As we’ve mentioned, the particular specification and tuning of the Transporter Sportline’s 2.0-litre BiTDI diesel engine and its seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox aren’t anything special. There isn’t even a sports exhaust or a Sport driving mode here, which the vehicle could certainly do with.
It’s fairly brisk and flexible on the road; not assertively fast, but probably about as quick as you would want a load carrier of this type to be. Our test car managed 100mph from rest within a standing kilometre, and hit the same speed within a standing mile when locked in fifth and sixth gears, so it clearly wouldn’t make you late for opening time at the builders’ merchant. Even so, it needed a little over nine seconds to hit 60mph from rest, which would leave its driver with plenty to do to keep pace with a fast supermini in 2022 (not that many van drivers typically seem to struggle with such challenges).
The Transporter’s gearbox feels like a more heavy-duty unit than the kind you get in Volkswagen’s modern passenger cars. It has a pretty gentle initial step-off, and what feels like a subsequent second stage of full engagement with the driveline once you are up beyond walking pace. That’s just what you would want when ushering a heavy load steadily into motion, or towing a heavy trailer, but faster starts take lots of revs and come with a slightly snatchy delivery of torque to the front wheels.