What is it?

You’ve got the standard panel van, the racier Sportline model and then the Shuttle model for those needing lots of seating space. But we can’t forget the Kombi model, which aims to be the best blend of a workhorse and an everyday car. That’s because it’s got a rear set of seats, but also a fully functioning van with a rear load area. Let’s find out what it’s like.

What’s new?

There haven’t been too many changes to the Transporter in recent years, though the latest model is called the T6.1. It introduces a sharper look with striking LED headlights giving this van additional street cred.

It also gets more of the technology you’re more likely to expect from Volkswagen’s passenger car range, including a larger touchscreen as well as more in the way of driver assistance kit.

What’s under the bonnet?

While more electrification might be entering the van market, diesel engines remain integral to the Transporter line-up. All models use a 2.0-litre TDI diesel unit, which is available in several guises. A 108bhp output paired to a five-speed manual gearbox kicks things off, but we’d recommend the 148bhp model instead, which is available with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox.

At the top of the range is a 201bhp unit that uses a DSG automatic gearbox, as well as 4Motion all-wheel-drive.

What’s it like to drive?

The thing that really surprises about the Transporter is just how car-like it feels to drive. Granted, this is a big vehicle and particularly in long-wheelbase versions, there’s no hiding its size. However, in other areas, the Transporter is really impressive. The refinement levels are superb for a commercial vehicle, and it’s very comfortable as well, regardless of whether the van is laden or not. We’d maybe just avoid the standard 108bhp model for out-of-town jobs as it can feel a bit underpowered.

Volkswagen Transporter Kombi

How does it look?

It’s quite impressive just how stylish Volkswagen has managed to make this latest Transporter. Of course, there’s no escaping its functional purpose, but with its upright and purposeful grille and chrome accents that run across the width of this VW, it is an appealing choice.

If style is important, we’d skip the entry-level Startline trim and head straight to the Headline, which gets painted bumpers and alloy wheels as standard. There’s a good range of colours on offer too, with brighter red and blue shades available as well.

What’s it like inside?

While the Transporter retains its durable and sturdy feel, it feels considerably more upmarket than many of its rivals. With a large touchscreen included as standard, the cabin feels modern, while easy-to-use controls and clear displays make it a great interior to use on the move.

With the Kombi, you can have it in short- or long-wheelbase configurations, while there’s also the option of having five or six seats as well, depending on your needs. These seats can be removed if you ever want to have the full loadspace area that a normal Transporter panel van has.

What’s the spec like?

Regardless of which Transporter Kombi you go for, the level of equipment included is impressive.

Even the standard Startline trim comes with a 6.5-inch touchscreen with smartphone connectivity, along with cruise control and autonomous emergency braking. It is worth upgrading to the top-spec Highline trim, though, as this gains 16-inch alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control and a larger screen to name just a few features.


The Transporter continues to be right at the top of its game. Its combination of design, durability and refined road manners is hard to beat in the commercial vehicle segment.

The dual versatility of the Kombi means it’s suitable for a multitude of purposes as well and is worth considering even as an alternative to a large family car as a result.

Volkswagen Transporter Kombi



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