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Instalment five of our long-term test of the 2016 Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Crewvan TSI220 is the final one, and it sees our chief photographer, Sam Venn, telling us what he reckoned. Get this – he hadn’t spent much time in a manual before we got this vehicle, so it was a learning curve for him...
You’ve spent time driving, loading, unloading and parking the car. What have you thought about it in general?
I thought it was great. It was a convenient size for storing gear and everything else. It was a car I was able to practise some manual driving in, and didn't have any trouble at all.
What are the three things you liked most about the Caddy?
The space and size of the cabin in the back – obviously, it’s a van, right? The media system with Apple CarPlay and its easy screen to operate made for simple cruising. And the barn doors were great for convenience when opening the boot in tight areas.
What are the three things you disliked most about the Caddy?
I didn't find the visibility that great, both for over-shoulder glances and the odd shaped mirrors which I found a bit confusing – one is larger than the other, and I know it’s supposed to help with kerb-side reversing, but it was a bit awkward, for mine.
What would you change about it?
I’d make both the side mirrors big, not having one smaller than the other. I’d probably want to have a rack on the roof for standing and shooting from like we did with the Renault, too.
Was it fit for the purpose of being a production van during its time with us?
Absolutely perfect, couldn't think of a better production vehicle.
Compared to the Renault, what is the biggest advantage of the Caddy?
Its size: the Renault was a bit too big for my purpose of photography, so the smaller Caddy was much better.
Compared to the Renault, what is the biggest disadvantage of the Caddy?
Having an external ladder and a rack on the roof that makes for more angles for photos.
If you needed a van, or you knew someone who did, would you recommend a Caddy?
Depending on their use for it: it’s a small van, a lot of people I know want a van to use also to sleep in and I don't think the Caddy would work as well for that.
How has the fuel use been?
I found it quite good.
Is the lack of a camera a deal breaker?
Not for me. I find I don't often use the rear-view cam a lot, and just look in the mirrors more.
Would you prefer the barn doors or a tailgate?
Did the five-seat layout make a big difference?
Yeah, it meant I could store my bag on the back seat, which I liked, if I didn't have a lot of stuff I would just use the back row seats.
Is the load space usable?
For our production purposes, yes, it wouldn't be great for long items but for use it was perfect load size.
Did you fold the second-row seats forward much?
Will you miss it?
Definitely. I learned on this car and practised driving manual and spent a fair bit of time in it. It will be missed.
And that’s a wrap for our 2016 Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Crewvan TSI220 long-termer. Apart from Glen, most of the team loved it, and they weren’t alone.
It also served as a helpful house mover for a couple of members of staff, and there’s something to be said for the security of a van over a ute when it comes to hauling stuff that’s worth a bit of money.
The general consensus here, aside from Glen who didn't really like the van that much, was that if you’re in the market for a small commercial vehicle, the Volkswagen Caddy – whichever spec you choose – could be a great option.
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