Asia has the Toyota Hiace, America has the Ford Transit, while Europe has the Volkswagen Transporter. While vans aren't the most stylish vehicles around (not even close) these utility vehicles are vital when it comes to commerce and logistics. That makes them very important models in a manufacturer's portfolio.
It also takes a while for automakers to redesign their vans. For instance, the Hiace took over a decade before it saw a full model change. This time it's Volkswagen's turn with the all-new Transporter.
Volkswagen previewed the new model with a series of sketches, giving us an idea of its design. It's more of a revolutionary redesign, but the look is fresh and in line with the marque's current design language. For now, it's the short-wheelbase version that's been shown, but it will be available in long-wheelbase and panel van guises. However, don't expect a heavy-duty version of this van. That's the job of the jumbo-sized Crafter.
With its new platform, Volkswagen says the all-new Transporter will be more spacious than ever. That's an important thing to highlight since the purpose of these vehicles is to haul both people, cargo, or both. The manufacturer also claims it gained a few inches between the side mirrors. Much like before, the Transporter is front-wheel drive to maximize the floor area. 4Motion all-wheel-drive could become an option down the line.
Engine options are unknown at the moment, but we're expecting a range of turbodiesels and mild hybrids. Given Volkswagen's push towards electrification, there might even be a plug-in version in a few years.
Unfortunately, the odds of it coming to the country are slim. That's because the Transporter is not one of the models produced by SAIC-Volkswagen. All Philippine offerings of Volkswagen are sourced from SAIC-VW. Don't feel too bad, though, as Volkswagen Philippines has several new models incoming.