Volkswagen Transporter review (2024)

Written by Steve Cook

Published on

Ever since the first model rolled off the production line over 70 years ago, the Volkswagen Transporter has been a favourite in the UK commercial van market.

Now in its sixth generation, the Transporter 6.1 panel van continues to offer tradespeople and businesses reliable, practical and versatile transportation.

In this review, we'll explore what makes the new Volkswagen Transporter a top choice for van buyers.

Volkswagen Transporter 2024

Image taken from Volkswagen Transporter product page

Quick verdict

The Volkswagen Transporter 6.1 is a highly refined and capable medium-sized van that excels in comfort, practicality and technology.

With its smooth driving dynamics, spacious load area, and wide range of body styles and engine options, the Transporter is well-suited for a variety of jobs.

While it may not be the cheapest van in its class, the Transporter's robust build quality, advanced safety features and strong resale value make it a popular choice for those in search of a premium work van.

At a glance — pros and cons


  • Comfortable, car-like driving experience
  • Spacious and practical load area with minimal intrusions
  • Wide range of body styles, wheelbases and roof heights
  • Advanced infotainment and connectivity options
  • Impressive choice of safety and driver assistance features


  • Higher price point compared to some rivals
  • Limited in-cab storage options for everyday items
  • Some desirable features are optional extras
  • Only one roof height available (low roof)


When selecting a Volkswagen Transporter for business purposes, understanding its placement in Volkswagen van insurance groups is essential for managing costs effectively. Typically, the Transporter is categorised within insurance groups ranging from 20 to 47. This classification impacts the premiums for both van insurance and business van insurance, with higher groups generally corresponding to higher costs. Factors influencing these groups include the van's engine power, size, weight, repair costs, and installed security features. Lower insurance groups are often achievable through models with cost-effective repair options or enhanced security features, thereby potentially lowering van insurance and business van insurance premiums. This knowledge is crucial for making informed decisions about which model to choose based on predictable insurance expenditures.

Driving experience

Behind the wheel, the Volkswagen Transporter feels more like a spacious car than a commercial vehicle. The responsive steering, composed suspension and punchy diesel engines make it a pleasure to drive, whether empty or fully loaded.

The front-wheel drive layout provides excellent traction and minimises intrusions into the load area, while the optional 4Motion all-wheel drive system offers added capability in challenging conditions.

The range of 2.0-litre TDI diesel engines, with outputs ranging from 89 to 201 horsepower, provide plenty of pull for hauling heavy loads. The smooth-shifting manual and DSG automatic transmissions further enhance the driving experience.

Overall, the Transporter's car-like handling and refined road manners set it apart from many competitors in the medium-sized van segment.

Interior and practicality

Step inside the Volkswagen Transporter's cab, and you'll find a well-appointed and ergonomic space that borrows heavily from VW's passenger car lineup.

The intuitive controls, clear instrumentation and high-quality materials create a pleasant environment for long days on the job. However, some may find the in-cab storage options a little light compared to rivals like the Ford Transit Custom, which offers more dedicated spaces for everyday items.

In the cargo area, the Transporter shines with its spacious and practical design. The front-wheel drive layout minimises intrusions, providing a wide, flat load floor with ample room between the wheel arches. With load volumes ranging from 5.8 to 6.7 cubic metres and payloads up to 1,278 kilograms (depending on the model), the Transporter is well-equipped to handle a variety of tasks. The wide-opening sliding side door and choice of rear door configurations further enhance its versatility.

Technology and safety

The Volkswagen Transporter 6.1 boasts an impressive array of technology and safety features. The standard infotainment system includes a touchscreen display, DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity, and smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Higher-spec models offer a larger 8-inch touchscreen with built-in navigation and online services.

On the safety front, the Transporter comes standard with a suite of driver assistance systems, including automatic emergency braking, crosswind assist, and driver alert. Optional features like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and parking sensors further enhance the van's safety credentials.

