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Volkswagen lobs new Transporter, Multivan, Caravelle

Volkswagen’s new Transporter, Multivan and Caravelle vans offer more gear and safety

6 Aug 2020

VOLKSWAGEN Group Australia has lobbed the pricing and specification details for its new T6.1 van and people carrier models, all of which usher in revised styling, more standard kit and a “plethora” of standard safety gear.


Not unexpectedly, the T6.1 range carries a varying price increase of between $400 and almost $5500 over the outgoing T6 versions, although there are plenty of new variants entering the line-up.


With the short-wheelbase (SWB) TDI250 now kicking off from $38,990 plus on-roads, the entry-point to the Transporter van range has risen $1500 compared to the outgoing model with the range now consisting of 11 variants, topping out at $56,990 for the flagship TDI450 long-wheelbase (LWB) 4Motion.


For reference, the LWB variants carry a $3000 premium over their SWB siblings although the TDI250 engine is not offered in LWB form.


According to VGA, the biggest step up for the Transport van is in its standard equipment list, which now includes electromechanical power steering, 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, remote central locking, electric windows, heated and electric exterior mirrors, air conditioning, leather wrapped steering wheel, automatic headlights, rain sensing wipers, dimmable rearview mirror and load compartment locking.


Three different powertrains are available in the T6.1 vans, paired with three different transmissions depending on the variant.


The entry-level TDI250 is powered by a 2.0-litre diesel four-cylinder engine good for 81kW/250Nm, paired exclusively with a five-speed manual transmission.


TDI340 variants rely on a more powerful turbocharged version of the same engine, this time producing 110kW/340Nm and paired with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission driving the front wheels.


As of early next year, a 4Motion all-wheel-drive system will also be offered with the dual-clutch unit.


Sitting atop the powertrain range is the TDI450, the most potent application of the 2.0-litre turbo mill, which in this guise produces 146kW/450Nm and is exclusively paired to the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.


Like the TDI340, an all-wheel-drive version is due early next year.


The other area the T6.1 range has been given a boost is safety, with every van variant coming as standard with front assist with city emergency braking, crosswind assist, side assist with blind spot monitoring and rear traffic alert, driver fatigue detection, driver and front passenger front and side/head airbags, hill-start assist, multi-collision braking, electronic stabilisation programme, traction control, anti-lock braking system with brake assist, reverse parking sensors and a rearview camera.


Much smaller in range but not on price is the updated Crewvan line-up with the entry-level TDI340 SWB rising in price by a hefty $5500 to now cost $51,490 before on-roads.


Unlike the van, the Crewvan is only available with one engine option – the mid-range TDI340 – and one transmission choice, that being the seven-speed dual-clutch driving either the front or all four wheels, with the most expensive version being the $57,490 TDI340 LWB 4Motion.


In terms of standard kit, the Crewvan echoes the equipment list of the regular van variants albeit with the addition of a second three-person bench seat and rear passenger doors.


Safety equipment also mimics that of the regular van range.


Kicking off from $55,490 is the updated Chassis range with the four-variant line-up powered exclusively by the top-spec TDI450 mill and all riding on the single long-wheelbase platform with the range topping out at $60,490 for the TDI450 Dual Cab 4Motion.


Indeed the only choice to make with the Chassis quadruplets is cab size (single vs dual) and drive type (front vs AWD).


Once again standard features echo that of the regular Transporter van but they forego nearly a third of the safety features including the crosswind assist, side assist with rear traffic alert, reverse parking sensors and rearview camera.


Moving into the people carriers, VGA’s self-proclaimed volume-seller, the Multivan, is once again able to be had in both SWB and LWB forms with three different trim levels available.


The TDI340 SWB Comfortline Premium kicks the Multivan range off, priced from $61,990 while the TDI450 LWB Comfortline Exec sits atop the range, starting at $84,490.


All variants besides the singular LWB drive score the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system with gear-shifting duties once again taken care of by the seven-speed dual-clutch unit.


Compared to its workhorse cousins, the Multivan takes a far more occupant-focused approach with its interior and standard equipment, with even the base model Comfortline Premium scoring an 8.0-inch touchcreen “Discovery Media” navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone mirroring, carpeted floors, six loudspeakers, electric sliding doors, rotating second-row seats, reclining third-row bench seat, three-zone climate control, passenger sun-blinds and LED interior lighting.


Safety-wise, the Multivan steps up the T6.1’s game with all of the same features as well as an electronic differential lock, front parking sensors, adaptive cruise-control and electric childproof lock.


The final piece to the new T6.1 puzzle is the $52,590 Caravelle, which is only being offered here in the single TDI340 LWB Trendline guise.


The true mini-bus of the range, the Caravelle largely mimics the spec of the Multivan Comfortline Premium, boasting both the same safety features and standard kit with the two main deviations being the 6.5-inch infotainment screen and seating arrangement, offering a three-row, two/two/three seater bench setup.


As the name suggests, power comes courtesy of the TDI340 engine with drive sent only to the front wheels.


“The Transporter, Caravelle and Multivan 6.1 generation of vehicles are available to order now through Volkswagen’s national dealer network and online from Monday 10 August, with vehicles arriving in Australia from November,” VGA said in a statement.


So far this year ending July, VGA has sold 454 Transporters, accounting for 4.5 per cent of the mid-sized van segment. 


In the $60,000+ people mover segment, the Multivan (203) and Caravelle (6) combined to occupy just 4.9 per cent of sales, way off the pace of the segment leading Kia Carnival (2456/57.7%).


2021 Volkswagen Transporter pricing*


SWB TDI250 $38,990
SWB TDI340 $41,990
SWB TDI340 (a) $44,990
SWB TDI340 4Motion (a) $47,990
SWB TDI450 (a) $50,990
SWB TDI450 4Motion (a) $53,990
LWB TDI340 $44,990
LWB TDI340 (a) $47,990
LWB TDI340 4Motion (a) $50,990
LWB TDI450 (a) $53,990
LWB TDI450 4Motion (a) $56,990
Crewvan SWB TDI340 (a) $54,490
Crewvan SWB TDI340 4Motion (a) $54,490
Crewvan LWB TDI340 (a) $54,990
Crewvan LWB TDI340 4Motion (a) $57,490
LWB TDI450 Single Cab (a) $55,490
LWB TDI450 Single Cab 4Motion (a) $58,490
LWB TDI450 Dual Cab (a) $57,490
LWB TDI450 Dual Cab 4Motion (a) $60,490
SWB Comfortline Premium TDI340 (a)  $61,990
SWB Comfortline Premium TDI340 4Motion (a) $64,990
LWB Comfortline Premium TDI340 (a) $64,990
LWB Comfortline Premium TDI340 4Motion (a) $67,990
SWB Cruise Special Edition TDI340 (a) $73,990
SWB Highline TDI450 (a) $84,990
SWB Highline TDI450 4Motion (a) $87,990
LWB Comfortline Exec TDI450 (a) $87,990
LWB Trendline TDI340 (a) $58,990

*Excludes on-road costs

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