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Volkswagen Transporter

Volkswagen Transporter (page 3 of 3)

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

How did this pass QC??

6/2011 T5.1 Transporter TDI. The van is 1 out of 20 we have in our NSW fleet all less then 4 years old.
I have had this van since brand new used to transport spare parts and tools in an electrician/plumbers application. The van is reguarly serviced at every 15k and don't get very heavy usage (average 40,000kms a year). Already at 78,000 kms, i've had my seat belt replaced due to ripping, automatic gear lever replaced due to internals breaking (not allowing the changing of gears) and multiple globe replacements.

All this is nothing to what happened next. 25/9/13, as i was turning out of the lights, as the car was going to shift from 2nd to 3rd, then.... BOOM!!! Car stalls and forces me to pull off the road. I get the van towed back to the mechanic. Apparently, something flicked up off the road damaging the fan belt. The fan belt snapped and rapped around the timing belt causing it to skip a couple of gears. This in turn bent the valves in the engine all because there is no sump under the engine.

NOW, my van has been sent to VW HQ in Melbourne to have the damage assessed for warranty repairs to be done. Apparently, the engine, starter motor, timing belt, fan belt and a couple more parts need to be replaced. My main question is: how can the German engineers at VW, design a commercial van without the engine under shielding. I believe the pre-facelift version had under shielding, but they decided to remove it? I am still waiting to receive word of what is happening with repairs and its been 2 weeks.

In a nutshell, i have a love hate relationship with VW's. They drive great for a van, its easy on the eyes to look at, inside and out. However, the service and reliability of their vehicles, are appalling. So unless they fix this issue, buyer beware.
Drives and handles well (like a golf), Very good at freeway speeds, very safe, lots of character
VW service is terrible, Passenger seating cannot be adjusted in 3 seater (uncomfortable), and reliability could be a lot better

Engine Size2.0L Turbo
1 comment
Useful Comments - can you recommend a good reliable van? - Im going to have to sell my T5 - im now scared to drive it as expensive things keep breaking at 170 000km.

1996 T4 Semi-camper

T4, 2.5L 5 cylinder petrol, manual - bought new in 96 and converted to semi-camper by TRAKKA. Travelled 220K over 7 years with 40K towing a 1.5 tonne caravan. Some minor problems but all in all a very good, reliable vehicle. Still had original clutch and rear brakes when sold.
Pretty fuel efficient for its size - average 11L/100K overall (16L/100K towing)
Nothing major

Engine Size2.5L

the passengers perspective

Our company just picked up a new T5 3 seater.
This vehicle was purchased because of bad back issues caused by the vw caddy. We are service related electrical / data contractors and are in the car upto 4.5hrs a day.
Our last vw, a caddy, at 3 years old it had 180000 kms. So we get around a bit.
Anyway the past week I have been the passenger in the new 3 seater. And im not impressed. Im 70kgs, 175cm tall, so im a small lad. And while sitting in the sest the buckle for rhe seat belt digs into your backside.. the seat belt is behind you? If you move your body to the extreme left your rubbing against the door frame and get hard plastic vibrations all up your arm so you have to out up with the seatbelt jn your back.
Secondly the seat is completely un adjustable? ! You can not move the passenger seat forward, backward or tilt. And to top it off you can not sit with your legs in front of you. The foot well I angled towards the driver due to the wheel arch. Which has you sitting in an angled.
All these items cause back pain for your passenger. Do not get this if you are planning to have a passenger over 60kgs, and plan to drive any distance.

you should see a toyota hiace, nor driver or passanger can fit, let alone middle passanger, oh, and knees on the dashboard is normal.Try a ford transit passenger seat obviously passenger seat comfort is a secondary thought in vans most of the ones I have owned had horrible passenger seats I know this from all the complaints I received from passengers LOL

T5 Auto Transmission knackered 115,000km

I took my 2007 VW T5 for an Auto Transmission service at 115,000km. I was told it needed a new valve body. The cost was quoted at $4000 parts and labour – but – was then warned that given the state of the chard oil there was a good chance it was on the way to being pretty knackered. Further repair could cost up to $10,000.

One of the transmission engineers I spoke to, who once worked for a VW service center, was less than complimentary about the T5 6 speed transmissions and the new 7 speed DSG. In short I was told they were both rubbish and best avoided. The best chance to avoid trouble was to replace the oil every 20km's to 30km's. What a pile Junk.

