Review - Volkswagen Caddy

By Alexi Falson on 28 Jul 2021
image for Review - Volkswagen Caddy If you’re looking for a super practical workhorse, but don’t want to drive something as large as a van, the Volkswagen Caddy could be the perfect car for you

It competes in a relatively niche part of the compact cargo van market, against the likes of the Renault Kangoo, Peugeot Partner and the upcoming Ford Transit Connect. Since its introduction in 1979, the Volkswagen Caddy has been a hit with tradies who celebrated its ability to transport an impressive amount of cargo at work, while eliminating a lot of the headaches of owning and driving a large van.Best of all, Volkswagen gave the Mk5 Volkswagen Caddy a significant upgrade earlier this year, so with that in min just how good is the VW Caddy? Read on and find out. 

Starting Price: $34,990

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Volkswagen Caddy (MAXI TDI250) Specifications

Model Date 2021
Series 2K MY20
Variant MAXI TDI250
Body 4D VAN
Fuel type DIESEL
Transmission 6 SP AUTO DIRECT SHI
Drive FWD
Engine TCDI
Engine capacity 1968
Engine configuration DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 2900 / 1300
Cylinders DT4
Torque 250
KW 75
Fuel tank size 55.0
Fuel usage specs 5.3 / 0.0
CO2 140
ANCAP security rating 9

For more details and other variants, check Volkswagen Caddy car page.

How Much Does It Cost?

The Volkswagen Caddy lineup kicks off at $34,990 for the Caddy Cargo TDI280 and $36,990 for the Caddy Cargo Maxi TDI280 variant, both fitted with a manual gearbox. Opting for the automatic variants of the Caddy Cargo TDI320 and Cargo Maxi TDI320 brings the price tag up to $37,990 and $39,990 respectively. From here, the range moves to the Caddy Maxi TDI320 with an automatic transmission, priced at $45,490 and the Caddy Life Maxi TDI320 which comes with a $49,990 price tag. Finally, Volkswagen’s range-topping Caddy California Maxi TDI320 automatic is priced from $54,990; all prices here are excluding on-road costs.

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?

Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service, you could save by sourcing one of our car specialists to help you find the best value model for you.

What Features Does the Volkswagen Caddy Have?

Volkswagen packages its base model, the Caddy Cargo with a dual-clutch transmission, riding on set of 16-inch steel wheels, cruise control, electronic parking brake, automatic headlights with daytime running lamps, a single sliding door on the passenger side, 8.25-inch infotainment system with DAB digital radio, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, two USB-C ports, front and rear 12V sockets, LED interior lighting, cloth seats, steering wheel wrapped in leather, reversing camera with rear parking sensors, as well as a suite of active safety technologies that we’ll cover later in this review. 

The Caddy Maxi receives a set of larger 17-inch steel wheels, as well as seven seats, rear LED tailgate surround lighting, and some fabric upholstery around the armrests for passenger comfort.

Stepping up to the Caddy Life Maxi variant adds a significant amount of features, including a set of 17-inch alloy wheels, digital cockpit display, keyless entry and start, automatic wipers, parking sensors up front and an adaptive cruise control system.

Finally, Volkswagen’s range-topping Caddy California Maxi comes fitted with a set of gloss black 17-inch alloy wheels, a foldable bed, table and two chairs, adjustable LED interior lighting and some added storage spots.

Range Features:

  • 16-inch steel wheels as standard
  • 8.25-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
  • Dual-clutch transmission across the range
  • Single passenger-side sliding door (base model)
  • Dual sliding doors (Maxi)
  • 10.25-inch digital driver’s display (Life Maxi)
  • 17-inch alloys (Life Maxi)
  • Foldable bed, table and two chairs (California Maxi)

Volkswagen Caddy Colours

Candy White Solid Cherry Red Solid
Pure Grey Solid Bright Orange Solid
Reflex Silver Metallic Mojave Beige Metallic
Costa Azul Metallic Golden Green Metallic
Fortana Red Metallic Indium Grey Metallic
Copper Bronze Metallic Starlight Blue Metallic
Deep Black Pearl

Is it Comfortable to Drive?

