This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life (15-21) review.

Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

With a 1.9-litre TDI engine under the bonnet, the Maxi Life is a willing performer delivering 104bhp. Driving the front wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox, it reaches 62mph in 14.3 seconds, cruises unobtrusively at the legal limit and goes on to a 102mph maximum speed. This engine is also available with a six-speed DSG automatic gearbox which uses two clutches to provide super-fast shifts and comes with handy paddle controls on the steering wheel for manual changes.

A slick six-speed manual gearbox is fitted to the 140bhp top of the range 2.0 TDI version, which accelerates from 0-62mph in 11.1 seconds. Geared to be a leisurely long distance cruiser, it feels relaxed at all speeds while returning 44mpg. Unfortunately both engines are noisy and quite coarse.

Spacious on the inside, the Maxi Life is undoubtedly big on the outside – but the bulk of the car is successfully concealed by clever suspension that’s borrowed from the Golf and Touran. The system provides neat handling and tidy control during quicker driving and there’s no hint of the commercial vehicle origins as the car sweeps through corners in a confident fashion.

That said, there’s noticeable body roll in tighter bends and it doesn’t feel especially nimble. The ride is good though, making it a relaxing motorway cruiser.