By Alexi Falson, 20 May, 2022
Review - Volkswagen Transporter
AF By February 23, 2022
It offers a huge amount of choice and flexibility in its platform, in both short and long-wheelbase variants with family-friendly cabins, cargo-focussed interiors and even metal trays for work available across the range.
The good news keeps coming for lovers of the Transporter, too, with the addition of a new generation. In its latest form, the VW Transporter 6.1 receives more safety and interior comfort features than ever before, as well as some hardware changes over the previous Transporter.
Just how significant have these changes been, and with its rivals playing catch-up, does the Transporter assert itself atop the leaderboard of the multipurpose cargo and family-friendly van segment? Let’s find out.
Starting Price: $41,990
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Volkswagen Transporter (TDI250 SWB) Specifications
|Transmission||5 SP MANUAL|
|Engine configuration||DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves|
|Engine RPM||3500 / 1250|
|Fuel tank size||70.0|
|Fuel usage specs||6.9 / 0.0|
|ANCAP security rating||Unrated|
For more details and other variants, check Volkswagen Transporter car page.
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How Much Does It Cost?
The Volkswagen Transporter short-wheelbase range kicks off from $41,990 for the TDI250 with a manual gearbox. Stepping up to the TDI340 with a manual gearbox costs $44,990, while the automatic variant is priced at $47,990. The TDI340 automatic with 4Motion costs $50,990. From here, the range tops-out in the form of the TDI450 automatic, priced at $53,990, while the TDI450 automatic with 4Motion is priced at $56,990.
Up next, the long wheelbase range is priced at $47,990 for the TDI340 manual, while the automatic is priced at $50,990, and the 4Motion variant is priced at $53,990. Opting for the TDI450 DSG comes at a price of $56,990, while the TDI450 DSG 4Motion is priced at $59,990.
If you’re looking for a Transporter Crewvan platform, the range is priced at $54,490 for the TDI340 DSG, rising to $57,490 for the TDI340 4Motion in short wheelbase form, while the long wheelbase TDI340 DSG and TDI340 4Motion are priced at $57,490 and $60,490 respectively.
For those looking for a Transporter with a cargo tray installed, the single cab TDI450 DSG is priced at $58,490 or $61,490 for the 4Motion variant, while the dual cab TDI450 DSG is priced at $60,490.
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What Features Does the Volkswagen Transporter Have?
The Volkswagen Transporter comes riding on a set of 16-inch steel wheels, and receives automatic headlights, cruise control with speed limiter, electric folding side mirrors, air conditioning, LED interior lighting, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and cloth upholstery, automatic wipers, as well as a 6.5-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Opting for the Van or Crewvan variants adds some safety technologies, in the form of blindspot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, a reversing camera with rear-mounted parking sensors, as well as crosswind assistance.
16-inch steel wheels
LED interior lighting
Cloth interior upholstery
Leather-wrapped steering wheel
6.5-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Electric folding side mirrors
Autonomous emergency braking
Driver fatigue monitoring
Rear cross-traffic alerts (Van and Crewvan)
Reversing camera (Van and Crewvan)
Rear parking sensors (Van and Crewvan)
Blindspot monitoring (Van and Crewvan)
Crosswind assistance (Van and Crewvan)
LED headlights (optional extra)
12.3-inch digital driver’s display (optional extra)
Power sliding doors (optional extra)
8.0-inch infotainment system (optional extra)
Volkswagen Transporter Colours
The VW Transporter range can be optioned with a choice of Candy White, Ascot Grey, Cherry Red, Pure Grey, Luminious Orange, Reflex Silver, Ravenna Blue, Deep Black, Starlight Blue, Indium Grey, Bay Leaf Green, Fontana Red, Copper Bronze and Mojave Beige.
Is it Comfortable to Drive?
The biggest compliment you can give the VW Transporter, or any cargo van for that matter, is that it feels, drives and behaves like a regular car.
In almost every measurable way, Volkswagen has designed the Transporter to such an exceptional degree, that it remains every bit as approachable and easy-to-drive as something like a Golf, albeit with a taller ride height.
It’s powered by a range of Volkswagen’s iconic diesel powertrains paired with a sleek seven-speed DSG gearbox which offers extremely rapid shifts that few in the segment can match.
