The Volkswagen Transporter is beginning a new iteration, with the Multivan and ID Buzz, although the current T6.1 version will continue in panel van form the writing is on the wall – as is the EV charging point – for the Transporter’s future. Since the original air-cooled re-bodied-Beetle of 1949, the Transporter has gone through six full generations. The T6 launched in 2016 – along with the face-lifted version – dubbed (V-dubbed?) T6.1 from 2019 is our focus here. In itself it was heavily based on the previous T5, the biggest step forward after the revolutionary T4, which first brought engine and drive train to the front. The rest, to paraphrase, was history.

Let’s start at the front. VW’s well-respected 2.0-litre TDI turbo diesel engines offer a wide choice of outputs from 84hp to 204hp. In 2017, VW added two new 2.0-litre TSI turbo petrol engines to the Transporter range. Then unique in the medium van sector in the UK, Volkswagen says, without a hint of irony, that these were aimed at buyers concerned about diesel emissions, paving the way for petrol-hybrid options to come in the (T7) Multivan iteration. However, the TDI still has to be the best option in the panel van and when allied to the DSG automatic gearbox it makes it easily the best van in the class to drive. The T6.1 version’s 2.0-litre TDI engines offer 90hp and 220Nm of torque, 110hp with 250Nm, 150hp and 340Nm all with a single turbo. The bi-turbo units giving 199hp and  450Nm until 2021 and 204hp with the same 450Nm after that.

The 90hp and 110hp units have a five-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive, the 150hp gets a six-speed manual gearbox and front drive, with optional seven-speed DSG automatic or 4Motion four-wheel drive. The range-topping circa 200hp versions got the seven-speed DSG and front-wheel drive with a 4X4 option.

The T6.1 dimensions are a few millimetres bigger all round so we’ll quote these. Overall lengths are 4,905mm for the three metre SWB and 5,305mm on the 3.4 metre LWB. All are 2,297mm wide with roof options giving 1,979mm to 2,505mm overall. Load lengths are 2,575mm to 2,975mm, widths are all 1,700mm and 1,250mm between the wheel arches, with headroom of 1,410mm, 1,640mm and 1,940mm. That gives volumes of 5.8, 6.8, 7.8 and 9.3m3 depending upon the permutations. Model  designations relate to gross mass, a T28 is 2.8t etc and payloads range from 715kgs 1,310kgs 

The cab is simply the best in its class, good visibility, comfort and quality abound. The Startline trim is somewhat basic, but the Business pack adds aircon, whilst the Trendline has cruise control and park sensors, Highlines get aircon too, auto headlamps and fog lights, with T6 Edition models adding satnav and reversing camera whilst the Sportline’s carbon fibre mirror casings, lowered suspension, roof spoiler and 18in alloys all conspire to make it look like you overcharge. The Transporter’s strengths reside in its core values, not its options, making it the best used van in its class.

Five best options

1) T6.1 facelift

2) Bi-turbo engines

3) DSG automatic transmission

4) Highline trim 

5) LWB

Five best avoided

1) 90hp engine

2) Sportline trim

3) Startline trim

4) SWB

5) Low roof

Second-hand buys





Price ex.VAT

T30 LWB Startline 





T28 SWB Trendline 





T30 LWB Highline





T28 SWB Highline 





T30 LWB Highline