While the demand for VW’s ID models is undeniably growing, they have yet to surpass in the brand’s homeland with such strengths as the Golf, Passat, T-Roc, T-Cross or T6/T7 Transporter/Multivan. Is that surprising?
Although the examination of the CBA data for January 1-30 June may reveal these kinds of facts, the pure numbers cannot explain the reasons. And the picture is sure to change by the end of the year, as shortages of chips and other components for the latest, more digitally powered cars from VW and other brands become less of an issue.
T6.1 & T7 – sold more than all ID models in Germany
Possibly because this could well be the last year for something like this to happen, it’s fascinating to see sales of vehicles like the Transporter line easily outpacing the ID.3, ID.4, ID.5, and ID.Buzz combined. .
Granted, the 5 and Buzz are just getting started, but the T6 has been around for a long time and its eventual replacement, the T7, like those ID models, is still new too.
Large MPVs are still big business
The Transporter passenger van range finished the first half of 2022 as Germany’s eighth bestseller, with a total of 18,493, compared to just over 13,000 for the ID models. That’s not to criticize the four EVs, but more to show how strong demand for MPVs remains in Europe’s largest market.
The gains for the T6.1 and T7 will undoubtedly match the strength of their sales, and not just in Germany, as orders for these continue to exceed supply. Even the cheapest T6 passenger model can not be called affordable, but no one seems to mind, buyers are picking them up all over Europe.
In Britain, Volkswagen has tapped into a lucrative market not only for vans, but also for the more expensive MPVs and motorhomes. The margins on this are hugely rewarding.
What is a T32 Sportline?
I tried one of the racier looking examples in the T6.1 range, the T32 Sportline. This really looks like something very special, especially in the test vehicle’s optional Ravenna Blue metallic.
The T32 looks even better at dusk, as the chrome bars under the sliding doors are adorned with tiny lights.
The Sportline also comes with a standard 30mm suspension drop and some very snazzy gloss black 18-inch rims. To me, it looks just as cool – albeit in a different way – as the new ID.Buzz MPV.
Like Volkswagens used to be
There are a few quirks, such as a rear view mirror when there is no rear window. Yes, the links to the original van are easy to see in the T32. The contrast of rubber carpeting with soft Nappa leather and Alcantara for the seats also shows that this is a polished light commercial vehicle, but then again, so what?
Just sitting in the Sportline is already a great experience. You wish that not only VW, but almost all OEMs would take a few steps back from the constant rush to cover dashboards in screens.
The Volkswagen has an 8-inch display in the center of the dash, and aside from Adaptive Cruise Control and High Beam ‘Assist’, there’s not too much tech to switch off if you don’t want to be constantly nagged.
The wretched sliders of more recently launched or facelifted VWs are also joyfully absent.
No 4MATIC: no problem
It’s a joy to drive thanks to the 2.0-litre diesel engine’s bountiful 450 Nm of torque. That only goes to the front axle, but still, only on really wet roads do you want four-wheel drive. Two turbochargers also give the TDI an attractive exhaust note.
A seven-speed DSG is standard and while the Volkswagen Group’s dual-clutch transmissions are sometimes not the smoothest, it shifts beautifully.
After a week with this big sporty van I was smitten. Yes it is expensive but I think it is worth the money. And I can understand why Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles continues to build this and certain other T6 models – as good as the new T7 is, there’s a lot to love about the T32 in particular.
The Volkswagen Transporter T32 is available in SWB or LWB bodies and as a panel van or combi. All are powered by a 150 kW (204 hp) 2.0 BiTDI engine. The top speed is 124 mph and 0-62 mph takes 8.9 seconds. Prices start at GBP 57,339 including VAT.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has production sites in Germany (Hannover-Stöcken), Poland (Poznań and Września) and Argentina (Pacheco). The Transporter, Multivan, Caddy, Crafter, Amarok and ID. Buzz is all part of this division.