I've done nothing about it yet and am feeling pretty jaded at the VW brand that once had such a good rep in my mind. I will no longer sing there praises. Not that they'd care about that too much. The transmission guys told me to buy the Hyundai iload as they'd personally not seen or heard of one needing repair. If they weren't such pants looking vans I'd nearly consider it.
Every that worked execept the dash board rattling noise that work to well.
6 speed auto transmission, loud engine, dash board rattling noise

1 comment
Dear Dam Van - reading your article above is like talking about my T5 Caravelle 2007 auto. I am also having gearbox issues at 115000kms. Surely VW are aware of this problem. I have alos taken it in for the Auto transmission service, twice and it still slips when changing from second to third. Any suggestions out there?

I run 3 VW Transporters, 2 are sitting idle with gearbox problems

I have a 2010 transporter twin cab 7 speed auto with only 47K sitting in the dealers yard with gearbox problems waiting to see what Volkswagen Australia decide to do, the second transporter is a 6 speed auto 2006 single cab 1.9litre with 166k on the clock has similar gearbox problems, I am looking around for another gearbox that does cost over10K, the 3rd transporter is 2.5litre a 2005 twin cab auto with 220K traveled and is performing very well (touch wood). I like the concept of these vehicle and was happy to sing their praises however since I have encountered these gearbox problems and now reading others with similar problems I could not recommend the brand to others. Very hard to run a business with vehicles encountering these problems. My wife also runs a Tiguan so far so good, figures crossed
Great driving positions and good layout of instruments, excellent feul consumption
Gearbox problems, electronic paying up with window controls


A real winner

We bought our Transporter T5 new in 2008 & could not be happier. It was a 77KW manual SWB model with barn doors, to enable loading of pallets. The fuel economy is great, reliability great, very comfortable and road manners terrific. If your in the market for a good quality van I would recommend a VW Transporter. We have just ordered another this time with the 103KW 6 speed manual transmission.
Fuel economy

Engine Size1.9L Turbo
Date PurchasedJan 2008
Dont do it!!!!!!Yes you said the magic word MANUAL you are lucky its not an auto model . VW should stop sealing their autos and allow the dealers to replace internal filters and clean out any residue from the old stuff . Plus make the auto just that an auto not the mixed up box that is a manual and an auto in one not a good combo.

8 grand to fix

These vans are unreliable i have had my van for less than a year and it is a 2007 model.... and it now needs a new gear box. The transmition on this van is horrible. While i drive it goes into safe mode, i have taken it back to VW and they apparently fixed (in their dreams) as it still goes into safe mode while i drive.... well not at the moment considering its parked up at a mechanic waiting on a gear box!

gear box and safe mode

Very bad unreliable vans

Unreliable vans expensive to fix so disappointed from VW . I bought VW because I thought its german cars they more expansive than other cars like Japanese cars so they have to be better but I was so wrong . Personally I will never buy VW anymore I will stick with Japanese van they reliable vans like the hiace they very good van , Im a tradesmen I got two vans for my business VW transporter and 1999 Toyota haice running 298000km just fill up petrol and normal service
Driving it got a lot of power
Gearbox problems for auto

Engine Size2.5L Turbo

only buy them new

10 years ago i purchased a t4 2.5 5 cylinder 5 speed with 240k,while thinking it was a engineering work of art and would last to 400k,but it turned into a over engineered lemon with built in obsolesces,for example the radiator is half made of plastic with plastic connecting pipes and gets brittle with heat and age.front wheal drive and timing belt is unnecessary for a commercial vehicle because timing belts need replacing at 100k,and cv joints need to be removed and regreased at 100k or they will break,other problems include plastic clutch pedal that breaks,oil seals at the oil pump blow out,wheel bearing failure,and broken axle bolt.so it was soon gone at 315k[18 mounths] or maybe you don't drive that much then it makes a great show pony but I need a work horse like a south korean vehicle that cost half as much and will last twice as long [got a kia for 9 years] so I can make money instead of mr vw,because as they say in germany das vone ze borz inze minetz.
plenty of space and fits 2 pallets [barn doors] plenty of cheap parts at the wreckers-great when new.
will drink oil like wine and then spit it out the tail pipe,new parts that are not cheap,hi in maintenance.

