The VWT5 has been in production for 70 years and has introduced more than 13 million examples of the vehicle since its introduction in 1950. The inspiration for The VWT5 derived from the classic VW Beetle design.

Although the Transporter name has been used for many iterations, both the aesthetics and the technology used have changed over time. The way The VWT5 is used has also changed over the years.

The Volkswagen VWT5 was first introduced in 2002 and ended production in 2015. The first unveiling of the T3 was 6th October 2002, with full production occurring on 25th April 2003.

The design of the T5 meant that it was recognised as a lighter truck than other versions of the T5, which made the vehicle privy to 25% additional tax. As such, the launch of The VWT5 T5 was focused on other regions, including the following:

  • Taiwan
  • Russia
  • France
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • Singapore

Instead, the Chrysler-built VW was released in Canada and the US, which was a Dodge van rebadged.

How Many Combinations of The VWT5 T5 Where There?

Much like the T4 range before it, the Transport T5 was made available in 100 different combinations, making it a popular choice for those wanting to use the vehicle for commercial ventures. An overview of some of the combination released, as well as the different ways they where used.

Different Body Types of The VWT5 T5

Panel: The panel van is often used as a delivery van, and only has windows covering the cabin area. The rest of the space is set aside for storage.

High Roof Panel: As the name suggests, the high roof panel van has a raised roof. A mid-roof iteration was also introduced to complement the other two models.

Half-Panel: The half-panel version of the T5 only has windows at the front of the storage area and contains a set of removable seats.

Pickup: The VWT5 T5 pickup is a flatbed truck which is available with a larger loading area.

Crew-Cab: The Crew Cab is a flatbed truck has a removable row of seats and a double cab.

Cab Chassis: Coachbuilders use the Cab Chassis for tailored bodies.

Kombi: The VWT5 T5 Kombi. The vehicle can be adjusted for personal and business use which is attributed to side widows and removable seats.

Shuttle: The VWT5 T5 is a minibus that can contain up to 11 seats.

As well as the conventional body types, there are also several factory variants and conversions, with the vehicle being converted for used in several industries, including healthcare and food.

People Carrier Variants of The VWT5 T5

Not only was The VWT5 T5 used in several different industries professionally, but it was also popularised due to its ability to be used as a people carrier. As such, four variants of The VWT5 T5 were released for use as a people carrier.


The Kombi is considered an entry-level addition to the VWT range. As well as having access to each piston engine within The VWT5 T5 range, there was also a wide choice concerning wheelbases and roof heights.

The Kombi iteration can seat between four and eleven people and comes complete with essential features which include heating for the driver’s booth and rubber flooring. As well as these basic features, drivers could also choose optional extras such as air-condition and central locking.

There was also the option of automating the operation of the van via the use of automatic sunroofs and sliding doors.


The shuttle is only obtainable with a short-wheelbase or long-wheelbase as well as smaller roof height is available. The seating can sit up to eleven passengers, and standard features include an additional heater a moulded trim. Like other iterations of the T5, there are optional extras which include folding rear seats and carpeting.


The Caravelle includes the same features as the Shuttle and Kombi models and consists of ABS. A maximum of up to ten seats with a choice of SWB and LWB. Traction control was also instilled, as were electric mirrors. The optional extras available for the Caravelle included a CD changer and electronic tailgate closing.


The Multivan is the top of the range concerning the T5, and the accessories show this. As well as possessing a rail system that allows seating to be moved forward, there is also the option of adding refrigerators and seating.

As well as the premium additions, the Multivan includes all the safety features of previous iterations, including ESP, ABS, ASR as well as airbags.

The naming of the Multivan can be confusing to some, as it was marketed as the Caravelle in the United Kingdom.

Other Variants of the Transporter T5

As well as the conventional body types, Volkswagen also released two variants of the T5 which are outset as follows.


A Sportline variant of the Transporter T5 was introduced and included a comprehensive series of options, which included 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome sidebars and Turbocharged Direct Injection.

The Sportline iteration of The Transporter T5 would become after being featured on two motor-centric television programs.

“Top Gear” stated the Sportline was the quickest van in the United Kingdom after putting it through some rigorous checks, which included moving equipment for the iconic rock band “The Who.”

