As well as being renowned for manufacturing the Beetle, the Transporter is another of Volkswagens iconic vehicles. Despite the recent iterations containing modern technology and an abundance of luxury, the history of the Volkswagen Transporter dates to 1946.

The idea for the Volkswagen Transport arose after Dutch importer Pon Bon visited the factory and recognised that the Beetle could potentially be converted into a commercial vehicle.

The first concepts put in place in 1947, and full production wad approved in 1949. The Volkswagen Transport T1 was produced in 1950 and enjoyed an astonishing 17 years in the spotlight.

The Volkswagen Transport is also known as the T4 or Volkswagen EuroVan and succeeds the Volkswagen Type 3, which was introduced in 1979. The T4 was renowned for a variety of options which allowed drivers to choose a van that best suited their needs.

When Was the Volkswagen Transport Introduced?

The Volkswagen Transport was first unveiled in 1990 and was built upon an idea that initially arose for the T2 series. Rather than situate the engine at the back of the vehicle, a front-engine water-cooled design was planned.

However, a similar design was used for the release of the T3, meaning that the engine was still located in the rear of their vehicle.  As such, the Volkswagen Transport was the first van by the manufacturer to feature an engine in the front of the van.

How Long Was the Production of Volkswagen T4?

Although the T4 was a follow up to the T3, there was an overlap in production. The way the T4 is constructed means that it has become a popular choice for many people, not just those looking for a reliable commercial vehicle.

Many variants were released officially, with many enthusiasts using the T4 for many different uses, including camping.

The abundance of choice available when choosing a Volkswagen has made it one of the most popular ranges from Volkswagen and was in production for 14 years. Output for the Volkswagen T4 ceased in 2003 with the focus shifting to the T5.

What Options Are Available for The Volkswagen T4?

The following is an overview of the different body types and wheelbases the T4 range introduced during its 14-year tenure.


The panel vans produced by Volkswagen during the T4 run were available in two different roof types. The standard roof type measured 1940 mm while high-top roofs measured 2430 mm. Although most high-tops were built using the LWB chassis, there would be times when fibreglass high tops would be added to SWB and LWB chassis.


The wheelbase is the distance between the front and rear wheels. During the production of the Volkswagen Transport, two wheelbases where used, which were short (2920 mm) and long (3320 mm.

Front End

In some instances, the front end of the T4 could depend on the type of engine being contained within the van. The significant difference in the size of the front-end was first seen in 1996 when a longer front-end was introduced to house the VR6 engine.

Vehicles used for commercial purposes would often retain a small front-end, although vehicles produced in 1996 could have a long or short front end, depending on the base model used.


All the vans introduced during the T4 production run either use single tailgate attached by a hinge or a barn door design at the back while sliding doors on the side of the van could be found on the passenger side of the van, or both sides when using a twin iteration of the T4.

Body Types

The T4 was available in several different forms during its 14-year production run. The following is an overview of the body types introduced during production.


The standard van was available in different forms which are outset as follows:

  • Panel Van: The panel is split into three panels, with windows being present after the B pillar, meaning that there is only a single row of seats.
  • Kombi or Half-Panel: The Kombi has two rows of seats and has additional windows placed between the B and C pillars of the vehicle.
  • Caravelle Multivan: Also referred to as the EuroVan in the US, the Caravelle has three rows of seats and windows situated all around the van.

Pick Up

As with other Transporters, the T4 was made available in pick up form and released with a single cab with an SWB chassis, a double cab built on an LWB chassis and the Razor-Back which has a hydraulic rear body. The Razor-Back was produced in the United Kingdom between 1998 and 2000.

Variants of the Volkswagen T4

As well as being used heavily in a commercial setting, Volkswagen would also introduce variants of the T4 that were suited to luxury use, which can be seen within the range of Campervans available.

Not only did the T4 allow many people to build their bespoke Campervan, but Volkswagen also released its campervan version of the T4. The T4 Campervan was sold outside of the US as Westalia-Werk.

Eurovan in North America

The T4 was exported to North America between 1992 and 2003 using the EuroVan persona. SWB was only made available for the five-cylinder passenger models. Although the T4 was shipped to the United States, this was only done for a year as sales were disappointing. However, in Mexico and Canada, the model had made traction with customers.

