The VW Caddy Maxi Life is big, well made and surprisingly good to drive. It seats seven fairly easily.
Proper MPVs offer more flexible seating, and the Caddy doesn't make up for it with a budget pricetag. The safety kit is disappointing, too.
On the road
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The Maxi Life comes with only diesel power. The 138bhp 2.0-litre offers the better performance, but its high price means the 103bhp 1.9-litre is the better bet. It has enough low-down grunt and will get the Caddy from 0-62mph in 13.3 seconds. VW's excellent DSG gearbox doesn't hurt performance like many automatics, but is available only on the 1.9 TDI.
Ride & Handling
The Caddy's commercial roots mean the ride's a bit bouncy, but not uncomfortably so. It goes round corners surprisingly well and, considering it's more than six feet tall, there's not much body sway. The steering is accurate and nicely weighted.
Both engines make themselves heard at any speed, and on bumpy roads the seatbelts slap around on the interior trim. Pick up speed and there's a fair amount of road noise, but considering its humble roots, the Maxi Life is less crude than you might expect.