odds and ends and a large shelf running across the cabin above driver and passenger. Handy touches run to one-touch electric front windows and daytime running lights.

The rear floor, thanks to front-wheel drive, is flat with minimal intrusion from rear wheel arches. The load floor is just over half a metre from the street, back doors open wide and sliding side doors (right-hand one optional) allow easy access to cargo up front.

TECHNOLOGY

With speed-sensitive steering, turbocharged diesel and the option of a seven-speed DSG transmission, the Caddy is up there with current engineering for small passenger cars. Differences include the leaf springs out back. The braking system (discs all round) covers stability and traction programs, ABS and hill holder.

SAFETY

Volkswagen's smallest van arrives with driver and front passenger airbag plus the option of head and thorax bags. There's ESP and ABS among primary safety features and a four-star crash rating.

DRIVING

This little jigger gets up and goes. Okay, so we didn't fill it up with a big load of beer but with two up, light load and full fuel tank, then slotted into Sports mode on the transmission, the Caddy is a mighty quick little cargo carrier.

Here the DSG and turbo diesel engine help slip and slot through city traffic with ease. Steering is quick and accurate, quick enough to introduce a little body roll from the high-sided van.

And, despite limited visibility with those van sides, the Caddy is easy to park around the shopping centres (rear park distance controls are optional).

Pricing Guides

$13,147
Based on 46 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$6,950
Highest Price
$18,999

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Maxi TDI250 1.6L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN $10,990 – 11,990 2011 Volkswagen Caddy 2011 Maxi TDI250 Pricing and Specs
Maxi TDI320 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $15,990 – 16,990 2011 Volkswagen Caddy 2011 Maxi TDI320 Pricing and Specs
MAXI TDI320 4 MOTION 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $13,860 – 18,260 2011 Volkswagen Caddy 2011 MAXI TDI320 4 MOTION Pricing and Specs
Maxi TSI175 1.2L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $8,030 – 11,330 2011 Volkswagen Caddy 2011 Maxi TSI175 Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Pricing Guide

$9,990

Lowest price, based on 15 car listings in the last 6 months

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