2008 Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Van Road Test
Practicality, Fuel Economy, Car Like Handling, Price
Parking Sensors Not Standard
– by Paul Maric
It took me by surprise, vans have changed, they are no longer boring modes of transport with only cargo haulage in mind.
I jumped behind the wheel of Volkswagen’s new Caddy Maxi to see what the latest generation of vans has on offer.
Although the Europeans aren’t necessarily recognised for their stock movers, they are able to offer the traditional European reliability, along with build quality to provide an all-rounder.
The Maxi version of the Caddy gets an extra 47cm in length over the regular Caddy van and an increase of more than 31% in cargo space.
With sliding doors on both sides, along with fully opening rear doors, the Caddy Maxi van offers incredible versatility.
Volkswagen is also proud to note that the Caddy Maxi van can carry one full-sized Australian pallet, which is bigger than those used in Europe.
The 810kg internal payload, along with up to 1500kg of towing capacity make the Caddy Maxi van one of the best in its class.
Our test vehicle was fitted with the 77kW turbo-diesel engine producing 250Nm of torque. Although there is a six-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) on offer, ours was fitted with the five-speed manual version.
Also on offer is a 75kW petrol variant, but the pick of the bunch is the diesel though; the petrol variant goes through an extra 2.0-L/100km and is down on torque.
The best thing about vans like the Caddy Maxi is the fuel efficiency, using just 6.1-litres/100km, the Caddy Maxi offers impressive hauling ability, along with frugal fuel use.
Driving the Caddy Maxi van is a treat in itself too. The steering is very direct and the acceleration brisk. Throw the Caddy Maxi through some bends and it holds true, with body roll that is acceptable and impressive grip as well.
Visibility from all angles is very impressive, but reversing can be touch and go at times with the lack of rear parking sensors as standard fitment.
Priced from $24,740 for the petrol variant, our diesel test vehicle was priced at $28,740.
Standard features include: Air-conditioning; power steering; power windows; power mirrors; single disc CD player; cruise control and central locking.
Safety features include: driver and front passenger airbags plus ABS brakes with traction control.
Volkswagen offers a wide range of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) in Australia and this would have to be one of the best when you consider its size, its ability to move goods and its ease of operation.
If you’re in the market for a cargo-carrying vehicle, check out the Caddy Maxi van, or the Caddy van. The car like dynamics are impressive and it’s not too hard on the eye either. A win-win situation.
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