The VW Transporter Shuttle is a large family vehicle that is halfway between a car, a van and a minibus. The more upmarket versions of this model definitely have a trendy appeal to them, and many surfers and mountain bikers are drawn to this modern semi-reincarnation of the VW campervan. If it’s space that you’re after (and let’s face it you must be if you’re looking for large family cars), then you have lots of choice when it comes to the Transporter Shuttle. It is available in a short wheel-base version, or a long wheel-base option if you need masses of luggage and storage space. Using terms such as short or long wheel base there is no denying that the Transporter can be categorised as ‘van-like’ despite still being a valid contender for a large family car.
Rugged and versatile interior…
The VW Transporter is a highly popular vehicle used by taxi companies (particularly on airport runs), and consequently it has many adaptations that suit these purposes. The interior trim on the standard version is somewhat utilitarian, however will be extremely long-lasting and capable of any demands that regular use by a family with many children can (and undoubtedly will) inflict upon it. Whilst the basic model just comes with a radio and CD player, there are lots of optional extras that can be chosen, including CD changers, Bluetooth, Sat Nav, Digital Radio, voice control, 30GB hard drives and the kitchen sink! Well only kidding on that last one, but there are a comprehensive set of optional extras to keep every gadget-head happy.
In terms of seating, whether you opt for the eight or nine seater car, the seats can be folded, or removed completely if you need the extra space. This is common in cars that have seven or more seats, however you would be surprised that some family cars don’t actually allow you to change the seating configuration or fold seats flat at all.
It seems this car tries to make life easy for its passengers, and sliding doors provide easy access in tight spots. What’s more, again as an optional extra, these sliding doors can be electronically powered for the ultimate in convenience.
What about the styling?
As previously discussed, the VW Transporter Shuttle has more of a van-like appearance than that of a car or MPV, however the modern versions have come on leaps and bounds from the boxy relatively unstyled looks of the same model in 2004. Nowadays the new Transporter is a very stylish vehicle, and alloy wheels can help provide a bit of ‘bling’ to add to the effect. As you would expect for a new car, the Transporter is available in a wide choice of paint colours to suit your tastes.
How safe is this 8 seat family car?
The Transporter is not short of any of the latest advancements in safety technology, and rightly so – for a family vehicle safety is not something that should be compromised. In addition to things such as an Electronic Stability Program (ESP), traction control, multiple airbags and tyre pressure warning lights the Transporter (albeit the T5 model) scored 4 Stars in Euro NCAP safety tests for both adult and child occupants. This is probably due to the multiple airbags that feature in the car, such as the side, front and rear curtain airbags.
Fuel Efficient and Reliable Engines
There are five different engines that buyers can choose from for the VW Transporter. These are all 2.0 Litre diesels, however they range from 84PS to 180PS of power. Volkswagen claim that these engines are more fuel efficient than ever, whilst still delivering a high degree of performance and being quieter in the cabin. In actual figures, the engines tend to range between 32 and 39 miles per gallon, which is actually quite a good level of fuel economy for a vehicle of this size.
Our Overall Conclusion
Overall the VW Transporter would make a great 8 seater car or even nine seater and would be perfect if you have a large family with lots of children or relatives that regularly tag along. Alternatively if you’re the outdoor type then this stylish vehicle would suit you down to the ground. It has a cavernous and flexible interior, with oodles of VW reliability and high levels of safety.