November 07, 2016
The latest version of the Volkswagen Transporter, the T6, was launched in 2015 and went on sale in just under a year ago, in July last year.
But is the Volkswagen Transporter worthy of its most recent award? We take an in-depth look at this classic van to see what all the fuss is about.
At first glance, the T6 Volkswagen Transporter seems very familiar. This is because Volkswagen have not changed many aspects from the previous generation. What they’ve done is taken a good van and made it even better, resulting in the Volkswagen Transporter T6.
The T6 is essentially a heavily revised version of the T5 van. It uses the same platform, load area and body, meaning that both these versions of the Volkswagen Transporter have very similar dimensions and capacities. There are differences, however – park the two side-by-side and the facelift is clear. Modernisation includes a sharper front-end with a new bonnet and bumpers as well as daytime running lights, migrated from Volkswagen’s passenger car range.
Other changes for the new Volkswagen Transporter include remapped Euro 5 compliant engines and one new Euro 6 powertrain. All engines are 2.0-litre units with four power outputs available; 84PS, 102PS, 150PS and 204PS along with a choice of five or six-speed gearboxes and a 7-speed automatic ‘dual shift gearbox (DSG)’ option.
Every Volkswagen Transporter T6 gets BlueMotion technology as standard. But what does it mean? BlueMotion is Volkswagen’s trade name for vehicles with a focus on fuel efficiency. It works by combining stop/start (cutting the engine when stationary), an energy recuperation system, low rolling resistance tyres and aerodynamic modifications to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy.
The Volkswagen Transporter offers three trim levels, Startline, Trendline and Highline – each with an improved specification on the lower level.
A Startline version of the Volkswagen Transporter features black bumpers and steel wheels, while the Trendline adds a full-height steel bulkhead, body coloured bumpers, mirrors and handles, rear parking sensors and cruise control. Choose the Volkswagen Transporter with Highline trim and you’ll also get air conditioning, front fog lights, 16” alloy wheels, and a Thatcham category 1 alarm.
Refinement is vastly improved on the Volkswagen Transporter T6, with a noticeable lack of engine, wind or road noise in the cabin. It handles well, with light steering and the pedals are set up well, making driving the Volkswagen Transporter a pleasurable and comfortable experience.
Volkswagen have ensured that the Transporter is one of the safest vans on the market with post-collision and automatic city braking, as well as a driver monitoring system that emits audio and video signals when the driver’s behaviour indicates fatigue.
The Volkswagen Transporter’s most economical 102PS engine is not only Euro 6 compliant but also the best choice in terms of economy, power and torque.
The Volkswagen Transporter can wade through water up to 300mm deep, climb hills with an ascent of 37 degrees and provides as close to a car-like driving experience as you could wish for.
The Volkswagen Transporter T6’s dimensions are largely the same as the previous generation T5. Unfortunately, this means that it doesn’t quite match up to competition like the Ford Transit Custom and Vauxhall Vivaro.
This means that the Volkswagen Transporter T6 can accommodate three euro pallets, a 2.5-tonne trailer weight, up to 1331kg payload, a load space of up to 9.3 cubic metres and a load length of up to 2970mm. There are also six to eight load lashing eyes in the Volkswagen Transporter’s load area, depending on the wheelbase.
A sliding-side door is standard, although the aperture isn’t wide enough fit a euro pallet through. There’s no such issue with the rear doors, though – they can be specified to open to 250 degrees.