Why are T6 Campervans Popular?
Volkswagen campervans have been a part of the camper culture since the beginning, their unique look and excellent engines make for the perfect travelling home. But where did the T6 come from and why has it become the most popular van on the road? Here’s the history of why the humble VW Transporter should be the base van for your campervan conversion.
Volkswagen T6 models
The Volkswagen T6 won International Van of the Year in 2016. It’s the sixth-generation of an iconic vehicle series, with new safety features and is hugely practical and versatile. Featuring new engines, flexible load spaces and car-like comfort, the iconic sixth generation Volkswagen T6 van is ready for converting into an outdoor camper van. Volkswagen has piled some desirable technology features and Euro 5-complaint units, into its current Transporter T6 panel van. The VW T6 is an amazing all-rounder van and is really quite satisfying to drive on long road trips across the UK. Although it may seem the exterior of the T6 has not changed drastically, the interior of the VW T6 is far more polished than previous Transporter vehicles. There are 17 different types of Transporters with a variety of van or cab chassis bodies, short and long wheel bases, different roof heights and altering load compartments. This level of choice allows customers to accurately match the van to their desired requirements. The wide range of body models in the VW panel vans class gives great flexibility for customers to choose their ideal base for their dream campervan.
Panel Van Highline
The Panel Van Highline model had a clear menu system on the touch screen navigation screen, it is very easy and efficient to use. The contours of the small steering wheel, with its incorporated stereo and cruise control buttons, give this Volkswagen T6 model a sophisticated and modern effect.
In terms of storage, the Volkswagen T6 Panel Van Highline has a sufficient range of small and large hollow spaces with an additional slim space near elbow height into the doors or the dash-top to hold wallets, phones and paperwork. For larger items such as bottles, the main door pockets are wide enough to fit larger items. There are more options below the double front passenger seat too; however there is no overhead shelf and the lockable glove box is small.
In the load area, on the far side of a full metal bulkhead, there are six load lashing points and two interior lights. The VW T6 Panel Van Highline has a payload of 858kg, this places it competitive against similar models from the Vivaro and Transit Custom ranges which manage 1,079kg and 714kg.
The strongest aspect of this T6 model is the driver’s high, upright position allowing for a perfect view outside and ideal for tall drivers. At the front seat the wide front grille has a chrome trim on the Highline model an all-new front bumper. The big door mirrors assist drivers when changing lanes or joining flowing traffic from a junction.
The Volkswagen T6 Panel Van Highline is well-equipped with Bluetooth, climatic air-conditioning, electric windows, heated and power adjustable wing mirrors, a heated front windscreen, 5-inch touch screen DAB radio and CD player.
The Panel Van Highline is impressive on long road trips with its quiet and refined drive. The ride on the 16-inch wheels is refined and is even smooth on pot-holed roads, however it is not as sharp around corners.
Acceleration is reasonable, with 62mph coming up in 15.4 seconds. The engine focal point is efficiency and this VW T6 model can achieve 47.9mpg on the Combined Cycle, with CO2 emissions of 153g/km. This may be useful in the future, if the government moves to emissions-based taxation for vans.
Panel Van Startline
The VW Transporter Startline is the entry-level trim, and standard equipment for the model includes electric mirrors and windows, multi-adjustable driver’s seat, dual passenger seat, a 5-inch touch screen DAB radio with Bluetooth, and a comprehensive list of safety features including Brake Assist and Post Collision Braking.
Panel Van Bluemotion
The Panel Van Bluemotion is the eco-friendly vehicle in the Volkswagen T6 panel van line. The Volkswagen Panel Van Bluemotion offers a payload of 839 kg and the VW Transporter T6 BlueMotion carries a 2.0-liter TDI common rail diesel engine. The Panel Bluemotion van is powered by a 102bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine which is paired with a five-speed manual gearbox. VW claims there is a combined cycle economy of 51.4mpg an 145g/km of CO2. That’s an improvement of 3.5mpg and reduction of 8g/km over the standard Transporter in its greenest specification.
