19 May 2013
What a nightmare the T5 sounds. I bought my van in 1991 with 90 odd thousand on the clock.its now done 16300 and has been the best van I have ever had. In that time I’ve fixed the starter motor twice (still going strong), replaced the water pump, two rear shocks, one pound gromit that holds the gear linkage together (£200 to sort out) and a leaking fuel pump. That’s it. I use it for work, I’m a carpenter. Also takes a bed in the back for camping. I hope it gets to 200 thousand as I don’t want to have to buy one of these new unreliable and expensive new vans. Also, I get 40-45 mpg, it still drives smooth and always starts, what more could you want from a van? Pity they don’t still make them as I’d have one in a flash! Still the build quality would probably not be as good.
AS a previous reviewer said with regards to on-going problems I would also like to say that I too have had the same problems. I have also experienced extreme wear of tyres i.e. 3 sets after 24,000 miles. Finally the dealer agreed to check the alignment and it was way out, mainly on the front tyres, but also the rear. I highlight the problem of wear and tear on the tyres to the dealer a few times, but they blamed it on, you guessed it, cheap tyres! I was also told that tyre manufacturers tyres are a lesser grade but not sure I believe that one. I also had little problems like the daytime lights on the driver’s side would only last about 2 weeks, so again it was booked in for a check and I was told they were non Volkswagen recommended bulbs that had been fitted - strange because I was buying them from the Volkswagen dealer that supplied the van March 2010! Next I had a rubbing noise on the steering at low speeds, which was very noticeable. I booked in for a check and the report came back that the steering pump had failed, but told not to worry as it was all covered under warranty. 6 months later the noise was back, so I rang to book it in and while I was at it a full service and also discussed that the van was due its first mot at the end of that month so I asked the dealer to arrange. Two weeks later the dealer came back to me and said they were a bit busy, but could book the van in for 2 weeks time. Two weeks came round and the service and mot were carried out, but I was informed the noise was due to a major problem with the whole of front steering rack and left and right support arms having failed at a cost of £1700.00. What’s more, even though I have only done 26,000 miles, the vans out of warranty by mere weeks! After a calm conversation the dealer has knocked £1000.00 off, but I still have service extra to pay for, so not a happy chappie. I was hoping after spending £27,000.00 inc vat on a van I would have a vehicle with the build quality that Volkswagen apparently has a good reputation for? I am afraid I have made a big mistake. I never thought I would say this, but I wish I still had my Renault Trafic van, which in 8 years needed just tyres and services and only cost me £12,000.00 inc vat.
My husband bought a 2006 Volkswagon Transporter in 2010 and at 60,000ks the engine exploded and we’re told by VW that it needs a new engine. The warranty has expired and VW in Glen Waverley, Melbourne tried to get Volkswagen Head Office to consider assisting us with the replacement of a new engine, but we’ve been told by the dealer that they will not and that’s it. I feel sick. My advice to anyone out there is don’t buy a Volkswagen; they’ve become our nightmare!
Bought this all singing all dancing 2.5 Turbo auto with dual air con as I carry show dogs. The vehicle has only done 69,000 miles and has had a water pump, two head gaskets - skimmed head - two turbo’s and now the front suspension bushes are so worn you can see daylight through the mounts. What a pile of poo. Took the vehicle in to part ex it for a new one - New Camper is £43,000 and they valued it at £7000 for part ex. and told me that all the turbos go at around 70,000 miles and the new bi-turbo will do the same due to the design. So if I buy a bi turbo it will cost me £3000 every 70K miles just for a known design fault - wow-ee. Guess what? A Mazda Bongo looks value for money!
I went for a test run in a new 180bhp VW Transporter, which had great power. I then tried a 84bhp which had no guts. Abbsolutely rubbish!
The managment light keeps coming on even though VW have plugged into the on board computer to get the failure codes and have replaced the same parts 3 times. The managment light has now been on for 6 months now because VW dealer can not fix the problem.
Had a 174 T5 SWB and was really impressed by the performance. Thought I would update to a nice used (thank God) 2011.
Bought a new Transporter in July past from Agnews, it has all the kit on it: alloys, appearance pack, se pack and reversing camera. What a total waste of good money, first it’s only doing 22 mpg towing, no room in cab, wouldn’t pull ya out of bed and seats are as hard as concrete. Please don’t buy one because it’s a VW badge on it, can’t wait till new Transit gets released to drive a good all round workhorse.