The Volkswagen Caddy is no doubt the best performing vehicle in its class when it comes to all-round comfort and confidence on Australian roads. Thanks to a pair of small but powerful engine options combined with a slick seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the Caddy is the leader of the pack when it comes to driving around the urban environment and navigating tight spots that would be extremely difficult in larger vans. Volkswagen packages the entry-level Caddy Cargo TDI280 with a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel unit pushing out 75kW and 280Nm, while the TDI320 receives a more powerful 90kW and 320Nm unit.

While the base model might seem underpowered on paper, that handsome torque figure will help you get up to speed without any problems, while the more premium engine offers an even more engaging drive. One of the best compliments you can give a van is that it feels and drives like a passenger car, and we’re glad to report that the Caddy is truly deserving of this status.

How Big is the Volkswagen Caddy?

The Volkswagen Caddy comes in two different sizes, depending on which variant you opt for. The smallest of the two choices comes in the form of the standard Caddy Cargo, which measures in at 4,500mm long, 2,100mm wide and 1,856mm tall, with a wheelbase of 1,797mm.

Stepping up to the larger option, the Cargo Maxi means the vehicle is 4,853mm long, 1860mm tall and 2100mm wide, riding on a 2,970mm wheelbase.

Is it Practical and Spacious?

For its size, the Caddy punches well above its weight when it comes to its ability to transport people and act as a reliable, competent workhorse. If you’re looking for maximum cargo transporting potential, make sure you opt for the Maxi variants, which have a longer wheelbase and can accommodate more cargo than the standard Caddy Cargo. The base Caddy comes with a cargo bay that measures 1,797mm long and 1,230mm wide, offering 3,100L of storage.

The larger Maxi variant has a cargo bay measuring in at 2,150mm long and 1,230mm wide, and offers 1,720L of storage, which extends to 3,100L with an empty cargo bed. The payload capacity is rated at 724kg for the standard Caddy Cargo and 754kg in the longer wheelbase Cargo Maxi, and both are rated at 1,500kg of braked towing capacity.

If you’re looking to accommodate your family, Volkswagen also offers a seven-seat configuration for the Caddy, which is comfortable for the driver and second-row passengers, while space is limited for the third-row passengers and is more suited to young children. Overall, though, for its size, the Caddy does a great job as a practical and spacious compact van.

Is it Safe?

The latest Caddy is yet to be tested by ANCAP, but the car that the Caddy borrows its chassis from, the Volkswagen Golf, received a five-star safety rating back in 2019. As standard, Volkswagen packages all Caddy models with autonomous emergency braking, a reverse camera with rear parking sensors, driver attention monitoring, as well as six airbags. More expensive variants receive adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane-keep assist and blind-spot monitoring.

Is it Fuel Efficient?

The Volkswagen Caddy lineup is extremely economical, thanks to VW’s experience designing and building their own diesel powertrains. The company claims that the more powerful of the engine options, the TDI320 variant returns a combined cycle figure of just 4.9L per 100km, making it one of the most economical vehicles on the market.

Our Verdict: Is the Volkswagen Caddy Worth it?

With the latest generation Caddy, Volkswagen has extended its lead over the competition, and set a new benchmark for how well equipped, practical and dynamic a compact van can really be. As an all-round package, the Caddy can be put to work as a family mover, or as a transporter of large, bulky goods, and remains small enough that it is easy to park and navigate tight city streets without a problem. Considering the latest generation Caddy has just arrived in Australia, there’s never been a better time to take one for a test drive and see how you can put it to work in your life. On that note, if you are searching where to buy a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Two Diesel Engine Options
  2. Dual-Clutch Transmission Standard
  3. Two Size Options; Short and Long-Wheelbase
  4. Can Be Optioned as a Cargo Van or Seven-Seat Family Van
  5. Five-Year, Unlimited KM Warranty


  • Staggering economy figures; a claimed 4.9L per 100km
  • Impressive versatility & practicality
  • Sleek, modern and feature-packed interior


  • Steel wheels on entry-level models
  • Key safety equipment reserved for more expensive variants
  • Some cheap pieces of interior trim

OnlineAuto Rating: 8/10

Volkswagen Caddy Competition

Volkswagen Caddy

Renault Kangoo
Suzuki APV
Fiat Doblo
Citroen Berlingo


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

Have any questions? Call us on 1300 719 925

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