Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

BIG CADDY; Volkswagen's Rejuvenated Caddy Life Offers an Interesting Take on the Van-Based MPV Theme. JONATHAN COUCH Reports

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

BIG CADDY; Volkswagen's Rejuvenated Caddy Life Offers an Interesting Take on the Van-Based MPV Theme. JONATHAN COUCH Reports

Article excerpt

Byline: JONATHAN COUCH reports

VAN-BASED MPVs have, to date, often failed to disguise their utilitarian roots.

The Volkswagen Caddy Life offers a rather more upmarket feel and a drive that's a good deal more spirited than most. As a compromise between relative sophistication and solid common sense, this 'Life' model works extremely well.

Think of yourself driving a van and the behavioural changes that might ensue. Any semblance of driving subtlety will probably fly out the window. Clutches are dumped, steering wheels yanked into corners while courtesy to other drivers takes a back seat.

I'm not sure why this happens but you're doing well if you can ignore the macho spectre of White Van Man. Where the Volkswagen Caddy Life scores is that it feels surprisingly like a Golf.

The fascia will be familiar to Golf drivers and unless you catch a peek in the rear view mirror, the driving characteristics aren't a million miles away, either. No, it's not as supple at speed as a family hatch, but then that's only to be expected with its longer wheelbase and roomier interior.

Buyers choose between a couple of Euro6 2.0 TDI diesel engines, developing either 102PS or 150PS. Handing is assured, through slightly less firm than it would be in a Caddy van, to take account of this Life model's passengercarrying remit.

It's hard to fault the Caddy Life for interior space. Thanks to its high roof, it puts quite a few full-sized MPVs to shame with its impression of airiness and the tale of the tape shows that the roominess isn't imagined.

As with the van, you get the choice of standard or lengthened 'Maxi' bodystyles. The larger one offers three rows of seats and space for up to seven. Here, even with all three rows of seats in place, there's a luggage compartment that's 620mm long and can hold 530 litres, putting paid to the perennial MPV gripe that when the vehicle is full of passengers there's nowhere for their bags to go. …

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