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Volkswagen Transporter

Volkswagen Transporter

T6, T4, T5.I and T5.II
3.3 from 58 reviews

Love and hate - can’t trust it

- Brought a 2007 T5 with out looking cheap with 100 k with manual transmission

- I suspect the van had a hard life potentially towing heavy loads.

- After 8 months of owning needed a new gear box with a few other bits and bobs - costing 12 K

- So not a great fist impression

- It’s had a new alternator and power steering pump in the 5 years I’ve owned it and few other minor things
Some times the passenger door won’t unlock but then works again ( strange )

- Services and parts are way to expensive in my opinion.

- Some days driving on the longer runs or when the van has been warmed up it drives like a dream
Other day it just feels clunky and touchy

- On car sales you don’t see many with over 400k kms so I figure thats about the max you get out of the t5 life span
A Toyota Hiace seem to consistently get 600k kms plus with out major repairs from what if read.

- I think Vw look good and feel nice and comfortable to drive but definitely not built to last
I’d definitely never buy another Vw ever again.

Definitely going back to Japanese made with my next car

Purchased in October 2014 for $14,000.00.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Cleaning & Maintenance
Noise Level
TransmissionManual
BoughtUsed
Performance
Acceleration / Power
Handling
Braking
Suspension
Gear Shifting
Fuel Efficiency
Design
Interior Design
Boot Size
Features
Comfort

I have major reservations on how long the motor will last. These engines have a massive world wide EGR issue that causes

Van is powerful, great to drive, cruises very well and is massive inside. Been setup as a full camper and is awesome for that reason, one of the only vans this size where you don’t have to get out of the van to access the rear, great in rainy weather.

Purchased in December 2016 at Private for $35,000.00.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Cleaning & Maintenance
Noise Level
TransmissionAutomatic
BoughtUsed
Performance
Acceleration / Power
Handling
Braking
Suspension
Gear Shifting
Fuel Efficiency
Design
Interior Design
Boot Size
Features
Comfort

Reliable Biturbo T1340 132kw 7 speed DSG ex nsw cop van

rattling in the twin clutch area now at 165000km's no worries ,this is my third VW Van, first one was a 1974 T2 Factory camper 1800 Auto, second one was a 1976 "African 2.0 litre twin carb manual 14 seater, Totally reliable.I could pull the engine out of either in 1/2 an hour, no problems. This one will be a challenge.

BodyVan
Badge132TDI
WheelbaseShort
CabTransporter
Engine Size2.0L Bi-Turbo
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedJun 2014
1 comment
Where can I buy a detailed Service/workshop manual for my T5?

Don't buy VW Crafter 2.0 Engine

I write this review, here at vw transporter because I couldn't find something for vw crafter.if some want to buy a vw crafter, don't. I have this crap car from March, brand new 46000.since then I was 4 times back to the vw service. First with aircon problem, who drain the water on driver foot, next I was needed to replace the disc brakes at 17000 km end cost me 700 dollars from my pocket because the warranty don't cover this...then I ask them how much can drive this car with a full tank...they couldn't answer me, is somewhere 15l per 100km, I test the car in all conditions, nope...nothing under this. Now I'm going back again because my whole roof edges is in waves...I have a roof rack from rhino, special for this car to carry 2 ladders, nothing heavy end the car looks like was made from paper. Full with dent. Crap car, don't buy.

BodyVan
BadgeTDI340
WheelbaseShort
CabSingle
Engine Size2.0L Turbo
TransmissionManual
Date PurchasedMar 2018

Best of a great bunch

I bought a T4 three years ago with 300K kilometres on the clock. It is the 5 cyl 2.5litre petrol converted to dual fuel ( since new) . It has just ticked over 400K and is still purring. I have driven VW vans my whole life and consider this particular model to be virtually bullet proof...Bruce

BodyVan
BadgePriceless
WheelbaseShort
Engine Size2.5L
TransmissionManual
Date PurchasedJan 2015

Reliable. Fuel efficient.

