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!