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Road Test: Volkswagen Transporter

Let’s face it, Euro 5 engine emissions are hardly top of the list of topics when talking to VW these days. However when the firm unveiled its sixth generation Transporter earlier this year, it had already announced the first Euro 6 motor to be offered.

Volkswagen went with the 102hp engine, as that has long been the popular choice in the previous generation van. It will be joined, probably slightly sooner than planned now, by EU6 versions of the 84hp motor along with new 150hp and 204hp engines, replacing the previous 140hp and 180hp models.

The 102hp powerplant still only comes with a five-speed manual gearbox, though the spread of ratios copes well with a full range of driving conditions. Volkswagen claims that the Euro 6 motor offers up to 10.2mpg more than the previous generation, a claimed 47.9mpg for this model, while cutting CO2 emissions by 45g/km to 153g/km.

This has been achieved through the use of Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) with an AdBlue additive, Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) and a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). All T6 Transporter models now come as standard with BlueMotion Technology features such as Start/Stop, low rolling resistance tyres and regenerative braking.

The Euro 6 vans also get a 10-litre smaller fuel tank, down to 70-litres, to allow for the additional weight of the AdBlue tank and dosing system. You can order the 80-litre tank if preferred, but you will take a hit on available payload.

That said, at 1,245kg on a 3.2-tonne van, this Transporter has plenty of load carrying ability to play with, especially given that it is a Highline model that’s loaded with specification. Not that lower trim levels are particularly hard done by. All T6 Transporters come with Bluetooth, multi-function trip computer, DAB radio with five-inch touchscreen, Aux and USB connections, electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors, electric windows and a host of driver assistance systems, including Automatic Post-Collision Braking, Driver Alert, Electronic Differential Lock, ESP, Hill Hold, remote locking and a Thatcham Cat 2 immobiliser.

There is too much specification in the Highline van to list here, as indeed there should be given the fairly hefty price. Suffice to say though that the Transporter cab is a very nice place to spend the day whatever the trim level, offering a quiet, comfortable drive on any type of road.

The new dash layout looks smart, though open-fronted trays and cubbies tend to result in pens and paperwork being scattered on the cab floor before long. The A4 compartment on top of the dash could do with a cover too, to prevent reflections in the windscreen. That aside, there is little wrong with the T6 cab and few drivers will complain if asked to drive one.

There should be few complaints from the fleet office either, given the improved fuel consumption on offer and the potential residual values that Transporter continues to command.

With variable service intervals of up to 25,000 miles/two years, total cost of ownership should remain low.


What we think

Volkswagen may be under scrutiny at present, but the current crisis will do little to blunt the appeal of its most popular van. In Euro 6 form, Transporter has taken another step forwards.



MODEL                       Volkswagen Transporter T32 Highline EU6 102hp

BASIC PRICE              £23,875

ENGINE                        4-cyl/1,968cc

FUEL INJECTION       Common-rail

POWER                      102hp @ 3,750rpm

TORQUE                     250Nm @ 1,500-2,750rpm             

Weights (kg)

GVW                           3,200 

KERB WEIGHT          1,955

PAYLOAD                   1,245


Dimensions (mm)

LOAD SPACE LENGTH          2,572

LOAD SPACE WIDTH                        1,700

LOAD HEIGHT                       1,410

LOAD VOLUME                      5.8m3 

Cost considerations

COMBINED CO2/MPG           153g/km/47.9mpg

Oil Change                              2 yr/25,000 miles    

Warranty                               3 yr/100,000 miles         

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