Engine Size2.5L

auto gearbox nightmares

i have a love hate relationship with vw's
i love the van overall,but hate their reliability
no wonder the germans lost the war
gearbox drops into neutral as its going up through the gears from 1st to 2nd and to 3rd when engine is hot,ok when cold
my t5 with 78,000k's needs the auto gearbox rebuilt,cost is going to be aleast 3 to around 6 grand,my mechanic insists its due to not changing the oil in the gearbox,recommends it should be done every 40,000k's
solid,drives more like a car than a van
expensive shithouse gearbox,doubt i would ever buy another

Hi I have the same problems as you with my 2005TD5 a nightmare nowdaysHi all, I have a 2006 T5 with around 80,000 kms and it just cost $7500 to repair, I am wheelchair bound and the van is used by support workers to drive me around. mI was told the repair would take 5 working days, 12 working days later and around $150 in taxi fares I get the van back, is there a recall on this type of thing?Sorry to hear of the problems you are having. Is it a manual or an auto? can you be more specific as to what lets go. We have sold our T4 and are looking at a T5 - some of the comments are making us a little nervous!


It was good while under warranty but has a huge durabilty question mark over it. Once I get it back on the road(been in dispute with VW for the last month) will sell it & buy something japanese, least it will last!
Great to drive especially on the open road,have 128kw TD & is very fuel efficient even fully loaded. Comfortable.Have cab/chassis,engine & road noise is not a problem.
At 4 years old(exactly) & 111,000 klms manual gearbox disintegrated. A major $10,000 repair that VW would not help with. Although 1 yr out of warranty it was only 11,000 Klms over with full service history, A vehicle this old should not have such a major failure. I sang its praises until this & despite owning many VW products in the past would NOT buy or recommend another one. Poor show from VW as I notice mine is not the first gearbox failure. Front wheel drive can be a problem moving off uphill in the wet ESP doesn't help.

Engine Size2.5L Turbo
i have a 2007 t5 transporter. I love the vehicle but the reliability and services cost are a worry. it had a turbo replaced at less than 60,000 klm the 5 speed manual had an intermittent crunch in second after 20,000 k of complaining dealer said there is a fault with second gear synchro. gearbox fixed by dealet, while fixing dealer damaged 5th gear shaft and and to replace it as well. when i got the van back it kept jumping out of gear. took it back and they had to pull it apart again. van has done 140,000 klm now. gear let go completley $8000, for a brand new gear box, not rbuildable. I cannot help but think the dealer having it apart 3 times had something to do with the failure. overall the is a good thing however things that should not happen in a commercial vehicle listed above should last longer than 150,000 klms. excluding the cost of the gearbox, the van has cost me $45.00 per week in general servicing, all of which was carried out by the dealer with genuine parts. (commercial van non commercial running gear) i had a t4 previously 400,000klm not problems only service costs.We have just had the exact same thing happen to our transporter, 6 months out of warranty and 103,000km's - they are charging me $14,500 for the transmission! Surely they can't keep doing this?There is obviously a fault with that model gearbox.Maybe we could start a class action against VW to recover our costs. Send me your thoughts.


This vehicle has an excellent cargo carrying capacity with a wide opening rear door and ability to store a large amount of material in the back. The engine is very reliable though it is a bit heavy on fuel. Suitable as a round town delivery vehicle though not so good on the open road.
Solid, dependable, reliable German engineered vehicle.
The heater has got stuck on at times which makes it very hot inside the cabin. The drivers seat is stuck in a very upright erect position which can make it very uncomfortable to be driving this vehicle over long distances or sitting in it over long periods of time.

T4 Dual Cab Work horse with space & comfort

We have owned our 1997 T4 for 10 years. it has travelled 285,000kms with only regular servicing. Very important to use good semi synthetic oil according to our mechanic. These are a great car, there's never anything that you can't bring home (massive rear tray). German practicality at it's best. Flat floor, storage under the back seat, very comfortable seating/driving position, huge pockets in the doors and well laid out instruments.
The ideal travelling car. After driving other Japanese dual cabs this is so roomy. Barn doors at the back are very handy. My bike fits in the back seat area without having to take the front wheel off.
The fridge fits on the back seat!
Reliable, comfortable, heaps of room, very good quality vinyl floor throughout,
air con knocks the motor back a bit. plastics are not the best quality and perish in the Aussie sun

