From April 2009 issue

List price when tested: £17,116
Kerbweight: 1827kg*
85% match: Not legal
Max towing weight: 1500kg
Towball limit: 80kg
30-60mph: 22.1seconds
30-0mph: 10.3m
*Includes 75kg for the driver and so differs from Volkswagen’s published unladen weight

YOU GET A VERY ROOMY, practical car for the money with the Caddy Maxi Life. A little over £17,000 (or less if you haggle) buys a car with plenty of room for seven passengers and a huge boot.

Whereas seats six and seven are a tight squeeze in most MPVs, the Caddy Maxi Life has as much legroom in the back as some people carriers do in the middle row. All passengers have a good view out, too.

The high kerbweight (1827kg) means many family tourers will be suitable matches, although that’s restricted slightly by the 1500kg towing limit.

However, the 1.9-litre engine struggles to haul a heavy car and caravan. It takes a heavy right foot to get up to speed, and a willingness to suffer a lot of engine noise. At high revs it’s louder, like a grumpy toddler with a tin drum.

The brakes are more effective than the engine, stopping car and caravan in a short distance. Stability is good, although not exceptional.

The Caddy Life should be reasonably cheap to run. Official figures suggest 40.9mpg is possible on the combined cycle. On our towing economy route we managed a respectable 26.5mpg.

We say       
Towing: 3/5
Solo: 2/5
Practicality: 4/5
Buying & owning: 3/5

Verdict: 3/5 – Makes your money go a long way, but the engine is slow and noisy.

Find out more about this car at