Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life consumer car reviews and road tests

4 stars - average customer rating
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Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life consumer reviews by year of make: 2009  2011  2012 

Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life consumer car reviews

Phil Harrison, Devon

Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life 2.0 TDI 2011

3 star review

I have always had 2.0 TDI Passats and been very satisfied. When I needed more space for my dogs I decided to go for the 2.0 TDI Maxi Life. I am very happy with the vehicle except for performance and economy. 5th and 6th gears are very high ratios and the engine loses revs very quickly on even the slightest of inclines. As soon as I get to Telegraph Hill in Devon the indicator tells me to change gear. As you change from 6 to 5 more revs are lost and to maintain the same speed its down to 4th. With an engine is supposed to have so much torque this is not acceptable. I believe it has something to do with EU exhaust emission regulations. Because the engine is recycling so much exhaust gas the engine runs too inefficiently (ask any mechanic about EGR). This also contributes to the poor MPG. Another irritation is the "fly by wire" technology whereby your accelerator is connected elecronically to the ECU and not directly to the fuel injection system, resulting in the computer deciding how much fuel to put in not you. Sadly I learnt all this after I bought my 2011 version. I believe the 2010 and earlier are better, hence the comment on one review about acceptable MPG levels and the taxi driver with a newer version with poor MPG. When it is out of warranty I will see if a VW Specialist can do something with the EGR to improve performance and MPG. I am so anti EU regulations - any gain by manufacturers in technology improvements are lost by more rules. My son’s 130 PS Passat out performs my 140 PS Caddy in all respects relating to power and MPG. I am so disappointed.

Submitted: 2012-11-25 | ID: 50567 McMahon, Devon

Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life 7 seat 2.0tdi 2012

3 star review

Bought vehicle brand new. It arrived on a transporter and I was given the keys. A scratch was pointed out to me and marked on the delivery note, but no further action has been taken. Vehicle is good for the purpose I use it for, a Taxi. Road noise is excessive. Takes a long time to warm up. Air con very slow. Rattles. DAB radio changes channel on its own. Very poor interior lights NO SPARE WHEEL, wouldn’t have bought it had I known. I could have six passengers in a Devon lane at 4am, if I get a sidewall out I’m stuffed, especially if no phone signal. All VW can say is call assistance, duh!!!. What about my next pick up?? If you use the gel pack you trash the tyre. Not good enough for a taxi and will soon be banned by local licensing authorities. Plenty of power and smooth gearbox, 6 speed auto. Fuel consumption is 38mpg and could be better. Comfortable. Overall a good vehicle but £23,500 should have provided a few more refinements, so very expensive for a VW.

Submitted: 2012-11-11 | ID: 50566

Anne Buckley, Kent

Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life WAV with ramp 2012

3 star review

I love the drive and the looks, but ours is converted to carry a wheelchair with ramps from new. It has only done 825 miles but my son was stuck in it in his wheelchair when the tailgate refused to open. I called out VolksWagen assist, but the RAC man who came could not get it to open. I ended up having my son pulled from the caddy in his wheelchair out of the side door after the seats were removed. We had to come home in a wheelchair taxi and my husband drove the caddy home. If it was not for the chaps at the hospital being able to help get him out I don’t know what we would have done. The garage say it was the micro switch on the tailgate had opened too far and when the tailgate shut down the micro switch was stuck open?? I am scared to use it now incase it happens again and would not buy another like it.

Submitted: 2012-09-10 | ID: 50565

Ian, England

Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life 1600 Bluemotion 2011

4 star review

I love my Maxi-Life, which I bought last April and have so far done 10000 miles in mixed city and long distance work. It’s a perfect car for outdoor pursuits work and even tows my 1000kg caravan happily. With its long wheelbase it’s very stable. With the Rear seats left at home we have used it as a comfortable ’tin-tent’ in inclement weather. Great length. I bought roof bars, but have only used them once because almost everything fits inside! Glitches? Yes, a few: I agree with Derek, 12000’ish is probably realistic for front tyres. The sliding door ’port-hole’ windows both leaked from day one and I’ve little hope of a cure so am resigned to wet door pockets. The ’electronic’ options can be baffling, just the locking/unlocking and electric window settings will probably take me years to master. That said, it’s a great car/van/utility vehicle!

