Dyson V6 Car & Boat
- Excellent suction due to the V6 motor
- Tools are great for cleaning cars
- Reasonable run-time for a handheld
- Lightweight and easy to use
- No HEPA filter
- Doesn't have the hygienic emptying system found on the V7 and V8
Cleaning a car interior can be a tricky job. The combination of tight spaces, dried dirt and delicate dashboard presents a unique challenge that many vacuum cleaners struggle with. For this reason, we were excited to review the Dyson V6 Car & Boat, which comes with a range of tools to give your car a thorough clean.
How does the V6 Car & Boat compare to other handheld vacuums though? And is it really the best car vacuum cleaner? Keep reading our Dyson V6 Car and Boat review to find out!
Overview of the Dyson V6 Car & Boat
- Powered by the excellent V6 motor
- Radial cyclone technology for fade-free suction
- Lithium-ion battery and 20 minute run-time
- Trigger system
- Motorised brush bar for removing stubborn dirt and hair
- Two power modes
- Wide range of tools to meet the challenges posed by a car interior
- Two washable filters
In-Depth Look at The Car & Boat’s Features
The first thing to note about the V6 Car and Boat is that the underlying vacuum is the same as all V6 models. It’s powered by the V6 engine and has the same body design as the V6 Standard. The biggest difference is that it doesn’t come with a rigid wand or a “proper” floor tool, such as the direct-drive or Fluffy. Instead, it’s designed purely for handheld cleaning.
Appearance and Design
The Car and Boat has a silver and red colour scheme, but in other respects the design is the same as the rest of the V6 range. The cylinder is transparent, so you can see when it needs to be emptied, and tools attach with a satisfying click. Everything is made to a high-standard with durable plastic and a long-lasting design.
Like all V6 vacuum cleaners, the Car and Boat has a trigger button. You need to hold this down when you’re vacuuming, which helps conserve battery life. Some people may find holding the trigger down tiring after a while though.
It’s a lightweight vacuum at just 1.57kg. This is important for all handheld vacs, but essential for one that’s designed for in-car use, as you’ll need to hold it at a variety of angles. The vacuum also feels balanced, so it’s a pleasure to use.
Suction Power and Cleaning Performance
In terms of raw power, the V6 motor provides ample suction for carpets, hard floors and other tasks. This suction, combined with the tools for cars, means the V6 Car and Boat provides excellent cleaning performance for small areas.
There are two cleaning modes: regular and max. The maximum power button is located at the back of the machine and provides extra suction at the cost of a shorter battery life. It’s always useful to have a max mode for stubborn dirt – particularly in a car – but be aware that it dramatically reduces the run-time to just 6 minutes.
The V6 does a great job of picking up both fine dust and medium-size debris. It struggles a bit more with larger debris on hard floors (such as cereal), although you’ll probably have a dustpan and brush for that.
Where the V6 really shines, however, is its range of accessories. We’ve broken these down in more detail below – but first let’s see how the vacuum performs on various tasks.
While the Car and Boat has the suction power to clean carpets, it’s not really designed for large areas of floor.
There’s no wand or floor tool (although you can purchase these separately), so the largest tool is the mini motorised tool. This is great for stairs or car interiors, but the Car and Boat is a spot cleaning tool rather than a full vacuum.
If you want a cordless vac for cleaning carpets, check out the V8 Absolute. It’s more expensive, but is an outstanding all-round vacuum cleaner for both carpets and hard floors (you may also want to read our comparison of the V6 and V8).
Again, the lack of the soft roller floor head found on some V6 stick vacuums (such as the Fluffy) means that the V6 Car and Boat is only suitable for spot cleaning hard floors. It’s great for removing small patches of dirt or quick spills, but can’t clean an entire floor in a reasonable amount of time.
While the V6 Car and Boat’s lack of floor tool and wand mean it’s not suitable for large areas of floors, it excels at cleaning car interiors (and boats if you have one).
The miniature motorised tool is probably what you’ll use most of the time. The powered brush bar is capable of digging out pet hair and dried mud from seats with ease. If you want to conserve battery life, the other tools (including the combination and rigid crevice tools) do an excellent job.
There’s also a rigid dirt brush for when the motorised tool isn’t enough. This has stiff bristles for agitating fibres and removing stubborn dirt.
