2005 Volkswagen Caddy Life 1.6 diesel from UK and Ireland


Happy out with it!


Things falling off.

Hooks breaking & electric windows get stuck easily.

Other than that, all good!

General Comments:

Very good for a disabled car. A cheap alternative compared to its disabled friendly rivals such as the Fiat Doblo, Chrysler Voyager or Citroen C8.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th March, 2014

2011 Volkswagen Caddy TDI 1.6 turbo diesel from Australia and New Zealand


Buy it new, and sell it before the warranty expires!


40000km. Driver's door handle is broken. It has so far taken VW 4 weeks to get a handle in from overseas, and I'm still waiting.

Transmission is on its way out, and has been since 20000km. VW assure me every service that it is fine and no fault codes are coming up, but first and second gear are impossible to get into at times, and even with the clutch in, it grinds its own gears.

Other Caddys in our fleet have had their boxes changed under warranty due to faults with them.

The visibility is poor as it is a panel van, and there is no option to put windows in unless you purchase the passenger model.

I found the build quality of the wheels disappointing; they are soft and bend easily, especially if you accidentally run over a Kangaroo; it bent 2 mags. I expect better from a commercial van. They should be tougher. On a similar note, parts aren't cheap; a new bumper, headlight and front guard was $2500.00!

The front doors don't seal properly; there is a lot of wind noise when you are traveling over 100KPH. You can hear the air leaking in through the door seals, but road noise in general is OK.

General Comments:

As a compact van goes, there isn't much choice in Australia. The only other is the Holden Combo, and that looks dated.

The Caddy has been the choice in our company for 7 years. We chose these as they are practical to work out of on a day to day basis.

They haven't come without their faults though. We never keep them past their warranty periods.

If another manufacturer brings a compact van to the market, we will seriously look into it.

The ride is OK, but it's no Audi A4 (which is my personal car). It's to be expected with a commercial vehicle. The seats are rather uncomfortable (I have no idea who designed them, but they need to go back to tech design); there is no lumbar support adjustment (it's fixed) and it seems to be fixed for someone who is over 7 foot tall (I'm 6 foot and it does nothing for my back).

Don't expect luxury with the Caddy. OK, you do have keyless entry, electric windows and dual zone climate air (which I find great in the Audi but pointless in a 2 seated van), but that's where it stops for luxury.

The dashboard is a sea of grey scratchy plastics; you could file dead skin off the soles of your feet.

Cruise control is an option, so is a remotely decent stereo.

Storage is OK. I would prefer a glove box that actually has a lid rather than a gaping hole in the front of the dash. Cup holders are a plenty, with 6 in total. That's 5 more than an Audi A4.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 23rd September, 2013

1998 Volkswagen Caddy SD 1.9 diesel from UK and Ireland


Reliable and cheap to run


Nothing proper servicing won't catch.

General Comments:

Very reliable van, a bit slow with only 64 bhp.

Good load capacity, and towing doesn't make much difference to performance.

Does suffer in its twilight years with engine management and gear/clutch trouble, but still driveable.

Watch out for rust.

Comfortable over long drives.

Not very safe; I was in one that was hit head on at 50mph, and it crumpled like a paper cup.

Economical on the diesel, and parts are available.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd May, 2008

2001 Volkswagen Caddy TDi 1.9 turbo diesel from Singapore


Cheap running fuel miser, yet pulls hard and fast


There is a creaking sound from the left pillar above the seat belt when the van hits a bump. I have since tried to remove the panels and stuff flame retardant gauze to cushion between the panel and the main body. The noise has stopped.

There is a creaking sound from the dashboard front mounted speaker panels whenever there are any body flex.

Door panels creak when the vehicle goes through bumps.

The engine was delivered to me with a periodic clicking sound when switched on. I suspect that it is a sticky lifter and am waiting to reach 4000km to see if the valves will sit properly and the noise will disappear.

The windshield wiper water spray sprays water wildly out of the range of the windshield and splatters onto motorists next to my van. Have not fixed it yet.

The van was delivered to me with a lot of scratches on the interior plastics and they are almost impossible to get rid of.

There is a lot of grease from the seat rails that is all over the floor carpet.

The engine died once suddenly while driving around the city while at idle. This was when the car had 800kms on it. I was not touching any of the controls at the time. Don't know the cause. Could be electronics. Restarted without a problem.

