The more you look at Transporters, the more confusing the naming, trims and variations get. We’ve written this guide, that breaks down almost every option you can get, so that you shouldn’t have any issues deciding which Transporter is best for you.
What Transporter Trims are there?
Historically VW offered 4 trims (The Startline, Trendline, Highline & Sportline) however with the most recent launch of the T6.1 only a Startline and Highline were available, more recently the Sportline has been announced. It’s hard to narrow down the best features of each trim, VW offers vast amounts of customisation and it can often be cheaper to get a lower spec vehicle as a base and then add the upgrades you want in the customisation process.
Notable Features of each Trim
T6 Startline (Least Expensive)
– 6.5” touchscreen
– Electric front windows
– Heated door mirrors
– Power steering
– Interior LED Lighting
– Body-coloured door mirrors
– Single front passenger seat, instead of the double seat in the Startline
– Rear Parking Sensors
– 2018 Onwards comes with a steel bulkhead
– 16” Wheels
– Sliding side door
– Cruise control
– App-Connect for phones
– An alarm system as standard
– Body-coloured bumpers, door handles and mirrors
– Adaptive cruise control
– Headlights and Wipers have an automatic setting
– Folding wing mirrors
– Parking sensors on front and rear
T6 Sportline (Most Expensive)
– 204 HP engine with DSG Transmission
– Tinted rear lights
– Driver’s armrest
– Auto-dimming rearview mirror
– Heated windscreen
– Lowered suspension
– Reversing camera
– Power latching side doors
– 18″ Alloy Wheels
– Sportline front bumper
– Puddle lights
– Rear spoiler
What’s the difference between a Panel Van, Kombi, Shuttle, Caravelle and California Transporter?
A bare-bones, basic Transporter with no side windows & no rear seating. These are the lowest spec that VW offer and by no coincidence, they are also the cheapest. The primary target audience for this type of van are commercial workers because of the huge open space in the rear that allows for tools and machinery to be stored.
Recently the popularity of van conversions has skyrocketed. Many avid DIYers start off with a panel van as it is the cheapest option and it also allows for the most upgrades and modifications to be made. If you want to see a great example of how our accessories can transform a panel van then have a read of this blog post: Our T6.1 Transformation.
A step up from a basic Panel Van, the Kombi has 5 or 6 Seats depending on your preference (3 Front + 3 Rear or 2 Front + 3 Rear). The Kombi is a combination of a people carrier and a standard van, hence the name. Windows are fitted to the sliding door panels to give passengers in the back some light & the rear of the van is left relatively empty.
With 9 seats in total, the Shuttle’s main use is for getting lots of people from one place to another. Perfect for long-distance Taxi drivers and larger families. To allow for the best riding experience for passengers the Shuttle comes with windows on all sides and although there are plenty of seats, the Shuttle sacrifices the luxury feel you get with the Caravelle. The interior is basic and made to simply get the job done.
The Caravelle is a vehicle based on the Transporter line. Broken down it is just a van but with some added bells and whistles. The interior is where the main changes are made, with seats and trim in the rear that are comparable with a high-end passenger car. If you’re looking for a comfortable family van with 7 total seats then the Caravelle is for you!
If you’re into camping in style there is no better option for you… as long as you have the money. Fully kitted out with a kitchen, seating area, storage, pop-top bedroom and canopy there’s no shortage of gizmos to keep you happy. The California requires little attention once you’ve bought it, tailored for camping, ready to go whenever and wherever you want.
What do the numbers T26, T27, T28, T30, T32 mean on my Transporter?
The numbers are used to show the maximum gross weight of the Transporter. For example, if you have a T26 then the max laden weight will be 2.6 Tonnes. The true amount that your van can carry will change depending on the weight of the van when empty. If you’re looking to do a camper conversion it is recommended you get at least a T28 to allow for leeway once your van is fully kitted out. You can improve the maximum weight your van can take by upgrading your suspension, check out our range here.
We hope that you now have a deepened understanding of the different VW Transporters. For more info on identifying the Transporter you own click here.