Dog and cat hair gets everywhere inside a car. Most vacuums don’t have trouble with loose hair, but fail to remove hair that’s become stuck in car seats or carpet fibres.
Fortunately, the mini motorised tool is great for getting rid of pet hair. You can also switch to the rigid brush for particularly stubborn patches. If your current vacuum struggles to remove hair from stairs or car seats, you’ll love the Car and Boat.
The Dyson V6 range has a run-time of 20 minutes when using non-motorised tools. This is enough for most cleaning jobs, including the average car or boat. The trigger system also helps to increase the overall run-time.
Charging takes around 3.5-4 hours for a full charge. This is relatively quick for a cordless vacuum cleaner, as some can take up to 10 hours.
The Dyson V6 Car and Boat has two filters: a primary filter and post-motor filter. The filter system is washable, and you’ll need to keep it clear to ensure the suction power doesn’t drop over time.
It doesn’t include a HEPA filter though. If you suffer from allergies, the combination of bagless design and lack of a HEPA filter mean the Car and boat might not be the best choice.
Emptying and Cleaning
The V6 has a simple emptying system. A latch on the canister opens a flap at the bottom of the container, allowing dust to fall into the bin.
This is a quick way to empty a vacuum cleaner, but clumps or hair and dust have a tendency to get caught around the side of the cyclones. These need to be pulled out, so it’s not the most hygienic emptying system. It’s worth noting that the newer Dyson V7 and V8 ranges have an improved emptying system to address this problem.
Tools and Accessories
The Car and Boat has a range of useful tools for cleaning a car interior, including:
- Extension hose – Having extra reach makes it easier to clean awkward areas of a car.
- Mini motorised tool – This is the tool you’ll use the most. It has a motorised brush bar for a deeper clean, and it’s great for getting rid of pet hair and dirt on car seats.
- Rigid crevice tool – A crevice tool is a standard accessory included with most vacuums, and the Car and Boat is no exception. It’s useful for cleaning down the sides of car seats.
- Stubborn dirt brush – The Car and Boat is one of the few V6 handheld vacuums that includes a stubborn dirt brush. It has stiffer bristles than a regular brush, so it can remove dirt that’s become ground into car seats.
- Soft dusting brush – You wouldn’t want to use the stubborn dirt brush on your car’s dashboard, as it could scratch. For this reason, Dyson has included a soft dusting brush.
- Combination tool – This is standard for all V6 models and includes a dusting brush and miniature crevice tool.
Cleaning a car requires a versatile vacuum, so we’re impressed by the wide range of tools included with the Car and Boat. Whether you want to clean glove compartments, under seats or the dashboard, there’s a tool for the job. The tools are also easy to attach and remove, which isn’t always the case with other vacuums (such as the Proscenic P8).
One extra the vacuum doesn’t include is a docking station. This is included with stick versions of the V6, but handheld versions just have a simple charger.
There’s also a V6 Car & Boat Extra model. As far as we can tell, this is the same vacuum cleaner but with the addition of an in-car charger.
One of the biggest downsides to the Dyson V6 Car and Boat is the price. This is an expensive handheld vacuum that costs more than double most alternatives.
Is it worth the money though? We think it is – especially if you regularly clean your car. We haven’t seen any other car vacuums that can match the range of useful accessories.
It’s not just a car vacuum though. With the extension hose and mini motorised tool, this is also an excellent handheld vacuum for home use.
The Dyson V6 Car and Boat is an outstanding handheld vacuum for cars or spot cleaning inside the house. The range of tools makes it easy to get rid of dirt and hair in awkward spaces, such as footwells and gaps between seats, while the powerful suction and motorised tool make quick work of most tasks.
We also think the name “Car and Boat” is too limiting, as it’s an excellent all-round handheld vac. The extension hose, mini motorised tool and stubborn dirt brush, in particular, are great for cleaning stairs, upholstery and other awkward locations.
There are a few downsides though. The biggest is the price, as the Car and Boat costs more than most full-sized vacs. It also doesn’t come with a HEPA filter or hygienic dust emptying system.
Even with these issues, the Dyson V6 Car and Boat is an excellent vacuum cleaner that we highly recommend. It’s a joy to use and is much more powerful than most handheld vacuums.