In late 2015, after several years of anticipation, and much excitement, Volkswagen, having tantalized us all with visions of futuristic, self-driving vans, introduced a … er…. mildly modfied Transporter T6…. huh?!
For the first year, the T6 was pretty much just a revamped T5 with little mechanical difference. Now however, although the T6 doesn’t look vastly different to the T5, the modernisation of the T6 makes it feel more car like than ever before.
Offering the same versatility in its configuration options, the T6 comes with passenger side sliding doors as standard as well as an option to include a driver’s side sliding door.
The T6 also introduced several new cosmetic changes including a new front bumper and grill design, changes to the light clusters, a larger rear window, modified rear bumper and a scallop around the number plate.
The tailgate now incorporates a swage line across the back as a much welcomed addition, allowing sleeker two tone paintwork – something which has also been introduced as a factory option on some models.
The most significant changes from the T5 to T6 happen under the bonnet with more efficient engines. From late 2016 a series of significant improvements gave it Euro A 6 status allowing travel in low emission zones without charging. Unfortunately, as with all Euro 6 engines, this does come with a complication; if the T6 is used for mainly shorter journeys, the DPF filter can become blocked. Not something which is covered under warranty and which can incur a hefty bill from VW!
The range offers everything from the most basic working vehicles right through to all-singing all-dancing lifestyle vehicles, particularly in the latest California and Caravelle models. The T6 even lends a nod to the Transporters of the past with a two tone model mentioned above.
In 2019, Volkswagen again fancied up the T6 with a facelift – introducing the T6.1. The updated interior with a modernised cab is also available with full digital display in some models. It brings improved electricmechanical power steering, reportedly delivering enhanced feel for the road, active lane assist and enhanced driver safety features, like emergency braking. They even moved the gearstick a little to the left, which may not seem like a huge improvement, but if you are a taller driver it’s a small change making a big difference to the ergonomic comfort of the cab.
The T6 is undoubtedly more economical and safer than any Transporter that has come before it.
We think the VW T6 Transporter is one of the best vans available. It will surely be a swansong to the bodyshape that began in 2003, and has seen us through decades of hard work and harder play. Even so, if you are still wondering what the real advantages are over the T5, check out our ultimate guide to the T6 here.
We’ve converted a lot of T6s in the last few years. In need of a little inspiration for your own conversion project? Check out some of our favourites here.
But where can Volkswagen possibly take it from here? There have been rumours flying around about the next evolution of this iconic range. Coming soon….the Transporter T7.
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It’s a simple question but a hard one to answer and depends on many different factors
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