This vehicle joins a Transporter model line-up that already caters to all manner of purposes. If you want Sportline trim, you’re restricted to either a standard panel van body or a Kombi crew van (which has a removable second row of seats and can therefore accommodate up to six occupants).
There is only one engine option, which is the same 201bhp 2.0-litre twin-turbocharged diesel that serves in other top-end Transporter models, so there’s no direct power boost to report here.
You can only have a two-pedal dual-clutch automatic gearbox. And while you get a choice of wheelbase lengths (3.0m or 3.4m), there’s only one default choice of roof height and carrying capacity (all Transporter Sportlines are based on Volkswagen’s T32 chassis specification, with maximum payload ratings ranging from just under to just over one tonne). Elsewhere in the wider line-up, of course, configurability is the Transporter’s middle name. The entry-level Startline short-wheelbase panel van can be bought for less than £30,000 including VAT; it comes with a 109bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine and front-wheel drive; and it will haul 800kg of cargo or swallow a couple of Euro 3 pallets in its hindquarters.
The engines progress up to the 201bhp 2.0-litre oil-burner of our test car, and all come from VW’s EA288 four-pot diesel family, with a fully electric option now available in the shape of the ABT e-Transporter. Those engines mount transversely in the front of the vehicle, with drive going to the front wheels in all but the Haldex-style 4Motion versions.