Volkswagen Transporter (T5)
Manufacturer Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles
Country {{{country}}}
Production 2003–2014
Class Light commercial vehicle
Body style(s) {{{body style(s)}}}
Layout Transverse front engine, front-wheel drive or four-wheel-drive
Engine(s) {{{engine(s)}}}
Transmission(s) {{{transmission(s)}}}
File:2004-2010 Volkswagen Multivan TDI van 01.jpg

The Volkswagen Transporter T5 range is the fifth generation of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWCV/VWN) medium-sized light commercial vehicle and people mover Caravelle/Multivan range. It was launched 6 October 2002, and went into full production in 25 April 2003, replacing the fourth generation T4 Transporter range.[1]

Key markets for the T5 range are Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, France and Turkey. The U.S. market does not receive the Transporter T5 range due to it being classed as a light truck, which thereby automatically includes a 25% extra tax (known as the chicken tax) on importation into the US. The passenger vans were the worst selling vans in the North American market in 2003, when VW North America sold the last Eurovans in the United States.[2]


The Transporter is the commercial workhorse in the T5 range, available in over 100 combinations. Variants include short- (SWB), or long-wheelbases (LWB); along with low-, medium-, or high-rooflines; and can be configured as a van, minibus, single-cab, double-cab, drop side or chassis truck.

Body typesEdit

A brief view of the Transporter T5 range:

  • Panel Van – Delivery van without side windows or rear seats,
  • Highroof Panel Van – Delivery van with raised roof. There is also a third mid-roof height available with the T5, between the two traditional ones,
  • Half-panel – Van with side windows only in the front half of the cargo area and one row of removable rear seats,
  • Pick-up – Flatbed truck, also available with wider load bed,
  • Crew Cab Pick-up, in Template:Lang-de – Flatbed truck with double cab and two rows of seats,
  • Cab Chassis – (both single and crew cab), for coach builders to build special bodies onto,
  • Kombi, from Template:Lang-de (combination vehicle) – Van with side windows and removable rear seats, i.e. both a passenger and a cargo vehicle combined. Also available with heightened roof,
  • Shuttle (8-9 seater) minibus,
  • Taxi, along with Police, Fire and Ambulance emergency services vehicles are made by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWCV) through Special Vehicle Order (SVO), although this option is not available in all markets.

Apart from these factory variants there are a multitude of third-party conversions available, some of which are offered through the VWCV/VWN dealer organisation. They include refrigerated vans, ambulances, police vans, fire engines, ladder trucks and so on.

The full cargo payload potential of the Transporter is between Template:Convert/kg to 1.4 tonnes. Load compartment volumes range from Template:Convert/m3 to Template:Convert/m3.

In Mexico, the Transporter T5 range is marketed under the North American Eurovan nameplate.

People moversEdit

The T5 is also available in six- to nine-seat configurations called Shuttle, Kombi, Caravelle, and Multivan.

  • Kombi: This is the entry level people mover in the Transporter range. It is available with every internal combustion engine in the T5 range, and in all roof heights and wheelbases. The Kombi can seat four to nine people. It is equipped with basic features such as rubber flooring, heater for driver's compartment, and side panel trim and headlining in the driver's compartment. Optional features include central locking, air conditioning for front and rear compartments, electrically controlled and heated mirrors, sliding windows, Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), side and curtain airbags, cruise control, electric windows, sunroof, and an electric sliding door.
  • Shuttle: This is the next level up, is only available in SWB and LWB, with the full engine range, but is limited to the standard roof height. The Shuttle seats seven to nine people. Standard features are moulded trim, a second heater, sun blinds for the passenger compartment, and a sliding window on the left hand side only. Optional extras over the Kombi include carpeting and an 'Appearance Package', which includes colour-coded bumpers, double folding rear three-seater bench seat, and a luggage compartment light.
  • Caravelle: This includes most of the Kombi and Shuttle features already standard, plus ESP, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR – more commonly known as traction control system), passenger's seat with adjustable lumbar support, air conditioning, electrically adjustable and heated mirrors, and armrests for front-seat passenger and driver. Optional features include Automatic Tailgate Power Closing system, and multi-disc CD changer. The Caravelle is only available in SWB or LWB, with a maximum of eight seats.
  • Multivan: This is the range-topping people mover based on the T5 platform. Available with six or seven seats, it has a unique rail feature in which seats can slide forward and backward into any configuration. A wide range of accessories are available, like tables and refrigerators which fit into the rails to be secured or movable if necessary. The Multivan has all safety features as standard such as ABS, ESP, ASR, and front, side, and curtain airbags. The Multivan is sold under the Caravelle nameplate in the UK.



