The modern VW Transporter range has been in production since 2003. During that time, we’ve seen many advancements in both design and technology. With that in mind, we convinced a local dealer to lend us a model for the weekend to find out more. We wanted to put the van through its paces to find out how it compared to similar vehicles. Are VW really at the forefront of commercial travel these days? Do their latest Transporter vans beat the competition hands down? Let’s find out.
We headed down to our local dealership to collect the van and start our journey. We decided that traveling from London to Glasgow was a good way of putting the vehicle through its paces. After sitting down for the first time, it was clear to see this vehicle offers superior levels of comfort. Our team would have never expected the seats to have so many cool options. You can turn the heat on to warm your legs, and our model even offered a vibration function. It’s fair to say we’ve not seen anything like that in commercial vans before. Within ten minutes, we were on the motorway testing the engine.
After driving up the M1 for a couple of hours, the entire team commented on the smoothness of the ride. However, we had to call a mobile tyre company just outside of Birmingham because we drove over some glass. We can’t blame VW for that – it was just bad luck. In less than an hour, we were back on the road and heading towards our destination. The model we borrowed came with a 2.5-litre TDI engine, and so it was time to refuel.
We woke up early on the second day to continue our journey to Glasgow. Surprisingly, the engine seemed a little slow for the first ten minutes. That was not something we expected to see from a brand new Transporter. However, everything was back on track soon enough. One thing we did notice about this particular model relates to the suspension. While the ride was smooth, it seemed as though we were being thrown up into the air when traveling over speed bumps. You can probably pay to have it adjusted, but we didn’t have the time. We arrived in Glasgow at 18:00 and managed to park with ease. The Transporter is large enough for commercial tasks, but you’ll never struggle to make it into an average parking space.
After our long journey, we decided to spend the second evening discussing our opinions on the new Transporter. Compared to other vans, it seems to offer an extra element of luxury. Indeed, that is why many people purchase them and then convert them into holiday accommodation. However, even with a 2.5 litre engine, it just didn’t seem to have enough power. It was difficult to get started in the mornings, and the ride seemed a little too much like a Land Rover.
Our team concluded that VW Transporters are fine for commercial purposes and short journeys. However, you’re going to want something a little better if you’re looking to take trips away or work overseas. We would not recommend this vehicle if you drive for more than a couple of hours every day because it becomes very uncomfortable. The designers need to take a look at the suspension and try to make it softer if they want to improve.