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Road Test: Volkswagen Transporter

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

USB connectivity.

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

ENGINE                        4-cyl/1,968cc

FUEL INJECTION       Common-rail

POWER                      102hp @ 3,000–3,750rpm

TORQUE                     250Nm @ 1,500–2,500rpm          

Weights (kg)

GVW                           2,800

KERB WEIGHT          1,887

PAYLOAD                   913


Dimensions (mm)

LOAD SPACE LENGTH          2,572

LOAD SPACE WIDTH                        1,700

LOAD SPACE HEIGHT           1,410

LOAD VOLUME                      4.3m3 

Cost considerations

COMBINED CO2/MPG           175g/km/42.2 mpg

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