Company Van Today - Issue 6 - Summer 2018

cabin was up to a sufficient standard to keep four adults and an infant comfortable over hundreds of miles during the break – this might be the same basic vehicle as the opulent California camper, but this version is designed to be a tool first and foremost. Despite this, it proved a relaxing and comfortable companion for both drivers and passengers. The relatively low level of cabin noise was thanks in part to the quiet petrol engine, although elements such as the optional cabin carpets (a £96 extra) helped. As you’d expect, things are a little noisier in the second row of seats, with the lack of bulkhead not helping on that front, but it was hushed enough that a tired baby still managed to drop off regularly. The single side door proved a little challenging when accommodating our smallest passenger. Although there are Isofix points across all three of the rear seats, the only way to get a wriggling child into and out of her seat with the minimum of fuss is to have it as close to the door as possible. It’s feasible that an older child could scramble across the cabin, but not one that can’t yet crawl. With the large supporting leg that comes with an Isofix seat, this meant that there was no easy way to climb into the remaining back seats. Thankfully, the gap between the two front seats was large enough to allow a parent and a grandparent to get on board via the front of the cabin fairly easily. The remaining elephant in the room on a relatively fully laden long-distance run is fuel economy, and even more so when you factor in that it is a petrol engine trying to lug all this extra weight around. I can’t be certain whether it was the fact that the Transporter was relieved of its usual urban duties for a week, or that the engine was settling down, or that I was on my best behaviour while chauffeuring the in-laws and their beloved grandchild, but the result was that the extra load seemed not to have a drastic impact on the average economy. Granted it still only managed 27.2mpg in France, but this is no great departure from the usual 27.3mpg. One shortcoming that was clear, though, was the shortage of low-down torque available from the petrol engine. While it is possible to pull away from a standstill with some pace, motorway overtaking was less seamless, especially when there was a slight incline. The relaxed nature of the petrol engine might have been welcome for a serene cabin, but if these long-distance trips were anything more than a rarity then the case for a diesel is more than just financial. TomWebster VOLKSWAGEN TRANSPORTER Kombi easily took family’s luggage ● The dashboard storage spaces are certainly plentiful, but none of them is particularly large, which somewhat compromises their usefulness. ● Heavily tinted side and rear windows ensure that the back of the cabin is kept private and comfortably cool even in the hottest weather. TESTER’S NOTES THREE-MONTH REPORT In my experience, spending time in a new van or car greatly sharpens your ability and desire to keep an eye out for other examples of said vehicle. Given the Transporter is the third best-selling LCV in the UK, there are plenty to spot. The range of roles the Transporter fulfils is fascinating, with many seemingly bought to be more than just a workhorse given that I’ve seen plenty in bright colours ferrying the family around at the weekends. With this in mind, a family trip to France seemed the perfect test of the VW’s abilities. I never really doubted that we would be able to fit all the detritus associated with a small child and a cycling- mad family member into the back of the Kombi, and it proved to be an easy fit. The biggest test, however, was whether the SPECS MODEL: Volkswagen Transporter Kombi Highline T32 SWB 2.0 TSI 150hp PRICE: £29,050 (ex VAT) OFFICIAL ECONOMY: 30.4mpg OUR AVERAGE MPG: 27.3mpg OPTIONS: (inc. VAT): Discover Media nav, £1116; heated front seats, £318, plus others REVIEW COMPANY VAN TODAY.CO.UK 20 FOLLOW THE WHOLE STORY of the VW Transporter’s time with us at companyvantoday. The latest news from our long-term fleet Our fleet Economy was unaffected on the long holiday trek