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Volkswagen Caddy

Volkswagen Caddy

Mk.4, 2K.I and 2K.II
2.8 from 40 reviews

VW Caddy Maxi Life TDi250 1.6L Diesel DSG - Limp Mode Instant Loss of Power Dangerous, Serious Safet

We purchased the VW Caddy Maxi Life new in 2011 for the safety, economy, low emissions, solid quality build, versatility of the 7 seats and different configurations for large cargo space. It has fulfilled our expectations in these areas bar emissions and most concerningly, barring safety. We have kept the car regularly serviced and well maintained. We wish to make others aware and add to the reviews stating a safety issue with the limp mode. After experiencing this over a dozen times and talking to mechanics, the VW does not respond with a "normal"half speed limp mode. Instead limp mode response is a sudden, dramatic loss of power with deceleration from 100km to 30km in seconds. The DSG is still in gear (unsure what gear it drops down to as too concerned with getting safely off the highway asap) but it is af if the vehicle is engine breaking. It does not slowly cruise down to limp mode, as if in neutral. There is no warning, as soon as an engine fault lamp flashes the limp mode is instant. Five of the times we have experienced limp mode we were on the highway travelling at high speed. This has been extremely dangerous because of the dramatic deceleration leading to being vulnerable to a collision from the rear. There is no warning to the driver behind until hazard lights are mechanically applied asap. Each time the engine fault lamp flashes we have taken it into the dealership or mechanic immediately. Over a period of 5 months the EGR and four injectors (not all at once) have been replaced. Our concern is the defect of the vehicle's drastic response in limp mode. We do not feel confident to drive the vehicle on the highway not knowing when the next component will fail. The instant limp mode has put ourselves and other road users safety in jeopardy. We have been contacting VW Australia over the last 5 months and were advised our concern with the vehicle losing power is not a known concern with our vehicle model. On searching reviews, such as on this site, this is not the case. Others have experienced the exact same issue. Our extreme disappointment is that VW will not look into this safety issue further or rectify the problem. VW recommend that if any faults are to arise to have our vehicle taken into a Volkswagen dealership to further diagnose our concern. We do not want to wait until another fault, risk another potential collision, too many very close calls already. The unusual thing is the faults which have thus far thrown the vehicle into limp mode do not put the engine immediately at risk. The dealership advised to switch the vehicle off then restart and the vehicle could be driven home to the dealership. Why don't they program the ECU to give a warning for say 30 seconds before power loss? Why is possibility of engine damage (which hasn't been the case with past faults) put ahead of passenger safety? Passenger safety should be paramount! We have emailed a letter of complaint to VW three weeks ago but still no reply and no reply to previous email. There response previously is to say they understand our disappointment surrounding our experience but will do nothing further until another fault lamp arises...

Engine Size1.6L
Date PurchasedMay 2011

Great van!

Bought this van to transport my dogs around as I run a rescue. It’s drives smoothly and gets good mileage to the litre, being a Diesel engine.

I was looking for a van that could be used generally as well, so was ecstatic to find a van with a comfortable five seater interior as well as plenty of room in the back for the dogs.

The sunken floor in the rear passenger section allows for good leg room and there are plenty of small storage sections, like cup holders, side pockets and overhead document holders. It could, however do to incorporate some type of ‘boot’ section for larger items, but I guess most people utilise the rear carriage for that, rather than place dogs in there.

Small things like mirrors on the sun visors could have been incorporated, but as a functional vehicle, it certainly does its job well.

BadgeTDI250 BlueMOTION Maxi
Engine Size1.6L Turbo
Date PurchasedJul 2018

Caddy Maxi Crewvan is GREAT

This new van replaced a short wheel-base Renault Kangoo, and is a quantum leap ahead. More power, even if it is a 1.2 turbo, more driveability, more space, very comfortable, and the dash and control layout is very similar to my Tiguan, so there is no problem with swapping from one to the other. Having the people mover version gave me better sound insulation in the back than if I had bought the van version, and with the back row of seats out, I have 5 seats and stacks of workspace. I would have preferred barn doors, but there was no reversing camera option without the lifting door, which is a bit big to lift for my small girl workers. The 7-speed dual clutch is smooth, but is a bit reluctant to reverse slowly up a hill - don't touch the brake, just let it creep along.

