The new seven-seater transporter
24 February, 2018, 12:00 am
The roomy and zoomy Caddy Maxi swallows loads of stuff without compromising user-friendly driving dynamics
Fact is, Caddies come with either regular or Maxi (long) wheelbases, divided again into five/seven-seat Caddy Life people movers distinct from the workhorse two-seat Caddy vans.
Regardless of model demarcations, there are doors galore. Apart from one or (optionally) two sliding side doors, some Caddy variants have top-hinged tailgates where others sport asymmetric barn doors. Load five drivetrain combinations into the mix and you’ve got a range that caters to wide needs and tastes.
It’s in the stuff-swallowing department that the Maxi’s job qualifications shine through. At your disposal are 2.2 metres of floor length and about 1.17m width between the wheel arches, plus another 350mm or so to the sides, with about 1.2m from the floor to roof. Collectively, the cargo box dimensions translate to 4.2 cubic metres of packable emptiness. Receptively roomy, then.
Incidentally, the Maxi’s rear floor is about 470mm longer than the regular Caddys, repeating the difference in their respective overall lengths (though the wheelbases only differ by 325mm).
Given its reasonably middling 1.5-tonne kerb mass, the Maxi TDI 250 is a capably heavy lifter. With DSG transmission the Maxi can shoulder up to 800kg payload. That’s 50kg less than its manual stablemate but, either way, the carrying capacity is 70kg up on equivalent SWB siblings.
Some car drivers might envy the Maxi’s comparatively smooth-sailing ride quality. The bump absorbency and body control are better resolved than in more stiffly sprung and thinly tyred cars biased toward sharp handling. In that regard the Maxi’s lies largely with its obligingly supple yet well-disciplined suspension and chubby 195/65R15 rolling stock.
Even in hard-pressed nudges outside the comfort zone, the Caddy’s attitude remains co-operatively predictable and controllable. A driver-friendly sense of balance is intrinsic in its stability and handling.
The Caddy Maxi comes across as an impressively well rounded light commercial package; reasonably compact, usefully capacious and also dynamically astute.
That makes the Maxi a very able cargo carrier, and a good drive to boot.