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Volkswagen Caddy van (2004-2011)

CADDY SHACK (some text hidden)

By Alan Taylor-Jones

Introductionword count: 67

Volkswagen's second generation Caddy van always set out to offer a classier alternative to other spaciously compact LCVs. It was first launched in 2004, then substantially updated to create a MK3 model in 2011. With two lengths to choose from and multi passenger Kombi or MPV-like 'Life' models, there's plenty of choice, no matter what your load. Here, we're going to concentrate on the earliest pre-2011 models.

Modelsword count: 14

(Compact LCV Panel & Maxi 1.6, 2.0 diesel 2.0 petrol [Startline, Trendline, Highline, Bluemotion])

Historyword count: 259

If you remember the Eighties and know your commercial vehicles, there's a chance that you might recall the first Volkswagen Caddy, a pick-up version of the brand's Mk1 Golf. Unfortunately for the Wolfsburg brand, pick-ups were not quite as popular then, leading to the European model's demise in the early Nineties. Seeing a hole in the range, Volkswagen brought back the Caddy name in 1996 with a little panel van spun off the platform used for their Polo supermini and SEAT's Ibiza. More specifically, it was an Ibiza from the front doors forwards, with a big metal box on the back. Volkswagen's next attempt at a Caddy though, in 2004, was a lot more thorough, with a purpose-built van spun off the Mk5 Golf platform. This gave the new model much more cargo space, more cohesive styling and much better road manners. It also gave van buyers something rivals couldn't offer - a much more premium feel to the cabin. In 2007, a long wheelbase Maxi variant was added to the range to sell alongside the standard panel van. This variant was 470mm longer, so load capacity was greatly increased, while passenger Caddy Maxi models could now carry up to seven. The '4MOTION' all wheel drive system became an option in 2008, while at the end of 2010, Volkswagen unveiled a heavily facelifted Caddy as rival manufacturers cottoned on to the brand's winning formula. Outside the styling was sharpened up with a far more imposing front end comprising of much larger upswept headlights, wider grille and simpler front bumper.

What You Getword count: 264

The Caddy rides on a derivative of the Mk5 Golf platform, albeit one that ditches that car's complex multi-link independent rear suspension. Instead, there's a much simpler and tougher beam axle that is better suited to the hard life many vans will lead and therefore the norm for most LCVs. Out back, the loading height is between 560 and 594mm, depending on model, with doors that are 1181mm in width and 1116mm in height. The standard panel van's load area length is 1781mm, meaning a single Euro pallet will go in but not much else. The Maxi version increases this to 2250mm, with volume increasing from 3.2 to 4.2m3. The standard model comes standard with a single sliding side door and half bulkhead behind the seats. The Maxi adds a full height bulkhead and twin side sliding doors. Both get a loadspace width of 1552mm, narrowing to 1172mm between the wheelarches. Although a 2.0 petrol engine with the ability to run on compressed natural gas was available, the overwhelming majority of Caddys sold have been diesels. Two sizes were offered: a 1.6 TDI with either 75 or 102PS, or a 2.0 TDI with 110 or 140PS. '4MOTION' variants only received a 110PS version of the 1.6-litre unit. The styling still looks fresh today, making for an attractive little van, even with black bumpers and steel wheels. Plenty of buyers still decided to spruce things up, with optional metallic paint, alloy wheels and body coloured bumpers. Some models you'll find will have been fitted with pricey extras like satellite navigation and a multi-function steering wheel.

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Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Vans

Performance
70%
Handling
70%
Comfort
60%
Space
70%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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