VW Transporter BlueMotion
Somewhat confusingly, VW offers both BlueMotion Technology on a number of vans, and a specific BlueMotion model.
BlueMotion Technology (BMT) is available on both the 84hp and 114hp versions of VW’s stalwart Transporter, with a variety of body lengths and heights and a range of gross weights. The BMT package includes cruise control, low rolling resistance tyres, Start/Stop and an energy recuperation system that uses the power that is normally wasted in deceleration and braking to turn the alternator and charge the battery.
The result in a standard short wheelbase model is a claimed 41.5mpg with either engine output, and CO2 levels as low as 179g/km. However, you can go a step further than BMT, and opt for the full BlueMotion Transporter, available only in short wheelbase T27 form.
Available solely with the 114hp version of the firm’s 2.0-litre TDI engine, the full BM van uses all of the BMT systems, but has been optimised to reduce weight and improve aerodynamics. The BM model also comes with a tyre pressure warning light to ensure that drivers are aware if tyre pressures are not at optimum levels. VW claims that the BM model is a full 18% more economical than a regular 102hp Transporter, delivering up to 44.8mpg and a CO2 reading of just 166g/km.
Perhaps surprisingly, the BlueMotion Transporter comes with just five forward gears in the box. Some might have expected a long sixth gear for low rev cruising but that’s not the case.
That’s not to say that the BlueMotion can’t cover the miles in comfort though – it certainly can – but its remit appears to be more local journeys, where 40mpg plus is easily achievable.
It’s probably worth mentioning at this point that we didn’t expect to match VW’s claimed economy on this test. That’s not because it isn’t a realistic target, but due to the fact that the firm had swapped the BMT’s low rolling resistance rubber for a set of cold weather winter tyres, which though offering increased grip as the temperatures fall, do little to aid fuel economy.
Drivers who find themselves in the BM model will be pleased to hear that the van drives in much the same fashion as any Transporter. The 114hp engine feels like it has more than 250Nm of torque in the lower gears, as the van will pull from virtually no revs. The only time you have to work the engine is when accelerating at higher speeds on the motorway, where you are occasionally left wanting a little more shove. It does offer a relaxing drive over longer distances though and is a very comfortable place to spend the day, particularly as our test van was equipped with the SE pack (£970) of air conditioning, a solid bulkhead, alarm and driver’s armrest, along with the standard BM’s cruise control.
Indeed, driving VW’s most economical Transporter doesn’t require a hair shirt, you can still load the van with a host of optional extras to suit a specific operation. The only limiting factor is that 2.7 tonne gross weight and short wheelbase body.
There is a small cost involved of course. A standard T26 Transporter with the 102hp engine will set you back £17,710, while a T28 with the same engine starts at £18,060. The BlueMotion Technology T26 with the 114hp engine is £18,340 while the T28 is £18,690. Go the full BlueMotion route, with the T27 model and your starting price rises to £18,770. The upside is a potential 18% fuel saving compared to the standard van.
The BlueMotion Transporter won’t suit every operation, however if you can live with the T27 body and 114hp combination, a 7.1mpg fuel saving will certainly please the accountant.
MODEL Volkswagen Transporter T27 BlueMotion
BASIC PRICE £18,770
FUEL INJECTION Common-rail
POWER 114hp @ 3,500rpm
TORQUE 250Nm @ 1,500-2,500rpm
KERB WEIGHT (kg) 1,829
PAYLOAD (kg) 871
MAX TRAILER WEIGHT (kg) 1,800
LOAD SPACE LENGTH (mm) 2,570
LOAD SPACE WIDTH (mm) 1,692
LOAD SPACE HEIGHT (mm) 1,410
LOAD HEIGHT UNLADEN (mm) 566
LOAD VOLUME 5.8m3
FUEL TANK CAPACITY 80 litres
COMBINED MPG 44.8mpg
CO2 EMISSIONS 166g/km
OIL CHANGE 2 yr/18,000 miles
WARRANTY 3 yr/100,000 miles
15 Apr 2013 16:25