Quite a few builders afford an old Postcaddy for little money when building a house. Families swear by the all-purpose seven-seater Caddy Maxi. Occasional campers spend the night on the folding bed or under the tailgate tent. What can the VW Caddy actually not do? We give ten tips on why it's worth getting the Caddy 2K.
1. The amount of space
Let's start with the elephant in the room - it feels like it fits easily into the luggage compartment. Such a Caddy can load any station wagon or minivan, no matter how large, but can still be driven like a car. Admittedly, many (particularly sparsely equipped) specimens are a little bumpier to drive than a car, but in terms of handiness there is practically no disadvantage. This results in an almost unbeatable practical mixture in everyday life. Their advantages do not stop with the large trunk. The storage tray above the windscreen is practical, as are the many storage compartments draped around the occupants. But where there is light, there is also shadow: if you want to make full use of the loading space, you have to take out all the rear seats and leave them at home. They can be folded down, but not sunk into the ground.
2. The large selection on the used market
If a car was not only built for 17 years, but also in such enormous numbers that until recently new stock copies were available, the selection is correspondingly large. You will find high-priced year-old cars with Euro 6 and remaining guarantee as well as inexpensive four-digit old copies that only offer utility value instead of charm. And because even they last a relatively long time, you can really grab them from the shelves at any price level. There are even specialized dealers on the portals who sell former Postbuses. And: If your desired copy disappoints in any way, a comparable Caddy is rarely far away.
3. The durable technology
Anyone (like the author) who earned a few euros by delivering letters or parcels during their student days may have driven one of these legendary Postcaddies. On board there is a 1.9 or two-liter suction diesel and always two sliding doors as standard. There is nothing on board: a passenger seat, a coolant thermometer in the instrument cluster (instead simply a blind screen), a radio or any form of equipment. In addition, these vehicles are maltreated to the maximum. Constantly switching on and off, full load when the engine is cold, curbs up and down. Hardly any other vehicle puts it away as gracefully as the Caddy. Even with the most used specimens, there was always a feeling of security promoted by the solid door sound, the crackling diesel and the powerful heating.
Even without romantic glasses, one thing is certain: there is usually not much that breaks on the Caddy. who the 12-series timing chain TSI or gimmicks like the natural gas models avoids, almost always gets more or less indestructible drives. The chassis is cheap and simple, and the body and interior materials are consistently optimized for durability.
4. The high-quality technology
So what, durable or high-quality? Ideally, both apply. In addition to the maximally simplified stagecoach, the Caddy is also available for higher usage requirements. Those who value equipment, for example, will not be disappointed. A surprising number of caddies also come on the used market with fine extras that provide a pampering aroma in everyday life. But that's not all: If the traction of the regular model with front-wheel drive is not enough, the 4Motion is also available. With all-wheel drive, a little payload falls by the wayside, but such a Caddy conveys a slightly higher-quality driving impression. So the feeling of the cheap tin box hardly comes up.
5. The good supply of spare parts
It's the quantity that counts. There are countless caddies and even more spare parts in different quality levels. Especially in the guts, i.e. on the underbody, the brakes or the chassis, a lot was unchanged or made to fit across the years of construction. If an exhaust pipe or a set of brakes should ever be due, this can be done more cheaply with the Caddy than almost anywhere else.
6. The maintenance costs
It would be a lie to say that all caddies can be maintained for a piece of cake. Although old diesels are inexpensive, durable and economical, they cost a lot of tax if they are not registered as trucks. The petrol engines are not recommended without exception. Every buyer has to know for himself which way to go. Old but cheap? Low in emissions but more expensive? Within the large selection, it is advisable to find the right middle ground based on the emission standards. In terms of insurance, all caddies are around 20 percent below the golf level.
So what adds up at the end of the year together with the low maintenance costs is in most cases pleasingly cheap and is usually below the level of conventional cars. Compared to the utility value, this is an unbeatable balance.
7. The decisive difference to the Bulli
We Germans like to think in units of measure. The trump card in the transporter quartet is clearly the maximum loading space. So if you compare the long Caddy Maxi with a normal T5/T6, you have 4,130 liters in the Caddy against 5,800 liters in the fully loaded bus. As a benchmark: The station wagon king Mercedes E-Class invites almost 2,000 liters, which is easily sufficient in most cases.
So you really need the extreme amount of space from Caravelle and Co.? If not, consider that the popular bus is sometimes twice as expensive as a comparable caddy, with largely identical drives. And: Depending on the equipment, the maximum payload for both models is around 1,000 kilos.Although the Caddy is just below and the bus just above, the price-performance crown clearly goes to the Caddy. Don't you use anyway? Then go do some house renovation and buy a load of floor tiles, plaster or bags of cement...
8. The competition
As in many cases in the brand's history, VW is anything but brash when it comes to introducing new models. A car-based van with simple technology is certainly nothing new. The first Caddy was a dachshund-looking Golf with a single cab and a looooong loading area – practical, but not for all uses. Caddy number two was based on the Polo and did a lot of things right. However, payload and use of space could be expanded, and the series was also a bad fast ruster. In 2003, the expensive and high-quality Golf 5 platform was available, with the Touran front end already trimmed for building construction - a logical step.
Oh yes, we wanted to talk about the competition. Well, it has always consisted of Renault Kangoo and Citroën Berlingo/Peugeot Partner/Rifter. Even if the difference initially seems small, these were primarily developed as commercial vehicles and were sometimes powered by lean passenger car engines with small displacements. For a long time they could not keep up with the Caddy in terms of handling and quality impression - this has only been possible for a short time. So budget-oriented, the competitors tended to be used as cheap craftsmen's cars, and used less often as family vehicles with a minimum of maintenance. So the used buyer in the form of the Caddy finds much more useful offers than with the French.
9. The alternatives
In addition to the mostly French competitor models among the small vans, also think about which comparable vehicle class can do as much as a Caddy. A large station wagon is mostly more expensive and has less space. An SUV? Also. The typical VW bus class is almost always much more expensive, unless you get a badly battered craftsman example. The mixture of car and commercial vehicle makes it easy.
10. The long construction period
VW also understood the latter. A total construction time of 17 years is an absolute rarity these days. Development costs are expensive, and if a finished model works consistently well and can always be kept up to date thanks to the modular strategy, the result is extremely mature and free from teething problems. Even the new Caddy is "only" a further stage of evolution, even if almost everything has now been renewed.
And what is bad?
Despite all the practical benefits, one should not forget that the rear part of the caddy basically consists of a simple sheet metal box that sits on a leaf-sprung rigid axle. A kind of subframe sits above it, which in turn is already welded to the corrugated loading floor.There is neither a sophisticated chassis (except for the all-wheel drive models), nor the possibility of making the seats or spare wheel disappear into the floor in a particularly tricky way. Conversely, the construction is extremely maintenance-friendly.
You should also avoid the timing chain TSIs between 2010 and 2015 - their timing chains or their tensioners are still not reliably durable even after a repair has already been carried out. The natural gas models and their tanks also require increased attention.
Otherwise there are not many chronic weak points. A few unkempt specimens rust, but they can easily be avoided, especially since the corrosion starts easily recognizable on the wheel arches and sills. Occasionally the guides of the sliding doors get stuck - this is where timely greasing helps.
At the end of the day, it remains to be said that good caddies always cost good money. Real bargains are rare. In contrast, the enormous utility value of the delivery VW is and remains priceless. So if you are toying with the idea of buying a particularly practical car for family, hobby or other large-scale practical uses, you will hardly find a more versatile one. The Caddy is also durable and of high quality.