Reliability excellent
Cost of parts can be high
Extremely fuel efficient
Tough
Cheap to run
Bought at 100000 I’ve done 150000 more and only replaced tyres, brakes and clutch.
Good amount of space and carrying capacity
Few jiggly things like door handles failing, otherwise can’t failt it........it’s 15 years old

BodyVan
Badge103TDI
WheelbaseShort
Engine Size2.5L Turbo
TransmissionManual
Date PurchasedFeb 2011

Nearly as reliable as a swiss watch or a swiss .....

Correction: Date purchased is April 1995.
Well, where to start, if you ever need a car / van you can count on and go were you need to go with whatever you need to take with you, the VW T4 is the tool. It belongs to motoring history in terms of transporting goods and people, like the Land Rover Defender to Africa.
Learn to listen to your car as it will tell you what it will need. Keep your oil levels correct and check when ever you refill your car, and this car is unstoppable. In nearly 25 years and over 600 000km everything is still original, except the usual replacement parts. There are little things which are easy fixed and I have learned to attend to it by myself. It is soooo simple.
I learnt unfortunately that most VW dealers here in Australia don't have or don't understand the German philosophy.
That is the only let down of VW in Australia

BodyVan
Badge2.0L Van customised April 1994
WheelbaseShort
Engine Size2.0L
TransmissionManual
Date PurchasedApr 1998

Brilliant Van 2.5TDI

My first VW Transporter and extremely impressed with the same.
Bought it off a friend at 416000km and ran very well although a few things did not work.
Air con needed a new compressor, hood lining needed re gluing, heater temp selector needed repairing and the drivers sunvisor needed replacing as would no longer stay up.
All really minor issues that have now all been fixed.
The van regularly returns around 6.2 l/100 in hilly driving and is just so reliable.
It is always regularly serviced using quality products and oil.
It handles very well, steers well and of course rides very well.
Of course being a Transporter it is a bit noisy inside especially when empty.
Even with approx 1.5 tonne of tiles on board (above recommended max load) it handles it all so well.
Recently had a huge drop in power, surmising that the turbo had given up I installed a new one and cleaned out the EGR unit and still sweet to drive but with still no power. It was frustrating trying to find an experienced mechanic to advise on same.
Finally I checked the Catalytic Converter and found that it was well and truly more than half blocked.
Drilled out the ceramic honeycomb and took the van for a run.
Totally different van and spins very easily to 4000rpm through the gears.
Huge amount of torque even in 5 gear. So much so that seldom do I need to change back to 4th gear to overtake another vehicle, even on a hill.
Yes very impressed with this van which has now just ticked over 432000km.
I have several friends lining up to purchase the same and even the original owner who now has a T5 petrol!
However, it simply is not for sale.

BodyVan
BadgeTrNsporter TDI
WheelbaseLong
Engine Size2.5L Turbo
TransmissionManual
Date PurchasedNov 2015