VW’s TDI range offers a healthy amount of torque to push you and your chosen cargo up to speed in a relatively quick manner. Power on offer is more than enough for daily duties, and result in a braked towing capacity across the range of 2,500kg, and payload capacity of 853kg for the single-cab, up to 1,220kg for the TDI340 van.
Volkswagen has also fitted the 6.1-generation Transporter with a new electronic steering system, which offers effortless steering at low speeds, while adding feedback as you pick up speed. This makes the process of parking and navigating any loading bays or work sites significantly easier than its cargo-based rivals.
The suspension has been upgraded to handle heavier loads than its replacement, while remaining relatively floaty on smooth city streets. There’s not a huge amount of body roll, but you do notice that you’re driving a van rather than a low-slung sports car.
All up, the Transporter range retains all the hallmarks that have made previous generations a hit, while receiving a dose of 21st century refinement. It remains a class-leader in terms of smooth engine and transmission combinations,
Is the Transporter’s interior Comfortable and Practical?
The Volkswagen Transporters front cabin has been updated with some added technology and creature comforts, which results in by far the most refined cabin we’ve seen yet in a Transporter. The driver and front passenger are treated to a heap of headroom in the cockpit, and receive a number of storage options for loose items, USB chargers and cupholders in the centre console.
The captain’s chairs offer a fair amount of adjustment, allowing you to get completely comfortable and get a great view out of the front windshield.
The second row of the cabin receives the same treatment, with a set of captain’s chairs headlining the rear cabin, featuring a clever swivelling design that allows rear passengers to look forward or backward, depending on their preference. This also offers easy access to the third row of the cabin, which features a compact bench seat that is perfectly suited to young kids. All up, the rear of the cabin offers passengers a heap of headroom, although the third row is more suited to young children, particularly for long drives.
How Much Cargo Can the VW Transporter Accommodate?
Inside short-wheelbase Transporter variants, you’ll find a load length of 2,575mm, width of 1,700mm - with 1,244mm between the wheel arches - and a load height of 1,410mm.
Long-wheelbase Transporter vans increase these figures to 2,975mm of load length, 1,410mm of width - 1,244mm between the wheel arches - and a load height of 1,410mm.
In terms of cargo volume, the Transporter range offers a load volume anywhere between 3,500L - 4,400L in the Crewvan variants, while the Transporter Van lineup offers storage of anywhere between 5,800L to a massive 9,300L, making it the perfect option for those looking for maximum cargo space.
Is it Safe?
As a relatively new addition to the market, the 6.1-generation Volkswagen Transporter is yet to be officially tested by ANCAP.
We do know, however, that Volkswagen is fitting all variants with autonomous emergency braking that works up to 30km/h, as well as front, front-side and curtain airbags and a driver fatigue monitoring system.
Crewvan and Van Transporter variants also receive a rear-view camera with parking sensors, blindspot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts and a crosswind assistance feature, meaning they’re packed with all the important safety features you’d expect from a vehicle at this price point.
Is it Fuel Efficient?
Volkswagen’s range of TDI engines are remarkably fuel efficient for the segment, with fuel economy figures of 6.9L/100km on offer in the TDI250, while the TDI450 van increases this to 7.3L/100km on a combined cycle.
The TDI340 van and TDI450 dual-cab are both rated at 7.5L/100km, while the TDI450 4Motion is rated at 8.0L/100km, and the TDI450 single-cab 4Motion is rated at 8.4L per 100km on a combined cycle.
Our Verdict: Is the Volkswagen Transporter Worth it?
In its latest generation, the Transporter 6.1 takes all the things that have made the previous Transporter generations a hit with families and the commercial sector alike, and improves upon nearly every measurable aspect.
With more choice and flexibility on offer in the Transporter range than ever before, we think it’s time you added it to your shortlist, and start comparing variants to see which is perfect for your needs.
On that note, if you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925
Five Specs You Need to Know
Five-year, unlimited KM warranty
Capped price servicing packages available
No official ANCAP safety rating yet
Cargo volume between 3,500 - 9,300L
Payload capacity between 853kg - 1,220kg
Endless choice of shapes and sizes
Real-world practicality for families and commercial purposes
Smooth engine and powertrain combinations
Impressive driving quality for a commercial-based van
No ANCAP safety rating
Key features reserved for options list
OnlineAuto Rating: 9/10
VW Transporter Competition
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