The T4 was reintroduced in 1999 and contained a VR6 engine as standard, but worldwide production of the T4 halted in 2003.

The SWB variant of the five-cylinder was imported to Canada between 1991 to 1996, with a 77 hp 2.4-litre engine being made available as an optional extra. The LWB variant was made available in 1992 as a 10-seater model, with a panel only version being made available between 1993 to 1997.

Engine Types of the Volkswagen T4

The production run of the Volkswagen T4 meant that several different engines where used. The following is a breakdown of the engine types used.

Petrol Engines

Model  Engine                   Displacement    DIN at RPM        Torque at RPM                  Years

2.0          AAC                       1,968 cc                84 PS at 4,300    159 N⋅m at 2,200              90–03

2.5          AAF/ACU             2,461 cc                112 PS at 4,500  190 N⋅m at 2,200              90–97

2.5          AET/APL/AVT    2,461 cc                115 PS at 4,500  200 N⋅m at 2,200              97-03

VR6        AES                        2,792 cc                140 PS at 4,500  240 N⋅m at 3,000              96-00

VR6        AMV, AXK           2,792 cc                204 PS at 4,500  240 N⋅m at 3,000              00-03

Diesel Engines

Indirect Injection

Model  Engine                  Displacement    DIN at RPM        Torque at RPM                  Years

1.9 D      1X                           1.896 cc                61 PS                     127 N⋅m                               90-95

1.9TD     ABL                        1,896 cc                68 PS                     140 N⋅m                                    93-03

2.4 D      AAB                        2,370 cc                        78 PS               160 N⋅m                                    97-03

2.4 D      AAB                        2,370 cc                        78 PS               164 N⋅m                                    90-98

Turbocharged Direct Injection

Model  Engine                  Displacement    DIN at RPM        Torque at RPM                  Years

2.5TDI   AJT/AAY               2,461 cc                88 PS                     195 N⋅m                               98-03

2.5TDI   ACV/AUF/AYC   2,461 cc                102 PS                   250 N⋅m                               95-03

2.5TDI   AHY/AXG             2.561 cc                151 PS                  295 N⋅m                               95-03

Expected Mileage of the Volkswagen

Another alluring aspect of the Volkswagen T4 is the mileage it can attain. Like other Transporter introductions, the T4 can achieve mileage of 250k if the vehicle is cared for in the right way.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Volkswagen T4?

Although there is a lot of information available relating to the T4, those new to the world of the Volkswagen Transporter often will have questions. Although in some instances, the answers will need to come from a seasoned professional, the following is an overview of some of the frequently asked questions relating to the Volkswagen Transporter T5.

Is the VWT4 Reliable?

Although the reliability of the Volkswagen Transport T4 can depend on the upkeep of the vehicle, many find that the VWT4 is a good all-rounder that does not often require expensive parts when it comes to repairs.

Given how many different versions of the VWT4 there is, it is essential to know what you are paying for when buying a used vehicle, so those unsure of what to look out for should enlist the services of a professional to ensure that there is value for money when making a purchase.

Which VWT4 Engine Is Best?

Everyone will have their requirements when it comes to the engine contained within the T4, but the 2.5 TDi and 2.0 TDi engines have been cited as the best all-rounders, with the 180PS unit being suited to those moving heavy loads regularly.

Those using the VWT4 commercially may need to check that the engine being used is suitable for the loads being carried, as an engine that is not powerful enough will cause other problems with the van. This can mean that although the van has a low price to start, repairs could mean that the operation of the vehicle is more expensive as a result.

How Long Will a VWT4 Last?

Used in the right way, a Volkswagen T4 could serve someone if 20 years, but it does depend on what the vehicle will be used for. For example, those using the vehicle as a campervan are probably going to have fewer problems than those using the T4 regularly for commercial reasons.

Given how many variations there are of the Volkswagen Transporter T4, those looking to purchase a second-hand Transporter are advised to speak to a specialist if they are unsure of what to look for when buying a second-hand T4.

How Often Should a Cambelt Be Replaced on The Volkswagen Transporter T4?

The Volkswagen Transporter T4 is one that can be relied on, but this does not mean that parts of the vehicle are not prone to wear and tear. The cambelt can be one of the most crucial parts of the T4, which is why it is essential to change the cambelt regularly.

The general rule of thumb when changing the cambelt is every four years or every 60,000 miles, whichever comes first.