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Hi, I have had a new transit Mazda, please don’t think it’s like the old 2011 model, just done the first 1,500 miles and engine gone in to limp mode back in the workshop. Not happy - Richard Payne from England
The split in opinions of Transporter ownership I find surprising. For my own part I have had two; an ex AA yellow 2002 T4 2.5tdi 102 with side windows, bought at 60k miles direct from AA. Drove it 20,000 miles, no mechanical problems at all and very economical at over 40mpg. I did have some electrical gremlins, but to be fair I think that was to do with all the AA extra lights etc that were still on the van. Short in the wiring loom probably. That was a great versatile and tough van that I found myself preferring to drive over my car (a MB!). Got seduced by a 54 plate T5 shuttle SE 2.5TD 130 in 2009 for a very good price. I have found T5 to be even nicer to drive that T4, and faster, but with a bit less economy 35-37 mpg. Its got cruise and air and CD stack, cracker. I have had to replace water pump (£600), O/S drive shaft (£600). I have discovered the other thing that often goes is the turbo and it has drop into limp mode a coupla times. So maybe it’s that. Limp mode resets if you turn engine off and on again. Overall this is one of the best vehicles I have ever owned and am intending to keep for many years, fingers crossed it keeps going as I can’t afford to buy a new one (or even newer one), but can’t imagine not having it either. I feel sorry for those who got lemons, I just have had a whiff with the water pump/drive shaft and it sucks.
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These vans are trash, I have a T5 2005 130 bought from new out of local dealership, mmm the problems start with alternator it goes just when warranty expires then we have water pump then drive shaft and prop shaft then turbo and manifold then air mass sensor which sends van into limp mode until you turn off and it resets, then to top it all of clutch and flywheel. It doesn’t take a genius to work out how much this van has cost me so stay well away from T5 Transporter 2.5 unless you’re prepared to carry a cash machine in the back of it - Stephen Huston from County Down
I’ve owned mine just over a year, its private use and has covered 99k, The servicing is a little expensive, but not much more than the Golf I had previously. The water pump was the first to go then a year later, after lots of clutch judder and vibrations the DMF and clutch needed replacing, which I had done at my local garage for £800 (vw £1200). Also the rear brakes had worn into the discs so new discs and brakes fitted. So far, up to August ’12 it’s cost me £1300. I’m not happy though I love the van, I guess we get blinkered. I’m sure VW can do better to improve their now dodgy quality, if not they will lose valuable customers. I will stick with mine for now, but I wont buy another.
Responses to this review
You had a van that had done 99,000 miles and the clutch went? Well, that’s not much of a surprise given they tend to go around that mileage on any vehicle. Then you drove it around with worn out brake pads and it damaged your disks... How can that be a manufacturer fault? Perhaps you should get full services where these things are checked and not blame the manufacturer for your lack of servicing - John Jones from England
I Love this van, it’s the best thing I have ever bought. Yes there have been a few niggles along the way, but hey, in life nothing is ever perfect, this comes pretty damn close though. It cruises on the motorway its slick on country roads and you can certainly hold your own on the road in it. Loaded up with the kids or with just me in it this goes like the clappers. This van and me we are a team, it’s never left me down. I love my van.
It was a 6 speed gearbox, but now a 5 speed as I can’t get 6th. The electrics are very bad. I’ve had nearly every moving part replaced and it has only done 96k genuine miles. I would chance a Lada before a t5!
Just got a new van 3 weeks ago, changed from a 130 bhp Transit, What a let down the VW is, it is useless for towing, always changing gears, not comfortable and has to go in with 1,200 miles on clock to get new gearbox as its been crunching from the day I got it. It is a 140 bhp but I think VW forgot to put 80 of them in. Can’t wait until new Transit comes out to get one bought. Poor effort VW.
I have had four Volkswagen Transporters, two T4s and two T5s. In between owning these I also owned a Vivaro. The T5 has been the best of the lot, such a better drive than the T4. The only thing I have had go wrong on me is the turbo and needing a new pressure switch on the air con unit. Love them and definitely so much more kudos than the rest. Also you never lose much money on your T5/T4 if you look after them! The Vivaro is comfortable, but that’s about it, they’re pretty unexciting and worthless after 80,000 miles. Sure every van will have faults but, VW has a heritage that will stay with us for generations.
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I have changed my VW transporter in for a Vivaro 3 yrs old and so far I am very impressed with it. This van makes me feel good everytime I get in and drive, unlike my old VW. New Transit looks great so might try one in a couple of years, VW looking expensive and dated - Peter Smith from Gloucestershire
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VW and most German car companies live on their names. The Transporter isn’t bad but it isn’t well equipped unless you pay a fortune. Our 102 ps has colour coded bumpers and electric windows. No air con . 5 speed box. Generally drives well with one big exception that spoils the whole experience The hill hold feature. This doesn’t release smoothly when you pull away and this is the only option unless you wait 2 secs. VW can’t or won’t deactivate it, although we are told it can be done. Verdict: Not really as good as people think they are. The ride comfort and seating are way worse than a Vivaro. The Sport 130 DC1 Vivaro really is a good van with lots of extras. Just because the old Transporters were bulletproof doesn’t mean these are. Would we buy another. Probably not. Usual arrogant dealers who believe German is best bar none. A word of warning: The British motorcycle industry thought the same.