The Transporter Sportline is the range-topping trim level of the Transporter panel and Kombi van. It comes as standard with a Template:Convert/PS Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engine, generating torque of Template:Convert/Nm at 2,000 rpm, and is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.The 2.5 5 cylinder models where blighted with problematic water pumps which were later redesigned as the original plastic impellers fell to bits. A recall of the Toureg pumps was not extended to the commercial van range. Boost hose from the turbo were also problematic with the hose clip failing. Power steering pumps were another weakness failing, some dealers whilst changing the power assist pump could also damage the air conditioning system whilst under taking the power assist pump replacement.

DMF (dual mass flywheels) clutch system caused problem for owners although appears to have improved from earlier model around 05-06. A simple test is to park nose down on a gentle slope, engage reverse and see if the clutch operation results in juddering, if so the vehicle will require attention.

Side door handles were modified but not recalled where they rubbed on the paint where they passed through the body damaging the paint and causing blistering and corrosion (dealer bulletin issued) which VW refused to cover under their corrosion warranty sold with their vehicles. The PD engines can have problems with camshaft wear from the pump operation and the correct grade of engine oil is essential to minimize wear. Problem with central locking in vans can usually be traced to poor electrical connections below the drivers seat.

Reports of a "Clonk" sound in steering columns was a fault which baffled VW aftersales teams and remained on some vehicles for a long time.

The vans whilst quick and nippy can be hard on tires with maybe on 18,000 miles on the front tires. Issues reported of Michelin Aquila's tires forming eggs in the tread not easily seen from the side and cracking in the base of the groves.

The vehicles have a wide range of options including an acoustic cabin option which make the van feel more like a car. Air conditioning with climate control, although dealers do not seem to change the pollen filters without prompting.

Other standard features on the Sportline include 18-inch weight-rated alloy wheels, body-coloured bumpers, door mirrors and handles. It features suspension which is lowered by Template:Convert/mm over standard variants, and has chrome side bars and grille, a roof spoiler, as well as a special Volkswagen badge.

The Sportline featured in an episode of Top Gear TV series; where Clarkson, Hammond and May had to choose three vans to compete in a series of challenges, including transporting equipment for The Who. Jeremy Clarkson claimed the Sportline to be "the fastest van in Britain".

This claim was put to the test by competitor TV programme Fifth Gear where the Sportline has been put head to head with The A-Team van, as well as the Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport-X. The Sportline comfortably won a race against the A-Team GMC van, even with Tiff Needell cutting corners and using short cuts in the vein of the television series. Against the Sport-X, even though the Mercedes had a more powerful engine, it was found that the traction control was too sensitive and overtly intrusive to be able to make quick progress around a track.


Main article: Volkswagen California

The California (Kombi) Beach and California are Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles T5-based in-house designed and built motorhome range.

The range compiling of the entry California Beach comes with just a fold-up bed, whereas the California is a fully equipped camper with beds, sink, and fold-up seat and tables.


In September 2009, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles launched a revamped and facelifted T5 range, which is sold under four main labels the Transporter, Caravelle, Multivan and California.

The revised range showcases new technology to blight the van range of a poorly design EGR valve which failed regularly, dealers claimed it was their best earner. The medium van segment, which includes a world-first with the dual clutch transmission[3] named Direct-Shift Gearbox (DSG) – which is also available with 4motion four-wheel drive, Side Lane Assist[3] for monitoring blind spots when changing lanes, tyre pressure monitor display for monitoring tyre pressures (TMPS),[3] Bi-Xenon Head Lights with LED Daytime Running Lights and touchscreen Radio Navigation System (RNS) and a reversing camera that worked in conjunction with RNS.[3]

Engines powering the revised range are now all inline-four-cylinder designs; and all are 2.0 L in cubic capacity which includes one petrol option, and four newly developed high-efficiency Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel options, all with common rail,[3] replacing the former Pumpe Düse (PD) Unit Injector fuel system. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles claim that this new diesel engine range is twenty percent more efficient than the outgoing TDI range.

