Volkswagen ABT e-Transporter 6.1 review

Category: Medium Van

Section: Costs & verdict

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Volkswagen ABT eTransporter side view
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  • Volkswagen ABT eTransporter 6.1 driving
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  • Volkswagen ABT eTransporter side view
  • Volkswagen ABT eTransporter 6.1 driving
  • Volkswagen ABT eTransporter rear driving
  • Volkswagen ABT eTransporter dash detail
  • Volkswagen ABT eTransporter side door opening
  • Volkswagen ABT eTransporter side view
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

It’s important to remember the e-Transporter is a conversion performed by ABT, even though you can buy it from a Volkswagen dealership. As such, the fact it is a fairly straightforward conversion makes sense – even if does fall short of the ingenuity and leadership you’d more typically expect from VW.

For some, its simplicity may be appealing, but other, more technically advanced electric vans can be just as dialled down should you wish them to be, as well as giving you the option of maximising your range in the process.

On the other hand, the Transporter has loads of clever safety mechanisms in place and the electric van is no exception thanks to its electro-mechanical steering. The system, which is also found in the Volkswagen Crafter and new Volkswagen Caddy Cargo, enables the e-Transporter to offer a wealth of driver assistance systems that use the steering and braking to aid safety.

The Crosswind Assist system is one such example; it prevents you getting blown across the road by strong gusts of wind. There’s also automatic braking systems to try to prevent accidents as well as a driver alert system which monitors if you are dozing off. Unlike the top-trim diesel vans, there’s no adaptive cruise control, but as the eTransporter is not designed for intensive motorway driving it shouldn’t be needed anyway.

At more than twice the price, the e-Transporter looks expensive compared to a normal combustion Transporter. However, when compared against other electric vans on sale it is in the same bracket – and, as with those, there are considerable potential tax and running cost savings to factor in.

Volkswagen ABT eTransporter side view

Overview

Volkswagen’s partnership with ABT to make the e-Transporter is a quick fix to get an electric van on the market to rival competitors. It could be improved with more size options, bigger batteries and a greater range, but overall it is a smart, safe and comfortable attempt at an electric van.

  • Smart and practical interior
  • Great to drive
  • Poor range
  • Low payload compared to rivals

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