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T5 Transporter History

The T5 Transporter was launched in 2003, to replace the previous T4 model, with a few very important changes to boast over previous examples of the marque, retaining it's now popular front wheel drive configuration, with now dash mounted gear control for maximum space and comfort.

Like all models of VW Transporter previously there is an absolute abundance of model choices from the lively 1.9tdi - 84PS to the heady 2.5tdi - 174PS, and probably as many different body shapes, styles and configurations to go alongside them, allowing the new buyer to pick a vehicle exactly suited to their needs, whilst supplying the second user market with a wide choice of models.

Following on from the equally as popular T4 models prior to it's launch in 2003 the T5 is set to be as useful a donor to the campervan and morothome builders market as all it's siblings before it have been, by providing an excellent base to start from, with even the base models gaining a high level of specification when compared to others in their class.

There has been models introduced to suit all applications from the Shuttle / Caravelle people carrier models, swb and lwb panel vans, in low, med and high roof versions alongside swb, mwb and lwb pick up and a full array of bespoke conversions upon the chassis cabs of these, some of which our members will of course be driving as motor homes today, probably the most used version however for the likes of our community will as with the T4 be the Kombi, which is a half windowed van version with windows in the rear sliding door and opposite side panels and most often some sort of rear seating giving the best configuration for selfbuilding and converting into what we commonly term a campervan or surf bus..


Swb - Mwb - Lwb Van Models

The versatility of the Transporter panel van is virtually unbeatable. After all, it’s been designed to be flexible enough to handle a wide variety of tasks, with a large number of models available for almost every specialist load. Depending on your requirements, it can be supplied as a short wheelbase with a low or medium roof, or as a long wheelbase with a low, medium or high roof.

The flexibility doesn’t end there. The range consists of four gross vehicle weights, with payloads from approximately 800kg to 1,400kg. These are further complemented by load compartment volumes ranging from 5.8m3 to 9.3m3. With four powerful and economic TDI PD diesel engines to choose from, ranging from 84PS to 174PS, you’re sure to find a Transporter panel van that is perfectly suited to your business.

Body options include a second sliding door, to add flexibility when loading or unloading, and a rear tailgate instead of the standard unglazed twin rear doors, which optionally open to an angle of 250° on long wheel base models.

Inside the load area, you’ll find six or eight load lashing rings, according to wheelbase, to secure your load. When further capacity is needed, another useful feature is that the dual passenger seat back folds forward to help create extra space when carrying a longer load except when an optional bulkhead is fitted.
Windowed Van Model

The Transporter window van is Volkswagen’s heavy duty answer to passenger carrying. From nose to tailgate, the window van (available as T30 and T32 short wheelbase and T32 long wheelbase), is designed to be practical, flexible and highly accommodating. Seating up to nine (including the driver), the window van features the safety, security, quality, poise and options that make the Transporter range so special.

Standard cab seating consists of single driver and passenger seats (with the option of a dual passenger seat), while behind the cab, there’s the option to specify seating for up to six passengers along two rows of seats, each fitted with 3-point seat belts. Flexibility extends to the body of the window van, with the option to delete windows. The load or passenger floor area is covered in hard wearing rubber to add both grip and protection, while at the rear you’ll find a tailgate as standard with heated window and wash/wipe. Rear wing doors can be specified as an option either with or without windows. Not only that, if you require a multi-purpose vehicle to carry both passengers and load simply specify a kombi pack on T32 models, which adds first row seating, deletes rear side windows plus sliding windows in side door and opposite.

If you’re looking at a van for specialist passenger carrying or conversion, then the window van could be the answer. With the ability to delete windows, specify seating arrangements, choose different wheelbases, roof heights and engines, you’ll find the window van a flexible choice.
 The Shuttle Versions

When you need a vehicle that not only offers undoubted practicality and versatility, but has equally high levels of desirability, then the Transporter shuttle SE is the natural choice. It’s ideally suited to image conscious commercial or corporate passengers who need to reach their destination in style. Basically, the Transporter shuttle SE is all about added presence. It manages to achieve this by combining the extensive standard features of the Transporter shuttle S with a number of subtle, as well as useful, internal and external enhancements designed to take the SE onto another level.

Standard SE features include plush floor carpet, upgraded ‘Corner’ seat upholstery, vented roof trim with reading lights and manually controlled air conditioning. External features include a number of visual enhancements, such as body coloured bumpers, chrome finishing strips and full wheel trims.

To further enhance any model in the Transporter shuttle range, a number of useful options are available that reflect its virtue as a great passenger vehicle. These include front fog lights, alloy wheels, satellite navigation, rear parking sensors, electrically folding door mirrors and electric sliding side doors in the passenger compartment.

Caravelle Models

The Caravelle SE

The perfect combination of comfort, space and flexibility. It’s a vehicle that’s packed with standard features, designed to offer quality and versatility on the move.

When you look at the Caravelle SE, you’ll see a vehicle that’s styled with attention to detail. The bumpers, mirrors, protective side mouldings and door handles are all body coloured, contrasted with chrome trim on the radiator grille. The 16" ‘Miyato’ alloy wheels, clear glass halogen headlights and front fog lights all help to provide an excellent balance of aesthetic looks and practicality.

The interior is no less impressive, with a fully carpeted floor, silicone damped grab handles and aluminium effect decorative inlays. A variety of power sockets are provided so that business passengers can charge their mobile phones or the kids can play electronic games to make the journey more pleasurable. Behind the wheel, the driving experience of the Caravelle SE is enhanced by Volkswagen’s signature blue illuminated instrument panel which enables the driver to assess information easily.

The Caravelle Executive

When your emphasis is on luxury and style, the Caravelle Executive is the answer. On top of the extensive specifications found in every Caravelle, you’ll find a comprehensive package of features that make the Caravelle Executive a highly desirable way to travel.

When your passengers enter the Caravelle Executive through its twin electrically operated side sliding doors the quality is evident. Wide door steps fitted with stainless steel inserts invite passengers to cosset themselves in supportive Alcantara® and leather seats. Privacy glass in the rear passenger compartment adds to that feeling of executive luxury. ‘Climatronic’ 3-zone electronically controlled air conditioning provides all passengers with the ability to tailor their environment to suit themselves, whether they are in the front or rear.

The Caravelle Executive has 16" ‘LA’ alloy wheels (17" ‘Thunder’ alloy wheels with the 235PS V6 petrol engine) to further enhance its elegant style. Cruise control, an automatic dimming rear-view mirror, heated washer jets and wipers with rain sensor, all help to make driving a real pleasure. At the rear the tailgate has a useful power-closing feature, and the luggage area floor includes a stainless steel load-sill cover to help keep your Caravelle Executive looking like new.
Interior Specifications
[3 seater front seats]
As vast an array of interior configurations as has always been available is still the case with the T5 models with seating in everything from top class leather to hardwearing cloths for work vehicles and people carriers alike, it is also possible to have them almost anyway around you wish, wish special tracking fitted to the floor meaning all interior fixings can be easily and quickly taken in and out of the vehicle dependant upon its useage that particular day, making it a truly multi-purpose vehicle in the extreme
[twin up front captains seats]

Due to the T5 still being in production

All information courtesy of VW UK Ltd more information can be sourced at www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk 


T4 - T5 Club UK continually strive to supply up to date, interesting and factual information, along with help and advice to our community, in order to be able to achieve this goal, we need you our members assistance, as a members community, we require you to join in, post on our forums, send us your stories, images, and travelogues - build bios, so we can keep our content changing, current and evolving, help us to keep this community alive, send your contributions to us now at t4club@live.co.uk All models, All years - All subjects covered.