In recent years the motoring populous has become very fond of the van. No longer is the chariot of choice for Trevor the plumber. No, it’s ours, too. We like the space, we like the practicality and we like the economy of modern engines. We also like humming the A Team theme while driving to Waitrose. Through all of this van stuff though, we all seem to have decided we really like the Volkswagen Transporter.
It’s arguably the most popular van in the ‘I don’t actually use it as a van’ sector. The Transit dominates the trade yard of Wickes, but it’s the VeeDub that dominates the driveways of Barratt housing estates. It’s classy, it’s smooth… it’s better than a lot of cars. And it’s about to get a little bit better.
The Sportline name is back and affixed to the rump of the Transporter T32 kombi. Furthermore, as of 2017, it’ll also be available on the panel van. You know, if you actually need a van to be a van. Heaven forbid.
The Sportline version will boast leather trim, VW’s Discover Media navigation system, 18inch alloys and deeper front and rear spoilers. As you can see, it’s a handsome beast. You can even have carbon fibre mirror caps, too. Though on a commercial vehicle that’s about as useful as a top hat to a goldfish. Still, they look cool. The mirror caps, that is.
The first Transporter available in Sportline trim will be the T32 2.0 BiTDI 180PS kombi model, equipped with a seven-speed DSG gearbox. You can get your mitts on one now from Volkswagen Van Centres, though you’ll need deep pockets. It’s priced from £36,295 (OTR exc VAT). Yowzer.
Next year, the Sportline range will grow further with panel van and additional wheelbase and transmission options available to order for delivery in early 2017. These models will be available with a 2.0 BiTDI 204PS engine, along with a choice of two gearboxes – six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG – and a long-wheelbase variant. Basically all bases are covered.
Yes, it’s a costly beast, but it’s worth it. First of all, it’s all relative. It’s a lot more than an M Sport Transit, but it’ll also be worth more in five years. So there’s that. Plus, it’s built well – it’s a Volkswagen after all.
The latest in the line of great VW vans, the Sportline version is a welcome addition. All you have to do is decide you you’re going to be. You can’t have Face. We called dibs.