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I've just bought a brand-new, 2018, VW Caddy Life - that's the Caddy with windows and seats in the back. It's the really rare one - a short-wheelbase, 5-seater, and even more unusual because it has the 1.4TSi turbo petrol engine.

We are just getting the hang of it - there are so many minor controls to learn - but we are generally very pleased with it. However, there are a few things which caused us some surprise, and which no-one will tell you - so I thought I would!

1. After May 2017, VW stopped providing a Service Book with their new vehicles. Instead, it's all done online. Have the car or van serviced, and you will have your Service Record updated on-line, and printed out, for you to keep. That's just fine while the vehicle is under warranty, and you're still using the VW main dealers for servicing. But how will a non-franchised dealer be able to 'stamp' a non-existent book? A clever wheeze, I think, by which VW hope to keep you tied to their apron strings...

2. We wanted winter tyres for our Caddy, as we live in Cumbria, where we get WINTER. Our Caddy being petrol-powered, we were surprised to find it supplied with 16inch wheels, with 205/55 section tyres, whereas the basic 2-litre diesel (102ps) has 195/65/15 wheels and tyres. We would much have preferred the smaller wheels with narrower tyres - why? Because they should be more comfortable over rough roads, deal with standing water better, drive better on snow - and tyres are much cheaper, too. However, while we could have bought new steel wheels, with 195/65/15 Continental TS860 winter tyres already fitted, for £81 each, we didn't because of these pesky tyre pressure monitors, which would have to be fitted to the new wheels, and which would cost a fortune. So, we bought 205/55/16 tyres instead (£98 apiece, plus fitting!), and had them fitted today.

WRONG DECISION, based on FALSE ASSUMPTION!

They told me at the tyre garage that there are NO such sensors on current VW wheels. How do the tyre-pressure monitors work, then? They didn't know, but thought it was something similar to the ABS, when changes to the behaviour of the vehicle tell the computer there is something wrong. So I could have had the cheaper wheel/tyres in my preferred size! DRAT!

3. Petrol-powered vehicles always costs less than diesels, right? Not if it's a Caddy Life - they cost £495 more! Don't ask me why.

So why did we buy one? Well, we expect to be doing lots of short trips, which diesels don't enjoy, and we expect to keep this one for a very long time, and have concerns about the longevity of some of the anti-pollution equipment fitted to Euro6 diesels.

It will be interesting to see how it works out.

Incidentally, Lookers (the VW van dealers at Carlisle), are now offering a batch of unregistered 2017-year Caddy Lifes (diesel and petrol), for ridiculously low prices - we're talking 40% discounts here. Only snag - for us (we wanted a manual) - they are all DSG automatics. If that floats your boat, give them a ring!
 

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Hello

I am looking for a SWB Life (or certainly a Kombi) but they all seem to be Maxis. I know you said yours is ultra rare but is it a one off?!?!?!?
 
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