VW Caddy Life 1.9 TDI Full Review,Start Up, Engine, and In Depth Tour

The all-new Volkswagen Caddy has arrived down under with more performance, technology, improved practicality and dynamics. Best still, prices start from as little as $21,990. Volkswagen is best known for passenger vehicles such as the Golf, Polo and in more recent times the Toureg, Passat and Jetta. Nonetheless, the People's Car from Germany has a plan to be the world's biggest automobile manufacturer in the next decade. As a result, it continues to strive for more market share in other segments. That's not to say VW is new to the commercial van segment, not at all. Its involvement has spanned over 30 years with the introduction of the very first Volkswagen Caddy in 1980 (which was even available as a ute). The model lasted an impressive 16 years and was replaced with the second generation (1996-2004) and eventually the third generation (2004-2010). The introdution of the all-new fourth generation Volkswagen Caddy comes at a time when VW Australia is on a so-far-successful campaign to become a big player in the local market. In a further sign of confidence in its product, Volkswagen has recently addressed consumer concerns by changing its warranty support to an unlimited kilometer 3 year across the 2011 model year range. This applies to all new Caddys. Long gone are the days when vans were just a tool. The smarter companies and sole traders are now using their vans as outdoor marketing billboards and the Caddy has managed to prove itself as a 'cool' choice when it comes to customer perception. Its smart European design and cute (but not girly) character has been a hit with the local market with year on year growth since its launch in 2005. From the outside one can easily pick the new Caddy as a VW. The family DNA look from the transporter and its passanger cars has caught on and everything from the A-pillar forward is new. At a quick glance you will be forgiven for mistaking the Caddy as a big Golf. From the new daytime running lights to the adaptive cornering lights (option), the Caddy has access to some of Volkswagen's latest passenger-car technology.As for the rear-end, Volkswagen Australia has decided to keep barn-doors as standard (no cost option for a tailgate) whilst cubic volume inside the vehicle is the same as before with 3.2m for the Caddy and 4.2m for the long-wheel base Caddy Maxi variants. In addition to the updated exterior the biggest change is under the hood. Volkswagen has introduced more powerful and fuel efficient engines throughout the range. The existing 1.6-litre MPI engine has been replaced with two new petrol engines: TSI160 for the short-wheel base variantsTo better market and differentiate the new engines, VW has adopted a unique naming convention which makes use of the car's torque figure. For example, a TSI160 has 160 Nm of torque and a TSI175 has 175 Nm. The numbers have no relation to engine capacity (1.2) or kilowatts. This also applies to the diesel variants. The outgoing 1.9-litre TDI has been replaced with a 1.6-lire engine which is referred to as TDI250 whilst a bigger 2.0-litre TDI320 is available in cady maxi life models. For the very first time a commercial van is also available with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The 7-Speed DSG is technology one might expect to see in performance cars such as the Polo GTI, nonetheless it's also available in the Caddy.First in line was the very base model TDI250 Caddy with a five-speed manual. With just 75 kW and 250 Nm of torque, it's hard to expect much but it does manage to get going at a reasonable pace. Given the majority of base model Caddys are expected to spend their life as inner-city vehicles, you wouldn't hear all that many complaints. In saying that, the 5-speed manual does take some getting use to. From the base model we moved into a Caddy Life powered by the same engine and transmission. The rear seats are rather comfortable and the interior trim is up to Volkswagen quality. It comes with five seats standard but can be optioned to seven if need be. There is more than enough storage compartments to safely hold the usuals. If you need more space you can always remove the third and second row seats which means your Caddy Life becomes a standard Caddy van in no time (very useful for moving furniture). On the other hand, the Caddy Maxi Life comes with seven seats standard and has a potential load volume of 3,880 litres with no second and third row seats

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