VW Transporter 6.1 ABT review


If the A-Team needed a van kitted out they’d call ABT. This week our 204hp, 450nm, 2-litre Transporter has been admired, tailgated and slowly overtook by drooling van drivers and some wannabes due to its OTT styling. The ABT aftermarket exterior delivers the full four pipe exhaust treatment, with aero trim and deflectors on the grille, sides and rear of the blocky van.

We’re riding on tasty big black alloys and lowered sports suspension – even when empty the van gets a seriously low stance. instead of twin doors at the rear the ABT gets a neater tailgate. The rear roof spoiler adds further to the performance potential of the three-seater. In truth the power isn’t outrageous rather a very healthy 204hp delivered to the front wheels via a 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox. The cab is not overly flash but is much as you’d find in any other Transporter. We have a centre touch screen and good smart phone connectivity but the cabin has nothing on offer that is as flash as the exterior would suggest.

The ABT version drives with a firmness that makes cornering a bit more sporty but overall the ride is unremarkable. At speed the cabin noise is loud and this takes some of the gloss off how good the ABT looks. 0-100km/h is dispatched in all ABTs in less than 10 seconds. The wheels look great but also will discourage you from going even slightly off clean tarmac and on to a building site.

The ABT is clearly a van to keep on the road. Stand kit on our van includes: Full ABT sportline kit (incl. suspension), tailgate (without window), 20” ABT alloy wheels, LED main headlamps incl. sep daytime running lights, LED rear combination lamps, exterior mirrors – power adjustable heated & folding, front fog lamps with cornering lights, rear view camera system, adaptive cruise control (ACC), digital cockpit, radio “Composition Media” with 8” colour touch screen (incl. navgation system preparation & wireless App-Connect), park distance control (front & rear), “Light Assist” high beam control, auto dimming rear view mirror, LED lighting in passenger/ load compartment, comfort dashboard, heated windscreen, manual air conditioning system, windshield wipers with rain sensors, heated driver and outer passenger seat and a leather multi-function steering wheel.

Our van can tow up to 2.5t braked and have a GCW of 3,200kgs. Average fuel consumption is 7.5 l/100km.  CO2 emissions are quoted at 197g/km on average (WLTP). The Transporter panel van range comes in short wheelbase (SWT) long wheelbase (LWT) and long wheelbase high-roof guises. Load capacity varies from 5.8m3, 6.7m3 to 9.3m3. Startline, Trendline and Highline are the standard grades. Wheels start with a 16 inch and rise up to the ABT’s. 204hp Transporters start from €48,265 with the standard Transporter starting from €33,530. Our test van weighs in at €64,675 including its full ABT Sportline kit. SWB and LWB versions are also available with ‘4Motion’ all wheel drive.


About Author

Michael Sheridan

Michael Sheridan is a senior and highly respected motoring journalist based in Ireland. He is a frequently heard voice on motoring, transport and mobility matters and has multiple credits on national television, national print media, national and local radio and other outlets. Michael Sheridan has been a Car of the Year Judge for more 20 years (& more recently a Van of the Year judge). Michael has produced and directed many international and national motoring TV programmes and documentaries both on cars and motorcycles - including four films on the iconic Route 66. Michael Sheridan is a former Chairperson of the Association of Professional Motoring Press (APMP).

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