BadgeTSI175 Maxi
Engine Size1.2L Turbo
Date PurchasedSep 2017

10 years ownership... Let the trouble begin

Being a tradie, this van gets a beating. Has been reliable till now. The dam bulb out light on dash is constantly on with all bulbs working, starter motor recently replaced, clutch recently replaced, turbo diaphragm replaced, glow plugs replaced, left hand side ball joint replaced, front and rear brakes pads replaced and new battery. After 10 years and bought brand new with 215,000km on the clock now with constant start stop its been a great overall.
Steer away from the DSG and petrol models. You need to maintain these vans and they will give you years of trouble free motoring

Engine Size1.9
Date PurchasedDec 2009

Great durable car

Handles well, driving for 3 months now. At first I found it quite difficult to get used to after driving small sedans but overall it's been great.

Excellent fuel economy, averaging about 800 - 1000km per tank at this rate, some highway driving but it's definiltey a great feature.

Servicing seems reasonable considering European. I have friends who drive the same car and have complained about expensive prices.

Overall a good car and I would recommend.

Engine Size1.6L Turbo
Date PurchasedMay 2017

Perfect work van but not without its quirks.

I bought 2 caddy maxi 1.9 TDI vans for my delivery business and so far they have been great. Both vans were bought with over 200,000 Kms on them and both have completed 10,000 Kms trouble free. I was of the opinion that most of the problems had occurred at lower Kms and would have been fixed already. I got the dealer to chuck in a 2 year warranty on both that covers the mechanicals for extra piece of mind.

Pros: Great to drive and has car like handling. Very comfortable and well designed interior. Good stereo for van. Lots of storage space and cup/bottle holders. Sips diesel fuel - I get between 600-800 Kms per tank. Punchy 1.9 Diesel engine with plenty of low down torque. 6 speed dsg gearbox is smooth and quick to change gears up and down but it's not without its quirks.

Cons: DSG gearbox on one of the vans has an issue with finding reverse sometimes and will clunk around before finally going into fault mode and is indicated by the gear indicator flashing and the check engine light coming on. This is easily rectified by switching the engine off and back on again, the gear box instantly shifts into reverse and back to driving normal again. The check engine light disappears after a while. I don't have the money to diagnose and repair the issue (I've read it may be a clutch pack that needs replacing). Once you get used to the way a dsg operates and can accept it niggles it is a good gear box.

Overall I'm very happy with the Caddy. Even with the dsg issue it's still a very good van. I had a Hiace van as a rental before I purchased the Caddy, and while it was a good van, it was no where near as comfortable, stable or as fun to drive as the Caddy.

BadgeTDI250 Maxi
Engine Size1.9L Turbo
Date PurchasedFeb 2017

very poor service

Driving diesel caddy, lost power, took car to dealer in Springvale road, and from then on things just went from bad to terrible. They quoted for the repair $800.00 said yes go ahead, receive phone call "sorry not fixed" another looong period of time, receive phone call "it is going to cost $8,000.00 to fix" I read into that they have no idea what is wrong. Ask why so dear? Had to pay for the first repair that did not fix car. Be very careful when dealing with them, get written quote and make sure they know what they are doing. I am very wary of Volkswagen products. The caddy had been serviced on time every time. be careful

