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Volkswagen T6.1 van 2021: facelift brings more safety and tech

4 months ago

Volkswgen has given its faithful T6 van a considerable update, adding more safety and useful tech across a renewed and broadened T6.1 range.


The Volkswagen T6 van received a considerable update for Australia, with the 2021 iteration of the stalwart VW product touching down in Australia.

Now named the T6.1, Volkswagen’s midsize van range is available in both a short and long wheelbase with a variety of body styles to suit both commercial and private buyers.

Volkswagen T61 van 2021 Multivan Premium green
Volkswagen has released the refreshed 2021 T6.1 range which adds a suite of safety and tech features

Volkswagen continues to offer the traditional Transporter Van with a normal or high roof, alongside the Crewvan that adds a set of rear seats, and cab chassis models that can be had with either a single or dual cab.

Private buyers can opt for the entry-level Caravelle or Multivan, with the latter now packing four grades with the arrival of the Multivan Cruise edition.

Volkswagen T61 van 2021 Runner white
The T.61 continues to be offered in the Van, Crewvan and cab chassis body styles with either a short or long wheelbase

The Multivan Cruise sits above the entry-level Comfortline Premium grade but below the top-trim Comfortline Exec and Highline, with a price of $73,990 before on-road costs.

In 2021, Volkswagen is also bringing the California campervan to Australia which you can read more about here.

What’s new in the T6.1?

Volkswagen has given the Transporter a new grill featuring some prominent chrome strips, with the Multivan and Caravelle people mover variants receiving a more detailed design.

Redesigned halogen headlights also sit alongside new LED daytime running lights and the LED taillights which are fitted as standard, LED headlights can be optioned but are standard on the Multivan Highline and Cruise grades.

Volkswagen T61 van 2021 Transporter California Multivan
The T6.1 will also be available with the California variant in 2021 (centre)

While most businesses will still tick ‘white’ on the paint colour box, Volkswagen has added a range of new shades to spice things up, including Ravenna Blue metallic which has been seen before on the Caddy small van and Amarok ute. The Multivan Cruise and California have also been made available with a selection of two-tone colour choices.

Inside is where Volkswagen has made the biggest changes. With the van said to be more comfortable thanks to a steering wheel fitted with height and reach adjustability.

Tradies will be happy to learn the Transporter can also be optioned with a second sliding door on the right side. A handy split locking function is also now available so drivers can keep their cargo locked up but the cabin open when running errands.

Volkswagen T61 van 2021 Runner interior
Volkswagen has added a 6.5-inch screen with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard in the commercial vans

What’s the new T6.1 like on the inside?

Inline with other rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz Vito who have recently had their interiors spruced up, Volkswagen has fitted a suite of new tech and creature comforts.

Fitted as standard in the commercial and Carvelle grades is the new 6.5-inch touchscreen multimedia system with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A suite of USB C ports are also dotted around the cockpit for faster charging.

Stepping up to the Multivan adds a larger eight-inch display as standard in the entry-level Comfortline Premium, while the higher trim Multivan Comfortline Exec, Cruise and Highline grades upgrade to the larger 9.2-inch screen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Volkswagen T61 van 2021 Multivan interior
The T6.1 Multivan is available in four grades with the arrival of the new Cruise variant

What powertrains does the T6.1 offer?

Volkswagen uses a two-litre turbodiesel four-cylinder engine across the range in three different tunes.

The Transporter Van is the only model to feature the five and six-speed manual transmission which is to either the TDI250 motor, which makes 81kW of power and 250Nm of torque or the TDI340 developing slightly more at 110kW/340Nm.

Volkswagen T61 van 2021 Multivan Premium green
A two-litre turbodiesel engines is offered with three different transmission options

The manual options exclusively send power to the front wheels but buyers can match the TDI340 engine with all-wheel drive if they select the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which is available for both the Transporter Van and Crewvan.

Offered on the Transporter van and the cab chassis variants is the TDI450 engine which sends 146kW/450Nm through the seven-speed dual clutch, with the choice of front or all-wheel drive.

Is the T6.1 safer to drive?

One of the most significant changes to the Transporter for the 6.1 facelift is the introduction of new safety equipment, with many notable features now standard across the range.

Those features include front AEB, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, crosswind assist, a reversing camera and a multi-collision brake system – which reapplies the brakes as needed to prevent further danger after an initial collision.

Volkswagen T61 van 2021 range
Volkswagen has added front AEB, blind spot monitoring and multi-collision braking as standard

Lane keep assist, park assist and adaptive cruise control are also available as a cost option. Adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist are fitted as standard on the Multivan and California.

Volkswagen says these new driver assistance systems were able to be fitted as a result of the new electronic steering system which allows the car to take over when needed.

The upgrade comes in the wake of a safety report with ANCAP, which rated the Transporter’s ability to avoid a crash as average with a Silver medal rating. With more safety equipment now added the Transporter would likely perform notably better in this test.

Volkswagen Transporter 2021: prices in Australia

All prices listed are before on-road costs.

Transporter Van – short wheel base

  • Transporter Van TDI250 five speed manual – $38,990
  • Transporter Van TDI340 six speed manual – $41,990
  • Transporter Van TDI340 DSG – $44,990
  • Transporter Van TDI340 DSG 4MOTION – $47,990
  • Transporter Van TDI450 DSG – $50,990
  • Transporter Van TDI450 DSG 4MOTION – $53,990

Transporter Van – long wheel base

  • Transporter Van TDI340 six speed manual – $44,990
  • Transporter Van TDI340 DSG – $47,990
  • Transporter Van TDI340 DSG 4MOTION – $50,990
  • Transporter Van TDI450 DSG – $53,990
  • Transporter Van TDI450 DSG 4MOTION – $56,990

Transporter Crewvan – short wheel base

  • Transporter Crewvan TDI340 DSG – $51,490
  • Transporter Crewvan TDI340 DSG 4MOTION – $54,490

Transporter Crewvan – long wheel base

  • Transporter Crewvan TDI340 DSG – $54,490
  • Transporter Crewvan TDI340 DSG 4MOTION – $57,490

Transporter cab chassis

  • Transporter Single Cab with tray TDI450 DSG – $55,490
  • Transporter Single Cab with tray TDI450 DSG 4MOTION – $58,490
  • Transporter Dual Cab with tray TDI450 DSG – $57,490
  • Transporter Dual Cab with tray TDI450 DSG 4MOTION – $60,490

Multivan – short wheel base

  • Multivan Comfortline Premium TDI340 DSG – $61,990
  • Multivan Comfortline Premium TDI340 DSG 4Motion – $64,990
  • Multivan Cruise Edition TDI340 DSG – $73,990
  • Multivan Highline TDI450 DSG – $84,990
  • Multivan Highline TDI450 DSG 4MOTION – $87,990

Multivan – long wheel base

  • Multivan Comfortline Premium TDI340 7 Spd DSG – $64,990
  • Multivan Comfortline Premium TDI340 7 Spd DSG – $67,990
  • Multivan Comfortline EXEC TDI450 7 Spd DSG – $87,990

Caravelle

  • Caravelle TDI340 DSG – $58,990

California

  • California Beach TDI340 DSG – $82,990
  • California Beach TDI340 DSG 4MOTION – $86,990
  • California Beach TDI450 DSG 4MOTION – $92,990

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