Mine’s a 4 berth camper conversion. Had a few niggles over 3 years and 26k miles, but nothing major. I seem to be one of the few who’s had no DMF /DPF/turbo/driveshaft problems. Good points: Looks, image, residual value, no major mechanical problems and reasonable fuel consumption. Bad points: Expensive to buy, rust spots on sliding door and rear nearside door, central locking failed due to corroded wire under driver’s seat, water leaks through roof and driver’s door, intermittent clutch judder, 2 light fittings on rear door over-tightened at the factory and had to be replaced due to cracks, interior plastics scratch easily and it’s underpowered. Overall verdict: No better than the competition really. Just swapped to a Peugeot Boxer - better value, more space, but may prove to be more troublesome. Time will tell!
Do not buy a VW Transporter unless you like driving the cars the dealers give you when yours is off the road. My t5 went into limp mode the week after I bought it. It’s been back sevn times back for the same problem, but they just keep changing the same cabling in the boost area?? It’s had: Blown shocks, broken exhaust sensor, collapsed rubber on a pressure converter (sounded like a cow), lots of squeaks from the dash and it’s in now having the front spring put back into place after they decided to replace the suspension strut top bearing. I was told today human error caused the spring to jump out of its correct location. My van is a 4 motion DSG and has only done 70000 kms!
The worst van ever. I bought it brand new on a lease purchase. I have a list of 20 problems: It sounds like tin of nails when accelerating, it keeps stalling, the paint work is a mess, now when I start in the mornings it feels like it’s missing yet it’s diesel. I have informed the dealer and VW Finanace and the warranty have agreed to totally respray the van all over, but I told them I will never have a brand new vehicle respayed. I have told them I want a new van. I have been informed by the garage that it’s down to VW Finance now I have to wait. This is costing me a fortune. I will buy a Vivaro next time.
Lovely vehicle to drive, but was recalled for a software update at the end of last year to do with the DPF. My fuel consumption increased by nearly 20%; I was achieving approx. 10 miles to the litre, but now just over 8 miles. VW have been very unhelpful. The window in the offside side panel has leaked from new, despite being returned to VW five times to date. With hindsight wish I had never purchased the vehicle.
Bought it with 80000 miles on it and now nearly 250000 miles up on the engine and the gearbox has just gone. Before that went the van was excellent compared to other vans I have driven. A mate of mine is a Renault mechanic and he says a lot of the problems with Transporters are because of new technology, dual mass clutch etc. The turbo on the 1.9tdi blow easily as they are underpowered. I have driven Transits, Hiaces, Vivaros, Trafics, Sprinters and Crafters. Transits are good, but very heavy on juice. The Hiace is really reliable, but thirsty. I wouldn’t touch another Vivaro or Trafic as they are always constantly breaking down. The Sprinter and Crafter are by far best big vans.
Responses to this review
Well, I had a VW Transporter for 2 yrs and got fed up with the amount of times it needed to go in for minor repairs / niggles (always costs more than £200 for every visit to the dealers). I traded my 6 yr old VW in for 5 yr old Vivaro and nearly one year in there have been no issues, drives nicer than the VW and I think it is far more stylish and more roomy in the cab and rear, can’t fault it - Bruce Willis from Oxfordshire
My mate has a Crafter from new, gearbox went after 2 yrs but luckily for him it was replaced under warranty. Cost £1000’s, I’d be worried when that warranty runs out - Dave Jones from Buckinghamshire
I cannot speak highly enough of this van. I was in two minds whether to buy one or not after having read some of the reviews on here, but took the plunge anyway. I could not be bothered to wait 4mnths for one specced the way I wanted so bought one with 9k on the clock from a main dealer. I have had it 5mnths now and it has not missed a beat. Fast, smooth, handles like a dream and everything works as it should. I get 39mpg at 65 on a run and average 30-32 around town. I paid £24750+ vat for it, which might seem a little high, but it has been trimmed in Bentley check two tone black and white leather and is very well specced. A superb bit of kit that is as near to perfection as I could get. If they bring out a new model I will be first in the queue, but I won’t be selling this one to make room for it.
I bought a 2.5 lwb shuttle (minibus version) in 2008 and am genuinely dumbfounded by the constant breakages and failures on a 20k + van. I do around 15000 miles a year, which isn’t a great amount, especially on this type of vehicle and it has a full vw service history. I’ll attempt a brief summary of problems, but there’s simply too many to recall. They include: Broken water pump replaced, oil pump, steering rack replaced(twice), power steering pump, interior light/sunroof control unit, abs unit replaced, traction control broken, hand brake light stuck on, door handles busted, sliding window mechanisms broken, front shocks replaced, track rods replaced, wiring looms replaced, elec window mechanism ate itself... you get the idea? Yesterday the van lost all power and is now sat on the drive belching smoke and is completely useless once again. Beyond 40000 miles budget, at least £10000 a year on repairs plus very regular servicing. Useless. Awful vehicle.
