Volkswagen’s Transporter looks stronger than ever thanks to an influx of common-rail diesel engines and a tangible boost to its safety spec.
The interior remains one of the most polished in the panel van class and the wide range of body options should keep most operators happy.
This is the revised version of the T5 Transporter, a small panel van that sits in the Volkswagen van range above the compact Caddy but below the substantial Crafter. The T5 branding refers to the fact that this is the fifth generation Transporter and throughout each of these incarnations, it’s managed to remain simple, effective and well suited to the needs of its operators.
These days, the Transporter is bang up to date in the engine department but that wasn’t always the case. VW persevered with direct injection technology while most rival products were squirting diesel into their cylinders from a high pressure ‘common-rail’. Common-rail systems tend to bring improvements in refinement and efficiency and the modern Transporter has not one but four engines using the technology.
They’re all 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesels, ranging from an 83bhp entry-level one through 101bhp and 138bhp units in the middle of the range to a lusty 178bhp flagship.
The Transporter comes in long or short wheelbase guises, these giving it a total length of either 4,892mm or 5292mm. Then there are low, medium and high roof heights. Maximum payloads vary from 749kg to 1,333kg.
That’s just the panel van models. Volkswagen also offers chassis cab, windowvan (minibus to you and I) and Kombi versions of its Transporter. The Kombi may well be the most interesting with a removable three-seater bench behind the front seats.
The car-like feel in the Transporter’s cab is enhanced by its car-like equipment levels. Volkswagen has piled some desirable technology features into its latest Transporter with common-rail diesel engines that will really get customers going.