New Volkswagen Transporter is vantastic

Volkswagen recently launched their new Transporter van. And the good news for fans is that the new model has a higher specifications but comes at a lower price, as becomes all mid-generation updates. But the changes to the Transporter (T5 ) go much further than I expected.

There's new styling features from a new bonnet, radiator grille and bumper to a new colour range and VW emblem, all set to give the new Transporter its most modern look and feel yet.

There's a lot of styling changes to the front of the new Transporter. It gets a new bonnet and H4 headlights, a new grained bumper, and exterior mirrors, with a new radiator grille and VW emblem. And there is also the option of new fog lamps (for less than €300 ). To the rear, the main change is the new tail light cluster.

Inside, there's a new steering wheel, a new range of radio and navigation systems, new air conditioning systems, and new instrument clusters - all carried over from VW passenger cars such as found in the Passat.

The new Transporter also features a brand new range of 2.0 litre four cylinder TDI Common Rail engines with power output ranging from 85 bhp to 180 bhp and the availability of their highly acclaimed 4Motion and DSG technologies, set the latest Transporter up as a standard setter in its class.

Despite additions to the specification of the new model, the entry price is lower than the previous model, starting at €21,965.

The new Transporter has high levels of safety with a host of new driver assistance and protection systems such as Hill Start Assist. Along with the new generation ESP as standard, available options include a lane change assist feature (Side Assist ), a reversing camera (Rear Assist ), different additional light functions and the tyre pressure monitor (TPM ) display.

My test van was the Transporter SWB 3000 103KW TDI 6-Speed which has a list price of €26,170. That's approximately five percent less than the nearest out-going model. My test model was white, which along with another non metallic red and blue are standard. Metallic would set you back a further €820 and there are new colours added to the range. The only two extras on my test vehicle was a seat pack (driver seat arm rests, height adjustment, and lumbar support ) at €191 and a full bulkhead, €270.

On my extensive test over three days and 700 kilometres, I was really impressed by the new Transporter. The seating position afforded by the seat pack is something I would recommend. So too the full bulkhead for the removal of the hollowness and the safety it provides against loads shifting.

But the refinement and power of the engine and moving through the smooth six-speed gearbox delivers real satisfaction to a van driver and rightly so. It offers a level of drivability that many cars would crave, and the addition of the mostly car interior such as the new steering, switch-gear etc. adds to this.

The new Transporter is offered in the full variety of dimensions and gross vehicle weights from a short wheelbase, normal roof (2,600 to 3,200 kg. ) to a long wheelbase, high roof (2,800 to 3,200 kg. )

The new Transporter engine range (cubic capacity and output ) has changed as follows: The old line-up of the 1.9 l TDI (84 bhp ); 1.9 l TDI (102 bhp ); 2.5 l TDI (130 bhp ) DPF; and 2.5 l TDI (174 bhp ) DPF diesel engines are replaced by the new “Common Rail” diesel engines: the 2.0 l TDI (84 bhp ) DPF; 2.0 l TDI (102 bhp ) DPF; 2.0 l TDI (140 bhp ) DPF; and the 2.0 l TDI (180 bhp ) DPF.

The new Transporter offers class leading fuel consumption and along with extended maintenance intervals, this makes the new model one of the most effective options on the market. For example, the new model 2.0 litre (102 bhp ) four-cylinder has 16 g/km lower CO2 emissions and about 3mpg lower fuel consumption than the previous 1.9 litre TDI 130 bhp five-cylinder.

The difference is more pronounced in the case of the 2.0 litre TDI 140 Bhp 4-cylinder over the 2.5 litre TDI 130 Bhp five-cylinder DPF. The new model emits 38 g/km less than the old 2.5 L version and and the 2.0 version will give you a better return of between 7mpg and 8 mpg.

The two models that are already proving the best sellers are the 140 bhp LWB and the 102 LWB. The former was expected but the quality offered by the lower powered version is surprising those who test drive it. The new refined engine and the lower cost of the smaller (but surprising ) powered model plus in the current environment the lower price, means this is taking sales from the upper end of its own range and other marques. This is a super van.

New Volkswagen Transporter launch pricing

Transporter SWB 2600 62kw TDI 5Sp. €21,965

Transporter SWB 2800 75kw TDI 5Sp. €23,810

Transporter SWB 3000 103kw TDI 6Sp €26,170

Transporter LWB 2800 75kw TDI 5Sp €24,755

Transporter LWB 3000 103kw TDI 6Sp €27,345

Transporter LWB 3000 103kw TDI 4Mo €30,100

New Caravelle and Transporter Shuttle updated

The new Caravelle also gets a great makeover/ upgrade. And it is offered in both 'Comfortline' and 'Highline' specifications.

In addition, the new Transporter Shuttle offers seating options in both short or long wheelbase, with both offered in eight or nine seater options. The Shuttle is a factory built conversion that is more utility based than the upmarket Caravelle.

The new Amarok pick-up

Volkswagen tells us that the all-new Amarok Pick-up will be launched here on September 21 at the National Ploughing Championship.

It will have a 1,000 kg payload and Volkswagen say that it will go for 1000 km on one full tank of diesel. And it promises reliable performance on all terrains.

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