What Van? Awards 2012: 4x4 Van: VW Caddy Maxi 4Motion

Date: Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Not everybody who wants a four-wheel drive light commercial needs one that will cope with deeply rutted terrain and can tackle steep, boulder-strewn, muddy slopes without coming to grief. All many operators require is a van that will help them keep moving on snowy or icy local roads that may not have been gritted given the parlous state of council finances.
Not everybody who wants a four-wheel drive light commercial needs one that will cope with deeply rutted terrain and can tackle steep, boulder-strewn, muddy slopes without coming to grief. All many operators require is a van that will help them keep moving on snowy or icy local roads that may not have been gritted given the parlous state of council finances.
If that is what you require, then Volkswagen’s Caddy Maxi 4Motion – our 4x4 Van of the Year for 2012 – could match your requirements.
Its four-wheel drive system engages instantly whenever it senses slippage, transmitting power to whichever wheels have the most grip. Otherwise, it runs in front-wheel drive mode.
Ground clearance is nothing to write home about, but this need not be an issue given the uses to which the Maxi 4Motion is likely to be put. The package includes Hill Hold Assist, designed to stop you rolling backwards on an incline, with a trip computer with a multi-function display included in the overall deal.
Power comes courtesy of a 110hp version of the 2.0-litre TDI four-cylinder diesel found elsewhere in the Caddy Maxi line-up – a power level that happens to be unique to 4Motion – with common-rail fuel injection and a variable-geometry turbocharger. Married to a six-speed manual gearbox, it offers enough impetus to provide the 4Motion with ample performance in all road conditions, while the 4x4 handles and rides just as well as its 4x2 stablemates. It shares their high standard of build quality too.
Gross payload is a useful 690kg, and you get a 4.2cu/m load area for your money, accessible by means of asymmetric rear doors and a sliding door on each side. Should you be looking to haul a braked trailer, then the 4Motion will tow one grossing at up to 1500kg.
If you need to be out on the public highway in all weathers than Caddy Maxi 4Motion is worthy of serious consideration. That is not to say, however, that you will feel short-changed if you opt for Mitsubishi’s ASX 4Work 4x4 van – the winner of our Highly Commended accolade – instead.

Highly Commended

A conversion based on the ASX five-door passenger car, and executed by Mitsubishi in the UK, it is a likeable and well-equipped package that, while not designed for really arduous off-roading activities, should help get you up and down untreated side roads or rutted ground when winter strikes.
The conversion involves removing the back seats, slotting in a rubber-covered load bed and installing a full-height bulkhead with a solid lower and a mesh upper section. Cargo bay access is easy thanks to a rear hatch and the retention of the car’s rear doors.
Under the bonnet you will find a 147hp 1.8-litre diesel with 300Nm of torque on tap.
Top payload capacity is 535kg while the load area encompasses 1.2cu/m. Admittedly, neither of those figures is vast, but they offer more than enough leeway to allow you to transport a couple of toolboxes and a high visibility jacket – or a medical bag and a defibrillator – if you need to respond to an urgent call.

Share



View The WhatVan Digital Edition