VW Transporter T6 Review

Discussion in 'General VW T6 Chat' started by Tourershine, 23 Dec 2017.

  1. Tourershine

    Tourershine Senior Citizen VIP Member T6 Legend

    One thing I noticed before buying my new T6, was a lack of real owners reviews, so I thought whilst i'm sat here on the sofa imagining all the wonderful things my wife will buy me for Christmas (or is that me just dreaming) I thought i'd place a Personal review of my own 2017 T32 LWB, 204, DSG. Hoping that this in some small way can assist any others that are potentially looking to spend a huge amount of money, on lets face it, a commercial vehicle, or a van to a layperson.
    Currently my T6 is 2 months old, and now showing 5000 miles. I tend to build up mileage rather quickly because I run a mobile business in the Caravan/Motorhome industry, that covers the whole UK. This is really our quiet period, and once into our main season, the miles will rack up even quicker. So theoretically, my 2017 T6 is a great example to review, because I should be putting the usage and miles in times far faster than most owners potentially would. I will of course pop back to this thread from time to time and update as the vehicle gets more used. This will obviously include any issues or faults that may have transpired in the in-between times.

    As mentioned above, it's a 2017 MY18 T32 (LWB), with the amazing 204hp, coupled with the formidable DSG 7speed. The van is a Highline spec, with added LED's that are a must if you can afford/justify this option. Lowered 30mm by VW from new, so I'm not sure how they ride on standard springs, but the 30mm drop to me feels planted, and very comfortable. My wheels were changed for a set of 19" Savini's, running 245/40/19 Continentals Sportcontact6 Tyres. However, this was my first mistake, and one people should learn from. 19" wheels do not have a great choice of load rated tyres for the T32. So these will shortly be coming off, and swapping for exactly the same wheels, but in 20" and the correct load rating. On the same subject, the Continental SportContact6 are way too softer compound for a commercial vehicle, and they are about half way through their wear at only 5000 miles, which is very poor in my opinion, and matched only through experience of a full set of Goodyear EagleF1 on my previous 18" wheels. (On my previous Vivaro) that also lasted around 10K. So choose your tyres very carefully on all aspects, because it's a very expensive lesson if you get it wrong like I have. I tend to find that the higher end tyres that are designed more in line for BMW, Audi, Mercedes type of cars are far too soft. Yes, they give exceptional performance both in the corners, and road noise, but I think the weight and usage of a commercial vehicle just isn't ideal for these types of tyre. So careful consideration and a lot of research is needed I think.

    Next, I added ACC, power folding mirrors, Sportline splitter, Black VW side bars, Sportline rear spoiler, Genuine front mud flaps (A must with Black bars) VW Carbon rear bumper protector (Another must) and VW Carbon mirror caps (Waste of money and fit poorly)
    The added extras are a personal choice and there's loads of information on these options through the forum search facility.
    For me personally, ACC is a waste of time in the real world. There's too much traffic on UK roads for this to not become very annoying, it kicks in far too often and I personally deactivate it more times than it's worth having. The folding mirrors are a great feature when parked in a narrow spot, but if it rains, the glass gets wet and once it dries, it just leaves spots all over your mirrors, because the mirror daftly folds upwards, and not the traditional sideways, thus exposing the mirror glass to the elements.

    The 204hp is the most powerful van i've driven and owned. It's not perfect in my opinion, and the gear shifts need to be adjusted for the times you want to play around with this beast of a lump. There's no real issues, and most people will love it, but for me I feel the re-map and DSG software tinkering will solve the tiny issues I have as an enthusiastic owner/driver. (this mod is booked in with DMS in the new year) This is mostly a personal gripe, and unless you are extremely picky, it's more than perfect just as VW built and programmed it. The DSG is comfortable, slick/efficient through the gears and an absolute pleasure to drive. (i've owned many manual vans, and wouldn't go back) Some people report a slight lag in the box, but I don't feel that at all.

    The overall drive of my T6 is a feeling of pure pleasure. I can drive none stop from one end of the UK, to the other and have no aches or pains. It's fun when it wants to be, and luxury for the other 90% of the driving I do. If I have any gripes, they are minor. The Stop/Start is an inconvenience in an auto, but easily switched off. The cup holders on the dash are a little too far from my reach for comfort, but again, no real issue. There's a totally pointless cubby hole above the interior lights. The door pockets that hold a big water bottle are a little under-engineered, and most bottles fall over if you pull off quickly, and the smaller fuel tank is a downgrade imo. Lastly the doors from the factory sound cheap and tinny when being closed. The Forum shop sell the door seal upgrades. A cheap and easy DIY mod that will turn the sound of any standard T6 door shutting from old 70's Bedford van to how we'd all expect a VW to sound when closing the door. (Poor show on VWs behalf for letting that one pass)
    That's it.. No other real complaints in that dept.

