Volkswagen Caddy Review logo

Volkswagen Caddy Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2015
      Body type
      Van
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Smart van showing its age”

Best bits

  • Smart cabin and looks
  • Strong engine range
  • Good ride quality

Not so great

  • Rivals are more practical
  • Can be noisy – not all models have a full-height bulkhead
  • Outdated feel

Read by

Volkswagen Caddy Front Side View

Overall verdict

Volkswagen Caddy Front Interior

On the inside

Volkswagen Caddy Front Side View

Driving

Volkswagen Caddy Rear Side View

How much does it cost to run

Volkswagen Caddy Front Side View

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The fourth generation of Volkswagen Caddy has a familiar silhouette to the previous versions, but the model brought in in 2015 had more than just an upgraded face."

Volkswagen Caddy Front Side View

The panel van is available in two versions – the Caddy and Caddy Maxi. The latter, however, is just a grand name for the longer wheelbase version. The commercial vehicle range is rounded out by a kombi version, which is based on the Caddy Maxi and offers space for up to five and some kit. The Caddy is also available as a people carrier, named the Caddy Life.


The Caddy’s engine range is relatively simple, with just the two diesel engines and a petrol model to choose from. The two 2.0-litre diesel models offer 102PS or 150PS, while the 1.0-litre petrol offers the same 102PS as the lower powered diesel. Recent engines offer a lower powered 75PS version and a mid-range 122PS model, so both are likely to be in supply on the used market. The Caddy has also featured a selection of 1.0, 1.2 and 1.4 TSI petrol engines.


Most will opt for the front-wheel drive model but there is a four-wheel drive 4Motion model available too. The gearbox options are a five-speed manual and a six-speed DSG automatic model, with the latter standard on the higher-powered van.


Practicality has remained relatively unchanged over the years and the standard Caddy has 3.2 cubic metres of loading capacity while the Caddy Maxi boosts this to 4.2 cubic metres. You can get a Euro pallet Payloads range from 545kg up to just over 730kg. This means the Caddy loses out to its main rivals in the practicality stakes – the Ford Transit Connect manages over 100kg more while some, including the Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner and Vauxhall Combo are capable of taking over a tonne.


The cabin has long been one of the Caddy’s strongest suits. It’s styled much the same as one of Volkswagen’s passenger car models, albeit not the most recent models given that the Caddy has been on sale largely unchanged for some years. The layout might be car-like, but Volkswagen has used materials that err towards durable rather that soft luxury, with harder plastics meaning it will take a few hits without showing it.


It drives impressively like a car, too, with suspension tweaks at the 2015 update enhancing what was already a smooth and comfortable ride. The steering is well weighted while the clutch is light which makes sitting in traffic less arduous.


But while the Caddy might have set the standard for a car-like experience when it was first launched, time has moved on and there are several vans that offer similar or better. It remains fundamentally talented, and is still an excellent and comfortable small van, but time has caught up with it and there are more refined and more practical options out there.


If you're looking for the passenger version, you need our Volkswagen Caddy Life (2015-) review.

Is the Volkswagen Caddy right for you?

The Caddy is the original premium small van, and its car-like cabin is still a smart and well-laid out place, even if it isn’t the most modern feeling contender in its class any more.


It is still a smart and attractive van, though, and rightly appeals to those who want a van that makes a visual statement – the big, flat side panels enable you to plaster your brand on the side.


It’s more than a moving billboard, though, as it has a really strong range of engines. Petrol features strongly among the Caddy’s past and present engine range, too, which means there are more options available for those that want a small urban commercial vehicle.

What's the best Volkswagen Caddy model/engine to choose?

There are three main trim levels in the Caddy range, with Startline, Trendline and Highline all available. The Startline comes with acceptable level of equipment for a basic model, but lacks a few key pieces of kit to make it the most recommendable version.


It’s at Trendline where you get things like air conditioning, extra adjustment on the driver’s seat including lumbar support, cruise control and rear parking sensors. It is also the point at which you get colour coded bumpers and door mirrors, which make more of the Caddy’s smart looks.


The Highline’s added extras include a decent satellite navigation system, but the Caddy’s relative age means that it isn’t the most modern of systems available in the small van class. It also doesn’t come with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto as standard, so it isn’t worth shelling out the extra.


The 102PS diesel is the only option available with the Trendline trim – you have to upgrade to the top-of-the-range Highline to get the 150PS model, which adds several thousand to the basic price.

What other cars are similar to the Volkswagen Caddy?

There are now several small vans that major on offering a car-like experience, with the Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner, Vauxhall Combo and Toyota Proace City all fundamentally the same vehicle with different badging and aesthetic twists. They are arguably the pick of the class for a relaxed, practical small van, but the Ford Transit Connect is also a strong contender and offers more in the way of a sharp drive.

Learn more

Volkswagen Caddy Front Interior

On the inside

Volkswagen Caddy Front Side View

Driving

Volkswagen Caddy Rear Side View

How much does it cost to run

Volkswagen Caddy Front Side View

Prices, versions and specification