When choosing a van, its ability to do its intended job properly has always taken precedence over whether it was slightly more costly than another on fuel.
Van manufacturers traditionally haven’t been required even to publish official fuel consumption figures in the way the car manufacturers have.
But a Europe-wide drive to reduce average CO2 emissions for light commercial vehicles has led to the matter of fuel consumption and emissions being tackled.
A number of compact vans have offered stop/start technology for a while, and a few have taken it a step further with a suite of fuel-saving technologies.
Volkswagen has made available a Bluemotion variant in the Transporter.
While there are a number of Transporter diesel vans that wear the Bluemotion Technology badge, like its car range there is also a stand-alone Bluemotion model that has been optimised to deliver the best fuel consumption in the range.
The Transporter Bluemotion uses a 114bhp version of the 2.0 TDI engine and comes with stop/start technology, gear-shift indicator, revised gearing and low rolling resistance tyres.
It offers CO2 emissions of 166g/km and fuel consumption of 44.8mpg on the combined cycle.
It is also the only Transporter to be given a T27 GVW designation – as a result of the optimisation process of balancing total weight with the rolling resistance of the tyres and gearing of the vehicle.
The basic price of the van at just over £19,000 (excluding VAT) seems reasonable, and standard equipment includes electronic stability control, daytime running lights, CD/radio, and the various Bluemotion features.
The optional SE pack adds air conditioning, alarm, solid bulkhead and arm rest.
Other factory options fitted to the van include a rubber loadfloor and plywood interior panels, metallic paint, body-colour bumpers and satellite navigation.
Dealer-fit accessories include an iPod connector, rear parking sensors and a Bluetooth phone and music touch-screen kit.
The Transporter has impressed so far with its refinement and fuel efficiency, with the trip computer showing 43mpg on its first long run.
Over the next few months it should also be deployed for more typical working roles carrying loads, so we hope to report on how the Transporter maintains its award-winning appeal as well as having a modest appetite for fuel.