The Volkswagen Transporter has a technical first for a van in this category is the availability of a semi automatic gearbox. VW’s DSG gearbox gives all the advantages of an automatic gearbox with none of the disadvantages – seven gears which can be changed manually using two clutches or the VolkswagenTransporter driver can change manually using the sequential gearstick.
To give the van buyer more choice the offroad community can specify a four-wheel drive system –Volkswagen’s 4 Motion on the new T5 Volkswagen Transporter and – a first for a commercial vehicle such as the Transporter – you can have the 4 Motion system with Volkswagen’s seven speed DSG semi-automatic gearbox.
Further improvements to the new model focus on the safety of the van. Hill-start assist now comes as standard whilst the technical boffins at VW have tweaked the ESP, and a system that makes the brake lights flash when the driver throws the anchors on.
Not forgetting the inside of the van, the Volkswagen Transporter has some new instruments, a different steering wheel design, upgraded audio.
Want to know more about the Volkswagen Transporter’s Engines & Gearbox?
Volkswagen’s new Common Rail 4-cylinder diesels for the Transporter smash previous emissions levels. Available at four power outputs, (84, 102, 140 or 180PS)
The top two powered versions are helped along by a turbo with variable turbine geometry – this means that there is less lag from the turbo, but still has the muscle to perform at high power outputs, whilst the 180PS version has a two-stage turbo.
There is a Euro 5 petrol engine also available, rated at 115PS, although it is not expected to sell in any great quantities.
The main benefits of the new engines is the decrease in emissions – an average of 10% efficiency saving was made across the whole range of Transporters – which means 10% less CO2. All models fall comfortably below the 200 g/km range – most at 190 g/km. To reduce particulate emissions, all Transporters are fitted with a particle filter.
How the Transporter looks – differences in the 2010 and previous models
The facelifted 2010 model Transporter is easy to distinguish from the previous version. The radiator grill is matt black on the commercial versions, the Caravelle Trendline and the California Beach, but the Comfortline versions of the Caravelle and California plus the Multivan all have an upgraded shiny gloss black grill with added chrome – a small touch but will give the owners an outward feeling of superiority.
What else comes as standard?
The exact specification depends on the exact model and trim level you choose, but in general the new Transporter variants are fitted with new 17" and 18" alloy wheels and new mirrors, which improve airflow. These external mirrors contain the vehicle’s aerial – expensive if you break one!
You can also get VW’s Side Assist lane change assistant. A series of lights in the mirrors warns the driver of any vehicles in the blind spot and the Transporter now comes with tyre pressure monitoring – helping fuel economy and cutting tyre costs.
What’s inside the new T5?
The T5’s interiors have had a total makeover. The instruments are lit in white from behind and surrounded in chrome. In another green initiative there is a display across the range that tells the driver the best time to change gear. All stereo and Satnav systems have had an upgrade. The new top of the range device, RNS 510 comes with a touch screen and hard-drive navigation. You can now plug in your MP3 players and Ipods into the new input. The Multivan Startline now has a full trim interior and side and curtain airbags for the driver and front passenger. Customers have the option of specifying a new double front passenger seat.
Volkswagen Transporter 2003 – 2010
For details of the 2010 model Transporter search for Volkswagen Transporter on our vehicle search pages
The T5 Transporter had a reputation to keep when it was first unveiled back in April 2003, (although it didn’t go on sale in the UK until the October of that year, the T5 was well placed to add to the 8.5 million vans already sold – a figure still well short of the record of the company’s Beetle with 21 million sales but not bad for a commercial vehicle.
The Volkswagen Transporter T5 was larger, with increased loadspace and higher payloads on offer when compared to the outgoing model. The engines at launch were considerable more powerful and efficient than the previous T4. It was the first time Volkswagen dipped into the luxury accessories toybox for a commercial vehicle.
The Transporter range has become ever-widening – choose from a panel or window van, shuttle people carrier, and a chassis cab – either single or double cab; there are two wheelbases and three roof heights, a choice of four engines and four weights.
Larger than the T4 model it replaced, the T5 is longer, wider and taller with payloads of up to 1357kg and a maximum gross vehicle weight of 3.2 tonnes.
Volkswagen have applied special treatments to the underside of the Transporter to achieve a double whammy – corrosion protection and noise insulation. To achieve this they use polymer panels which does away with the need for wax sealants – this means that water or stones hitting the underside of the wheelarches make less of a noise inside the vehicle.
To further protect the underneath of the van, the Volkswagen Transporter has been totally galvanised by hot-dipping with the van’s panels galvanised electronically using a robotic manufacturing process. All of these processes mean that VW can offer a three year warranty for the paintwork and a whopping 12 year anti corrosion warranty.
It almost goes without saying that the driver’s seat has full height and lumbar adjustment, as does the steering wheel. With the gearchange located on the dashboard, the driver has no need to reach or stretch when changing gear and also means that it is easier to move across the cab and even gives more room for a third passenger.
Huge in-cab storage areas mean that the driver can accumulate no end of clutter, plus store the 1.5 litre water bottle safely without it rolling under the brake pedal.
As far as the options list is concerned – it’s extensive
The Volkswagen Transporter buyer can opt for full air-con which has a total of nine vents to let the cold or hot air in. If you need to stop the back of the van freezing you can install an extra heater powered by diesel or a battery operated heater which can come on using a timer.
