Buying a used... VW Transporter (2016)

Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2018   |   Author: Ian Shaw

A true icon of the commercial vehicle world. We are of course talking about the Volkswagen Transporter.

The Transporter started life as a body-less powered platform, cobbled together by a few engineers to ferry parts around the VW Beetle factory, but soon took shape as the Type 1 (T1) in 1950.

The T2 arrived in 1967 and the T3 in 1979, with the T4 coming in 1990. That lasted until 2003 when the T5 appeared, giving way to this sixth generation, in late 2015. Since then more than half a million T6 versions have been built.

With two wheelbase lengths and three roof heights, single- or double-cabs and chassis cab variants, there are a mind-boggling number of possible Transporter permutations, so there will be one to suit every task.

In summary, load volumes range from 6.0-9.0m3, load lengths from 2.5-3.0m with single cabs, and payloads from 750kg to over 1,300kg. In this respect the optional equipment has a great bearing, so consider carefully the effects of a fully equipped Highline model with automatic transmission or four-wheel drive, upon the payload allowance you need.

However, 4Motion four-wheel drive is an all-season boon while the near-psychic DSG transmission makes sense around town.

Power comes courtesy of a range of four-cylinder 2.0-litre TDI units proven across the VW Group’s myriad car ranges, and in the T6 offer a wide spectrum of outputs. In the SWB standard roof it begins with an 84hp affair that, to be blunt, is a bit lacking.

The 102hp makes more sense and the 140hp is a gem. In the Highline versions a 180hp makes an appearance too. With the advent of Euro6 legislation the 102hp unit came first, with 150hp and 204hp versions joining in 2017. Transmissions were five-speed manual in the 84hp and 102hp versions plus either six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG with the other engines.

In the cab there is a good level of standard kit. The Startline version has DAB, Bluetooth and a touchscreen control unit, while in addition to better cloth upholstery and a multi-function display, Trendline models benefit from wheel trims, a full-height steel bulkhead, body-coloured bumpers and rear parking sensors.

A Comfort pack consisting of foldable grab handles on A-pillars, additional storage compartments, dimmable cabin lights, and additional noise suppression is also fitted as standard at Trendline level. Highline models add a leather multifunction steering wheel, heated windscreen, automatic driving light control, daytime running lights and 16in alloy wheels (17in on the 180hp engine).

The Sportline adds 18in bi-colour alloy wheels and lowered suspension, so look for any kerb damage on these versions.

Build quality is first rate and the powertrains are strong. Avoid ex-rental low-hp versions, and if you are towing the DSG is best. This transmission, like a conventional auto, will suffer greatly from missed servicing, so a cast-iron dealer history is a must. Buy on condition: mileage is a secondary concern on a T6.

Five Best Options

1) T32 variant
2) Trendline trim
3) Kombi version
4) DSG transmission
5) 4Motion 4WD

Five Best Avoided

1) T28 variant
2) Startline trim
3) Sportline versions
4) Lowest hp engine
5) Window van

Five Best Examples Of What's Out There

Version

Plate

Year

Mileage

Price ex.VAT

T32 LWB Startline

16

2016

20,000

£13,499

T28 SWB Startline

66

2016

23,000

£12,250

T30 LWB Trendline

17

2017

13,000

£16,995

T28 SWB Trendline

67

2017

6,400

£18,000

T30 SWB Trendline

67

2018

5,500

£20,995



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