Review: Volkswagen Caddy (2010 – 2015)
High quality interior, refined and comfortable making it ideal for both long and short work, impressive TDI engines are punchy yet frugal, ESP as standard.
1.6 TDI model can feel underpowered when full laden, narrow load area compared to rivals, increasing number of injector problems.
Recently Added To This Review
Injector failure on 2010 1.6 TDI Caddy with 60,000 miles on the clock. Read more
Report of injector failure on 2014 Caddy with the 1.6 TDI diesel. Issues started with a tapping noise getting louder. Owner pulled over and found fuel all over the engine bay and two injectors broken... Read more
Series of problems reported with 2011 VW Caddy 1.6TDI DQ200 7-speed dry clutch DSG, ex Mobility, specifically adapted for transporting someone with special needs: Taken to dealer in December 2016 with... Read more
Volkswagen Caddy (2010 – 2015): At A Glance
- On average it achieves 87% of the official MPG figure
The Volkswagen Caddy may have started life as a pick-up but these days it's one of the best small vans around. The current version isn't technically new but rather a thorough overhaul of the 2003 model with a new look and a high quality interior. In terms of comfort and refinement, there's little else this size that can match the Caddy aside from the latest Ford Transit Connect.
Alongside the standard Caddy is a long wheebase version, the Caddy Maxi, but both are powered by the same engines - either a 1.6 TDI or a 2.0 TDI - the latter of which is also available with 4Motion four-wheel drive which is handy if you're going to be tackling more tricky conditions. Stick a set of winter tyres on when it turns cold and the Caddy 4Motion should prove great in the snow and ice.
Both these TDI engines - in their various power outputs - are common rail diesels which means they are far quieter and smoother than the older PD engines that the previous Caddy used. They are also Euro 5 compliant and available with Volkswagen's DSG automatic gearbox alongside the standard manual transmission. The most economical Caddy is the BlueMotion Technology with the 102PS version of the 1.6 TDI - it has an official economy figure of 55.4mpg.
In terms of practicality the Caddy is starting to show its age. The load area of both is narrower than many rivals and although you can fit a Euro pallet in, it has to go lengthways rather than widthways. The side door openings could also be bigger to make access easier. That said overall load volumes are good on paper with 3.2m3 for the Caddy and 4.2m3 for the Maxi. Payloads have increased and now range from 681kg to 766kg although that's still not as high as alternatives like the Ford Transit Connect.
Used Buying Guide - Volkswagen Caddy
A classy, well specified, fine driving van, the Caddy is a great used buy. However, there are a few well-known faults that you have to look out for when buying used, with DSG automatic gearboxes and EGR valves being problematic and costly to repair.
What does a Volkswagen Caddy (2010 – 2015) cost?
Buy a used Volkswagen Caddy from £13,000
Volkswagen Caddy (2010 – 2015): What's It Like Inside?
This generation Caddy is essentially a revamped version of the 2003 model so it's not the newest van around and that does have an impact on versatility. You can just about squeeze a Euro pallet in the Caddy lengthways but most rivals have more room between the rear wheelarches so they are able to fit a pallet in widthways. The Caddy Maxi has more length but it's no wider and has the same issues, despite having an impressive overall load volume of 4.2m3.
On the plus side it does get six mounting rings in the floor plus a hardboard roof liner. The standard van has a sliding side door on the passenger side, while the Caddy Maxi range has sliding doors on both sides. These doors are 700 mm wide to make load access easier, but that's not as wide as vans like the Mercedes-Benz Citan and Renault Kangoo.At the back there are asymmetrically split, rear double-wing doors. The window van gets a tailgate instead. A second sliding side door is an option for the standard Caddy plus a rear tailgate can be specified, although we'd suggest sticking with the standard twin doors. The tailgate is big and it's not easy to open in tight spaces.
Loading and unloading is easier thanks to low load sills - less than 60cm for both the Caddy and Caddy Maxi while the Caddy BlueMotion Technology is even lower at 56cm due to its lowered suspension. However another area where the Caddy lags behind other small vans is payload. It can carry a maximum of 750kg whereas a Fiat Doblo Cargo XL can cope with 1000kg.
It's also disappointing that the Caddy doesn't come with a full steel bulkhead as standard. Unlike the majority of its rivals, the Volkswagen has a half-height version and although there's a plastic mesh at the top it's not as reassuring as having a full bulkhead. That said you can add the C20+ pack for a further £100 which gets you a full height bulkhead which is more secure and means there's less noise too. The pack also adds heavy duty suspension and opague glass for the rear doors.
What's the Volkswagen Caddy (2010 – 2015) like to drive?
The Caddy feels every inch the upmarket van it's billed as. Both diesel engines are quiet and refined yet still offer strong performance for their outputs. That said, the entry-level 1.6 TDI with 75PS and 225Nm of torque can feel like it's struggling if you have a full load on board. It's not too noticeable around town but getting up to speed on a dual carriageway can prove long-winded.
The more powerful 102PS 1.6 TDI is a much better option and offers the best combination of performance and economy in the range. Go for the BlueMotion Technology version - which gets revised gearing, low friction tyres, a start/stop system and brake energy recuperation - and claimed economy rises to 55.4mpg for the standard wheelbase version.
Despite the modest power figures, the more powerful 1.6 TDI engine is surprisingly quick in the Caddy, helped by 250Nm of torque. It still only has a five-speed gearbox, but it's easy to hustle the Caddy along if you need to. It will happily sit at 70mph on the motorway with very little noise, making it ideal for longer haul work.
Above that is the 2.0 TDI 110PS which comes exclusively with 4Motion four-wheel drive. If you're going to be towing or covering more demanding terrain then this could make a lot of sense, especially if you fit it with mud and snow tyres. The top engine is the 2.0 TDI with 140PS which manages 0-62mph in 10 seconds. It's a highly rated engine and turns the Caddy into a little rocket, helped by 320Nm of torque and a six-speed manual gearbox. Economy is still reasonable at 47.1mpg and it's a very relaxed engine on the motorway, barely breaking a sweat.
Volkswagen has worked hard to make its van range echo its car line-up, both in design and interiors. The same can also be said of the handling. The Caddy drives very much like a Volkswagen passenger car with well weighted steering and plenty of front end grip. It's impressively stable with a full load on board and on a country route it gives you plenty of confidence in its ability to tackle tight bends.
The ride is excellent too and it's a very comfortable van to travel in. At higher speeds it feels stable and on bumpy and undulating roads it keeps its composure well. Elements like the nicely weighted clutch and positive gear change have a solid feel to them, helping put the Caddy a cut above the majority of the competition.
In town the Caddy is ideal thanks to its impressive manoevrability. It has a turning circle of 11.1 m, while the extra length of the Caddy Maxi’s wheelbase increases its turning circle to 12.2 m. Another plus is that ESP comes as standard on all models.
Real MPG average for a Volkswagen Caddy (2010 – 2015)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their vehicles could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What do owners think?
Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.
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