The T5 Volkswagen Transporter Van Range
As far as the panel van is concerned you can choose from a short wheel base with two roof heights or go for the long wheel base version which benefits from a choice of three different roof heights. There are also side door options – from none at all to one either side. As with the Mercedes Benz Sprinter you can opt for electronic closure of the side doors and replace the double rear doors with a tailgate as you fond on the family estate car. In addition the van buyer can choose from a range of bulkheads and floor and side linings.
Volkswagen’s popular Window van and Shuttle variants can give the buyer a range of options for seating configuration – you can seat up to 9 people – then take some or all of the seats out – no need for a spanner or screwdriver for the job, just somewhere to store the seats. If you’ve got nowhere to put them then just fold them up and use them as a work surface inside the van.
For a few more creature comforts than the window van, but not at full minibus/Caravelle quality you can opt for the Shuttle – ideal for families with loads of kids or as a taxi shuttle to and from airports. Choose from two different wheelbases and 8 or 9 seats. Extra standard features compared to the window van are the roller blinds for side windows, electric mirrors and windows – the more upmarket SE versions get aircon and posh carpet to boot.
To complete the range, customers can order the chassis cab version of the Volkswagen Transporter T5. These are available as double cabs or single cabs and are usually sent to bodybuilders to have a box body or maybe a tipper or Luton body attached. Volkswagen market their own dropside-bodied Transporter to save the customer time and add peace of mind.
The VW Transporter T5 2004-2010 Engines in more detail
A choice of four power outputs from the diesel engines – 85 and 104 PS from the 1.9 litre diesel and a choice of 130 or 174 PS from the five cylinder 2.5litre diesel. Only the 130 variant is available with VW’s four wheel drive technology.
Fo rthe real diesel heads amongst the Transporter fans, the vans use VW’s Pumpen Dose technology which is their fuel injection system which operates at extremely high pressures to better burn the fuel. Each fuel injector has its own built in pump, rather than one pump feeding all the injetors. These individual pumps are all driven off the camshaft. This system increases torque but uses a lot less fuel and therefore reduces CO2 emissions. The smaller 1.9 litre engine uses a variable blade turbo and is fitter with radiator to cool the charged air.
For Gearbox Information – Read on…
The T5 was launched with the same 5 speed gearbox as the outgoing T4 – well tested and engineered, although the gearing ratios were changed slightly to cater for the revised power and torque outputs of the new engines. The 2.5 litre engined versions of the new T5 come with VW’s new six-speed gearbox, which has been designed to handle the increased power and torque of the engine. Using more gear ratios means that the van can also be driven more economically.
The T5 can also be specified to arrive with a semi-auto gearbox with changes made sequentially.
Servicing your Transporter
No longer does the calendar or simply the odometer reading determine when your Transporter has to go in for service. The van is continually monitoring the quality of the oil, driving patterns and many other factors to tell the owner when it is time to go in for a service. This means that the worst case is 9,000miles or one year and the best case is two years or 18,000 miles.
In order to benefit from these longer intervals the customer has to use Castrol SLX LongLife II engine oil.But you can still run on traditional oil and get the van serviced once a year or every 10,000 miles. The longlife oil is more expensive, but using less of it helps the environment and reduces downtime for the vehicle.
Go for four-wheel drive
If you need that off-road apability then choose the 130PS 2.5 litre Transporter with VW’s 4Motion system. This uses a Haldex transmission, controlled electronically and fitted on the back axle, which divides the power between the front and rear axles.
Driving along normal roads, the majority of the Transporter’s power (up to 90%) is sent to the front wheels, saving money over powering all the wheels all the time. Using the same principle as a limited slip diff, the Haldex gearbox detects a wheel slipping and will transfer power to the wheels that still have traction. The 4MOTION system adds approximately 100 kg to the weight of the Transporter.
If you are after a four wheel drive van, you only get the choice of one engine, but can choose from a Transporter panel van, SWB and long wheelbase, a Transporter window van, SWB, Transporter chassis cab, LWB, Transporter double cab LWB, Transporter shuttle SE, SWB & LWB.
Put the Brakes on!
There are more Mnemonics that describe the Transporter’s brakes than you can shake a stick at. There is ABS, EBD, (changes amount of braking between the front and rear), TCS to control wheelspin, EDL to lock the diff electrically. Fo the people carrying versions you can also get ESP and brake assist
This system determines whether you are braking normally or have thrown all the anchors on. In the latter case, it automatically increases braking pressure, turns on the ABS. This means that stopping distances can be shortened for unskilled drivers by up to 25%.
Talk to the Dealer about Options
The options are arranged into logical ‘packs’ – there are door pack, (five of them) seat packs, (six of them) – best talk to the dealer to see what is best for you. Luxury options, such as satnav and CD stackers are available. Your dealer can sort out plylining, light guards, ventilators, towbars, alloys, alarms and seat covers.
Expect to find proper seatbelts on all seats, all height adjustable – plus drivers airbags as standard with passenger airbags, twin side airbags and two curtain airbags as options.
You can get a full three-year warranty, operated by the manufacturer in years one and two with unlimited miles and the third year is taken care of by the dealers, (max 100,000 miles).