The VW Transporter T6 lost the battle in the commercial area, but in the family van area, it’s still somewhere up there at the top. Basically, just like Mihai Sturzu from the band Hi-Q, the VW Transporter T6 has re-profiled itself. Like Mihai Sturzu, the Transporter T6 invites you to turn up the music so you don’t hear all the troubles.
The VW Transporter T6 comes as a massive facelift from the Transporter T5, which was in itself a revolution from the T4. Just as the Golf V sold on the back of the Golf IV‘s reputation and the Golf VI was the beginning of VW’s reliability disaster, the Transporter T6 applies exactly the same principle. The concern is that the Golf VI was doing this in 2008, not 2015 like the T6. Unfortunately, the Transporter T5’s massive reliability issues caused people to flee the Transporter in the commercial area, and look how the T5 and T6 remained excellent family cars. At the moment the only rival to the Transporter T6 as a family van is Mercedes’ V-Class, but that’s so poorly space optimised inside that you’ll have to keep your coffee in your pocket, as it has no storage space.
Plus most manufacturers on the commercial still cling on to their Betty-White old diesels, the Transporter instead coming with some decent petrols and a 2.0 TDI good for carrying family members but not bags of cement. What’s more, for the T6 the whole dashboard has been redone and it’s much friendlier and that says something about the character of the car. I could throw it under the train and look at it as a commercial van, but I think it should be better looked at as a family van, and here things shine brighter than Richard Hammond’s teeth.
VW Transporter T6 Engines
2.0 TSI of 150 and 204 horsepower – If you just need a van to take on a family vacation, you might as well rent rather than spend a few tens of thousands on a car you’ll use for one month a year. On another note, in 2013 the petrol issues were solved and suddenly 2.0 TSI makes more sense than diesel.
- 2.0 TDI of 84, 102, 114, and 150 horsepower – They’re still bringing in commercial diesels. 2.0 TDI 150 horsepower for example is the village bike, bolted on Octavia III, Passat B8, Golf VII, and so on. Like any modern VW diesel, there are issues with the dual mass flywheel which wears out faster than I wear out when I’m being carried by force to some meeting where I just have to occupy a seat BECAUSE I CAN’T DO AGILE. EGR again is a touchy subject when talking about 2.0 TDI, particle filter, and especially the AdBlue installation. If you sit down and put it all together and make it a total cost, the 2.0 TSI still seem appealing.
- 2.0 BiTDI of 200 horsepower – Besides everything the regular 2.0 TDI has, this one also has issues with the EGR cooler which is placed worse than a rapist in a mormon community. The cooler starts to break down, and bits of aluminum and iron end up in the oil and will tour the engine together, at your sole expense.
VW Transporter T6 General Issues
- If on the T5 you had a combination of new and old, DSG and Tiptronic, on the Transporter T6 you have only DSG. This means that the gearbox needs regular oil changes and a candle needs to be lit constantly at church so that the Mechatronic unit doesn’t break down. Even though the T6 has the latest DSG7 DQ5000 unit, you can never be confident enough in this automatic gearbox.
- You’d think a car launched in 2015 shouldn’t have rust, but then you’d remember we’re talking about a VW. As usual, look for car rust on the sills, doors, fenders, steering wheel, roof, tires, and so on.
- And speaking of doors, the sliding door has a nasty habit of getting stuck and not communicating with you at all. Like a girlfriend who told you “have it your way” when you asked her if it was ok to go out and then chose to go out anyway.
- Electrics still remain a issue even for the VW Transporter T6, especially on the airbag and safety systems side. Make sure you check absolutely every button and function before you buy one.
VW Transporter T6 Verdict
As I said in the intro, if I were to judge it as a commercial van, I’d basically throw it under the train. But if I were to judge it as a family van, ideal for holidays? Here you would see that the car shines and reminds you of the spirit of the old Transporter T3, an ideal car for traveling and holidays. That’s why the VW Transporter T6 is now called the VW Multivan, why they introduced the VW California and Grand California and offer a Camper conversion from the factory. Even though the Transporter has given up the fight in the commercial sector, it has won massively in the sector of those who want large, holiday cars, possibly campers. And here, apart from the V Class, the Transporter T6 is king.
Which engines do you recommend? For petrol you’ll never guess, and for diesel the 150hp 2.0 TDI is just right if you’re not going to carry the goods. If you’re going to haul the goods, 102-horsepower 2.0 TDI.