By Sala Masindane
The MPV segment is ever-growing and competitive with the likes of the Hyundai Staria, Kia Carnival, Opel Zafira Life and Ford Tourneo to mention a few competing for the number one spot. However, there’s still an outright winner. Whichever one you may prefer you will not get it wrong, but truth be told there’s only one iconic MPV and that is the Volkswagen Kombi. Its existence dates to the 1950s and decades later we now have the updated T6 generation dubbed T6.1.
What has changed?
The refreshed Kombi looks assertive and keen for adventure with a significantly improved front featuring redesigned headlights, grille and colour-coded bumpers. The rear also spots noticeably revised taillights.
The interior of Volkswagen’s people mover is spacious and practical as ever. New to the updated Transporter is a newly designed steering wheel with electro-mechanical power steering – more on that later. Another addition is the optional Discover Pro Media system which comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Space is plenty with ease of access thanks to the large rear doors. That’s good news for those who are in the market for a vehicle that offers space and plenty seating. Storage may be plentiful in the front row, and connectivity well thought of but the rest of bus lacks cupholders and USB ports for the middle and last row passengers.
Performance and drive
Powering the family bus is a 2.0-litre TDI engine that develops 110kW of power and 340Nm of torque. It is paired with a seven-speed DSG gearbox. The T6.1 handles well thanks to the newly introduced electro-mechanical power steering wheel. It is accurate and seems to be ever more agile when manoeuvring in tight spots. There was some body roll as expected from a vehicle of this shape and size, but it was minimal. Driven diligently, it will hardly be noticed. Thankfully, the Kombi is not thirsty, we managed a fuel consumption of 6.9l/100km which is just shy of the claimed 6.6l/100km.
Overall, the Transporter T6.1 Kombi is an all-rounder that will offer adventure and caters for space as well without breaking the bank. The starting price of R780,000 and an eight-seater capacity will make being part of the history even more worth it.
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