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Volkswagen Caddy Review

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  • Launched in 2021
  • MPV
  • Petrol, Diesel
  • Launch year
    2021
  • Body type
    MPV
  • Fuel type
    Petrol, Diesel

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Andy Brady

Written by

Andy Brady

00/10
heycar rating
More car-like than ever before

Best bits

  • Incredibly comfortable and versatile interior
  • Easy to drive with excellent visibility
  • Strong value for money

Not so great

  • Not as stylish as an SUV alternative
  • Rear windows don't open
  • Entry-level models are pretty basic

Read by

Volkswagen Caddy Life front

Overall verdict

Volkswagen Caddy Life interior dashboard

On the inside

Volkswagen Caddy Life rear

Driving

Volkswagen Caddy Life side

How much does it cost to run

Volkswagen Caddy Life front

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict on the Volkswagen Caddy

"Forget about SUVs. Sure, they might account for nearly a quarter of all new cars sold in the UK, but if you want a genuinely practical family vehicle that won't break the bank, we reckon you should be looking at the new Volkswagen Caddy."

Volkswagen Caddy Life front

Just like the Citroen Berlingo and Ford Tourneo Connect, the Volkswagen Caddy is a small van-based people carrier with a huge boot and the kind of versatility that Nissan Qashqai buyers can only dream of. And the best thing about it is, it isn't really van-based.


How so? Well, the new Volkswagen Caddy sits on the brand's MQB platform. In plain English, that means its oily bits are lifted straight from cars like the Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3. And that means it's better to drive than a boxy people carrier has any right to be.


Volkswagen has also changed the line-up. So the passenger model is now simply called the Volkswagen Caddy (formerly the Caddy Life) while Life is now a trim level in the range. Yes, it's confusing. The van version has been renamed the Caddy Cargo.


With a tiny turning circle, you can dart around town with all the confidence of a Deliveroo rider, while the car-like suspension means things won't get too crashy if you take a speed bump at pace. You can pick from 2.0-litre diesel and 1.5-litre petrol engines, while buyers are also offered the choice of a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG automatic transmission. We've only sampled the latter and reckon it's the one to go for, unless you really (really) like changing gears yourself.


It feels like a car inside, too. That's because the dashboard has been lifted almost entirely from the latest Volkswagen Golf, while the high-spec Caddy Life model comes with loads of desirable features including a touchscreen media system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There's a load of driver-assistance technology that's been lifted from the Golf, too – the Caddy can practically drive itself (disclaimer: don't try it).


You can get the Caddy in two different sizes: the short-wheelbase standard Caddy, and the long-wheelbase Caddy Maxi. Both are available with seven seats, but it's the smaller five-seat model we've been driving.


We're not exaggerating when we say you could live in the boot. Indeed, some people probably do. Staycations are on trend these days and the Caddy's more than up to the job, whether you want to sleep in it (there's a Caddy California camper on its way) or just carry a van-load of buckets and spades.


There are a few giveaways that the Caddy is essentially a van with windows. In fact, the windows are one of them – you can't open the rear ones, which won't appeal to kids who like fresh air. And then there's the rear doors, which slide open – but once you've sampled these in a tight car park, you'll never want to go back to a conventional car again.


Sure, there's nothing particularly sexy about a van-based people carrier. If you're looking for a car that's going to impress your neighbours, you should look at a Volkswagen Tiguan instead. But the Caddy's one of the smartest-looking examples on offer, and its interior really does exceed all expectations.


The new Caddy is yet to filter down onto the used market, but you're looking at around £23,000 for a new entry-level model. You'll want the Life, though, which starts from £27,500 and soon starts to nudge £30,000 by the time you've gone through the options list. That's expensive compared to a Vauxhall Combo Life, but the PCP payments between this and a Tiguan probably won't be that different.

Ready to get your top quality Volkswagen Caddy?

  • All cars come with a warranty
  • Selected dealers only
  • All quality checked
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Volkswagen Caddy

2.0 TDI 122PS Commerce Pro Van DSG

  • 2021
  • 2,931 miles

Manufacturer Approved

  • Lookers Volkswagen Van Centre Stockton-on-Tees
  • Yorkshire, TS176AF
Price (ex VAT):£29,999
PCP: £461.51/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 35 Monthly Payments: £461.51, Customer Deposit: £4,499.00, Total Deposit: £4,499.85, Optional Final Payment: £13,267.00, Total Charge For Credit: £3,920.70, Total Amount Payable: £33,919.70, Representative APR: 6.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 6.88%, Excess Mileage Charge: 3.24ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Is the Volkswagen Caddy right for you?

If you want as much space as possible but don't want to compromise on the driving experience, a Volkswagen Caddy sounds like the perfect choice. It's not as cool as an SUV, but it's got a huge amount more room, while it's better to drive than other van-based people carriers.

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

The standard Volkswagen Caddy is fairly basic, so we'd recommend looking for a Caddy Life. This is a bit more car- than van-like, with things like alloy wheels, parking sensors and an actual infotainment system. 


Choosing between the standard Caddy and the long-wheelbase Caddy Maxi will depend on how much stuff (and how many people) you wish to carry. Unless you really need to transport a football team, the standard Caddy should be sufficient.

What other cars are similar to the Volkswagen Caddy?

If you're in the market for a van-based people carrier, you should also have the likes of the Peugeot Rifter, Citroen Berlingo and Vauxhall Combo Life on your shortlist. These are all very similar, sharing a platform and various parts between them. Then there's the Ford Tourneo Connect, a people carrier based on the award-winning Transit Connect van which we rate very highly.

Learn more

Volkswagen Caddy Life interior dashboard

On the inside

Volkswagen Caddy Life rear

Driving

Volkswagen Caddy Life side

How much does it cost to run

Volkswagen Caddy Life front

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

What's the difference between the Volkswagen Caddy, Caddy Cargo and Caddy Life?

The Volkswagen Caddy line-up has been shaken up for 2021. The passenger vehicle (with seats and windows) is now badged simply the Caddy, while the van is known as the Caddy Cargo. The Volkswagen Caddy Life is essentially a posher version of the standard Caddy – with desirable features like alloy wheels and parking sensors. There are also two lengths to choose from – the standard SWB (short wheelbase) model and the longer Maxi grade.

Andy Brady

Answered by

Andy Brady

Is the Volkswagen Caddy based on a Golf?

The fifth-generation Volkswagen Caddy is based on the brand's MQB platform, making it more car-like to drive than ever before. This chassis underpins a wide variety of Volkswagen Group vehicles – including the Volkswagen Golf, Skoda Octavia and even the Audi A3.

Russell Campbell

Answered by

Russell Campbell

Is the Volkswagen Caddy a van?

The Volkswagen Caddy Cargo is a compact van that sits beneath the Transporter in the firm's line-up. The Caddy is also available as a passenger car, competing against the likes of the Citroen Berlingo and Ford Tourneo Connect.

David Ross

Answered by

David Ross

Interested in buying a Volkswagen Caddy?

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