It is the neat, understated functionality of the Transporter design that is most often celebrated and makes it one of the most recognisable vans on the market, but that has also led to criticism that the approach is over-conservative.
VW undertook the T6.1 update last year. On the exterior the grille is the most noticeable change – it’s much bigger to help with the increased airflow needed to meet the Euro-6d-Temp rules. Also prominent are new crossbars spreading out across the front to merge into the newly designed headlight clusters.
The interior has attracted criticism for lacking style and being a tad dull. In my opinion this is harsh as the main goal should be to deliver easy-to-use functionality married to comfort, and this is something VW habitually achieves.
The cabin in the revised T6.1 Kombi is still utilitarian but with a new dash of panache. Visually, it’s a step up from previous Transporters, while not quite as slick as the Ford Transit Custom.
Our van comes with an 8in touchscreen (£1,070 ex VAT), which incorporates the excellent Discover Media satnav and hosts the impressive rear-view camera (£235 ex VAT).
Climatic air con keeps the cab cool and privacy glass from the B-pillar provides discretion for rear-seat occupants. Both the driver and passenger seats are manually adjustable for height and lumbar support, while both front seats also benefit from armrests. A waste bin can be found in the driver’s door storage compartment.
A nearside sliding door gives access to the rear seats – a two-seater bench and an individual seat on the passenger side. Legroom is ample in the back and there is generous stowage space under the rear seats and between the front seats.
A drawback of not having a bulkhead behind the rear seat backs is that it can get noisy at higher speeds.
Report card: Interior design = 4/5
It’s not flash, but it is well laid out, spacious, comfortable and more stylish than before.
Volkswagen Transporter Kombi T32 SWB Highline 2.0 TDI 150
Official combined consumption (WLTP) 34.0mpg
Our average consumption 35.4mpg
Price (ex VAT) £33,475