A sure-fire way of testing the build quality of a van is to stuff as many items as you can – notebooks, half-eaten packets of biscuits, soft-drink cans, nothing outrageously heavy – into any mesh pockets you find in thAe cab. If they continue to sag after you have taken everything out again, or have started to tear or pull away from the section of dashboard, door or bulkhead they are attached to, then quality standards leave something to be desired. If they go back into shape and remain in place, then the quality is top-notch.
We tried that odd little test on the mesh pocket on the passenger side of the dashboard of our long-term test Transporter and it passed with flying colours. Our need to shove all those bits and pieces into the pocket is, however, a reflection of one of the vehicle’s drawbacks, and one we have harped on about before: a shortage of in-cab storage space.
Our only other concern, apart from a lack of Bluetooth, is the slightly uneven engine beat that has started to emanate from our brightly coloured Transporter when we fire it up first thing in the morning, no matter whether the weather is mild or bitterly cold. It vanishes after a minute or two, is not accompanied by excessive exhaust smoke or any suspicious squeaking or rattling from under the bonnet, and our VW continues to perform with its usual aplomb once it is out on the highway. In other words it continues to be a pleasure to drive, with its handling and overall performance well up to the mark, and it is still proving to be completely reliable. Let us hope it doesn’t start blotting its copybook.