I purchased this lovely van as a non warrantied used vehicle with 129000miles on the clock a year ago. I’ve made a few changes to her, which include the following: One each side behind the driver fixed smoked glass windows, walls and ceiling carpeted in the back, hard wearing floor, full length three quarter width double bed (cloth to match the front seats) 240volt mains electrics with 3pin plugs, tow bar plus twin electrics, reverse parking beepers and a set of really good looking alloys to finish her off. I find her a treat to drive and managed to get 42 mpg ona camping holiday down to Cornwall last year. The MOT last month cost me a headlight adjustment so that was nice. I would have no problem in buying another Transporter and just wish I had got one earlier. How sad, she even has a name...Ludolf (to go with th reg number)
The VW T5 is the most unreliable, botched vehicle I had ever owned. I purchased a 2010 VW T5 180PSI DSG Auto in September 2010 brand new from Eurovans, Eastbourne. From day one I have had to endure fault after fault and I am now of the opinion that the vehicle is irreparable. Here is a list of the problems to date and the outcome of each: Radio reception not working properly - Eurovans explained that this was happening in all the Transporters made at the same time and that there was not a fix at that moment in time. I was assured that they where working on it though. This was repaired once the solution was discovered. Satellite Navigation not working. (Also creating roads that do not exist) - Eurovans took in the vehicle for diagnostics. They confirmed the reports to be correct. However, they had to send the results off to VW head office for further evaluations. They then had to take the vehicle back for further tests. Once again the fact that is was not functioning correctly was confirmed. VW Customer Care then assured me they would have a fix soon. They once again recalled the vehicle for even more diagnostics and concluding that the unit was irreparable and the unit was replaced with the current Kenwood (after market product). With the new unit installed I then received a phone call from Eurovans. They wanted to know if I could return the Vehicle as they had left a set of pliers inside the dashboard unit! I do not need to inform you of the severity of this incident, as I’m sure you are aware of the chain of events that could have ensued should these pliers have deployed one of the Airbags with my 8-week-old child in the front! One of my main reasons for purchasing this vehicle was the fact that the Sat Nav relayed its information to the MFD. So if the Sat Nav’s main heads up is changed to a call or radio the MFD will still be showing the journey’s directions. This no longer happens! I have brought this up with both the garage and VW Customer Care and both parties say they do not know how to resolve this. This is a major factor for me and must be resolved. Sun roof not operating - Eurovans explained that this was a problem with the seals. They replaced them. The driver’s front side tyre was completely bald after 9000 miles - Eurovans replaced the tyre. However, they also explained that this was due to the tyre’s being of cheap and poor quality. Firstly £32,00.00 for a vehicle with cheap tyres does not sound right. Secondly after seeking out an independent opinion I was told "If the extreme wearing was down to cheap tyres then why weren’t they all the same with the same amount of wear?" Thus, they were of the opinion that there was something out of alignment, which needed further investigation. This needs to be investigated. The front parking sensors - The wiring has been reported by Southern Motor Group as ’a mess’ and that due to the shoddy work they are un-able to re-fit the glove box correctly. They also beep intermittently and randomly when driving in the rain. This could be driving at 60MPH on the motorway or 10 MPH in a residential road, each time without anything in front. The roof is leaking - After heavy rainfall, the roof section above the driver’s side rear seat drips and the roof liner becomes soaked. The driver’s side footwell carpet also gets sodden - This is currently being inspected. The driver’s side, sliding centre door window leaks - This together with the roof leaking has damaged the MDF door panel - Southern Motor Group are replacing the window. The Windscreen wiper jets have stopped working. Do not buy this vehicle!!!!!!!!!! VW customer services have thrown me from pillar to post and basically do not seem to care. As they have excuse after excuse as to why they cannot repair the vehicle.
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call me, you’re not the only one - 07929030579. My Facebook page is chrissimmons transporter t5 thanks - Chris Simmons from Cornwall
Rubbish engine and bad machine. Nothing but trouble!
This is the first van I have ever owned. Purchased to carry more gear than people and to house clients on location shoots. Quality is quite good. DSG trans is a little noisy, but changes smoothly and is very compliant. Power steering is a little heavy and rumbles when steering on the spot. Other than that I have the MF wheel and table. The wheel is a must have and the table makes a great talking point. I would buy another, but I would love 4 motion and the tdi 400. The van is black with dark windows and actually turns heads! Next time though it might be a Transporter crew.
I bought an ex demo with 4k on the clock. A lovely van to drive; smooth, quiet and economical. The dual mass flywheel disintegrated at 22k (only just fixed under warranty) and was replaced again at 88k, which proved very expensive! The heater control’s a problem and was never fixed properly by the inept VW dealership. Apart from that and general wear and tear I’ve just sold it with 117k on the clock. All in all a great a van, if not as tough as the T4. My main gripe are the VW dealerships, which are generally overpriced and incompetent.
