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Customer Review – The eagerly awaited VW Caddy 5 conversion by Sirus. By David Smith MBE

The eagerly awaited Sirus VW Caddy 5 has arrived. Over the past 13 years, we have built over 2000 VW conversions for drivers and upfront passengers, and the Sirus VW Drive is the UK’s highest-selling compact Drive From Wheelchair solution to date.

David Smith MBE, boccia world champion and VW Caddy Drive From Wheelchair customer for over ten years reviews our latest conversion, comparing the new conversion with his existing vehicle, the Caddy 4. 

“I have been a Sirus customer since 2011 and I’m currently driving my second VW Caddy Drive From Wheelchair conversion from Sirus.  I have travelled almost 200,000 miles independently in my faithful Caddy 4 and I have two years left on my Motability Contract Hire lease.


When Sirus invited me to their factory to see their brand-new conversion, I didn’t hesitate.  With a real interest in cars and engineering, I was excited to see what was in store after 13 years of VW producing the Caddy 4. And having driven a Sirus Drive From Wheelchair for over ten years now, I was really interested to see Sirus’ latest conversion features.

VW Caddy 5

Ramp and suspension

The new conversion doesn’t have lowering suspension. It has been designed to avoid speed bumps without the need for the suspension to lower and rise, which does of course simplify the automation process. This does mean the ramp is slightly longer than Caddy 4, (700mm longer). Being able to enter from the rear and park in a standard parking bay does mean that the ramp length shouldn’t be an issue as long as there is space to turn my wheelchair.  (Having spoken to Simon, the Caddy 5 ramp may see further development and possibly be shortened in V2 post-testing).

Floor shape/incline

Any Caddy 4 customer will know there is an incline and a raised floor to get over the rear axle. In the Caddy 5, this feels completely different. The floor has a much lower incline so it is easier to navigate. My wheelchair seems to need a lot less momentum – I can get in and out without realigning my wheelchair, so it is much easier and quicker.

Travelling as a passenger

The new Caddy 5 is designed so that I can travel as a passenger in the front and one of my PA’s can drive. I would rarely use this, but I can see how this could be a big advantage for some people who liked to share the driving. (The seats are interchangeable so you can decide who is driving whilst on your journey).

VW Caddy 5 wav review

VW Caddy 5 seating

My Caddy 4 has two additional fold-down seats and a mid-row seat which means I can transport up to five people. The Caddy 5 is designed with two rear fold-down seats, so has space for up to four. It’s not often I use the fifth fold-down seat, and the advantage of the Caddy 5 having seats for four is that there is a lot more space for luggage, which is great for transporting my boccia equipment and sports chair.

VW Caddy 5 comfort

The rear fold-down seats looked much more comfortable to travel longer distances and lock into position when not in use. There also feels like there is more room in the back generally for rear passengers legroom. The Caddy 5 definitely feels roomier – this may be because it is based on the longer wheelbase version – the Caddy Maxi Life as opposed to the short wheelbase Caddy Life.

Driving position

Sitting in the driving position felt spacious, and I felt like I was ‘cocooned’ in the front. The seated head height is the same as Caddy 4 (58”). I was definitely ‘looking down the nose’ of the vehicle and had a good eyeline and vision.

VW Caddy wav review

Driving controls and adaptations

The driving controls feel like they are closer to me in the Caddy 5, so I may be able to reach them. I use SpaceDrive high tech controls so it would depend on where that system was fitted. I also drive with a beeper switch which I use to control the indicators which is fitted to the door. All in all, I’m pretty impressed with the VW, and as usual, Sirus has worked their magic on the conversion”.

Space Drive

Look out for part 2 of David’s blog where he reviews the VW Caddy Maxi Life and the upgrades made by VW to the infotainment, safety and driving systems.

Find out more and book your free home demonstration of our latest VW Caddy 5.

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