The volkswagen transporter has always been mid-level van. It’s now in its fifth generation and this latest version is even better to drive and cheaper to run than ever. You can get it in two body lengths and three roof heights. Combi models provide double cab practicality and there are even tippers, drop sides and minibus versions. All transporters come with a handy side door and they open wide enough to fit a euro pallet through and i’ll show you that with this piece of wood. It’s basically the same size as a standard euro pallet so we’ve got 800mm across there 1200 length-ways and so look it fits through the door nice and easily. Also you can fit two euro pallets in this short wheel base model of the transporter.As you can see its squeezed between the wheel arches. You’ll have to excuse the echo as I’m climbing in the van. In the long wheelbase version you can fit three of these. All models get these floor tethers – there’s six in the short wheelbase version, eight in the bigger vehicle. You can also get it with full ply lining, as standard ti comes with half ply lining. Other options you can get include rails to secure your loads to and this rubberised floor mat which provides grip and also means that it’s actually cushioning so if you drop something it shouldn’t damage it.You can stick with the normal standard van doors like this but if you want you can have an optional lift up tailgate. The transporter has a load bay volume of 5.8 cubic meters up to 9.3 cubic meters. Payloads range from 740 to 1340 kilograms. Actually, I forgot to tell you that the load height in the transporter is nice and low. It’s not quite as low as in the Ford Transit Custom but it’s not far off. You can also get an all-wheel drive version if you need to deliver off the beaten track. And the good news is that unlike some other vans it doesn’t actually increase the load height having the four-wheel drive system fitted however it does decrease the payload. Inside the transporters cab is robust, and well built with solid hard wearing plastics. There are fewer cubby spaces than on some rivals but you do get a huge storage compartment under the double passenger seat and the glove box is lockable. You can get the Transporter with a wide range of equipment, such as bluetooth for your mobile phone, satellite navigation, cruise control, climate control and along as your job doesn’t involve you getting your hands too dirty I’d really
recommend the leather steering wheel and gear knob because then it pretty much feels like you’re driving a Golf.Speaking of which, there’s lots of adjustment in the driver’s seat and you can also adjust the steering wheel for reach and height. All transporters come with a 2.0-litre diesel engine. Now you can get a wide variety of power output ranging from 84 horse power to 180 horse power in the bi-turbo model which really does fly. You can also get it with Volkswagen’s Blue Motion technology and that includes stuff like energy regeneration on the brakes, low-rolling resistance tyres and stop-start technology to help save fuel. There is even a specific Blue Motion model which adds to this improved aerodynamics and a lighter body for even greater efficiency. Volkswagen says this version can return a claimed 44.8mpg and emits just 166g/km of carbon dioxide.However it’s still not quite as economical as the most efficient Ford Transit Custom. But still there’s plenty to like about this van. The Transporter is one of the best vans to drive its comfy it’s quite it’s stable speed on the motorway. It handles pretty good and you’ve got a turning circle of 11.9-meters which means that if you need to you can circumnavigate mini roundabouts and this maneuverability makes it easy to park in tight spaces the only problem that I have with it is that these wing mirrors you can’t get the dual-view type like you can on the Renault Master which had the wide angle lens at the bottom.Still, you can always get some optional parking sensors to help you out. Also the Transporter comes with a hill hold facility to make pulling away on slopes easier on you and the clutch. Meanwhile you can get an automatic gearbox as an option to take the strain out of driving. Unfortunately, it’s a little bit expensive so it’s a good job the manual is nice to use. As for safety, well all models get driver and passenger airbags. Plus ESP and anti-skid control. However if you want side airbags or curtain airbags you’re going to have to pay extra for those. You’re also going to have to pay extra for the full length bulkhead on the lower spec versions. It’s only standard on the higher spec models and they’re really handy because it stops the noise getting through to the cabin. The Volkswagen Transporter is a very well built van and many go on to cover huge mileages that’s why they’re in strong demand in the used market which helps keep
resale values high.That’s not all though servicing intervals are variable with a maximum of eighteen thousand miles or two years between checks. You can also get fixed priced monthly maintenance contracts with Volkswagen dealers. So then, overall what do I think of the Volkswagen Transporter? Well the good points are that it’s easy to drive, it’s cheap to run and you can get it with four-wheel drive. The bad points are that it’s expensive to buy in the first place, you can’t get those secondary wide-angle mirrors and without the full-length bulkhead it’s a little bit noisy.Still despite all that it’s still a great all-round van and it’ll certainly make your job a lot easier. .