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Date: 08 Nov 2016 Author Type: Press Release
Author: Julian Lurie edited by Donovan Banks
Source: Julian Lurie
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles recently introduced the sixth generation of the successful T-Series model, with improved safety features, comfort, convenience and greater driving dynamics.
The new Volkswagen T-series comprises some 22 models starting with the Transporter Pick-Up 2.0 TDI Single Cab Pick-Up long wheelbase with the 75 kW up to the BiTDI Caravelle Highline 4MOTION DSG powered by the powerful 132 kW turbo-diesel engine. The model featured in the road test is the Kombi Trendline DTi 2-litre turbo-diesel with the DSG automatic transmission. The new model is certainly easy on the eye, combining bold new shapes with intricate details. The front end styling is in line with that of the latest Volkswagen passenger cars, and is recognisable by the bold new angular headlamps, grille emblem and crisp, horizontal lines. The headlights feature daytime running lights, below which are fog lights with integrated cornering-lights to illuminate the direction in which the vehicle is turning.
The updated radiator grille features three chrome-plated cross-bars that meet the internal edges of the headlights to create a single flowing line across the front of the vehicle. The rear end gets new tail light clusters and a re-profiled bumper. Other new features include the body coloured bumpers, lowered wing mirrors, indicator lights set dynamically within the bead, and the press vehicle was fitted with VW’s newly designed 16 inch Clayton alloy wheels shod with 205/65R16C Korean Hankook commercial radials. Good news is that it has a full size steel spare wheel.
The interior has also been extensively updated with a more upmarket appearance, although it still has rubber floor covering. The Kutamo cloth covered seats blend in nicely, the driver’s seat is height adjustable.
The Kombi seats eight adults spread over three individual seats in row two, a three-seater bench in row three where the back rest can be folded down to create additional loading space, and the two bucket seats in front, with an armrest for the driver. The Kombi, with a ground clearance of just over 200 mm, stands quite high off the road but getting in and out is made easy by a long side step.
The new Kombi gets a completely redesigned dashboard with the rev counter red lined at 5 000 rpm, the speedometer to 240 km/h and a digital read-out in between. Comfort features on the Kombi Trendline include front electric windows, Audio Radio with LCD screen and four speakers with satellite controls on the 3-spoke multi-function steering wheel, Bluetooth, climatic manual air conditioning system and electrically adjustable side mirrors. The gear lever for the automatic box is nicely positioned in a pod off the dashboard leaving lots of leg room up front.
The interior is enormous and if the seats are removed it provides 5.8 square meters of load space. Additionally it has a host of additional storage compartments in the driver and passenger doors, both capable of accommodating a 1.5-litre bottle and an A4 folder, and there is a useful cup-holder at each end of the dash, but unfortunately it does catch the hot sun while travelling.
Safety features on the Kombi Trendline include driver and front passenger airbags, front seatbelt tensioners, Hill Hold Control and a multi-collision Braking System with disc brakes all round and ABS, ESC and ASR.
The Kombi Trendline 2.0 TDI DSG is powered by a 1 968 cc turbo-diesel engine producing 103 Kw of power at 3 500 rpm and 340 Nm of torque from 1 750 rpm with drive to the front wheels through the 7-speed DSG automatic transmission.
This Volkswagen 7-speed DSG automatic transmission is a gem swapping from one gear to the next with almost imperceptible changes and which makes the Kombi one of the best vans in its class to drive.
It gets from rest to 100 km/h in a leisurely 14.7 seconds with top speed given as 172 km/h, and fuel consumption of 8 litres per 100 km, which is a bit optimistic as the press vehicle registered 9 litres per 100 km in a mix of around town and highway driving. The torque output feels quite adequate, if let down a little by some occasional turbo hesitancy and torque steer at low speeds. Seated behind the wheel, the driver’s seat and steering column are height adjustable, so it was easy to find a comfortable driving position, and there’s a driver’s left foot rest. You sit quite high so outside vision is good.
Driving the Kombi was quite a pleasure and with the light power steering and the compact turning circle of 11.9 meters, it’s easy to maneuver and park.
On the road the suspension tune is generally firm when the Kombi is unladen but more settled with a load of passengers or goods. However, it does make light work of some of our poorly surfaced tar roads.
For a van of this size, it handles nicely.There is some body lean in corners, but nothing excessive plus the electronics will “click” in if necessary to keep it in line. On the freeways cruising at the 120 km/h limit the motor spins at a low 2 100 rpm in 7th gear, however, if sport mode is selected, the ‘box will drop down a gear to 6th, which is good for overtaking. Inside it’s not as quiet as expected as a certain amount of road noise does “creep” into the cab.
The Volkswagen Kombi Trendline DTI two litre turbo-diesel with the seven speed DSG automatic transmission is a great all-rounder. The recommended retail selling price currently excludes the options, but does include a 3 year/120 000 km manufacturer warranty and 5 year / 60 000 km Automotion Maintenance Plan, a 12 year anti-corrosion warranty and service intervals are at every 15 000 km.