REMEMBER that thing called the MPV? It's quite big. Has lots of space. Usually pretty ugly, but was superb at its job.
Mini cab drivers love them, but the reason nobody else does these days is the SUV.
Suddenly you could have space and look down your nose at people, and that was enough for most people to lose interest.
But having spent a week on holiday with my wife, three young kids and a Volkswagen Caddy, it's clear the old way was the best way.
Let's not beat about the bush; design is subjective, but the Caddy is no looker.
From the front it's fine, but from the back, I think it's, err, terrible.
But then, show me any van-based MPV that can get you excited. There aren't any. I checked.
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That doesn't matter, what matters is that it just works as family transport, and it excels at this.
The VW Caddy comes in three forms; a panel van called the Caddy Cargo, an MPV called the Caddy or a mini motorhome called the California.
The Caddy MPV comes in two lengths, and you can have five or seven seats in either of them.
There's the choice between an entry-level Caddy or plusher Caddy Life, one petrol and two diesel engines and a manual or automatic gearbox. Still with me?
Ours was the shorter 114hp 1.5-litre petrol Life model with an auto 'box and and five seats (phew) and it was a very pleasant thing to tool around in.
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It's quick enough, returned nearly 40mpg fully laden and never swayed about in bends like an old bus.
That said, the rear suspension, which despite being improved on this latest model, still thudded too loudly over bumps for me.
And while we're on gripes, the only other one was VW's latest infotainment system.
It's an 8-inch screen on the dash as standard or you can up that to a fancier 10-inch one for a whopping £2,000 like ours had. But don't bother.
The screen itself is superb and comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, but the climate control, volume and things like the light controls are all controlled by touch-sensitive surfaces.
It's Just hard to use when driving and I wasn't used to it even after a week.
Still, the Caddy Life has Golf-like quality inside, it fitted our three bulky child seats side-by-side across its rear bench, its sliding doors are brilliant in tight car parks and even as a family of five, we failed to outdo its boot.
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No five-seat SUV at this price level will compete.
So how much for all this? The Caddy starts at around £27,000 and tops out at a little under £34,000 for the longer seven-seat diesel Caddy Life.
Ours was somewhere in the middle before its optional extras.
Great, but there's just one problem – Ford's Tourneo Connect is exactly the same MPV but has a Ford badge and a cheaper price tag.
So, decide your budget, pick your van-based MPV and be happy. If you have a family you can't lose.
Apart from the looks.
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