The Volkswagen T5 Transporter sported a facelift that set the tone for VW’s design aesthetic in its future vehicles, as well as offering serious technical improvements such as Euro5-compliant engines with heavily reduced CO2 emissions. The T6 Transporter may have an appearance similar to that of its older T5 brother, but given that over two million of the latter were sold, Volkswagen can be forgiven for not seeing the need for a massive overhaul. The T6 does, however, represent serious steps forward on the technical side of things.
The T6 Transporter boasts new technology exhibited in new releases of other model lines offered by Volkswagen, including Active Cruise Control, Automatic Post-Collision braking, High-Beam Assist and Lane-Change Assist. Perhaps the biggest advance is the inclusion of Euro 6 emission-compliant diesel engines, which become a legal requirement for all new vehicles sold in the EU after September 2016. Besides the popular panel van, the Transporter also shares its chassis with several other variants, such as the Kombi crew cab model, the Shuttle minivan and the California camper van.
Volkswagen Transporter T5 - 2010 Model
2010 saw a renewed and face-lifted version of the T5 Transporter heading to market. The 2010 Transporter offers four power outputs of 84, 102, 140 and 180PS, which use diesel. A petrol engine rated at 115PS is also on offer. The two most powerful engines, at 140 and 180PS, are given further assistance by a turbo with VW’s variable turbine geometry technology. This reduces lag from the turbo but still gives it the muscle to perform at high power outputs. The 180PS version even boasts a two-stage turbo.
All engines are fitted with the Euro 5-compliant particulate filter, and the Euro 5 diesel engines are far more efficient, reducing CO2 emissions by a massive 52g/km compared to the 2003 T5 Transporter. Across the range, this means an average 10% efficiency increase, and all models fall comfortably below 200g/km, with most at 190g/km.
The 2010 T5 also features an expansion of optional extras to improve buyer choice. The Sportline trim grade in particular helped to turn the Transformer into a vehicle that everyone wants to be seen in. Optional add-ons allow drivers to make their Transporter truly their own, including features such as bespoke interiors and alloys, nudge bars and ECU remapping. This certainly helps to set the Transporter apart from its competitors like the LDV Maxus.
Safety features are also given a boost, with hill-start assist coming as standard, along with enhanced ESP. Buyers can opt for a four-wheel-drive system, delivered by VW’s 4 Motion technology and improved further still by the optional seven-speed DSG semi-automatic gear transmission.
Volkswagen T6 Transporter Model - New in 2015
The T6 Transporter first rolled out in 2015, featuring the same Euro 5 2.0l engines as the 2010 T5 and with the same four output choices of 84, 102 and 140hp and the twin-turbo 180hp. These engines have been upgraded, however, coming as standard with VW’s Blue Motion Technology, which gives drivers features such as regenerative braking, low-rolling-resistance tyres and start-stop assistance. The inclusion of this kit allows VW to claim fuel savings of 15 per cent across the range.
September 2016 will see the release of the upgraded Euro 6 engines in order to comply with emissions regulations. The 84hp and 102hp options won’t change, but the 140hp offering will be replaced with a single-turbo 150hp engine, whilst the 180hp will be replaced with a super-powered twin-turbo 204hp engine. The two lower-powered engines will receive transmission through a manual five-speed system, whereas the upper two will use a six-speed one. Volkswagen’s seven-speed DSG automatic gear system can also be ordered on the most powerful Transporters, but at a cost.
The T6 Transporter retains the same two wheelbase options and three roof heights. Loadspaces vary from 5.8m3 to 9.3m3 - class-topping figures - while payloads can reach as high as 1,331kg. The Kombi crew cab variant offers a choice of two seating configurations, with reduced but still admirable loadspaces of 3.5m3 to 4.4m3, with payloads (including passengers) of up to 1,224kg.