By Patrick James on 2016-01-16 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
T30 Trendline 2.0
'IT'S a Transporter', I said to a curious onlooker while unloading half a dozen people and their belongings.
'Looks more like a Transformer', came the reply. You could see what he meant, with the combination of large cargo area, sliding panel door, two rear doors and folding, detachable second row of seats.
To say the VW Transporter is versatile would be an understatement with this being a serious cargo carrier which can also seat six occupants, thanks to a removeable second row bench seat.
Then again, that's the whole point. But what is now a major bonus on commercial vehicles like these is the care and attention to detail which normally applies to cars.
For those who spend most of their time on the road in these types of vehicles, comfort and entertainment are a must and the VW scores heavily here, with a host of creature comforts fitted as standard and other options like climate control and the double front passenger seat available.
Cargo capacity is excellent with the seats in place, but remove the rear seats completely and a capacity of 5,800 litres becomes available with a payload weight of just over a tonne. Loading can be through the rear doors or the side sliding panel and there is plenty of oddment spaces within the passenger cabin.
It features a maximum axle load limit front/rear of 1,500/1,625 km and for a trailer 2,200kg braked and 750kg unbraked. So with a packed cargo space and trailer in tow, you shift plenty of cargo.
These can be lashed securely with six lashing rings and the interior is protected by hard-wearing rubber flooring.
Commercial diesels are no longer smelly noisy beasts and once on the move, the 102ps turbocharged diesel is a willing performer.
A Euro 6 compliant clean engine with BlueMotion technology of start/stop, regenerative braking and low rolling resistance tyres give a claimed economy, dependent upon cargo weight, of in the mid-40s mpg. Carbon emissions are pretty impressive too, at 162g/km.
While just over 100bhp might not seem that much power, performance is pretty good. Mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, the van is capable of hitting 60mph in just over 15 seconds and on to a top speed of 98mph, again dependent upon loading.
Like most VWs, it handles well with direct, responsive steering. The suspension set up of coil spring with telescoping shock absorbers at the front and rigid rear axle on leaf springs with load-sensitive shock absorbers, give a comfortable ride.
Back to the creature comforts for drivers and the Transporter has plenty to offer, with car like driving characteristics and features like body coloured bumpers, door mirror and handles, heat insulating glass, rear parking sensors and tailgate with heated window and wash wipe and interior grab handles.
In addition there is audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, air con, cruise control, electric front window, powered, heated door mirrors, dimmable dash illumination and armrests for driver and front passenger.
There is also comprehensive safety spec which includes assisted braking, traction control, driver and passenger airbags, hill hold technology.
Volkswagen Transporter Kombi T30 Trendline 2.0 TDI
Mechanical: 102ps, 1,968cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 98mph
0-62mph: 15.3 seconds
Combined MPG: 45.6
Insurance Group: 162g/km
C02 emissions: 30%
Warranty: 3yrs/100,000 miles
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