PH Fleet: VW Transporter Kombi Sportline
White vans are the fastest thing on the road, right? This one looks like it ought to be...
This one does a bit more than that though.
The bright orange Caddy van I carried over from my previous home to the PH job seemed to get a fairly enthusiastic response when I bid it farewell on these pages. And off the back of that it seems there's a bit of an underground passion for vans on PH. We love 'em for sure, especially ones that look like this!
OK, it's a tad blingy. But if you're - and I say this through gritted teeth - a 'lifestyle' user like us this Transporter Kombi has much to ease that transition from regular civilian transport to the world of commercial vehicles. And, to be fair, the white on black alloys, Sportline bodykit and other trimmings are the kind of thing to get the home counties surfer crowd trembling in excitement. Newquay here we come and all that...
Surfer or not, there are plenty of PH-worthy activities a van can play a part in, which we'll be exploring in due course. And though many might baulk at the idea of running a commercial vehicle the realities can stack up compared with 'civilian' SUVs and MPVs, not least the ability to claim back the VAT if you qualify and fixed £215 VED. Size-wise the Transporter Kombi is only 97mm longer than a Touareg and actually narrower too. But it makes a whole lot better use of that similar on-road footprint and, kitted out like this one, makes an honest case as an alternative.
Making good on those mean black alloys and 30mm lower ride height our van has not one but two turbos, the 2.0-litre diesel motor dishing out 180hp and 295lb ft of torque - good enough for a brisk (relatively) 10.3-second 0-62mph time and more than the 170hp and 258lb ft you get in the Golf GTD! The engine is actually a different one from the ubiquitous 140hp/170hp 2.0-litre TDI seen across the VW, SEAT, Skoda and Audi passenger car ranges and can also be found under the hood of the burly Amarok pick-up. And if it's good enough for that...
Car: 2012 VW TRANSPORTER KOMBI Sportline T32 SWB 2.0-litre BiTDI 180 PS
Run by: Dan Trent
On fleet since: July
List price new: £39,066 (List price of £30,340 plus VAT and delivery, plus Candy White paint/Gloss Black roof - £450, 'cab comfort pack' inc. additional carpets and noise suppression - £210, removable tow bar - £470, 'seat pack C' featuring heated front seats - £225, 'side door pack B' - £440, parking sensors - £150, mud flaps - £95, cruise control - £175; all options prices plus VAT)
Last month at a glance: Just delivered!