Hi everyone! One person said Volkswagen are very hard arrogent people to deal with and this is so right. I have had my Volkswagen from new in 2009 and have had all sorts of problems and they will not back anything. The engine started eating itself, with metal missing inside of it requiring a complete engine and other parts replaced at a cost of $15000. Two months later it is now parked up due to a loud bang when leaving the traffic lights. I don’t know what happened this time but has no drive, even though it has the clutch and the engine starts. I will have to sell it and will never, ever buy a European made car or van again.
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I bought a 2005 T5 6 speed 5 cyl turbo deisel dual cab. it has travelled 200,000 klms. We wanted it to tow a small pop top caravan around Aus. The previous owner had just replaced a cracked inlet manifold and power steering pump. We travelled for 6,000 klms and the water pump disintegrated, filling the sump with water which then was sucked into the motor effectively seizing it. That cost us $4700. We travelled another 1000 klms and the turbo bearings let go, due to the dealer not cleaning them properly, another $4500. now 12 months later, taking off from the lights......a very loud "bang".....and no drive, as John says , the clutch works, I can put it into gears, but I just hear an awful ’rumbling sound’. I don’t know if it’s the dual plate clutch, the main gearbox drive shaft or a drive shaft. Has anyone had this problem with these symptoms and had them repaired. Any news would be very welcome as we were still travelling around towing our caravan - Rob Taylor from Australia
I know what went bang. It was one of your drive shafts snapping like a carrot and smashing your bell housing.That`s what mine did in the exact same circumstances. Put away around $2500 and the good people at VW will repair it. Then expect your throwout bearing to go along with your clutch and some other part which should set you back around $3000. Did I mention your rotors will probably wear out before your brakes pads do as well? And like someone earlier said , don`t expect any help from VW. Oh and last but not least my roof lining fell out (they are actually going to replace that out of good will, WHOOP DI DO!) and my steering wheel also wore out under warrenty which they also refused to replace. There are numerous more problems with mine but I’ve probably depressed you enough as it is. A class action against VW is what`s needed - Mick Slater from Australia
Had the Kombi from new, and no real issues to report. Yes road noise is a little high, but then there’s no acoustic treatment to the rear. If you ply/carpet the rear and stick a headboard in it will get quieter. It goes ’well’ ;-) and the power is useful for overtaking and makes it good fun to drive. Cruise control makes the motorway miles disappear. Issues: rear number plate light trim worked loose, but a spot of thread lock sorted that. No other issues really. Apparently there is a recall on the turbo hoses, but we’ve yet to get that sorted. VW Commercial in Cheltenham have been great and I’d highly recommend them. Would I buy again? Yes.
I love new look of the VW facelift, I think it’s very smart. My new van is easy to drive and I like the interior, but I have noticed that the new VW is not as solid as the old generation. What worries is me is that engine is noisy; it rattles and looses power sometimes (possibly dpf?). I feel there are a few stupid things VW have done to the new version; they haven’t fit an engine temperature on the dials, which I think its very important when you pull your trailer and instead I have an internal one. Misery. I can’t figure out my internal light and central lock (locked my keys inside already!), the radio looses its signal constantly and there isn’t enough room in the cabin. The mirrors been broken after only a few months because they dont fold. The lift jack is made of paper. Before this I owed a 2003 t4 2,5 tdi and I still miss my it; 120 000 miles on the clock and no problems. The old van was bullet proof, but I’m not sure about the new one.
I got my van in Jan 2010, white as all ways. I had an iPod adt fitted by the dealer and all was fine for 6months then there was no sound from the radio. The dealer changed the radio, which developed the same fault within 3months. I had to wait for one month as VW were out of stock for a replacement. I’m now on my third radio and this one is ok at this time, but only time will tell. The first set of tyres only lasted seven months, but I had done 25000miles. Now the lastest fault is the windscreen washers; the fuse blows then it gets cold (??) but as I have had VW’s for about 10 years now I must say the dealers have been good to me.
Hi I bought my van new and I love it. It has only done 36000mls and it is serviced by VW. The cambelt has been changed every 4 years. I put a stainless exhaust on it and I waxoil it twice a year. I buy anything stainless for it I can. I do not do short runs in it and it has never missed a beat since day one. I did 525mls in it last week (my longest one way trip). I sit at 70mph for hours (speedo is 3mph fast). I Love all vans they all have their own problems, some more than others. People may say my van has done nothing, but it’s still like new and what it does it does it great.
