Volkswagen’s Transporter has been immensely popular over the years since it’s conception in 1950. Dating back to the hippy icon ‘splitty’ camper van and minibus, the Transporter now has a reputation for quality and on road performance.
The Volkswagen Transporter T5 released in 2003 and received a facelift in 2009. The Volkswagen Transporter T6, which replaced the T5 in summer 2015, looks scarcely different from its predecessor at first glance. It is however bulkier and with an overall more refined appearance, to be expected from a van that’s over 60 years old.
In terms of space it’s the same story as it is with appearances. Very little has changed behind the cab and the two standard lengths and 3 standard heights of the T6 Transporter offer the same loading space as the T5. The standard variations will take volumes of 5.8 cubic metres up to 9.3 cubic metres.
Where you will notice the changes however are under the hood, with the T6 offering a range of engines that are both more powerful and more fuel efficient that the engines in the previous VW Transporter. The T6 is kinder to the environment (and to your wallet) on the road. The 101hp engine, which we recommend, now produces an extra 10.2 miles per gallon on a combined cycle. It also has significantly lessened C02 emissions of only 153 grams per kilometre, as Volkswagen Group works to distance its self from the CO2 emissions scandal earlier this year.
At the higher end, too, Volkswagen has introduced a powerful new bi-turbo engine with an incredible 400Nm of Torque for hauling heavy loads.
Volkswagen have also tightened up the ride and handling of the T6. The T5 was one of the most refined vans on the market and a favourite amongst those in the know who wanted something sporty that they could enjoy. The T6 takes that premise one step further with a smoother ride and tighter steering. The road noise and engine noise has been further blotted out as Volkswagen work to make the cab of their transporter a more comfortable place to be. One thing that niggled at us in the old T5 was the clunky gearbox, which always felt like the Achilles heel in the Transporter’s air of superior quality. We’re happy to report that the ride in the T6 is much smoother.
Safety has been improved, too. The T6 see all of the safety features implemented in the 2009 facelift included. It also features Volkswagen’s new Automatic Post Collision Braking system. This system applies the brakes automatically after a collision, which reduces the chances of a second collision.
As you’d expect, more kit comes as standard the T6 than did with the T5. All T6’s come as standard with a 5 inch screen, USB, and Bluetooth connectivity.
To conclude, the T6 is one of our favourite commercial vehicles on the market at the time of writing, but when compared to the T5 it is a relatively modest improvement. It is cheaper to run on the road, but is it worth the extra investment? As an end of line model there are currently great deals to be had with Volkswagen T5s. Will the resale values for T5 continue to be affected by the emissions scandal? Only time will tell.