Cheapest car I've ever had

I bought my manual 2.5 litre petrol 96 t4 at the end of 2012 on ebay for $4000 AUD. It had just over 200k on it and was being sold by an old German guy who was the second owner. I'm guessing that he looked after it because in all it's been a very reliable car. I got it for $5000 AUD under the RACV agreed value which I thought was strange, but then I noticed that it sometimes had trouble selecting 2nd gear. Long story short, it turned out to be one of the gear selector bushes which was an easy fix but I'm guessing that the previous owner let it go cheap because he thought that it was going to need a new gearbox soon.
In the time that I've had it I've done around 150k in it and it has only broken down on me 3 times. The first time was when I cracked the oil cooler casing by driving it up a huge mountain and then parking it in the snow. It lost a bunch of oil but thankfully I had the smarts to get it towed to the mechanics and get a new part fitted rather than trying to drive it there and seizing the whole deal. Second time was when I burnt out the rotor button which was an easy fix, and third time it was the ignition coil which again was an easy fix on the side of the road.
I'm not sure whether I've just been extremely lucky but this is the toughest car I've ever owned. I've driven it all over Australia and even up to the tip of Cape York and back on roads that are supposed to be 4wd only. The height of it has meant that I've been able to take it places that most of my other cars never would have gotten to. Also, I find that I get around 10/11 litres per 100 k's using 95 ron, and even better if I use 98. However, the fuel economy does go downhill once it gets up around the 100 kph mark and above.
On the negative side, the thing I that I dislike most about it is the lack of power. I normally don't have it loaded up that much but I find that I have to go through the gears a lot on back roads and up hills. Also, it's quite an old van now so the handling isn't great. The other annoying thing is that the instrument panel crapped out at around 270k's so I got it replaced with a working second hand one which is now starting to crap out as well.
I've had my t4 for a long time now and am seriously thinking about trading it in on something else just for a change. Realistically though I can't see myself getting a better value car than this has been over the years. It's been such a reliable and versatile car. I use it for work in construction as well as for travelling so it has paid for itself 5 times over. If it died tomorrow I couldn't fault it because I've already gotten far more than my money's worth out of it. I've been looking at getting a t6 but they're still up around 30k for a decent one. I figure that I might as well just keep driving it until it dies and find out how many k's it will do.

BodyVan
BadgeKombi
WheelbaseShort
Engine Size2.5L
TransmissionManual
Date PurchasedDec 2012

T5 not like the T4

Replaced our T4 with a new T5 4 years ago.
Despite regular service from the agent we have found this van to be crap compared to our old T4 that basically ran to 250000 without issue. 4 years old (70,000km) and needed new brake disks on the front, catalytic converter shat its self, doors are no longer hanging straight, and on it goes... We won't be buying VW again on the back of this poor life.

BodyVan
Badge2.0LTDI
WheelbaseShort
Engine Size2.0L Turbo
TransmissionManual
Date PurchasedJun 2013

Brilliant van

Bought new done nearly 180000 reasonably hard kms carrying heavy loads. Always regularly serviced, including new fuel filters more regularly than required by VW. It can be hard on front tyres and disks when driven hard. Only problem was when it went into limp mode a couple of times @ about 90000 kms. This was fixed immediately with a recall by VW at no cost to me. After driving my previous Hi Ace the VW was like a really comfortable powerful reliable car to drive. I had the 2 seater bench passenger seat fitted and Rhino Lining sprayed on the vans floor - turned out to be a great move. Thoroughly recommended

BodyVan
Badge132TDI
WheelbaseLong
Engine Size2.0L Bi-Turbo
TransmissionManual
Date PurchasedFeb 2012

Great workhorse

Great work horse.
Fully loaded & kitted out service van, carries over 1T everywhere and handles it perfectly.
Manual, drives like a car, excellent fuel economy, and enough power for a work van.
Very easy to get around, neat interior, comfortable seats, big door pockets etc.
Had this one nearly 6 years with no issues whatsoever.
Will be replacing it with the same when required.

BodyVan
Badge103TDI
WheelbaseShort
Engine Size2.0L Turbo
TransmissionManual
Date PurchasedMay 2012

You need to ask more questions

Handling of this vehicle is heavy. Performance, steering is good. Interior is great.
Seller did not disclose major repairs needed - neither did the paid inspector list major issues on pre-purchase.
You need to fully inspect all Transporters, and from various inspectors independently, prior to purchase (which I thought I paid for)
Running costs are average.
Repairs are expensive for all Volkswagon vehicles. I need to warn you re this. Don't go genuine parts.
If you have the right mechanic who is in the know, you can get parts much cheaper elsewhere.
Fuel economy is only average.

It all depends on what type of VW vehicle you want, and what you expect it to do for you. Many don't deliver expectations.

