2016 Volkswagen Transporter TDI340 Review

2016 Volkswagen Transporter TDI340 SWB van road test and review.

Back in the 1990’s I started my working career as a delivery driver and after stints behind the wheel of a Ford Econovan and Mitsubishi Express I was handed the keys to a brand new Volkswagen Transporter.

I still remember how different the European product was to the Japanese vans, they really were chalk and cheese.

So, all these years later, it was nice to get back into a Volkswagen Transporter this week.

Volkswagen gave us a short wheelbase version of its Transporter TDI340 to road test and review, a combo that will cost you from $36,990 for the manual and $39,990 with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto transmission.

I had the manual transmission variant and must say I really enjoyed getting around in it.

The transmission selector in the old Transporter used to be on the floor, now Volkswagen has it up on the dashboard and well within an easy reach.

As with the Volkswagen Amarok I reviewed last week, I found the cabin to be nicely put together with everything in the right place.

It was also good to see that on the T-Series offering you get rear parking sensors as standard – a real ‘must have’ on a van.

The 103kW/340Nm turbo-diesel engine in the Transporter offers better than reasonable acceleration for a commercial vehicle and there’s plenty of torque for climbing hills.

That available torque means that the Transporter (albeit without a load on-board) will easily pull up most hills in top gear.

One area, aside from passenger comfort and safety, that the vans of today have a big advantage over those from years gone by is ride and handling.

While once you felt every bump and crack in the road, vans like the VW transporter just soak up the bumps like a car would.

Nicely weighted steering and a very tight turning circle also make the Transporter an easy drive.

The brakes though take a little getting used to and tend to be a little ‘grabby’, especially when cold. Though I did find after a few days that I was quite used to this kind of unusual feel (probably something exacerbated by no load weight).

Visibility from the driver’s seat is quite good and the large front windows and windscreen makes the cabin feel quite open and airy.

As you would expect there’s a mountain of load space in the back with the T-Series SWB van able to haul a load up to 2572mm long and a payload of 1236kg. There’s also a 2.5 tonne (braked) towing capacity.

Optional extras? Yep, there are quite a few and many look very handy. These include a reverse camera ($590), rough road suspension ($790), rear wing doors ($490) and fixed or sliding windows in the rear (from $390 to $790).

There are six standard paint colours and then six optional paint colours that will cost you an extra $1190.

Summing it up: safe, solid, versatile and easy to drive, it’s easy to see why the Transporter is constantly finding an increased number of buyers around the world.

Yes, you do pay a bit extra for the Volkswagen, but gee there isn’t much not to like about the latest offering in the long-running T-Series linage.

NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Volkswagen Transporter TDI340 SWB

Engine: 2.0 litre turbo-diesel producing 103kW and 340Nm

Transmission: Six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic

Safety: Not tested

Warranty: Three years

Origin: Germany

Price: from $36,990

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About Joel Helmes 3567 Articles
Joel is the founder and CEO of Behind the Wheel. Joel has a background as a radio broadcaster with on-air roles at 4BC, 4KQ, 2KY, 2LT and 2UE amongst others, as well as a news editor and program director. Joel’s relationship with cars stems back to his early childhood learning to change oil and brakes with his father and uncle. This continued on into his driving years owning an assorted collection of cars.

1 Comment on 2016 Volkswagen Transporter TDI340 Review

  1. Small engine in comparrison to the eurovans vr, and not the warrenty you would expect from volkswagen for a $40000.00 machine. At least it is not a chrysler. Doesent matter it most likely will never make it across the pond.

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