The Volkswagen Transporter T6 is the 6th generation of the famed VW medium-sized van. The T6 entered into production in 2015 and is still being made as the T6.1 facelift. Throughout the years the Transporter has been an obvious choice for people wanting space, comfort, safety, and convenience. However, is the Volkswagen T6 a good van?
As far as vans go, the Transporter T6 is indeed a good van as is the case with all the Transporter models that came before it. The T6 comes with a 2.0L TDI 4-cylinder diesel engine in various stages of tune depending on your power needs. The 2.0L is a really good engine, probably one of the best VW diesel engines out there.
As far as design is concerned, the Transporter looks fairly new, especially the 6.1 version. Inside the Transporter bridges the gap between a utility vehicle for commercial purposes and a fairly well-equipped car. The suspension and chassis tuning is tailored towards comfort.
The Transporter is a reliable van, but it does suffer from some issues worth talking about. Value-wise, the T6 is in line with most of its competitors while its practicality is great.
VW Transporter T6 – The powertrain
The Volkswagen Transporter T6 comes with a 2.0L TDI engine offering between 90hp, 102hp, 110hp, 150hp, and 205hp. Lesser-powered T6 2.0L models are keener on efficiency and are the preferred choice for those who aren’t using the T6 to haul heavy cargo while the more powerful models are the better pick overall.
The Transporter comes with either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox. The DSG is an industry-standard dual-clutch box which means that many people prefer it over the manual in most VW cars. The T6 is primarily a FWD car, but you are able to go for the AWD 4MOTION model if you are willing to pay for it.
It’s safe to say that the best T6 combo is the 150hp 2.0L TDI, the DSG gearbox, and the 4MOTION AWD as this configuration balances power, efficiency, and ease of use the best. You can expect the most efficient T6 models to offer around 45MPG while the most powerful ones can do around 35MPG.
VW Transporter T6 – Design and chassis
The Transporter T6 comes in a few different variants depending on what you need from a van. You can get it as a Multivan, a Caravelle, or the regular Transporter depending on if you need a people carrier or a more utilitarian setup. All of these are similar with slight differences such as the number of doors and windows.
The interior of the Transporter is laid out nicely which means that it follows the known VW ergonomics philosophy. The Transporter comes with all the amenities you expect from a van with the addition of many amenities you only expect to find in more premium vehicles.
As far as the driving experience is concerned, the Transporter is stiff, but that is to be expected for a car that can pack between 1600-2900lbs. Given the Transporters high center of gravity, it is not a dynamic car at all, but a van is never supposed to be a sports car anyway.
VW Transporter T6 – Reliability and common issues
The VW Transporter was always known to be a reliable van which means that it manages to withstand all the abuse that comes with the territory. However, the most common VW Transporter issues are associated with the EGR valve, the electronics, the gearbox, remap issues, and potentially the ignition coils.
All in all, the Transporter is one of the most reliable mid-size vans on the market, and as such, you should not worry all that much about it leaving you stranded.
VW Transporter T6 – Value and practicality
The VW Transporter costs more or less than any other mid-size van in its category. The Transit Custom is a bit more affordable while the Mercedes Vito is a bit more expensive. Practicality-wise, the Transporter is a great choice, especially as it is available with a few different configurations.
Many people go for the Transporter because they want a van that can do everything. It is large enough and able to carry significant cargo while it can also be used as a really dependable people carrier.
Is the Volkswagen Transporter T6 a safe van?
The Volkswagen Transporter sets the bar for many other vans to follow as it earns the very best safety grades. This means that the Transporter comes with all the modern-day safety features such as lane keep assist, side protection system, trailer assist, tire pressure monitoring sensors, adaptive cruise control, traffic alert, and parking pilot.
This is obviously a good thing, but the bad thing is that none of these come as standard. However, this is also the case with all the other vans from this segment. Without all of these, the Transporter also offers great crash protection given the fact that it comes with a 5-star safety rating.
Is the Volkswagen Transporter T6 better than the T6.1?
The Transporter T6.1 is a significant upgrade over the T6 which means that it offers quite a bit more and it brings the T6 into the modern era. However, given the price hike necessary to get the T6.1, the T6 is considered by many as the better choice overall.
A van is different from a passenger car in a way that it does not make all that much sense to always upgrade it with a newer model whenever one comes out.
Should I buy the VW Transporter T6?
If you are in the market for a mid-size van that can do everything, the Transporter is the way to go. For quite a while now, the T6 has been one of the most popular vans on the market, and it seems like this is not going to change anytime soon.
You should consider the competition as well to decide which one fits your needs the best, but if you go for the Transporter right away, you are not going to be disappointed.