OWNING A T6
At first glance, the VW T6 stays fairly faithful to the style and form of the VW T5. The overall shape is a little square, creating more space inside, and the van’s nose has been given a facelift. On closer inspection, there are dozens of small improvements to the form and function of the interior. VW designers have clearly been paying attention to user-suggestions over the decade that the T5 has been on sale. Many dashboard and technology features that were optional extras in the T5 model are now standard. In addition to all these user-visible improvements, the major difference in the T6 compared to the T5 is to be found under the bodywork. VW claims a total of 6000 design and parts changes, and most of these are improvements to the vans efficiency, suspension and emissions performance. The T6 is up to 25% more efficient, and with cities across Europe implementing strict low-emissions zones in their cities, the new and improved T6 is likely to give you much greater freedom in five or ten years’ time.
Like the T5, the T6 basically drives like a car. It’s small enough and has a surprisingly good turning circle, allowing you to use the T6 as your daily vehicle – driving the kids to school, driving to work, day trips, and transporting large bits of furniture or recycling around. It’s too early to tell from years of use just how much more fuel efficiency the T6 offers compared to the T5, but as a baseline, we can tell you that a fully kitted out T5 camper van can typically achieve fuel economy of 34-38 mpg. Naturally any T6 will outperform that, and a T6 not weighed down by as much ‘habitation equipment’ will perform even better.
Several features, previously optional in a T5, have been made standard on the newer T6 model including DAB digital radio, Bluetooth, climate control (even three-zone separate climate control in the California Ocean layout), LED tail lights, alloy wheels, and the auxiliary internal heater (for both California layouts). The auxiliary diesel heating is exceedingly efficient for UK conditions, and can even be used with a timer or operated remotely from the camper bed, or even inside the house if you want to defrost the windows before you leave.
Some tips to get the best performance out of your T6
The standard seating upholstery for the T6 is even lighter than the T5, creating a bright, open feel when you look inside the car in the showroom. Unfortunately, this colour is far from practical for typical use. T5 and T6 owners both recommend that you invest in a set of seat-covers from day one. This way you can customise the interior style a little, and you ensure that the original upholstery is in great condition should you ever decide to sell your van.
Regardless of which model and layout you choose for your T6, the classifieds for preowned vans demonstrate how well VW vans hold their value, especially the California layouts. There is consistently high demand for VW vans, as famously well-designed and well-built vehicles. If you should ever decide to sell your T6, you will only lose a percentage of its original value after a few years compared to other pre-owned vans.