    In conclusion at 5000 miles, and 2 months of ownership, my T6 is 99% perfection, 9/10, the highest accolade I can give for a van, because nothing is perfect to our personal requirements. The most important aspect of my T6 is this.. It's not gone wrong! Nothing, nada, not a thing. No squeaks, no knocks, no hesitations. The engine is totally faultless, no warning lights have come up, nothing leaks, and nothing has fallen off. Compare this to my previous 2015 Vivaro, that had seen a dozen faults by 5000 miles, making this huge investment into my business, a very wise one so far. As they say, time really is money and a vehicle off the road and in the dealers for pathetic faults cost me time, and that costs me money. There's nothing worse than letting a customer down because of an issue with your van, and having no near dates to move them to. It's natural for me personally to pamper my vehicles way beyond most usual owners. I will only use the best quality fuel, over service them, and insist on genuine parts where I can. Does this pay dividends in the future? who knows, but it's the way I am, and I cannot change now.
    As a mobile business that often has 6-8 week lead times, and can be anywhere in the UK every day, reliability is my No1 need, and my VW T6 has this in droves.

    Lets Hope she stays this way....

    Last edited: 23 Dec 2017
    Lord Mfwic, Yogi, Ghost and 26 others like this.
  2. Gavandi

    Gavandi Senior Member T6 Guru

    All good info.... I just ran out of beer tokens to upgrade to the 204hp.

    Next time maybe?........or when the T7 arrives!!!

    Merry chrimbo all
    Tourershine likes this.
  3. former member

    former member Senior Member

    A good read Tourershine; I like your approach to options and mods too.
  4. Tourershine

    Tourershine Senior Citizen VIP Member T6 Legend

    I think we are getting a bit of a bromance thing going on here. That's the second compliment from you.
  5. former member

    former member Senior Member

    Haha; nope just refreshing to hear things like “might not be for everyone” rather than the usual “you must have these or you’ll be rejected from society” type of statements.
    maxdefrost and Tourershine like this.
  6. Tourershine

    Tourershine Senior Citizen VIP Member T6 Legend

    I thought i'd revive this thread as i'm now 9 months into ownership, and 27000 miles later. This is more for those Google searching T6 reviews, rather than members on here, because you lot know how good these things are.
    There is still a surprising lack of real reviews on the T6, so hopefully it does my bit to pull in some traffic to the forum.

    Since the first review, things have changed a little on my T6. I'm now running Bilstein b14's set on the lowest setting, coupled with front and rear H&R Anti Roll Bars, also set on the stiffest setting. These were expertly fitted by the boys at Bognor Motors - Hire, Sales, Service & MOT Bognor Regis & Chichester and a sterling job all round in my opinion.
    B14 information is easily found through the search box on here, but my opinion of this full set-up is it's the best money I've spent so far. It's not a cheap modification, but it seems to be one worth saving for.
    There are other adjustable suspension options on the market, but I often read issues about some of these, where as I rarely read problems with the Bilstein set-up and long may that continue.
    The ARB's is a personal choice, some go this route with the B14's, some don't. I tend to still use my T6 for fun as well as my business, and the ARB's give the van a very planted car like feel, with insane confidence inspiring cornering.
    On that subject, tyres. Since the 1st review i've gone through 2 sets of tyres. After the short life of the Continentals above, I moved to a mid range set of Nexen n'fera su1 255/45/19. These were almost half the price of the Conti's and actually only did 2000 more miles. They are a great tyre, very quiet, but not perfect in the wet. I then opted for a set of Generals for the next set, simply because my wife has had these on her Mini and they have been brilliant all round. However, these are garbage on something as heavy as a T6. They inspire little confidence, are very noisy, and loose traction easily when comparing with previous tyres on the T6.
    So, to contradict my original statement above, i'm now of the opinion that it's better to spend more on premium tyres, and get a little less miles, but a lot more of a full package. I'm currently back on Goodyear Eagle F1's and they are still one of the best tyres i've run, but these are still new.

    Styling: Other than the B14 set-up, I've recently ditched the rear spoiler simply because I feel the rear of the T6 suits a none spoiler look more, so be careful if you're not sure about a rear spoiler when ordering your T6, because removing is difficult, and it's left me needing to repair and paint my tailgate because VW drill the top for the fixings, and they use very course paper to key up the paint for the PU adhesive. An expensive box mistakenly ticked at order. The original Savini wheels have now been replaced with some different ones, but i'm not going into too much detail on these, other than they look awesome, and more importantly they take an official 2 minutes and 15 seconds to detail all 4 wheels, against the 1.5hrs the Savini's took.

    Issues: This is the shortest paragraph..... Zilch. Not a single problem in 27000 miles, and this is my number one reason I love the VW T6.

