The introduction of a new Volkswagen ‘Kombi’ is a rare event. As the six in T6 suggests this is only the sixth model in 65 years. The first one was simply a VW Beetle floorpan with a boxy body and lower gearing to help the 36 horsepower (a mere 27 kW) engine haul it along without holding the traffic up too much.

Okay, we know that the name Kombi is no longer used, and in any case was only used for the people-mover models, but many people still use that much loved old name. The expression ‘much loved’ is certainly true, two recent sales of classic old Kombis have fetched $158,000 for a 1967 mode, and 1960 $202,000 at auction. (These are not misprints, check with Shannon’s if you don’t believe us.)

Today’s people movers in the Transporter range are called Caravelle and Multivan and are the topline versions all-new generation of Transporter has just arrived in Australia. The first all-new Transporters since the T5 of 2003.

The full T6 range is staggeringly large; everything from a single-cab chassis, through a dual-cab with chassis, then rather basic vans with a single or twin cab, to the people movers mentioned above. There are standard wheelbase and long wheelbase models. Prices start at $36,990 for a short wheelbase van and go up to an eye watering $80,490.

Most will be sold with front-wheel-drive but 4Motion AWD is offered for difficult building sites, and can be used to play in the bush or at the beach at weekends.


The all-new VW Transporter T6 follows the tradition of being voluminous inside, but the designers have managed to put some style into the front end look. Style that ties in nicely with other models in the German marque’s range.

A new turbo-diesel engine, coded EA288 has been developed for T6. We are assured it meets emission regulations under all circumstances. The engines have a capacity of 2.0 litres. The in van variants it has a power output of 103 kW or 132 kW, with 340 Nm and 400 Nm of torque, respectively.

As well as the 103 kW edition, the Multivan has the option of a 150 kW turbo-diesel with a big 450 Nm.

Hill ascent and hill descent are normally associated with tough off-road driving, but are installed in T6s with Volkswagens 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.

Safety is far more to the front of buyers’ thinking these days than it was in the earliest models where your toes were about two inches away from the front of the van in a head-on collision.


Nowadays the Volkswagen commercial vehicles all come with ABS, ESP and EDL. Optional safety items vary from model to model and include Front Assist, City Emergency Braking, Driver Fatigue Alert, Multi-Collision Brakes and Adaptive Cruise Control.

The new Transporter has infotainment systems. The standard 5.0-inch ‘Composition Colour’ audio system has a touch screen display, AM/FM radio, CD player with MP3 compatibility, Aux and SD card slots, USB input and four speakers.

The ‘Composition Media’ has a colour display is 6.4 inches and has a swipe and zoom hand movement as in smartphones. The display has proximity sensors that sense the driver or front-seat passenger has their hand close to the touchscreen and automatically switches from display mode to input mode.

Transporter 6 comes with a host of optional packages that provide the convenience, assistance and upgraded luxury inclusions. The packages have been selected from the most chosen items by buyers of previous generations of the Transporter.

Inside the new Transporter the design is more car like than ever, so you really don’t get the feeling you’re a lower class citizen driving a van.


Driving all-new Volkswagen Transporter T6 is never going to be like piloting a car, but it is closing the gap all the time. The steering wheel is further from horizontal than in the earlier models, the seats provide good support and are reasonably easy to get in and out of.

Noise and vibration have been nicely damped and ride comfort is such that delivery drivers and suchlike will be able to put in a full day without coming home exhausted at the end of the day.

The seven-speed DSG automatic transmission is still a bit slow and awkward at very slow speeds, which is surprising because VW has had close to ten years experience in this clever type of transmission.

On the other hand, the six-speed manual is surprisingly light and easy in its operation. ‘Surprisingly’ in that there a long trip between the lever and the gearbox.

Transporter Van 2WD models range from $36,990 for a manual SWB TDI340 to $45,490 for an automatic LWB TDI 340 Crewvan. 4Motion AWD Vans start at $44,090 for a manual SWB TDI400 and peak at $49,090 for an automaticTDI400.

Transporter Cab Chassis variants range from $44,690 for an automatic TDI340 SWB Single Cab to $48,290 for an automatic TDI400 LWB Dual Cab.

Multivan prices start at $49,990 for the Comfortline TDI340 with the Multivan Generation Six topping the range at $74,990. All models come with DSG. The LWB Caravelle Trendline TDI340 sells for $49,990.

The complete price list is available from your local Volkswagen dealer who can also provide drive-away pricing.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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