Why is it that so many cup-holders in vans are designed in such a way that they are incapable of accommodating the vast majority of cups and mugs that most British van drivers are likely to want to use?
Most holders are slightly too small. And those that are the right size are often cunningly contrived to ensure that you slop the cup’s contents over yourself while either putting the cup into the holder or taking it out.
Happily, our long-term Volkswagen Transporter was an exception to the rule. Mounted either side of the pull-out ashtray, its expandable holders can comfortably accommodate cups
of different capacities with no trouble whatsoever.
While harping on about badly designed cup-holders may seem petty, in reality it isn’t. Such design flaws can become a nagging source of irritation when you have to live with them day after day.
Sadly, we won’t be living with our long-term Transporter and its top-notch cup-holders for much longer. At the time of writing it was about to return to VW after well over 3000 miles of trouble-free use.
Our time with it has served to reinforce our view that the Transporter is a solidly constructed, dependable workhorse that is unlikely to disappoint anybody who buys one. Admittedly, its styling, both internally and externally, is as dull as ditchwater, but the ride, handling and gear-change are all first-class.
Meanwhile, the 5.8cu/m load area our long-termer boasts can swallow a lot more cargo than you might expect, proved in particular during service as a removal van. And giving it a bit of weight to haul (its last task involved the removal of a redundant coal bunker) does not impair its on-the-road performance to any noticeable extent.
So if we were in the market for a short-wheelbase panel van, would we consider buying a Volkswagen Transporter? No question about it – in fact, we would put it very near the top of our shopping list.