BodyVan
BadgeDon't have one
WheelbaseLong
Engine Size2.5L
TransmissionManual
Date PurchasedMay 2017

Don't buy VW - great to drive & good fuel economy - unreliable & expensive - not built to last

2010 LWB 103kw 2.0l diesel 6spd manual - this is a beautiful van - prefect for what I want it for - looks sexy - drives as good as a car - well finished - great fuel economy - get from 900 to 1200km from an 80l tank.
Thank dog i got a manual to save me from the auto dsg issues - and I have not had as many problems as some - but more than others - so after 6 years and 130,000km - egr valve failed - water pump leaked - some obscure wire broke in the engine bay wiring look...$300 - 2 window winder switches broke at $90 each just for the part - windscreen wipers so bad you have to pay $267 for euro model that used to be standard in oz - front drivers axle broke - non vw mechanic also changed passenger side when it didn't need to be - now 12 months later I have to replace the drivers side again - and I have a shudder in the clutch that I believe is the dual mass fly wheel which I probably need resolved before I can offload this.
I have not had any engine, turbo, diesel injector or gearbox problems yet - praise the drol.
If you still insist on buying one - don't use your local mechanic or the VW dealer - find a quality independent VW specialist - wish I had done this sooner - but I'm getting rid of it anyway.
I compare this to my prior car - a trusty Daihatsu Charade that did 370,000km without 1 repair - now that's made in japan for you.
Never tried to get VW to come to the party on repairs out of warranty - but I hear that is a nightmare.
I also had a terrible experience buying this new and getting addons from Frankston VW all care and no responsibility...but that's a story for another day.

BodyVan
Badge103TDI
WheelbaseLong
CabDual
Engine Size2.0L Turbo
TransmissionManual
Date PurchasedFeb 2011

Disaster

This vehicle is a financial disaster. Gearbox went at only 120,000 kms. Price to fix $10,300.00. Couldn't believe it. But wait it gets worse. They advise fly wheel and drive shaft also need replacing. Price $12,500.00!! The drive shaft is only stocked in the Philippines not Australia. 14 day wait.
I have lost 2 weeks of income plus need to find the cash for the repairs.
Keep clear of this van if you want to get anywhere financially.

BodyVan
Badge(No Badge)
WheelbaseLong
Engine Size2.5L Turbo
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedDec 2014

A Great Work Vehicle

I stepped out of a hilux and into this VW transporter . I new that this ute was something special from the first test drive. Driving, cornering, breaking and gear box all excellent. Cabin noise was a little high, you can't listen to the radio while driving along A highway. Softer compound tyres fixed that problem.
Fuel economy is great even with a full load. Will never go back to a petrol powered ute again.
The interior is basic plastic and vinyl, so it's easy to keep clean. The dash looks great when lit up at night and is very easy to read. The dash mounted gear leaver feels natural to use, this frees up the floor area and you don't feel boxed in.
My dislikes., would be the cost of repairs.You have to change the timing belt every 100000km and VW recommend that you change the water pump at the same time, that's $1400.00 each time.
I had a turbo blow up at 135000km , VW quoted $7k to fix. I had it replaced for $3k. After that I change the oil every 10000km not at the recommended 15000km.
Replaced the steering rack after 240000km and just now at 285000km I had to replace the two drive shafts.
There is a lot of front end repairs I think this is due to this vehicle being front end drive. I do drive up and down gutters a lot this could cause some long term damage. I am in my VW all day everyday, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

After the normal service book servicing at $450.00 /10000km this vehicle has cost me on average $1000.00 each year.
I do work the VW hard , I just love driving this large bug.

