Fleet News

Long-term road test: Volkswagen Transporter T30SWB 2.5pD 174

‘IT’S just like driving a big car!’ Those were the exact words of photographer James Scorey as he returned the keys of our long-term Volkswagen Transporter to me after a recent photoshoot.

And he is dead right.

It’s now three months since the van arrived here for a six-month appraisal and for all its size and weight, you feel as though you are behind the wheel of a car – and a pretty powerful one at that.

For those who missed our original test in the last edition, this Transporter may look like an ordinary panel van but under the bonnet lurks a 2.5-litre pumpe duse diesel powerplant that blasts out a whopping 174bhp of power.

The Transporter thinks nothing of 100mph and will apparently hit 120mph on a good day – not, I hasten to add, that we’d recommend that sort of thing.

So far, a variety of testers have borrowed the vehicle and all have marvelled at its power and usefulness.

One used it to take a motorcycle to the local garage, another moved house with it and yours truly went one further the other weekend and used it as a makeshift home at a music festival. Some years ago I owned an old-style Transporter camper van and when I sold it, I wisely kept the awning.

So while others around me crouched in their bivvies cooking up tins of beans on little primus stoves, the memsahib and I reclined in luxury on our sun loungers, sipping sparkling wine from proper glasses while haute cuisine food simmered gently on my family-sized Camping Gaz cooker. The awning didn’t quite fit but with a bit of string attached at either end, no-one would have known the difference.

I peeled the double mattress off my bed at home and with my duck down quilt on top, we wouldn’t have found better quarters at the Hilton.

A major surprise came as I got out the calculator for the van’s first proper fuel economy test.

I don’t exactly hang around (I defy anyone not to use this van’s prodigious power) but was amazed to discover it is returning 33.05 mpg.

I know this figure is a long way from the claimed 44.8mpg but, in my book, a three-tonne gvw vehicle that can top 30mpg with a heavy-right-footed driver is nothing short of a miracle.

Fact file

Price (ex-VAT): £17,957 (as tested £19,272)
Mileage: 3,663
Insurance group: 6
Combined mpg: 44.8
Test mpg: 33.05
Expenditure to date: Nil

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment

Comments

No comments have been made yet.

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee