Fleet News

Long-term road test: Volkswagen Transporter T30 SWB 2.5PD 174

MY usually cheerful tones have been somewhat muted of late as I look forward with sorrow to the day when our long-term Volkswagen Transporter is taken from us after a six-month stay here.

To say I have enjoyed driving this vehicle would be an understatement.

Of late, I have eschewed my normal mode of transport (a car) and have exclusively been using the VeeDub, which in my view far surpasses most cars in terms of power, drivability and usefulness.

The Transporter is a true wolf in sheep’s clothing. It may look like a run-of-the-mill model but under its bonnet lurks an outrageously powerful 174bhp turbodiesel powerplant that will push the van along at a surprising pace and on up to 120mph . . . apparently.

This model also has many more standard features than a lot of cars. It comes with driver airbag, ABS brakes and ESP traction control as part of the package and our van also has a six-CD changer under the seat to augment the rather outdated radio/cassette player which comes as standard.

During its time here, the Transporter has been used for just about every imaginable purpose – house moving, motorcycle transportation and even as living quarters at a music festival for yours truly. Needless to say reliability has been impeccable and complaints have been almost non-existent.

Our only moan was the fact that the Transporter doesn’t have any side rubbing strips to protect it.

The result is that there are a couple of annoying little nicks in the dark blue paintwork where careless car drivers have banged their doors on its sides while alighting in city car parks. We’d also recommend buyers to opt for floor lining as ours has been quite badly scuffed by various objects having been dragged across it. It hasn’t damaged the floor but a secondhand buyer may want to knock the price down because of it.

I’m pretty impressed with this van’s fuel economy too. I managed 36.5mpg and I haven’t exactly been hanging around.

Not many fleet drivers are going to be given this model it must be admitted, but the halo effect works downwards.

I’ve driven lower-powered Transporters too and while they may not be so quick off the mark, they are all just as satisfying to drive.

Farewell, old friend – I’m going to miss you.

Fact file

Price (ex-VAT): £17,957 (as tested £19,272)
Final mileage: 6,778)
Combined mpg: 44.8)
Test mpg: 36.5)
CAP Monitor residual value: £5,275/30%)
Final expenditure: Nil

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