Caddy Maxi Camper (Life)
The VW Caddy Maxi Life is one of the biggest MPVs out there and probably the best small camper van option out there. If boot size is your primary criteria – you can’t go wrong with a Caddy. The car drives good too. Where it lacks a bit is comfort – it takes after its van origins and offers a more basic interior. But it makes up for it in storage – it really has a lot of compartments all over the place. It’s not the best car to take off the road completely – but you can take it down a good enough mud road without any big problems. A very good car camping / microcamping conversion candidate, unless you are planning to drive through forests and very much offroad – or you prefer a higher class interior comfort.
NimbleCamper rating: 4/5
|Boot height (cm)||
|Boot length (cm)||
|Boot width [wheel arches] (cm)||
|Consumption MPG (UK)||
|NimbleCamper rating (out of max 5)|
|Average used price, GBP (2015)||
|Boot door type|
- Boot length note – to achieve 225cm you might need to remove the rear seats, otherwise there’s about 190cm)
- EURO NCAP safety rating (2015) 4/5
- ADAC Rating (lower = better) 2.3/5
Standard reviews (not focused on camping):
HonestJohn.co.uk rating 3/5 • Autoexpress.co.uk rating: 2/5* • Carbuyer.co.uk rating: 3.8/5
Average rating: 2.9/5
ADAC rating: GOOD – 2.3 out of 5 (lower = better)
*(might be a fluke, as it scored above 3 in all areas, yet they gave it 2/5 in total – see and decide for yourself)
Caddy interior / exterior dimensions
Caddy DIY camping conversions & other posts
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- Average used price, GBP (2015) – I use Carsite.co.uk‘s price aggregates from 2015 (or the nearest possible year if not available), or, if not found, from autoscout24.com. For new cars, I specify the closest possible match (i.e. if released this year, it’s the new price, if released two years ago, it’s the 2-years old price etc). It’s here to give you a benchmark comparison (- a like for like, an apple with an apple) of the value of each car and for filtering purposes. It’s not meant to be used as an accurate estimate of used car value – it is updated once a year, so make sure you know what the car should cost at the time of purchase if you decide to buy one.
- Boot dimensions – taken from various sources across the web, starting with official, supplemented with other reliable websites (like ridc.org.uk), supplemented by user-generated content – images of measurements from forums or social networks. It’s also used for filtering, comparison and to give you a good idea of the car’s suitability for camping.
- Comfort rating – a benchmark used to simplify the car’s comfort & driving score based on equipment, furnishings, handling, safety, and costs ratings from external sources like whatcar.com, carwow.co.uk, autocar.co.uk etc. It gives you an indication of whether the car will drive and feel like a van (low rating) or offer better interior & handling (higher rating). A simple van-like car, for example, a Renault Kangoo is 0.5, a well equipped and comfortable car like a Ford S-Max is a 2. No hard math behind it, just an indicator, f.e. 0.5= basic car that does the job, 1.5 = hey, that’s nice to have!, 2 = oooh, comfyyyy.
- Consumption – I take the average 2017 consumption or closest match from Fuelly.com, or if none is available, from other sources like honestjohn.co.uk. If there are not enough cars for a single year, an average for several years is calculated.
- NimbleCamper rating – a weighted score of boot length (45% weight), boot height (40%), consumption (10%) and comfort (5%). The logic of weighing length & height higher than consumption and comfort is – headroom is important when you sleep in the back of the car, so is the length. A comfy ride is a factor, but you can sleep in a big car that’s not that comfy, however, it’s much harder to camp/sleep in a comfy car that’s too small. Read more about the NimbleCamper rating and criteria here.
- a note for EVs (electric vehicles) – for consumption, I am using the Fuel Equivalent Consumption estimate by ev-database.org. It is usually much lower than combustion engines, giving EVs an advantage – which I think is fair. They do have a small disadvantage in terms of having to plan your trips around charging stations + longer waiting time, but that will get better over time. More charging stations, faster chargers and better batteries. Therefore I am not adjusting the calculation for EVs in any way.
- EV stats – taken from ev-database.org
- NGC rating – The NGC Rating expresses a vehicle’s environmental impact as a score ranging from 0 for the greenest vehicles to 100+ for the most polluting, taken from nextgreencar.com