I had a 1998 T4 5 cylinder non-turbo LWB for 8 hassle-free years and I only replaced it because I was offered my SWB T5 at a price I couldn’t refuse. It was 3 years old and had 68,000 miles on the clock. Now nearly 4 years and 60,000 miles later I’m eyeing up a Nissan NV200 and found this website. I really do like my VW, the build quality is excellent, the SWB is much easier to drive than my old LWB and I use this van much more than I ever used the old one. It romps along, despite being the least powerful of the range and I can’t get less than 36 mpg from it ... when it is running, & therein lies the problem. With hindsight, I should have registered it as a charity. It suffered from electrical chaos initially; the wiring loom in the top of the engine was replaced as it’s cheap to do and my man regarded it as being a good starting point. Then the battery went. Then the alternator. Then the thing that’s attached to the side of the alternator?Regulator? - I’ve deliberately tried to forget a lot of this, then the nearest side driveshaft went and the nice AA man horrified me with tales of electrical problems involving an earth under the driver’s seat - I haven’t had that, yet! A previous AA man had the engine go on his identical van while doing the rescue for the alternator. Then the clutch wore out, taking with it the flywheel, which everyone says is a disgraceful design. My man says I should keep it now as I’ve spent so much on it, but my confidence in it is shot. The interior lights don’t work properly, there’s 3 of them and the ignition key is misbehaving in that it’s not disengaging properly when you take the key out and you come back to find the radio still playing and the van not properly locked. The T4 was great, the T5 not. I know several folk with T5s and my experience, sadly, is not unusual. I’d love to try the latest version with the 2 litre engine, but I can’t risk this level of expense again and the NV200 really does sound too good to be true.
Having driven pretty much every van out there the Transporter is by the far the best. That’s why I bought one. One word of warning though, you get nothing as standard with VW and even have to pay extra for a spare tyre!
I bought this van new, 52 reg, the last type 4 made and had it converted by Reimo into a camper van. It just went and went, never needed any work done apart from regular servicing and of course a new cam belt as per specification, again done on time. VW Cordwallis at Heathrow are superb, they did all the servicing and never ripped us off over anything. This van went all over Europe without missing a beat. I can’t fault it. I did hear from the Cordwallis mechanic that the type 5 had problems from the start and they only just sorted them out when VW went and changed the spec again! But the type 4 is fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone. I would just like to find another one that’s as reliable because I’ve sold this one to get a long wheel base van to convert into a camper with more facilities.
Bought my Kombi at 8 months old as an ex demonstrator. Well specced with air con, rear heater, cruise, elec windows etc. I have now covered nearly 70k trouble free miles. I have it regularly serviced and the only things I’ve needed are normal service items, Front tyres last about 30k, and I’ve had other bits and bobs done, but no cluth/flywheel/gearbox problems at all. Versatile, good to drive, fast and pretty economical (I average 33 - 35 mpg of mixed driving, 40+ on a run). I’ve just had a Transit for a couple of weeks and it reminded me why I like my VW so much! This is my 3rd Transporter (2 x T4 and 1 x T5) and I may have been lucky, but they’ve all been excellent. Speak as you find, as they say, and I’ve found them to be the best van on the market.
I bought this new in 2007. It has great performance and mpg, but with seats as hard as hell. And now to the good stuff: The flywheel went at 30k, it has needed countless cv joints (one only lasted 3 months, genuine vag), the rear engine mounting broke (akin to paper mache), the oil cooler went mixing oil and water(common problem I hear). Next the exhaust gasket between the manifold and turbo went (causing fumes in cabin), the electric window switch drivers door failed.shocks didnt last very long.Inner splines in the gearbox went leaving me stuck on the side of the road. The Ac gave up thanks to a faulty sensor, the engine light came on due to a faulty oxygen sensor. I now have now 137,000 miles trouble-full miles on the clock. From a former VW fan.
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Yet you still give it 4 stars out of a maximum of 5. How odd - Mick Ash from Nottinghamshire
A great van! I bought mine last year for €800 and I haven’t lost a cent to it. I know it’s a bit dead and agricultural, but with minor adjustments to the throttle cable (these stretch with time), removing the air filter element (no need where I live) and lubricating the gear linkages and other moving parts it’s giving an acceptable performance. A bit thirsty for high speed runs, but very solid and comfortable to drive. This is my second. I was sorry after my last one, a 1996 1.9td. It gave much the same performance, but lacked the torque of the 2.4. I’m currently tidying it up body wise, but continue to spend very little on it. An excellent van!
We have two Transporters en-fleet, which are unreliable; we have had problems with the turbos, gear boxes and engine failure. The material used in the manufacture is questionable, money saving quality. Getting anything sorted on the VW warranty is a difficult process. I don’t recommend it.
Built like a tank, easy to work on and there are numerous parts outlets. Don’t bother with a transit, after all, you always get what you pay for!
