VW Transporter Edition kombi 150 TDI review - a stylish van with stacks of kit

  • Fully-loaded version of popular T6 Transporter doesn’t disappoint
  • Subtle style, loads of standard kit – including LED headlights, sat-nav
  • T30 kombi tested with 150hp, manual gearbox; payload capacity 1,052kg

Fair to say no other van inspires fans quite like the Volkswagen Transporter – not even the contemporary Ford Transit Custom’s cult following can touch the decades of love and affection VW’s medium van has received.

It’s this affection that allows models like the VW Transporter Edition to make sense. This is one fully-loaded van – becoming in the process less of a working vehicle and more of an object of desire.

We’re testing it here as a passenger-friendly kombi with the least powerful engine option, although ‘least powerful’ in this instance still means 150hp.

Spoiler alert: it’s rather lovely.

What’s special about the VW Transporter Edition?

The Edition is essentially the T6 Transporter range-topper for anyone without the stomach for the over-the-top bodykit and carbonfibre door mirror covers of the Sportline. VW describes it as ‘the most comprehensively equipped model in the range’.

VW Transporter Edition review, white, rear view

As such, the Edition is based on the Transporter Highline, which tops the regular range (see the Costs and Value section of the main T6 review). But adds to that variant’s already extensive list of standard equipment by coming factory fitted with all of the following as well:

  • LED headlights
  • Black-tinted LED rear lights
  • 17-inch (150hp models) or 18-inch (204hp) alloy wheels with black finishing
  • Gloss black roof
  • Gloss black door mirrors with power-folding
  • Discovery Media sat-nav infotainment with App-Connect
  • All-round parking sensors and reversing camera
  • Headlight washers and heated washer-fluid reservoir
  • Power-latching side door
  • Edition graphics

The result is – to our eyes – a stylish-looking mid-size van packed with premium features. The LED headlights alone are a worthy upgrade, not only giving the Transporter a smarter appearance but also significantly improving visibility at night.

They also cost £1,180 as an option on other Transporter models, which helps put the £4,030 extra the Edition costs over the Highline into perspective. The included sat-nav media system is also worth a combined £1,125, so you can quickly see where the money is being spent.

(All prices excluding VAT and correct at time of writing.)

How does the VW Transporter Edition compare to the Sportline?

The Edition comes only in the short-wheelbase (SWB) body and at the T30 (3,080kg) gross vehicle weight rating (GVW); the Sportline is rated to the Transporter’s T32 (3,200kg) maximum GVW and available as a long-wheelbase (LWB) model as well if you want it.

VW Transporter Edition kombi review, white, side view, sliding door open

A further difference is that the Edition can be had with the 150hp 2.0-litre TDI diesel as a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG automatic, or with the 204hp 2.0-litre BiTDI diesel as a DSG auto only. (Kombi models like this are limited to the 150hp engine.)

The Sportline is exclusively available with the 204hp auto. And even when comparing the prices of this engine variant, the Sportline costs nearly £4.5k more than the Edition – before VAT.

What’s the VW Transporter Edition kombi 150 TDI like to drive?

This has got to be one of the sweetest T6 Transporters we’ve sampled from behind the wheel.

It might not have the mighty shove of its twin-turbo 204hp big brother, but the 150hp TDI diesel is still nippy enough to give other traffic a surprise – helped by an eager 340Nm of torque – and combined with the remarkably neat-shifting six-speed manual gearbox is actually quite a delight to throw along the road.

VW Transporter Edition kombi review, steering wheel, driving experience

The suspension seems to be well-judged in this kombi variant, too – firm enough to prevent the van from rolling around too much in the corners, but not so firm that longer journeys become a (literal) pain in the backside.

As ever with the Transporter, the Edition isn’t as keen to change direction as a Transit Custom, but it communicates with the driver very clearly, so you can keep up a decent pace through a sequence of roundabouts and tackle country roads with plenty of confidence.

Of course, it’s probably best not to get too carried away if you’ve got passengers on board – Transporter kombi models have no rear bulkhead to separate the people from whatever’s stored in the back.

VW Transporter Edition kombi review, load area

For similar reasons, the Transporter kombi is typically one of the noisier medium vans on the inside – and the Edition is no exception.

We think you’ll be lucky to see the claimed 45.6mpg fuel economy potential as well, though if you do a lot of motorway or dual carriageway journeys, a restrained right foot should get you reasonably close.

Anything you don’t like about the VW Transporter Edition kombi?

Considering the cost, we continue to find it amusing that VW only includes a single sliding side door for access to the second row of seats on kombi models.

VW Transporter Edition kombi review, rear seats, comfort

The seats themselves are rather firm and flat, which means they don’t feel immediately comfortable.

That said, we’ve crossed countries in our long-term T6 kombi test vehicle without complaint from driver or passengers. So the seats do seem to be better than they first appear.

How practical is the VW Transporter Edition kombi?

Not everyone likes the no-nonsense functionality of the Transporter’s dashboard and cab interior design – but in practical terms it’s tough to beat in the medium van sector.

VW Transporter Edition kombi review, dashboard, cab interior, practicality

Full load area dimensions for the Transporter kombi are available on our dedicated dimensions page, but suffice to say the removable rear bench seat, rubber load floor and standard-fit lashing points give you plenty of options, whatever you need to carry.

Payload for this kombi version is rated at a useful 1,052kg.

Just don’t forget there’s no bulkhead between you and whatever you’ve got back there, so sudden stops could get exciting…

>> Best medium vans for payload

Should I buy a VW Transporter Edition?

If you’re not immediately put off by the price, then you’ve probably already made up your mind.

VW Transporter Edition kombi review, white, front view

The VW Transporter Edition is a great van – in kombi guise or otherwise – for anyone looking for style as well as practicality. Expect many an admiring glance from fellow Volkswagen enthusiasts, plus a sharp image for your business.

Still, you might want to make sure you’ve at least looked at a Transit Custom – and perhaps the Mercedes Vito – before finally signing on the dotted line.

Also read:

>> Full VW Transporter (2015-on) range review

>> Full Ford Transit Custom range review

>> Ford Transit Custom Sport vs VW Transporter Sportline twin-test review