VW Transporter T6.1 Review: Discover What the Updated Range Has to Offer


Since it first arrived on the South African market back in 2015, the Transporter T6 range has been a hit with the public. A testament to its success is the fact that the T6 Transporter series has sold upwards of 10 000 units in the following years. Now, more than five years on, the Transporter T6 series is getting an upgrade and will be known as the T6.1. Read our VW T6.1 review to get a taste of what the updated range has to offer.


70 Years on and Still Going Strong


The original Volkswagen Transporter T1 rolled off production lines in 1950. Seventy years later, the range is still going strong and with the updated sixth generation, the T6.1 series, scheduled to go on sale in early 2021, there’s a lot to look forward to. Specs, looks, performance and features have all been updated to offer consumers an even better experience in the Transporter T6.1 range.


Volkswagen’s Transporter T6.1 range consists of a variety of vehicles that are suitable for both commercial and personal use. The Volkswagen Transporter commercial line-up consists of the Crew Bus, Panel Van and Single and Double Cab Pick Up models, while the passenger series includes the Kombi, Caravelle and California models.


There is a model within the range that’s suitable for every need. Despite having unique qualities and features, they are all united in the fact that they are part of one of the most versatile and high-quality vehicle ranges on the market today.


In this review, we will be giving you a taste of what you can come to expect from each distinct model within the range, allowing you to get a better idea of what each model has been upgraded with and which T6.1 is the right choice for your specific needs.


Where to Buy and Order the VW Transporter T6.1 Series


Did you know? Volkswagen has revealed that the T-series has sold over 12 million units across the globe, since its initial release seven decades ago. When looking back at the original version of the T-series, the T1, the range has certainly come a long way.


If you are looking into buying or custom ordering a model from the new Transporter T6.1 series, or another Volkswagen vehicle, then CFAO Volkswagen is happy to assist you. We have dealers located across the country, each of which stocks the latest vehicles Volkswagen South Africa has to offer.

Our dealers also offer complimentary test drives to ultimately help make deciding which Volkswagen model is right for you that much easier. Contact a CFAO Volkswagen dealer near you to find out when you can stop by to test drive your preferred Transporter T6.1 range model or whichever other Volkswagen in the line-up happens to catch your eye.

If you happen to have any questions, comments or queries regarding the model you’ re interested in, we welcome you to get in touch with the CFAO Volkswagen dealer closest to you.

The Volkswagen Transporter T6.1 Commercial Vehicle Range


It is a fact that everyone in business knows: time is money. You need a functional and a reliable vehicle to help you get the job done and have it look good while doing it. Enter the T6.1 commercial range. No matter what business you’re in, there is a model that’ll suit your business needs.

The T6.1 Crew Bus


Volkswagen’s T6.1 Crew Bus line-up consists of four derivatives and is available with various seating configurations, short and long wheelbases and some even include 4Motion four-wheel drive as standard.


Five, eight and ten-seat models are available, depending on your needs. The five-seat version of the Crew Bus’s rear passenger seat is now made up of a split seat consisting of a two-seater bench plus a single seat as standard. In both the eight and ten-seat models, you’ll find that the first row of seats in the passenger compartment consists of 3 single seats, while the rear seat in the ten-seater model consists of a three-seat bench.


The Crew Bus has proven its top-quality nature time and time again, as all derivatives are versatile, durable and built to last, even when faced with the toughest of jobs. This is all thanks to the line-up’s exceptionally stable body, top-quality materials and the time-honoured workmanship that went into its construction.


New standard features for the T6.1 Crew Bus line-up include:


  • Crosswind Assist
  • H7 twin halogen headlamps
  • Electromechanical and speed-sensitive power steering, along with a longitudinally and height-adjustable steering column
  • ‘Composition Colour’ radio system with a 6.5-inch touch screen


We can highly recommend the optional rear wing-doors, which are now also available with an optional rear-view camera too. This increases the Crew Bus’s user-friendliness even further, making loading and unloading the vehicle a breeze and helps with visibility as well.


The T6.1 Panel Van


When that first Transporter was designed and engineered all those decades ago, it ended up setting the standard for all of its competitors before and since. The latest model of the Panel Van was crafted with those who always get the job done, no matter what happens, in mind. It boasts a redesigned interior and front end, as well as more space and better connectivity than ever before. The T6.1 Panel Van offers an ideal van for every business application you can think of.