I bought my van 3 years ago with 100,000 mls on the clock and it now has 150K on the clock. I’ve no major problems to report, the engine has never given me any trouble and still pulls well. The door handles inside are a bit flimsy and I’ve had to replace a front window mechanism (wind up). The ride is a little hard, but it is a joy to drive on a good piece of tarmac; a lovely van for motorway driving. It can easily be given a bit of a facelift with clear indicator lenses etc. I’m very happy with it. I don’t know if I would buy a t5, my brother had one from new and it had some kind of clutch problem where a hose had slipped off. The garage said it just wasn’t pushed on properly when van was being put together, he only had van 2 days, although a good looking van, tough and very quick (red di). My other brother had a Renault Trafic from new to 100,000km with the air bag light continually coming on the only problem, a very comfortable and well equipped van.
I had a few issues when I first got the van and after a few angry calls to various dealers I got it sorted under warranty. Since then it has run like a dream. You must make sure it has a run on a motorway every couple of weeks, or the DPF will clog up. The van smells of parafin when regeneration occurs. This isn’t a VW fault, European law states that all vehicles must mave this DPF! The cab is a nice place to be, a bit bland, but everything is where it should be and does what it should; I had a Vito before this and could never work out the AC or CL system. I have the 2.5l 174bhp model, and it pulls like a train. On a run (60 miles +) in 6th gear at around 70 mph it will return about 35mpg, drop the speed by 5-10 mph and you will see 40mpg. Around town expect 25mpg, this drops considerably if you floor it everywhere!! I have a SWB version, I can just squeeze 8’x4’ sheets in the back, although if you carrying these on a regular basis I would go for a LWB. Mine has been converted to a 6 seater with windows which really has made it a versatile vehicle. Overall I would recommend it. I would buy another one without hesitation. I know at least 8 other people personally who have these vans in various engine sizes and not one of them has had a problem either ;-)
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Hi Ben, you said you can squeeze 8x4 sheets into your swb VW Transporter, is that on its flat on the floor or is it diagonal on its edge and how many can you squeeze in at one time? - Chris from Aberdeenshire
Love it. Always wanted one as I’m a surfer and like camping. My van has had a rear seating conversion done and carrys 6 people. Everyone wants to borrow your van when you get one of these. No they’re not as good to drive as a car and yes, they are harder on fuel than a regular car, but as long as you aren’t too image conscious they are the nuts. I put snow tyres on mine each winter (I’ve a spare set of rims the snow tyres live on). I can go anywhere my wife’s Navara can go (almost), I’ve never got stuck anywhere, amazing tyres and the traction control is good also. I have 140,000miles on mine now and the engine sounds great still. Yes stuff breaks from time to time, but this happens in all vehicles. Regularly replacing bushings and drop links, but it keeps the vehicle feeling tight. Get yourself a good cheap mechanic and treat him well and you won’t get robbed. My servicing has been really reasonable. I get about 530 miles until the fuel light comes on then another 50 if I push it. I’ve a LWB which is handy, but long so I fitted parking sensors which I love, a parrot bluetooth kit (installed myself - its easy and brilliant £50 ebay).This van is highly recommended, but not so if you are picky and fussy about life’s little things.
I also have had the handbrake release. I got home at 23.40 last night, and was woken this morning to be confronted with a fairly disgruntled neighbour (I don’t blame them) as they were woken at 00.51 by a bang and found my van residing in their garden via a low wall. I’ve been in the motor trade since 16 so nearly 24 years and I believe the problem to be that when the brakes get hot everything expands, when you stop and apply the handbrake and over a short period of time everything cools and contracts thus releasing the pressure on the handbrake and away she goes. I have complained on more than one occasion that the brakes dont feel right, so back to the dealer it goes on Monday.
A great van and very reliable even at 90mph all day long. 450 miles to the tank, which is ok and roughly 30mpg everywhere. It’s had no mechanical issues in 55000 miles.
What can I say? A 28k mistake! This is the first and last T5 that we shall be purchasing. A 1 Star Rating is far too good for the thing. Had the van from new, 1st March 2011 and we have covered 7500 miles and the road noise is horrendous. The dealer has changed the tyres (only after several heated phone calls), but this has not improved it at all. To top it off the driver’s door seal has started to let the rain in; build quality appears to be very poor. For the past 8 years we ran Renault Trafics, which we feel are a far better van and half the cost. Roll on 3 years when we can get shot of the thing.
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Please let me update you. We are sorry to say but we still own the T5 in question. The road noise is still horrendous and Germany has reported (after several months and visits to 3 different van centres). It’s a characteristic of the vehicle and we have to put up or shut up with it. The reversing sensors have stopped working and the final strew is, I arrived home last night to find it dumping oil from the rear diff all over the drive. We are currently looking to get shot of the thing for a Ford Transit AWD - Nige from Somerset
Brought a Caravelle Executive from Eurovans in Crawley to replace my T5 174. It’s the top of the range and is really good apart from the heater, which is not up to heating a van in winter. The van has also been in for repair for a leaking factory fitted sunroof for 33 days in the last 8 months. I can honestly say I would never buy a VW van again as the service from VW Head Office and vw Finance has been shocking. The dealer, however, is trying hard and is to be commended.