Edition 25 Multivan (2011)Edit

It is a version commemorating 25th anniversary of Multivan, covering 2.0L petrol, 2.0L TSI (150 kW), 2.0L TSI 4MOTION (150 kW), 2.0L TDI (75 kW), 2.0L TDI (103 kW), 2.0L TDI 4MOTION (103 kW), 2.0L BiTDI (132 kW), 2.0L BiTDI 4MOTION (132 kW) models.[4] It includes a matte black roof and black 18-inch alloy wheels, black door handles, matte black paint on the underside of the front bumper, black decal trim at the back and side sills; choice of Candy White, Salsa Red or Metallic Silver body colour; sport chassis and upgraded anti-roll bar. [5]


File:Volkswagen Engine 2.0 BiTDI.jpg
Petrol engines 2003-2009
Model Engine type Power Torque
2.0Template:Convert/cc I4 N/ATemplate:Convert/PSTemplate:Convert/Nm
3.2Template:Convert/cc VR6 N/ATemplate:Convert/PSTemplate:Convert/Nm
Diesel engines 2003-2009
Model Engine type Power Torque
1.9 TDI PDTemplate:Convert/cc I4 turbo Template:Convert/PSTemplate:Convert/Nm
1.9 TDI PDTemplate:Convert/cc I4 turboTemplate:Convert/PSTemplate:Convert/Nm
2.5 TDI PDTemplate:Convert/cc I5 turboTemplate:Convert/PSTemplate:Convert/Nm
2.5 TDI PDTemplate:Convert/cc I5 turboTemplate:Convert/PSTemplate:Convert/Nm
Petrol engines 2010-
Model Engine type Power Torque
2.0Template:Convert/cc I4 N/ATemplate:Convert/PSTemplate:Convert/Nm
2.0 TSITemplate:Convert/cc I4 turboTemplate:Convert/PSTemplate:Convert/Nm
Diesel engines 2010-
Model Engine type Power Torque
2.0 TDI CRTemplate:Convert/cc I4 turbo Template:Convert/PSTemplate:Convert/Nm
2.0 TDI CRTemplate:Convert/cc I4 turboTemplate:Convert/PSTemplate:Convert/Nm
2.0 TDI CR BlueMotionTemplate:Convert/cc I4 turboTemplate:Convert/PSTemplate:Convert/Nm
2.0 TDI CRTemplate:Convert/cc I4 turboTemplate:Convert/PSTemplate:Convert/Nm
2.0 BiTDI CRTemplate:Convert/cc I4 Bi-turboTemplate:Convert/PSTemplate:Convert/Nm


  • The T5 in 2008 was awarded a 4-star crash safety rating from the European New Car Assessment Programme.[6]
  • In the United Kingdom, the popular commercial vehicle publication What Van? awarded the T5 range the 2003 What Van? Van of the Year award.[1]
  • Fleet Van Awards 2008 – Best Medium Van.[7]
  • Automotive TOTAL Excellium MPG Marathon 2008 – Best in Class.[8]
  • In 2004, the T5 range won the prestigious International Van of the Year which is voted by the top Editors and Journalists from fleet, van and truck publications.[1]
  • In Australia, the T5 has been awarded three awards from the Delivery Magazine publication:
    • Delivery Magazine's Medium Van of the Year for 2005.
    • Delivery Magazine's Medium Van of the Year for 2006.
    • Delivery Magazine's Cab Chassis of the Year for 2006.
    • Delivery Magazine's People Mover of the Year for 2009.[9]
    • In 2009 Peoples Choice Light Commercial Van category was won by the T5 range.[10]
  • In its home market of Germany, the T5 Series has won numerous awards by respected publications and votes by the public.[11]
  • Lastauto Omnibus Van of the Year 2003 [1]
  • transaktuell Van of the Year 2003 [1]
  • Auto Motor und Sport – Multivan Best in Class 2005
  • Auto Motor und Sport – Multivan Best in Class 2007
  • Auto Motor und Sport – Multivan Best in Class 2008
  • Auto Zeitung – Auto Trophy for the Multivan in the 'Vans' Class 2006



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles – Company – Chronicle – 2001-today > Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles – Company – Chronicle > Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles – Company > Volkswage". 2008-08-05. Retrieved 2010-12-04. 
  2. "Poor North American Sales". Forbes. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Volkswagen (Commercial Vehicles) medium van is first with DCT". The Lubrizol Corporation. 24 September 2009. Retrieved 17 December 2009.  Template:Dead link
  4. "The Multivan Edition 25" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-04-09. 
  5. "Volkswagen Multivan BlueMotion and Edition 25 premiere in Geneva". Retrieved 2012-04-09. 
  6. "Euro NCAP – For safer cars | Volkswagen T5". Retrieved 2010-12-04. 
  7. "High quality and residuals make the Transporter a double winner". Retrieved 2010-12-04. 
  8. "Transporter delivers winning economy at MPG Marathon". Retrieved 2010-12-04. 
  9. "Volkswagen Multivan Wins Best People Mover of the Year". Retrieved 2010-12-04. 
  10. "Volkswagen Transporter - 2009 Carsales Light Commercial Van People's Choice". Retrieved 2010-12-04. 


External linksEdit

Template:Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Template:Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (Europe) timeline

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.