The Panel Van line-up consists of two derivatives, both in the long wheelbase (LWB) configuration and delivering 81 kW and 110 kW of power respectively. With the T6.1 Panel Van models, you have a choice of either a normal or high roof, so if you need to accommodate a lot of cargo on the regular, opt for the high roof option. An LWB Panel Van fitted with a normal roof has a load area volume of 6.7 m3. Opting for the LWB high roof Panel Van will give you access to an impressive 9.3 m3 of load area volume.


T6.1 Panel Van interiors are designed to be robust, yet contemporary. This means they can hold up against even the toughest and dirtiest of jobs. Panels inside the cockpit are finished in a sleek Dark Anthracite that cleverly doesn’t show dirt.


The T6.1 Panel Van is a van unlike any other and offers an effortless driving experience, thanks to its helpful driver assistance systems like electromechanical power steering. It can handle a full load of cargo, heavy traffic and plenty of stops in-between with ease. With a low loading sill, intelligently designed load securing options and great load room height, you can rest assured that your precious cargo will reach its end destination in one piece. This is a reliable van for sure.


The T6.1 Single and Double Cab Pick Up


The Volkswagen Transporter Pick Up model line-up is made up of three confirmed variants. Both a Single and Double Cab Pick Up is available with an 81 kW manual engine. If more cabin space and power are required, there is a Double Cab model fitted with a 146 kW 4Motion DSG system available as well.


New standard features of the Single and Double Cab Pick Up model range include:


  • H7 twin halogen headlamps
  • Electromechanical and speed-sensitive power steering featuring a height and longitudinally adjustable steering column
  • Anti-slip Regulation (ASR) featuring a deactivation button on models with 4Motion


One of the Volkswagen Transporter T6.1 Pick Up’s most impressive features is an advanced safety system where the brakes are deployed automatically after a collision has occurred, all in an effort to prevent a second impact. After a brief delay, the Pick Up will begin a phased braking action – down to 9.66 km/h. During this time the driver can take over again at any moment.


Both Single and Double Cab models have strong and durable loading areas. The Single Cab, long wheelbase version can accommodate up to 4 Euro pallets and the Double Cab, long wheelbase version can take up to 2 Euro pallets.


The Volkswagen Transporter T6.1 Passenger Vehicle Range


Just like the commercial range, Volkswagen's passenger range of T6.1 models includes an ideal variant for every consumer looking for a spacious and versatile transportation solution. Whether you need a vehicle to accommodate a large brood, close group of friends, business associates or to travel around without a care in the world, there’s a T6.1 passenger vehicle that will not only meet but exceed your expectations.


The T6.1 Kombi


Volkswagen’s T6.1 Kombi is a perfect solution for a family or organisation that needs to transport groups of eight people (including the driver) comfortably, safely, reliably and in style. A Volkswagen Transporter T6.1 Kombi is especially useful in the tourism and hospitality industries (think hotels and airlines). Consumers have a choice between three model variants. Two of them are fitted with 2.0-litre TDI engines (each with a different power output) and the top of the range model comes equipped with a 2.0-litre BiTDI engine and features a 4Motion all-wheel drive system as standard.


Some of the T6.1 Kombi’s new standard features include:


  • ‘Composition Colour’ radio, complete with App-Connect
  • Leather-wrapped, multi-function steering wheel
  • Front seats featuring lumbar support, height adjustment and an armrest
  • Rear-view camera
  • LED headlights and taillights on the top of the line 146 kW 4Motion Trendline Plus model
  • Fuel tank featuring a water separator and sensor


While the passenger compartment’s floor is fitted with a rubber covering as standard, which makes keeping things clean easy, a carpet floor option is available. Features such as LED interior lighting and grab handles on the Kombi’s roof make the in-ride experience for passengers a pleasant one. Sliding doors found on either side of the Kombi, along with a rear tailgate, make entering and exiting, as well as loading and unloading, the vehicle a convenient exercise.


