Under the bonnet of our test vehicle was a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine developing 148bhp and 340Nm of torque, which is the only engine available with the Kombi Edition model. The same engine is offered with 100bhp further down the model line-up. With that unit on-board, the Transporter can get from 0-60mph in 11.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 113mph.
If you want a faster version of the Kombi, you’re better off with the BiTurbo diesel 2.0-litre that develops 201bhp and is particularly punchy. But with our test vehicle, it had more than enough power for most occasions and was capable of motorway cruising with ease – with or without a lot of equipment in the back.
Ride & Handling
If you’re transferring from driving a car to a van, you’ll find the Transporter to be one of the most car-like commercial vehicles to drive. It comes with light and direct steering that helps you make quick direction changes, while the front-wheel drive configuration offers more than enough grip when you put the power down.
As we used the test vehicle to go on a few longer trips, we found the Kombi – whether laden with kit or not – was very stable on longer journeys and was more than capable of cruising at motorway speeds without hassle. Volkswagen has also made sure that the Transporter has a balanced ride whether you’re carrying cargo or not.
Interior & Equipment
As a Kombi, the Transporter can carry up to five people and still have lots of space to load cargo into the area behind the rear seats. With the rear bench removed from the back, users can have 5,800 litres of loading room – which is excellent for almost any occasion.
Standard equipment on the Transporter Startline is plentiful, with models featuring a five-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system with DAB radio and Bluetooth, cloth upholstery, manual air conditioning, 16-inch steel wheels, heated rear window and rubber floor covering.
Standard safety kit includes automatic post-collision braking, brake assist, driver alert system, front assist with city emergency braking, hill hold assist and engine start/stop.
On the Edition model, Volkswagen grows on the Highline trim and adds a 6.33-inch touchscreen with sat-nav and phone connectivity, LED headlights and daytime running lights, parking sensors with rear reversing camera, black detailing, ‘Edition’ decals, power latching for passenger-side sliding door and the choice of 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels.
Kombi versions of the Transporter start from £29,273, which buys you a Startline version fitted with the base 2.0-litre diesel developing 100bhp and is paired to a five-speed manual. Due to the high-spec of our test vehicle and a few additions on top of that, our Kombi was priced at £39,789 – which is quite excessive.
Volkswagen claims that the 2.0-litre diesel fitted to our van could achieve 45.6mpg, and we found that was easily met. We were also able to exceed it on occasions, getting over 50mpg on longer cruises. The model also emits 162g/km CO2.
The Transporter Kombi is one of the most adaptable vehicles around, offering space for five and plenty of cargo on top of that. It drives much like a car and, in Edition spec, comes with plenty of equipment to help you on your journeys. With the 148bhp diesel fitted, the Kombi can achieve its claimed fuel economy and then some, while also offering enough performance so you won’t be floundering on the motorway. It may cost a lot in the spec we tried, but go for a lower trim level and you’ll find it more than capable.