Volkswagen T5

In April 2003, the Volkswagen T5 burst onto the scene, succeeding the T4 and marking the fifth generation of the iconic VW Transporter series. This versatile vehicle offered a range of options, from being a medium-sized light commercial vehicle to a people carrier. With both petrol and diesel engine choices, as well as the option of front-wheel drive or the dynamic 4-wheel drive system known as 4motion, the T5 catered to various preferences.

Variety of Styles and Models

Crafted at the dedicated Transporter factory in Hanover, Germany, the T5 came in both SWB (Short Wheel Base) and LWB (Long Wheel Base) versions. The lineup, excluding custom-built editions, included:

Panel Van (windows omitted)
Eurovan (2 side windows, sliding door, and opposing)
Kombi (windows, excluding rear seating)
Caravelle (offering 5, 7, 8, or 9 seat configurations)
Single Cab Pickup
Double Cab Pickup
Syncro (equipped with 4×4 across all models)
Alternate Names
Recognized under various monikers such as T5, T5.1 Transporter, T28, T30, T32, Shuttle, Kombi, Caravelle, and Multivan.

Production and Features

Manufactured from 2003 to 2015, the T5 ran on both petrol and diesel fuel. Engine sizes varied, featuring 1900cc and 2500cc for diesel options, and 2000cc and 3200cc for petrol. Employing water-cooled engines, the T5 was available in both left-hand drive (LHD) and right-hand drive (RHD) configurations.

Conversions and Innovations

Volkswagen Hannover introduced a significant innovation with the production of the first-ever VW-produced camper named ‘The California.’ This 4-berth camper boasted an elevating roof and entered direct competition with independent converters like Reimo in Germany and Bilbos in the UK.

Continuing the tradition of its predecessor, the T4, the T5 became a favourite canvas for vehicle conversion companies. It found new lives as refrigerated vehicles, police and ambulance units, taxis, and disability vehicles with wheelchair ramps. JK even offered an array of interior camper conversion parts for T5 panel vans and Kombis.

June 2009 marked a significant accomplishment as the millionth T5 emerged from the Hanover production line. Subsequently, within the same year, a notable transformation took place in September, unveiling a facelift that brought forth fresh engine and transmission choices. Notably, this update introduced a cutting-edge 7-speed (DSG) double-clutch gearbox.

Volkswagen T5 Engine Options

2003 to 2009

1900cc 83 bhp TDi
1900cc 101 bhp TDi
2500cc 129 bhp TDi
2500cc 172 bhp TDi
2000cc 114 bhp Petrol
3200cc 232 bhp Petrol

2010 onwards

2000cc 83 bhp TDi
2000cc 101 bhp TDi
2000cc 138 bhp TDi
2000cc 177 bhp TDi
2000cc 114 bhp Petrol