    I'm due my 3rd service (Service plans are every 10k with VW) It will be the last service they do. Not because the main dealers do anything wrong, in fact my dealer in Leicester have been faultless. It's because the first 3 services were negotiated into the deal, but after this I was always going to take over this work personally, and the Oil/Filter will still be changed every 10k regardless on what's quoted by VW.

    In conclusion: I'm still loving my T6. I over pamper it, treasure it, and i'm very protective over it. My customers love the effort and time we invest into the van, and i'm often stopped in the street and talked to about the way it looks, which I love. (even more so with the new wheels)
    I've owned some amazing vehicles in my driving life, but this is by far my favourite.

    Last edited: 15 Jul 2018
    Keith_75, B19DRG, Lord Mfwic and 15 others like this.
  7. ei-aprilia

    ei-aprilia Senior Member VIP Member T6 Pro

    Great informative read that, my 2 month old 204 hit 4000 miles yesterday, again a working vehicle where reliability is key. So far it's been faultless, long may it continue!
    Tourershine likes this.
  8. Sjacko20

    Sjacko20 Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru

    Great factual and honest write up @Tourershine. Interesting what you say about the service plan as my vw plan covers the first two services on the long life interval of 2yrs or approx 20k. I will be changing the oil myself at about 10k just for my own piece of mind though.
  9. Tourershine

    Tourershine Senior Citizen VIP Member T6 Legend

    I'm not sure the reasoning behind this, but they told me service plans are every 10k, and none service plans are every 20k.
    Personally for what it costs for genuine filters and high quality oil, i'd sooner do 10k anyway.
  10. Sjacko20

    Sjacko20 Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru

    I must admit I get conflicting things from them. When I bought my last golf they said service plans were fixed interval only, then I got the van it was 2 on a long life service plan and my new golf GTD is also 2 on a long life service plan. I totally agree with the 10k change though and i will be doing the van soon.
  11. Cherokee

    Cherokee Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru

    Excellent. 10/10.
    Even though you rated your van 9/10!
  12. Pauly

    Pauly Senior Member VCDS User Admin Moderator

    It may be worth mentioning this to them as I’m pretty sure 1 year service doesn’t use the long life oil so if they think it’s 2 year plan they will put longlife in hopefully someone else can confirm as I’m away from computer for the weekend to look it up
    Tourershine likes this.
  13. Pauly

    Pauly Senior Member VCDS User Admin Moderator

    Just realised yours is yearly anyway but for anyone doing a 12 month change themselves it would apply
  14. Sjacko20

    Sjacko20 Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru

    Had this discussion not so long ago with a service department and it is now all the same oil used in both service regimes.
  15. Tommy

    Tommy Member VIP Member T6 Pro

    :thumbsup: Great review and thanks for taking the time to share, my 204 is now nearly 3 months old, 4500 miles and love it to bits. Ive always had 4x4 trucks (company supplied) but now being self employed decided on a T6 and best decision/investment to-date. Would also like to follow your route of suspension and wheels when funds allow

    Didn't take a service agreement out so not sure when intervals are on mine but like the idea of doing an oil change every 10K, I'm assuming I can do this myself without affecting warranty issues should anything arise?
    Tourershine likes this.
  16. David Breed

    David Breed Member T6 Pro

    Great review, my LWB trendline van is 13 months old 34k on the clock and runs like a dream.
    Cherokee likes this.
  17. Tourershine

    Tourershine Senior Citizen VIP Member T6 Legend

    Only reason for a 9 is the couple of tiny design issues, and the lack of that door seal as standard. I genuinely think that's a terrible mistake on such a high end commercial, and that awful tinny sound from new, leaves a bad impression.

    Imagine if you knew nothing about commercials, and you were looking at all manufacturers. I bet the clunk of the Transporter door closing has to be one of the worst, with the fact it's the most expensive. VW made a big penny pinching mistake there.
    Raven likes this.
  18. Cherokee

    Cherokee Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru

    As many other manufacturers do TS. Too many staff working in HR, not enough with a hint of common sense.

    I’ll be posting my first review when I’ve got a min. Just clocked up me first 1000 Miles.
  19. Lord Mfwic

    Lord Mfwic Senior Member VIP Member T6 Legend

    Excellent review and very interesting reading. I have to say, your van looks really good on B14's and those banded steels are stunning. I've read a lot of your posts and know you have gone through many different styling options. I personally think you have cracked it with this current set up.
    Great looking van.:thumbsup:
  20. Tourershine

    Tourershine Senior Citizen VIP Member T6 Legend

    Wow. Thanks mate. That's made my day.

    I agree, I have hit my spot, and there's nothing on the exterior that want to change now.
    It's holiday, then onto the interior work.
    Lord Mfwic likes this.

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