The latest Volkswagen Transporter may look very similar to its predecessor, but beneath the sharper exterior, with its hewn from solid lines and sparkly LED lights, the company has made some big changes. The main one of course is the arrival of Euro 6 engines, though until they become compulsory next September, the company will continue to offer the existing range of Euro 5 motors at 84hp, 102hp, 140hp and in bi-turbo form, 180hp.
However all engines now come as standard with BlueMotion Technology, including Start/Stop, regenerative braking and low rolling resistance tyres. This results in up to a 15% fuel saving compared to the previous model.
There will be a 102hp Euro 6 engine on offer from launch however, as the 102hp currently accounts for 75% of UK sales, adding £1,020 to the price. This delivers 47.9mpg against the Euro 5 engine’s 42.2mpg, dropping CO2 emissions from 176g/km to just 153g/km.
Euro 6 engines use Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), with a 13-litre AdBlue tank accessed through the same flap as the diesel tank. To offset the additional weight of the tank and the dosing system, VW has dropped the fuel tank size from 80 to 70 litres, though the larger tank will be available as an option. Given the 15% improvement in fuel consumption, this shouldn’t have a major effect on operating range.
Next year there will also be a 150hp Euro 6 engine to replace the 140hp and the range-topping 180hp motor will become a 204hp at Euro 6. Lower powered engines have five-speed manual gearboxes, while the two more powerful engines come with a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG transmissions. The 140hp and 180hp engines can also be combined with 4Motion all-wheel drive if required.
Transporter also benefits from much of the latest technology seen in Volkswagen’s cars, with Active Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Change Assist, Automatic Post-Collision Braking and High Beam Assist all making an appearance for the first time in a Volkswagen van.
There are also Kombi double cab models, while the more car-like Caravelle and Shuttle minibus get Euro 6 engines across the board from now.
If the van looks familiar at the front, things are pretty much unchanged in the working end. Volkswagen continues to offer Transporter in two wheelbases, with three roof heights and two seating combinations, delivering load volumes of 5.8-9.3m3 and payloads of up to 1,331kg.
You can also have the Transporter in double cab Kombi configuration, with two wheelbase options and two seating layouts. Load volumes are 3.5-4.4m3, with a maximum payload of 1,224kg.
The van retains the same internal dimensions as the previous model and racking should be transferable from old to new. Volkswagen will continue to offer the vans in Startline, Trendline and Highline trim levels, with a UK-specific Sportline expected to join the line-up later.
All models now come with Bluetooth, DAB with a five-inch touchscreen and
What we think
Despite the similar looks the new Transporter is heavily revised beneath the skin. A host of driver assistance tech and a cleaner, more powerful driveline should keep demand high.
MODEL T28 102hp Trendline SWB Euro 6
BASIC PRICE £21,175
FUEL INJECTION Common-rail
POWER 102hp @ 3,000–3,750rpm
TORQUE 250Nm @ 1,500–2,500rpm
KERB WEIGHT 1,887
MAX TRAILER WEIGHT 2,200
LOAD SPACE LENGTH 2,572
LOAD SPACE WIDTH 1,700
LOAD SPACE HEIGHT 1,410
LOAD VOLUME 4.3m3
COMBINED CO2/MPG 175g/km/42.2 mpg