Engine Size1.9L Turbo
Date PurchasedJun 2011

Great to HORRIBLE to own

Purchased Caddy maxi as replacement for standard Caddy (albeit a highly optioned special order that took 9 months to arrive). My first caddy was constantly back to the dealer for repair, in the period of ownership November 2006 to January 2010 it was back to the selling dealer almost monthly at 2 weeks old the airbag module failed,6 weeks aircon compressor failed, by January 2009 ....drivers door fell apart, radio failed, indicators failed, gearbox failed, electric window operation failed 3 times, , I received first class treatment and many apologies, loan cars etc etc. at 2 1/2 years of ownership I decided having this vehicle with no warranty would be a VERY bad option. I was of the opinion lemons happen and this was one, also figured no manufacturer could produce such poor quality and remain in business, let alone have the reputation VW had (at that point). SO I traded the most disappointing vehicle purchase I have made (from March 1979 to December 2016).
Took delivery mid January 2010, the Maxi variant was perfect size for my carpet cleaning business, it was oddly not quite as smooth on the road as my original 'lemon" (actually Danish blue) although it had a longer wheel base it had a choppier ride - assuming heavier rated rear springs and cheaper tyres didn't help. Fuel consumption was actually 0.5 - 1 litre per 100km heavier than standard caddy (7.2 - 8 L/100 -average over year 7.6 L/100) in-spite of 'official' fuel consumption being the same, acceleration / overtaking ability was also reduced over standard wheel base.
March 2011 a slight scraping noise was noticed on deceleration in the morning, by 2pm and 40 more km driving that noise which sounded like a something had got into a brake caliper had turned into a grinding noise. Following 4 fruitless calls to VW assist (12 months prior they were sensational, at this point I thought I had wrong number (as the attitude had changed so dramatically). My grinding noise turned out to be the gearbox collapsing internally, highlighted by the loss of 2 of the 5 forward gears (1 & 5), limping it home (25km) 3rd gear also lost, so 2 & 4 usable. Bottom line here ended up off the road for 4 weeks. I am a one man business & rely on that vehicle totally - NO VAN NO BUSINESS, VW really showed no sympathy for this, the once brilliant customer service and what ever it takes atidude was gone....forced to get another vehicle (Ford) to keep working (adding significantly to the cost of VW ownership).
Ended up keeping this vehicle as a 'spare' due to the high versatility and assuming bits don't break (sadly they seam to and are extraordinarily expensive to fix), currently it is on stands having been actually on the road for just on 6 years and having travelled 132k with a broken manual gearbox. i have been quoted $3000 minimum for 2nd hand, $4500 for rebuilt (that means the only broken bits and minimal other parts are actually replaced).
Currently have Renault Kangoo Maxi as main vehicle, at 18 months it has not broken in any way, costs less than half $'s to service, is even better on fuel (6.6 L/100 average over 34k) than Caddy Maxi, is MUCH quieter and smoother to drive, though not as 'ergonomic' as the Caddy, it is at this point so much nicer to OWN than the Caddy.

BadgeTDI250 Maxi
Engine Size1.9L Turbo
Date PurchasedJan 2010
1 comment
Update,at 2 years Renault still running perfectly, The Caddy is still on stands BUT i've got all the necessary parts from the UK at 1/4 to 1/2 the price they are in Australia. Hoping to have it back on the road soon......?

over heat

it is only 50,000 km since we bought but it shows over heat we can not mange it can u suggest me something that i can change or anything else i tried to change the thermostat and no solution what next step can we take the ruining cost is also high the power is nor related with its volume of capacity to cray on

Engine Size1.2L Turbo
Date PurchasedAug 2012

Don't buy VW

Save your self the hassle, don't buy VW. Just spent $9430 for a new gearbox. Purchased the van in April at 100,00km 4 months later the 7 speed gearbox failed. According to VW this is a reasonable time frame for the gearbox to fail and their are no recognised faults with the gearbox. I suggest the fools at VW Google, VW gearboxes, they may learn that are a disaster . VW Australia are the worst.
Can't be bothered writing any more just avoid VW.

BadgeTDI250 Trendline
Engine Size1.9L Turbo
Date PurchasedApr 2016

the good, the bad, the downright fugly

I bought mine new in 2008 and have a love/hate relationship with it. Great to drive,easy to park and manoeuvre, great fuel economy, adequate sound system, ( better than in my mate's merc ) keyless doors, power windows and steering, good air con although noisy on full blast, and good payload capacity compared to other vans this size, which is why it's the best in it's class but that's where the love affair ends.

The worst thing that happens is the front passenger and driver's side windows will randomly open. It is infrequent and occurs every six months or so. Doesn't appear to be any rhyme nor reason, it's completely random. One thing I've experienced is they do have a problem if the driver's side window switches get wet and due to no rain guard, this will happen. The circuit board corrodes and will cause the windows to operate erratically. Unfortunately replacing the switch assembly only gave some short term relief. The problem still exists.

The second major problem is when trying to accelerate from a standing start. I have never driven anything else in 40 yrs of driving that stalls like this does. I've even started to rev it before attempting to cross a major hwy from a side street to ensure it doesn't stall mid crossing. This has been a problem from the get go so not caused by clogged injectors or filters.

I've had the same issue as some others have had with the back brake light lens above the back doors, breaking of it's own accord. This seems to be a common problem and gets a mention at "caddy2k.com", a UK site, that has an Australian owner's thread.

The front brake pads lasted 120,000klms before being replaced. Great I thought, I'll buy the same type again. That was until I found they were such a hard compound brake pad, they wore out the disks. No machining could be done ,so they had to be replaced as well.OUCH.

Lastly, a couple of other minor issues not really worth the time to go into, I don't think it's possible these days to buy anything especially a vehicle that won't give you a problem at some point and something becoming more and more common are recalls. So probably no worse than anything else out there but not the reliable, problem free brand I was hoping for.

