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VW Caddy 2011 Review

The Caddy is larger on the inside than it looks, with seating for seven people.

We turn the spotlight on automotive's newest and brightest stars, as we ask the questions to which you want the answers. Ultimately, however, there is only one question that really needs answering would you buy one?

What is it?

The Tardus of people movers. The Volkswagen Caddy is larger on the inside than it looks, with seating for seven people. If you thought the Caddy is a small car, try parking one next to a Pajero wagon and compare them — the Caddy is longer. This is the longer version (4.876m) with the addition of all-wheel drive.

How much?

Just the one model priced from $45,490 plus on road costs.

What are the competitors?

None really, except perhaps for Kia's cheaper Rondo 7. You'll be shopping for this one against larger people movers based on the price. For instance for almost the same price you could buy a top of the range Honda Odyssey which also seats seven.

What's under the bonnet?

This one comes with a 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine that churns out 103kW of power and 320Nm of torque, the latter from a low 1500 revs. It's hooked up to a six-speed double clutch manumatic that provides the driver with the option to change gears manually.

How does it go?

Like a rocket, but we wonder whether all-wheel drive is really necessary, given that it adds $3500 to the price and the extra weight of the system adds to fuel consumption (6.5 for the 2WD versus 6.8 litres/100km for the AWD)

Is it economical?

Still, 6.8 litres/100km is nothing to be sneezed at. With a 60-litre tank it has a theoretical range of more than 880km.

Is it `Green?'

Gets 3.5 out of five stars from the Government's Green Vehicle Guide (Prius gets five), with a greenhouse rating of 7 and air pollution rating of 6 out of 10 (where 10 is best). Generates 179g/km CO2.

Is it safe?

Caddy is a four-star car. Driver and front passenger are well taken care of, with front and side airbags, but rear passengers miss out. Comes with a full complement of safety equipment including stability control and anti-lock brakes with brake assist.

Is it comfortable?

In a delivery van sort of way. Seating feels small and upright, but not uncomfortable, at least not in the short-term. Second and third rows of seating are removable for carrying larger items, offering up to 3880 litres of cargo capacity.

What's it like to drive?

Very easy to drive. Quick off the mark and has plenty of mid-range response thanks to the diesel. Wheel has multi-function controls for audio and the computer, with an AUX input for music players — but misses out on Bluetooth (it's a dealer fit option but costs a bomb).

Is it value for money?

Dual zone climate air, automatic lights and wipers, fully featured trip computer with distance to empty, cruise control and rear parking sensors — to name a few.

Would we buy one?

No. The tribe has left home. This vehicle will appeal to a select few, primarily those that want seven seats and the Volkswagen name for a budget price.


Pricing guides

Based on 37 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
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Range and Specs

Maxi TDI250 1.6L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN $9,880 – 13,990 2011 Volkswagen Caddy 2011 Maxi TDI250 Pricing and Specs
Maxi TDI320 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP $10,500 – 14,990 2011 Volkswagen Caddy 2011 Maxi TDI320 Pricing and Specs
Maxi TDI320 4 Motion 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP $11,700 – 17,160 2011 Volkswagen Caddy 2011 Maxi TDI320 4 Motion Pricing and Specs
Maxi TSI175 1.2L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $6,900 – 10,670 2011 Volkswagen Caddy 2011 Maxi TSI175 Pricing and Specs
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