Responses to this review

Howdi, great review thanks and very useful. I was wondering if you ever got the leaky window fixed? If so, how? I am in the same wet pocket boat. Cheers. - Gethin Davies from Netherlands

Submitted: 2012-03-06 | ID: 50573

Derek Platten, Northumberland

Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life 2011

4 star review

I am a taxi driver in Newcastle upon Tyne. I bought my Caddy brand new 1st Feb 2011. As of 13th December I have done 44500 miles. It is a very good drive and my customers often remark how comfortable it is. However, the lack of a spare wheel, spare wheel carrier and jack is a disgrace. The compressor and puncture fluid do not work (I have had five punctures so far and have had to borrow a spare wheel from a friend every time). I now carry a spare in the boot which takes up much room. The clutch has just gone and in 25 years taxi-ing, hitherto in used vehicles, I have never had less than 70,000 miles out of a clutch - usually 100,000+. I suspect this is related to the Dual Mass Flywheel, which the Caddy has and of which I was forewarned before buying it. I am not sufficiently technically clued-up to know why this should be, but let the buyer beware. Also access to the rearmost seats is complicated and I have already had a replacement handle, gas-strut and full rear seat bottom plate under warranty. Note also that the Caddy is VERY demanding of front wheel tyres (12000 miles per tyre). With regard to fuel consumption, I drive almost constantly in traffic and get 30 -32 mpg (It was 35mpg for the first 20,000 miles). The warranty expires at 60,000 miles. I’ll keep you posted.

Responses to this review

I’m thinking about a Caddy Maxi Life 2.0 for carrying cycles and driving to the ski fields about 100 miles each way. Much of the research I have read is very positive, but reports from longer term owners or fleet owners report high servicing and repair costs with transmission and engine faults. I’m very interested in getting further updates from Derek as the taxi is probably as good as you get to a laboratory to test reliability - from Australia

Hi Derek, any trouble with the tailgate getting stuck? Ours has only 825 miles and stuck garage says its the micro switch? - Anne Buckley from Kent

Submitted: 2011-12-16 | ID: 50569

Alan, Worcestershire

Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life LWB 1.9TDi 2009

5 star review

I bought mine last Jan (first reg Dec. 09/59) with 11k on the clock. It’s white so I decided to offset the ’van’ appearance by adding a silver panel to the side and across the back end, also roof rails. It looks so good, I can’t park it anywhere without someone coming for a closer look - car parks, sea front, and it’s never ignored. As for the drive? It’s fantastic, smooth, and powerful; doesn’t slow down for hills and returns 40mpg. My other car (motor caravan) is a T5 with the same engine, that’s how good I think it is. I would recommend to anyone thinking of buying one, don’t think, do it.

Responses to this review

please advise which motor your Caddy has ...many makes comment about power or hills etc but never mention what engine option their Caddy has - Grant McFaull from New Zealand

Submitted: 2011-12-09 | ID: 50572

David Elliot, Bedfordshire

Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life 1.6 Tdi Bluemotion 2011

5 star review

I’ve only had this a few weeks and have not run it in yet, but so far I am very impressed. It’s civilised, spacious and comfortable, and with the right extras. A great car. I am a kayaker, and leave the back row of seats in the garage, which gives a huge load space. The MPG so far is about 50 in mixed local and distance driving. I love it....even if my 13 year old son thinks it is not "cool"!

Submitted: 2011-11-18 | ID: 50568

What Do You Say...?


  • A response has been made to Alan (21/01/2017 02:37:42)
  • A response has been made to Ian (06/03/2012 10:21:48)



  • McMahon's question has been answered: "Just wondered if you ever got an answer to your question as I have just taken ownership of a Caddy Maxi & one of our catches is broken Thanks Nei - Neil Jones from Hertfordshire' '..." (08/05/2016 12:28:13)
    Read the full question and answer
  • David Chuter's question has been answered: "How long does fuel last when the light fuel comes on? - Leda Rodrigues from England' '..." (28/03/2013 10:49:38)
    Read the full question and answer

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