Its eight seats can be configured in a multitude of layouts or even be removed completely for a generous loading area. The Kombi’s greatest strength is its versatility. Safety is also taken care of as each seat in the Kombi is equipped with a three-point, inertia-reel seatbelt and a head restraint (adjustable, for your comfort). ISOFIX child seat mountings are found on the second row’s seats. The Kombi is as safe as it is enjoyable to drive.


The T6.1 Caravelle


The latest Volkswagen Transporter T6.1 Caravelle is available in a single 2.0-litre, 146 kW 4Motion DSG version. At the front end of the Caravelle, your eyes will immediately fall to its large grille, prominent LED headlights and chrome detailing. New alloy wheels, the refreshed colour palette and the updated LED taillight cluster finish off the Caravelle’s exterior look.


Just like its fellow T6.1 series members, the Caravelle is versatile, durable and built to last. Its body is highly stable and made up of only top-quality materials. Exceptional workmanship ensures the vehicle’s longevity, meaning you’ll get many good and happy kilometres from the new T6.1 Caravelle.


To drive a Volkswagen Transporter T6.1 Caravelle is an effortless experience, wherever you go. It is fitted with standard equipment like a Cruise Control system that features a speed limiter, Crosswind Assist, Brake Assist, a Lane Change system/Side Assist and a Rear Traffic Alert and Trailer Manoeuvring system that includes Park Distance Control in both the front and the rear, as well as a rear-view camera system.


The Transporter T6.1 Caravelle offers great off-road mobility as well, due to features such as the standard 4Motion all-wheel drive, double-clutch gearbox DSG, mechanical differential lock drive and Hill Descent Assist/Hill Hold Assist.


New standard equipment for the latest Caravelle’s interior includes:


  • Digital Cockpit
  • Comfort mobile phone interface, complete with an inductive charging feature
  • VW Connect dongle

The T6.1 California Coast


Volkswagen originally released a van made for camping and taking to the open road sixty years ago and now its ancestor, the Transporter T6.1 California Coast is setting forth its legacy of freedom and independence. It’s a true home away from home while you are out and about, exploring the scenic routes our beautiful country has to offer. Make every road trip from now on a memorable one in a mobile hotel unlike any other.


The VW Transporter California Coast comes fitted with all of the necessities and comforts of home you could want and need. Its fully-fitted kitchen allows you to prepare a delicious meal anytime and anywhere. The California’s kitchenette consists of a cool box, stove unit and sink. A camping table and chairs are also included, which can be taken out and set up outside for a scenic mealtime and then be neatly stowed away afterwards to keep the cabin nice, clear and spacious.


Compact living quarters can be comfortable and the California T6.1 proves this through and through. Set up the elevated roof in only a few easy steps once you’ve arrived at your stopover or holiday destination and gain access to extra space, making moving around inside that much more comfortable. When night-time comes around, you can easily transform the van into a bedroom that’s able to sleep four.


One of the most exciting features of the new California T6.1 is its updated control panel found on the overhead console. The new control panel consists of a large, multi-colour display from where you can control the new ‘sunrise function’. This feature will progressively ‘dim up’ the cabin’s LED lights over a user-determined period, making waking up a more pleasant and relaxed experience. Why jolt awake with an alarm clock when gradually waking up peacefully is an option?


Additionally, the California’s control panel also displays and controls:


  • Battery capacity
  • Battery charge level
  • Fresh and wastewater levels
  • External temperature
  • Parking heater
  • Alarm clock
  • Cool box temperature
  • Interior lights


Take to the Road for Business or Pleasure in a Versatile Model From the Volkswagen Transporter T6.1 Range


The T6 Transporter range has been a hit for the last five years and with the refreshed T6.1 range taking its place, the legacy of excellence is sure to continue.


Whichever one of the new Volkswagen Transporter 6.1 models you are interested in, you are bound to be impressed by all it has to offer. There isn’t a versatile range of vehicles out there quite like the Volkswagen Transporter T6.1 series.


Remember to get in contact with your nearest CFAO Volkswagen dealership for the most up to date information on the new T6.1 series. Our knowledgeable sales staff will gladly assist you with all questions, comments or queries you may have about the model of the Transporter range you are interested in.


For more information, be sure to also read through our other articles covering the latest Volkswagen Transporter range:


  • VW Transporter T6.1 Price
  • VW Transporter T6.1 Specs
  • VW Transporter T6.1 Interior