Engine Size2.5L

Am about to trade in

Own a 2008 T5 transmission has gone twice once in warranty and again at 103,000 Km Vw started out at a $20,000 repair but came to the party with 80% warranty still costing me $4,000.Tyres are expensive approximate $400 each and can only get 30,000 out of a set servicing is expensive from dealer but cheap at local mechanic had to up grade the suspension couldnt handle the pay load they stated I transport approximate 1000Kg all the time in work tools and various equipment milage about 600Km to a tank (80L tank) not bad.Great power.Had to up grade in warranty power steering box and even now at 120,000 there is still a noise.Im over the van am looking at a cheaper japanise van with high warranty 5yrs 160,000.
great power,
gear box/transmission,power steering box,tyres

Engine Size2.5L Turbo


Overall the VW Transporter is one of the better vans on the market with execellent diesel engines and good carrying capacity(1.2 tonnes), it even looks good when you order the optional reflex silver paint. For the record I think its the only van built in Germany so you know its screwed together well, however I feel the servicing costs are too expensive even though it only needs servicing every 15000km. Also if you order the bench seat you may find it a bit tight with 3 aboard, otherwise a high quality vehicle that I would recommend to anyone.
Build quality, fuel economy, good sounding stereo (for an LCV), strong brakes, 1.9TDI performance good, nice manual gearbox and good resale.
Service costs far too high($495.00 oil & filter and tyre rotation!!), 1.9TDI is a noisy engine, brakes and tyres wear out too fast (40000km), weak clutch for a commercial vehicle, expensive metallic paint ($1225).

Engine Size1.9L Turbo


Great vehicle to drive but terribly unreliable. VW warranty guys were good (they paid 70% of automatic transmission replacement even though it was just over a year out of warranty) but a gearbox really should not fail at 112000kms. VW dealer mechanics were shoddy.
Beautiful vehicle to drive, accelerates, handles and stops nicely. VW warranty were good to deal with.
Reliability is poor. During the warranty period I have had a CV joint replaced, a steering rack replaced, the interior heater replaced and the number plate lamp holder replaced and had a firmware failure. Now at 112000kms and four years of age the automatic transmission failed and a VW reconditioned automatic transmission cost AU$10000 to install. The two VW dealers I used both had shoddy mechanics, for example I found a rag in the engine bay and also noted numerous fasteners missing from various places after services and repairs. When the gearbox was replaced the positive lead to the starter solenoid was left loose and that gave me intermittent starting problems.They also regularly forgot to reset the service interval warning display on the dash.


Just keeps getting better

So i got the last one of the 2009 VW Transporter 4Motion in Australia in late 2010 and it was A LOT CHEAPER TOO ($14K), this is my 3rd VW now and it's been very good much better than the older ones. Its my first 4Motion and i love it, a lot better than the standerd but slow of the mark but a lot faster in the top end and handles like a sports car. If you buy a Transporter at all you must buy the 2.5lit in Manual too not Auto.
4 wheel drive, 6 speed, top end speed
Take of is a little slow but makes up for in the top end

Engine Size2.5L Turbo
1 comment
I purchased a new t5 in 2011 to replace my 2006 t5 both vans both 4 motion .First van i still have 470000 klms origival motor got 420000 klms out of gearbox and 250000 from 1st set of pads .2011 model 60000 klms needs brakes motor always seems to be noisy when it starts and idles rough.Lumber support in the seats is non exsistant built in sat nav cant find 9 out of 10 subburbs windows come down by themselfs when it rains VW Aust tell me theres nothing wrong


I have a special delivery heavily optioned 2008 transporter crewvan, It is big, roomy powerful, with the 128kw/400nm TDI and DCI box. It handles pretty well for a van, but it is far from perfect. The motor is too noisy, the ride ordinary and I had to spend $1000 to get the sound system to sound right and operate an ipod. I have posted a detailed report with photos at http://www.easelsgalore.com.au/Volkswagen%20Transporter.htm
I like the beast but it is a love hate relationship, the sort that you cannot live with it but cannot live without it. I am still spending money on the short comings even though it cost me $53000 on the road. But it does feel tough and bullet proof and you are king of the road behind the wheel. The problem is that there is nothing else that meets my finicky requirements.
Feels bullet proof, comfortable, very good at freeway speeds, great vision, powerful, roomy, very safe, traction control, lots of character, has all I wanted in a van
Cheap radio, poor high beam, noisy motor, bouncy ride, pedal layout, badly designed storage spaces, slippery floor and filling with diesel from large diameter nozzles.

Engine Size2.5L Turbo

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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


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
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