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Reader test: VW Caddy Maxi Crew

2009-09-01 07:01

Robin Manthe, Port Elizabeth

I bought the VW Caddy Maxi Crew to replace a Ford 2.5 bakkie that had given me enough back ache.

This Caddy Maxi Crew, which has just been launched, is the first in Port Elizabeth. It is T5 technology from the front seats to the front bumper. It has a 1.9 diesel engine that has all the power needed to fulfil its function as a delivery/family car. I decided to take it for a run to Calitzdorp for a little wine tasting.

We departed from Port Elizabeth on a Friday with four adults and enough luggage for a weekend. The drive was very smooth with ample space for all (two of us being well over six foot).

The Caddy has a five-speed gearbox and was able to cruise at a comfy 120 km/h, with good acceleration. After a late night spent with friends we set off on the Saturday morning for Uniondale, over the very scenic Prince Alfred pass. The dust road is very bad in places, but the Caddy took it in its stride and we covered the 77 km at a reasonable pace.

Dirt roads and wine tasting

After a delayed but tasty breakfast in Uniondale we got into the wine tasting mood and headed for Mons Ruber, a small estate near De Rust. Even with the trials of the pass, there were no strange rattles or noises to be heard. After loading up our wine purchases on the rubberised floor area (plenty of space for more!), we headed for Oudtshoorn and then Calitzdorp.

The Caddy's conditioner kept us at a cool 22 degrees. It also has a factory-fitted radio which is fine in most areas, but is limited in remote areas of the Karoo (it has a CD link for a shuttle).

There are a great many storage compartments for all sorts of bits and pieces in the front and the rear. The rear bench seats three and is raised so that passengers are able to see over the front driver and passenger.

The dashboard is well appointed and has good backlighting for the instruments. Head lights can be adjusted depending on the load, which changed a lot as we progressed from farm to farm. The turning circle (power steering) is great and there were no problems with limited parking at the busy Boplaas farm.

Our stay over in Calitzdorp at the quaint Dorphuis B & B was punctuated every half hour by the local church bells. Sunday morning we set off for Peter Bayly's wine farm via another 16 km of old dirt road into the Swartberg Mountains. After a final tasting at one of the best venues on our route, we departed for the Red Mountain (with hole!) and covered a further 20 km of dust road in a now white/brown Caddy.

Fuel consumption

The sliding rear passenger doors make movement in and out of the back really easy, even for large adults. After a brief photo stop at "The Hole" we left on our final leg towards home.

The Caddy has wonderful fuel consumption, with our first top up in George (701 km). The 13.2 km/l should allow you to cover over 830 km before a fill is needed.

The Caddy was a pleasure to drive over the varied terrain of the weekend and I would recommend it to any growing family or business.

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