The improvements in efficiency are a result of a range of aerodynamic changes VW has made to the Transporter. The suspension has been lowered; low rolling resistance tyres have been fitted, with the addition of modified gear ratios and cruise control. The model also includes Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems.
Panel Van Trendline
The VW Trendline model adds cruise control, a driver comfort pack with added noise suppression, armrests and vanity mirrors inside, a full steel bulkhead, parking sensors and exterior style enhancements.
The Volkswagen Trendline features are built upon the strengths of the Startline by offering a wide range of stylish, practical and technological items. By selecting the most popular options available and combining them into one handy pack, the Trendline model offers amazing value when compared to ordering each item individually.
Panel Van Edition
The Volkswagen T6 Panel Van Edition features 17-inch black-surfaced alloy wheels on the less powerful models, while the most powerful 201bhp models will have 18-inch rims. The panel van edition has unique striped decals feature on the side skirts of the model, along with blacked-out LED tail lights and a high-gloss black roof. The Transporter Edition also includes useful features such as Volkswagen’s Discover Media Navigation system, parking sensors, both front and rear, LED headlights, as well as Front Assist and City Emergency Braking systems.
Core components of the Volkswagen T6
The Volkswagen T6 is made in Hannover, Germany, and its heritage and growing dedication to quality, ensure that it meets the very highest standards for its customers. With a 66-year legacy, the much-loved van continues to offer drivers unrivalled flexibility and choice. The production of the Volkswagen Transporter has always been based on the finest quality but at an affordable price. Volkswagen is the leading manufacturer in the van industry, and having achieved a great number of awards and success for their Volkswagen Transporter series, gives an increased confidence and motivation to buyers in purchasing a high quality van, which has both commercial and leisure use.
The Volkswagen T6 has an upgraded 4Motion, combined with Hill Descent Control, which is a program that controls breaking on the wheels to ensure the van’s speed is maintained, significantly increasing performance and efficiency. The Four-wheel-drive ensures improved control in all weather conditions, and also enhances acceleration. The system also helps with towing a campervan or trailer, the trailer stabilization function uses the brakes and electronic stability control to avoid the campervan or trailer from swaying and possibly causing the van to crash.
The Dynamic Chassis Control is made up of an electromechanical power steering system, which allows the vehicle to adapt automatically to different driving conditions. There is also a driving mode selection, allowing drivers to switch between Normal, Sport and Comfort modes, all of which change the way the vehicle shifts. The adjustable shock absorbers adapt to the different settings, allowing the driver to customise their driving experience.
Driving Safety Assist
A selection of assistance system sensors contribute to both safety and comfort. This intelligent system includes Adaptive Chassis Control, Side Assist, and Multi-Collision Braking. Safety features abound as well, and include Adaptive Cruise Control with VW’s City Emergency Braking function. The new function acts automatically to warn and then proactively slow the van down to avoid a crash when under 30 mph. VW’s Driver Alert System monitors the driver’s behaviour, and if it detects the driver is drowsy, it reminds the driver that a break is needed.
Flexible seat arrangement
The seats are 12-way power adjustable, and a memory function is available for the driver. Seats can be removed and added based on customer’s needs to ensure seating is comfortable for both business and family trips.
There is also some smart technology in the new Transporter that has not been seen in the van industry before. While other manufacturers are giving us ways to secure our tablets to the van, with some very smart storage and bracket solutions. Volkswagen has gone a step further and now enables mirroring of mobile and tablet devices straight to the dash console. The advanced infotainment system features a 6.3-inch touch screen. The Infotainment Platform enables the driver to operate a smart phone via the touch screen. The App connect has great features like the Apple Car Play, Android Auto and MirrorLink which develop the whole communication and musical experience.
All VW T6 versions offer improved enhancements to passengers with their class-leading and versatile seating flexibility and spaciousness and the VW T6 is more car-like than ever, perfect in achieving a smooth road trip during long hours. The T6 models include full LED headlamps and daytime running lights on the exterior, plus a host of safety and security feature, which already exist in previous VW ranges. The high-end vehicle is customisable, for both luxury travel and work purposes.
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