The Transporter's robust build quality and advanced safety technology provide peace of mind for both drivers and fleet managers.


The Volkswagen Transporter T6.1 is a top contender in the medium-sized panel van segment, offering a compelling blend of refinement, practicality and advanced tech.

While it may come at a higher price point than some competitors, the Transporter's robust build quality, versatile configurations and strong resale values make it a smart investment.

From making urban deliveries to long-distance hauling, The Transporter is a solid choice for any courier, tradesperson or business owner.

Frequently asked questions

Volkswagen Transporter vs Renault Trafic

The Volkswagen Transporter and Renault Trafic are both reliable and efficient medium-sized vans, but the Transporter offers a better range of features and a more car-like driving experience. That said, the Trafic provides a more spacious cargo area and a lower starting price, making it an attractive choice for budget-conscious buyers.

Volkswagen Transporter vs Ford Transit

The Volkswagen Transporter and Ford Transit are two of the most popular panel vans on the market, both offering a wide range of configurations and strong performance. The Transporter has a slight edge in terms of interior quality and advanced technology features, while the Transit offers more economical engine options and a larger dealer network for easier servicing.

Volkswagen Transporter vs Peugeot Expert

When comparing the Volkswagen Transporter and Peugeot Expert, the Transporter comes out on top with its superior build quality, more comfortable driving experience, and wider range of engine options. However, the Expert offers a compelling package with its lower purchase price, efficient diesel engines, and generous standard equipment, making it a strong contender in the medium-sized van segment.

Are VW Transporters worth the money?

The Volkswagen Transporter is a reliable, high-quality commercial van, and one that’s certainly worth considering. While it is more expensive than some competitors, its appealing combination of style, practicality and wide range of options makes it a strong contender in the UK van market.

The recent 6.1 facelift has further enhanced the Transporter's already impressive features, making it an even more compelling choice for van buyers.

Why is the VW Transporter so expensive?

VW panel and campervans, including the Transporter-based models, are known for their higher price tags due to their excellent build quality and strong brand recognition. The Volkswagen brand has been synonymous with campervans since the 1960s and 70s, when they became iconic vehicles for travellers and adventurers. The enduring appeal of VW vans, combined with their high-quality construction and range of features, contributes to their premium pricing.

Another thing to consider when buying a VW Transporter is the cost of commercial van insurance. Compared to some of the more budget-friendly competitor vans, the Transporter’s higher purchase and repair costs can cause the price of your insurance to go up, too.

How reliable is the VW Transporter?

The Volkswagen Transporter, particularly the T5 model, is known for its reliability and longevity. With proper maintenance and care, a T5 Transporter can be expected to reach at least 250,000 miles before requiring major engine work. This means that, depending on your average annual mileage, you can expect to get at least 10–15 years of reliable service from your Transporter, making it a solid investment for your business.

What is the life expectancy of a VW Transporter?

According to data from, the estimated upper limit for a Volkswagen Transporter's life expectancy is around 360,000 miles. However, things such as fuel type, maintenance and driving habits can significantly impact a vehicle's longevity. To make sure your Transporter reaches its maximum potential lifespan, always follow the recommended maintenance schedule.

What is considered high mileage for a VW Transporter?

For a VW Transporter, especially the T5 model, mileage between 100,000 and 200,000 miles is generally considered normal. Many Transporters can even surpass 350,000 miles on the odometer, which is a testament to their durability and reliability. However, when shopping for a used Transporter, vans with less than 100,000 miles are generally considered a safer bet, provided they have been well-maintained by the previous owner.

What mileage is too high for a VW Transporter?

While Volkswagen Transporters are renowned for their long-lasting engines, with many capable of reaching 250,000 miles or more, most buyers should look for a used Transporter with less than 100,000 miles on the odometer. This mileage range is considered a sweet spot, as it balances the van's age and potential wear with its remaining lifespan. As long as the previous owner has properly maintained the vehicle, a Transporter with less than 100,000 miles on the clock should give you years of reliable service.

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