BodyCab Chassis
Badge75TDI
WheelbaseLong
CabDual
Engine Size1.9L Turbo
TransmissionManual
Date PurchasedMar 2005

Much less than what I expected

Brand new :At first I thought it was the best vehicle, Whitin a month a seal went on the turbo, within 3 months my remote control stated playing up, the car would remain unlocked even though it gave you the idea it was locked.pasenger side electric window would not close all the way and when driving you could hear the wind noise, dealer tried many times and never fixed it to an acceptable level.at 23,000 Klm my air con compressor died. At 28,000klm my water pump failed and leaked water into the motor, it was me noticing what happened and stopping the vichcle that saved the motor from also failing, we found 3 litres of water in the motor mixed with the oil. At 34,000klm had problems with the power steering. After 37000klm the turbo kept going into over boost and the car would go into limp mode. at 38,000klm the motor Started making strange noises. After 38,000klm not sure what happened because I sold it. Never, ever again. The dealer was just as bad as the car, that's another story I want to forget.
would I buy another, not in my lifetime.
Good points it drove nice in between those problems.

BodyVan
WheelbaseShort
Engine Size2.5L Turbo
TransmissionManual

Transporter 1994 & 1997

I have a 1994 transporter with 492,000km on the clock & the last 6 months I thrashed it knowing I was taking it off the road- due only roadworthy issues - I owned it for 4 years and spent almost nothing on the mechanics. I now have a 1997 transporter and I do get between 500-600km per tank - I've read some reviews that say - the meaner you treat them - the more they will give you. After sitting on Japanese motors especially in Australia NSW & QLD summers I truly appreciate the motor out the front and not under my bum. I did have a hiace camper and even on a trip was battling to get 350km out of the tank. Thus far the transporters have been good value for me.

BodyVan
BadgeTransporter
WheelbaseShort
Engine Size2.5L
TransmissionManual

T5 with 216,000km

2.5 L Tdi auto 2008 ex ambulance. Been good so far, used mainly for long trips escorting wide loads till recently, purchased with 46k on the clock. Looks like I am up for a new set of brake rotors and CV shafts. Just had the auto serviced (very important) and the mechanic (QLD Automatics not VW dealer rip off artist) said it looked like new. I had an aftermarket oil cooler fitted last service (45k ago) I think it very important to get the auto serviced regularly. My T4 transporter 2.5L Tdi totally self destructed the auto trans at 128k. Cost me over $9000, ouch. Did well over 400,000km on the reconditioned box tho till I parked it in the back yard for retirement. Had a big oil cooler fitted to the T4 after the recon, which seemed to do the trick. So far the T5 has been cheaper to run than the T4 as far as general maintenance goes by 2 to 3 grand up till the 216k mark anyway.

BodyVan
WheelbaseLong
Engine Size2.5L Turbo
TransmissionAutomatic

This van is a lemon. Buyers beware!!!

My T5 has 47,000kms. It broke a fan belt which doesn't sound to bad, but the fan belt mad its way into the cam belt. There is a hole in the cam belt cover. It wrapped around a cog and caused the engine to go out of time. It destroyed valves, pistons and the head. This can happen at any time in the vehicles life. Volkswagen want nothing to do with it as its just out of warranty. Car is a lemon. Buyers beware!!!

BodyVan
WheelbaseLong
CabHigh Roof
Engine Size1.9L Turbo
TransmissionAutomatic

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Questions & Answers

Hi I want to know Is 1995 t4 2.5 patrol auto transmission will fits in 2003 t4 2.5tdi? In other words can I put 1995 patrol auto gearbox to 2003 diesel t4? Thank you
No answers

We have Volkswagen Trans auto Campervan ,would like to know if it would be safe to tow a Avan Jack Caravan 17ft tare 1630 kg, ATM 2030 kg
No answers

Can you take seats out of 2008 Volkswagen transporter T5 and what 6 speed transmission auto is in one and where can I purchase a new or used auto for one
No answers

Details

Transporter T6Transporter T5.ITransporter T5.IITransporter T4
Release dateNov 2015Sep 2004Mar 2010Jan 1994
Discontinuation dateFeb 2010Oct 2015Dec 2003
Replaced byVolkswagen Transporter T5.IIVolkswagen Transporter T5.I
Visit official website

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