General Comments:

The engine is a gem. Other than the clicking sound from the suspected sticky lifter, the engine does what it sets out to do and at economy. Since my engine only has 1400km on it, I haven't pulled it hard, but shifting gears at around 2300-2400 RPM gives the van 800kms on a full tank. With the turbo spooled up, the engine feels strong and stable. Electronics might be faulty as the engine just died at idle. Restarted without a problem. The engine does not like to be below 1500 RPM, and vibrations into the chassis are noticeable at that range. The engine pulls strongly after once it hits 1900 RPM.

The chassis is strong but the suspension is weak. There was a lot of road vibration on the body and when cornering, understeer dials in when accelerating through the bend. The van goes out of sorts when there's a bump on the road while cornering at speed. The passenger and driver can feel quite uncomfortable with the bumps that the suspension cannot cope with. However, as I clocked more kilometres, the suspension seems to improve, but only slightly, and road holding is much better.

Cabin noise is surprisingly low, even when travelling at speed. No wind noise was noticeable and slight tire noise could be heard. The engine noise is also quite low with the windows up, considering that it is quite loud with the windows down.

The car is beautiful and has all the controls you need, including electric windows and mirrors, a luxury van.

Storage space is innovative (with overhead storage) and secure (with locks at bigger storage spaces), but some of the space is oddly shaped and not storage friendly.

The controls to the car is well laid out and ergonomic, with lights to all main controls when night falls.

The feel of the van is that of a passenger car, and the steering heavier than normal, but with good feedback on what the van is doing, without being over communicative. The steering wheel for my van had no adjustment whatsoever and I had to adjust the seat instead to make the best out of the rigid placement. It took me a few days of fine tuning and getting used to to make the best placement of the seat.

The seat is a surprise. It has all the normal adjustment and more. Add to that a good support as well as side support, a lot of thought has gone into making the occupants comfortable (only let down is the ride quality of the van itself).

There is slight engine vibration coming through the manual gear shift, but it disappears when the van is cruising. The shift is precise but the reverse can be a bit dangerous cos it is selected by pressing down and pushing into the first gear position. I almost reversed into a wall once because I was reversing and tried to engage into first gear, but it was actually still in reverse (not idiot proof I suppose) and proceeded to reverse into the wall, only saved by my quick braking foot. I do find that the gear shift knob was a bit hard and too rough on my hands.

The car pedals are spaced quite close and the leg room in the van is quite narrow. It took some time to get used to the pedals and with my average size feet, could make do with the lack of space.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 14th December, 2001

8th Jan 2004, 15:38

A well written review,IMO.

What is a 2001 VW caddy?

I owned a 1980 Diesel caddy for two years, economical (44 mpg) and fairly durable.

Too small inside, and I am only 5' 7".

30th Jul 2004, 00:32

Hi there! I'm from singapore too... i am thinking of getting a caddy. is it true that you need a company to buy a van? I really want something turbo and this is the only alternative I have. I just crashed my s14!

2nd Nov 2006, 15:07

How Is the Caddy For Towing A trailer? 2000kg including load!

21st Jul 2010, 17:31

I have my 2004 VW Caddy Van (new shape) for about 4 weeks now. I bought it for a new business I'm setting up.

I got this flashing ABS light and handbrake light, along with three loud beeps come on all together around three or four days into owning it. Don't know what they are yet. Sometimes they come on, and sometimes not!!!

I also get an ABS light come on most of the time now, this light by itself.

Recently I have what looks like a yellow coloured bulb symbol come on now too; I think this means the computer has logged a fault or something? Not sure, but I suspect this could be because of a blown brakelight bulb.

The horn as also recently died on me. It now sounds like a poor animal being strangled.

I probably should bring it for a diagnostic, when the cash becomes available for me to do so.

These few niggles aside (I hope they are niggles anyway) it's a great van. Very quiet inside, no rattles or anything like that. It feels amazingly solid and so well built when driving on the road. I just feel safe inside it.

Good space in the back, and looks good too.

I used to own a Mercedes A class, and so far, the caddy is winning hands down, despite it thinking it's a Christmas tree with the dash lights.

Oh! The headlights work too! They can do this cool trick. When you go from dims to full beam, back to dims again, and then try to go back to full beam, they actually do just that. Another thing Mercedes have a problem with, not just isolated to the heap I recently owned.