Badgecaddy 1.6
Engine Size1.6L

Good van, great to drive, excellent on fuel but!

Brake light on the top of the back door disintegrated and started cracking up and this was at around the 12 month old mark so I thought I would get it checked at it's service so I took it in for it's service and no one noticed it. I rebooked the car in to have the light looked at 2 weeks later when they could fit it in and I was told that it was my fault it was like that, I must have been treating it badly but I hadn't, I look after my car so well, it is only used to carry my dogs to dog shows and I clean in regularly. I was stunned by this and went inside to speak to one of the managers who came outside to look at it and agreed with me that it looked like a faulty lens and he felt that it should be replaced at the dealerships cost, he said he would speak to his boss and would get back to me the next day.
The big manager did get back to me and agreed that it should be replaced and would suggest to the spare parts department to replace it but then 2 days later I got a call from the spare parts departments girl stating they will not be replacing it under warranty it would cost me around $78 for the part and $40 labour and she was rude to boot, I burst into tears and told her I was not interested in fixing it with them and I would not be getting any future services with them.
Also the silver paint started wearing of rims in first 12 months, dealer states wear and tear, I use car for private use and like my car to look good now I have black spots on my rims where the silver is gone, cheap rubbish, why do they think that rough enough is good enough? I certainly don't! :(

BadgeTSI160 Runner SE
Engine Size1.2L Turbo

Another radiator failure

The VW Caddy is to say, a cool car and has globally, a loyal fan base bordering on the obsessed. For most of us, the Caddy will remain a workhorse and used primarily for business.

I have a 2009 Caddy van, 1.9L turbo which 'sips' fuel and is to say reliable with one exception. I have had four (4) radiator replacements since buying the car new. Now I'm a fussy engineer, I don't drive the car hard and the biggest payload on any one occasion has been four (4) bicycles. That is to say, I drive the car too and from the beach each morning with my bike on board.

VW Australia is simply not interested in the issue and given their reputation in recent times has taken what is best described as a severe beating, I for one will not purchase another Caddy or any other VW vehicle, period.

Service and reputation is paramount. VW appear to be complacent. A Company is only as good as its ability to fix a problem. VW isn't a Company committed to fixing its vehicles or its reputation.

Engine Size1.9L Turbo

VW Caddy POS

I have a 2010 built-2011 complied VW Caddy 1.6 TDCi, bought it second hand with 3600km on it and it didnt take long to see why the previous owners got rid of it.
So far its had 4 new injectors, ECU, rear suspension bump stops fell out and ive lost count of how many times its gone in to limp mode and taken back to VW for gear box issues.
It only has 36500km on it now (in 4 years)
My wife runs a busines from home and had a Transit van, but when the Twins came along we needed something i could put the kids in and my wife could still work out of, the Caddy suited.
Now the cars run out of Warranty im to scared of it.
Terrible car people STAY AWAY

BadgeTDI250 Comfortline
Engine Size1.6L Turbo

Happy so far fingers crossed

I bought my Vw caddy 2010 Tdi 3 years ago, no problems thus far not sure if it's because I have 1.9 diesel motor or not, but I think the 1.6 petrol is the problem. Would like to hear more comments from the diesel owners to what problems to look out for cheers about the clutch some people just don't know how to drive manual, vow is very touchy. Cheers

Engine Size1.9L Turbo

VW 30 edition whistling side mirror

Pretty with overall performance but I have had the same problem as others with the side mirror at highway speeds. I have found placing a strip of gaffer tape across and below the mirror cuts the noise. It looks cheap and daggy but does seem to work.

Awesome Car.. Cheap on fuel and carry's alot

Love this caddy I have a diesel man 2012 model and it has helped me so much moving house, transporting things.. I love it.


2010 year model Caddy I.6 lt. diesel Extremely dangerous vehicle.