Competitor TV show “Fifth Gear” had similar findings after pitting the T5 Sportline against the Vito and the GMC van that was featured in the 1980’s action series “The A-Team”

California Campervan (VW California)

The VW California van range is designed for those that want to use the T5 for camping and includes features such as fold-up seats, sings and tables.

Overhaul of the T5

Despite the many iterations of the T5, the four standard models were overhauled.

The Caravelle, Transporter, California and Minivan showcased new technology, such as DCT and an advanced gearbox along with 4motion 4WD.

Other additions include Bi-Xeon Head Lights and touchscreen radio with built-in GPS, and an inline engine.

There was also an Edition 25 Multivan which was created to celebrate its 25th anniversary. This version of the T5 included 18-inch alloy wheels, black door handles and a matte black roof. The Edition 25 was available in Candy White, Metallic Silver or Salsa Red.


Given the impact and many iterations of the T5, it should come as no surprise that the vehicle went onto win several awards around the world, which are as follows:

  • The T5 received a 4-star crash safety rating via the European New Car Assessment Programme
  • The UK-based publication “What Van?” awarded the T5 with its “Van of the Year” award in 2003.
  • Won International Van of the Year from journalist and specialists within the sector.
  • The T5 won “Best Medium Van” at the Fleet Van Awards in 2008.

The T5 has won several awards in Germany from various publications, which are outset as follows.

  • Lastauto Omnibus: Van of the Year – 2003
  • Transaktuell: Van of the Year – 2003
  • 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 – 2006

The T5 also made a positive impression on the Australian market, where it would be bestowed with praise from several publications which are outset as follows.

  • 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

Engine Types for the Volkswagen T5

Just as there were many body types for The VWT5 T5, there were also several different engines types used throughout the production run, which are as follows:

Petrol Engines Used Between 03 – 09

Model                                   Engine                                 Capacity               TRQ

2.0                                          1984 cc                                 11 PS                     170 N⋅m

3.2                                          3189 cc                                 235 PS                   315 N⋅m

Diesel Engines Used Between 03 – 09

Type                                      ENG                                       Capacity               TRQ

TDi 1.9                                 1896 cc                                 84 PS                     200 N⋅m

TDi 1.9                                 1896 cc                                 102 PS                   250 N⋅m

TDi 2.5                                  2461 cc                                 131 PS                   340 N⋅m

PD TDi 2.5                            2461 cc                                 174 PS                  400 N⋅m

Petrol Engines Used from ’10 Onwards  

Type                                      ENG                                       Capacity               TRQ

2.0                                          1984 cc                                 116 PS                   170 N⋅m

2.0                                          1984 cc                                 204 PS                  350 N⋅m

Diesel Engines Used from ‘10 Onwards

Type                                      ENG                                       Capacity               TRQ

TDi 2.0                                  1968 cc                                 84 PS                     220 N⋅m

TDi 2.0                                  1968 cc                                 102 PS                   250 N⋅m

TDi 2.0                                  1968 cc                                 114 PS                   250 N⋅m

TDI 2.0                                  1968 cc                                 140 PS                   340 N⋅m

BiTDi 2.0                               1968 cc                                 179 PS                   400 N⋅m

Frequently Asked Question About the VWT5 T5  

The most alluring aspect of The VWT5 T5 is the number of different guises the vehicle is available in. However, those purchasing a Volkswagen Transporter T5 for the first time may have some questions as to what aspects they should look out for.

Although the type of T5 you purchase can depend on what it is being used for, the following is an overview of some of the frequently asked questions

What Is the Most Desirable Engine for The VWT5 T5?

Even though there are several iterations of the VWT5, the most popular engine is 2.5TDi. The 2.5TDi will allow up to 40 miles per gallon and reached 150 bhp.

How Often Should a Cambelt Be Replaced on a Volkswagen Transporter T5

The VWT5 range is famous for being reliable, but some parts need to be accounted for when it comes to wear and tear. The replacement of a cambelt should be undertaken every four years or 60,000 miles. If the cambelt is not replaced, then owners run the risk of ruining the pistons.

Is It Difficult to Source Parts for The VWT5 T5?

Given that The VWT5 T5 is one of the most recent editions, sourcing parts is rarely problematic or expensive. Of course, the price paid can depend on what parts are needed, so those buying a second-hand Volkswagen Transporter T5 should seek professional advice if they are unsure of what to look out for.