I purchased this vehicle from original owners, elderly couple in Caloundra QLD., in June 2014 with an odometer reading of 6052 klms. The male partner had suffered a stroke and was no longer able to drive was the reason for owners selling this Caddy. Although the vehicle was a 2010 model it was only first registered in Dec. 2011. I arranged to have the remaining new vehicle warranty transfer to my ownership. By 3rd.Sept. 2014 the distance the vehicle had now travelled 11,011 klms. This is when the the first break down occurred, on the M1 and in one of the middle lanes. The engine lost all drive power and we were almost rear ended at a speed of 110klm/phr. Managed to limp home, approx. 5 klms., in segments of approx. 300 meters at a time between engine refusing to drive. Arranged to get the vehicle to VW commercial service Nerang. No.1 diesel injector faulty, replaced under warranty. Approx. 6 weeks later, something like 13,600klms on the odometer, similar incident again on the M1, this time had to get tow truck to get the vehicle to VW Service as there was no chance that this Caddy wanted to drive. This time No.2 injector failed. This was replaced under warranty and the Service centre said they checked injectors No.'s 3 & 4 and these seemed okay. Now 18th. Jan. 2015 again on the M1 similar failure and this time almost causing a multi vehicle incident as we suddenly without any warning lose all engine power. Odometer reading of approx.20,450klms. Once again had to pay for a tow truck to get the Caddy to the VW Ser. Ctr. Nerang. Three days later no word from the service guys so I decide to place a phone call. They tell me that No.4 injector has failed this time and they've replaced it and decided to replace No.3 injector just in case. They also advised that the vehicle is ready to go but because it is now outside of the vehicle warranty period they don't know if VW Australia is going to cover the the cost of this repair. The Service guys say they've put a statement forward to VW Aust. requesting that this be done at no charge as part of the warranty based on the recurring injector failures. They said they should have an answer from VW Aust. by the morning, i.e. 22nd. Jan. '15. It's now half way through day four, 22/1/15 and I've had no contact from the VW Service Centre. This isn't looking good for me. Looks like a call to TV show ACA is what's needed. Loosing all engine drive power at 110klms/phr. on the M1 is so so dangerous, We've been truly lucky that we haven't been seriously injured or killed due to this VW Caddy's engine injector failures. If you've also had this problem please speak up.
Well it's now 23/1/15 and I'm pleased to say VW. Australia has approved replacement of No.3 & 4 injectors under warranty and no charge to me. Thank you to them and the guys at VW Commercial Service Centre Nerang for their assistance. I hope this is the last of the engine and any other worries with this Caddy.

Engine Size1.6L Turbo

Recurring problem with fuel injectors

I have just paid $1337 to replace yet another fuel injector in my disabled son's 2010 modified VW Caddy. One injector had to be replaced Feb 2013, another in July 2013, both under warranty. A request to the VW Service Centre to replace remaining injectors because of an obvious problem was refused. My question: When will the fourth injector fail? Another $1337 that a disability pensioner cannot afford? More frightening - What if this occurs on the Bruce Highway on a hot summer's day? My son has severe physical disabilities, heat exposure brings on seizures, and he is stuck on the side of the road with no means of transport except an ambulance!!!! Perhaps a letter to VW Head Office?

1 comment
PS: VW Australia came to the party and replaced the fourth fuel injector free of charge out of "goodwill". Much appreciated! Unfortunately, my son is still $1337 out of pocket for the one mentioned in my review - a big expense for a disability pensioner.

I have had a similar problem with my VW Caddy 2010

Mine has only done 33,000 klms and has gone into limp mode 4 times in the last year. Ours is a modified disabled vehicle. The service centre said is was fuel injector problems and they even replaced the engine ecu worth $3000 (but under warranty) thinking it could have been sending false fuel injector messages. This last time has happened since then. I am also very concerned it could cause a major accident esp on the freeway. I do 10,000 klms per year. What is causing this and how can it be fixed permanently?

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Questions & Answers

I have a June 2015 model VW Caddy.The van has only 65,000 klms on it. The van has stops automatically when the break is applied at traffic lights and restarts when you lift your foot from the break. I have had three incidents now where I have lifted my foot from the break and the car doesn’t restart. I had to put the van back into the park position and turn the ignition over. The van still doesn’t start for four of five turnovers. Also I have a couple of incidents when the van shutters like its losing power. I am trying to sell this van even though I have only had it seven months. I am extremly disappointed and nervous driving it. I would never buy a VW again. I may have to get it diagnosed if it doesnt sell first but am thinking what ever is wrong with it will be expensive to fix. Is there common problems with these vans?
No answers

I need to know how to add and check transmission oil in my vw diesel caddy 2011 model please help me out
No answers

I have a 1.9L diesel caddy and a 1.9L diesel maxi caddy, both around 2008 models and just noticed that all of the rear bumper securing bolts are missing on both. Is this normal?
No answers


Caddy Mk.4Caddy 2K.ICaddy 2K.II
Release dateDec 2015Mar 2005Dec 2010
Discontinuation dateNov 2010Nov 2015

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