My lwb 2.5 has 160000 on clock and has had a new flywheel and new drive. I have overloaded it, I’ve had it drawing trailers with over a two ton load on a regular basis. This van has endured serious abuse. I will admit the cup holders are crap and internal door handles fall off and they can be expensive to work on, but I can’t fault them otherwise. I will definitely be buying another one if this one ever stops.
I have a 59 Caravelle Exec 174ps DSG. It’s the best car I have ever owned. I’ve had it a year now, paid 28K for it but I wanted a van with warranty as I had heard mixed reports. So far it has run sweet as a nut. It’s great for taking the family on adventures and great for loading up with wood from the DIY store. I tow a cravan with it and it hardly notices the extra weight. Fuel economy is good for a van I think: 33mpg on my 10 mile trip to work, 35-40 on long motorway runs, nearer 40 if not over if I stick to 60. Even with the caravan hitched up I get 30-32 mpg. I do drive it carefully! With 174 on tap if I put my foot down it shifts! My mates love it and can’t believe how superior it is to their T4s.
I bought my van with 89000 on it. Just before I bought it the driveshaft had snapped, but I wasn’t awareof this as the garage got it wrong and first of all thought it was the clutch so replaced both items and I bought the van the next day. I did a 500 round trip towing my car only to find it had 1/2 litre of gear oil in so this broke the gearbox eventually. I got a recon and had it repaired and I’ve now been all over the country in it and towed dozens of times and it’s never let me down. I know I can jump in it and drive all day and it will get me back. It now has 115000 on it and hasn’t missed a beat since the gearbox was done around 16months ago. I would get another at some time as it’s good for an all round vehicle. I only buy VAG cars and have only had reliability from them. I’m a happy chappy.
I’ve got the Caravelle executive. To put it short and sweet: What a great all rounder, not one problem, drives exceptionally well and great mpg. Sounds like you’ve all bought either Friday afternoon motors or night shift motors. Other forums also read the same about other cars/vans/bikes. We have to remember us humans make every machine, make the parts and fit them, plus the worlds not perfect! Just enjoy, at least it’s money well spent.
The vehicle has covered 44000 miles of light use with 1 main driver. It suffers water leaks into the driver’s footwell and also from the top of door when at speed. Also, the cd player failed after 12 months. Finally the gearbox started making a whining noise. I dropped the vehicle off at the dealer’s for repairs and 3 days later recieved a phone call to tell me the gearbox had been removed and sent off for repair, also the clutch was 40/50% worn and would need replacing (I’ve been in the trade for 12 years). I told them to leave clutch as it’ll probably last a further 40/50000 miles. They also said the cd player was working fine with no faults apparant (not worked for 12 months), took his word but wasn’t convinced. Five days later I recieved phone call no.2 and was told the gearbox was back and clutch was worn down to indicators and was again advised to replace it (5 days previous it was only 40/50% worn). Again I told them to use old clutch. A further two days later I recieved phone call no.3 to say the water leak was repaired and the vehicle was ready for collection. I went to collect the vehicle only to find the cd player with the exact same fault (only been with them for 2 weeks useless) and now I have to take it back in 2 days. I Hope this informs you that standards at VW have dropped on both manufacture and aftersales service.
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I had an exhaust pipe rattle on my recently acquired VW T25. Checked the struts and fastenings and all was okay. It was vibrating against the heat shield. Took it to Volkswagen Crozon Brittany and asked them to get some heat on the pipe or shield and improve the clearance. They said "okay, come back in two days". I collected the bus two days later and drove off, still a slight vibe at low revs but decided to give it a run to the beach. Just pulling off the road and heard a ’clunk’ at the back. My heatshield was lying in the road. All eight screws loosened. Took it back to Volks and they said it must have had a large shock adding stupidity to their incompetence. Took it home and refastened it myself. Still have the vibration though, will wait til I get back to a knowledgeable welder in the UK - Jack Edwards from France
The worst Transporter I’ve owned by far. The Van is currently broken down with broken EGR valve and is waiting to be repaired, as VW have no spare part because so many are failing. The design of the van is great and when it’s not in the garage it drives great, but the build quality is very poor.
I’ve had a 2010 van converted to Kombi by after market converter. It’s now much cheaper to run and the van has worked hard in its first year, covering 25K. The T32 gives a hard ride but brilliant at full weight, very comfy to drive and good handling.The T5 is a good product, excellent on fuel and DPF comes on if you use 5% biodiesel ’dirty’ supermarket fuel. Stick to Esso/Shell, etc. I work in Industrial chemistry processes so the DPF problem is here to stay. The van goes well on motorways at full load and the handling is great. My main problem is VW dealer. The problems I’ve had include body scratches, the wrong number plate on front upon delivery and the radio reception is rubbish. If dealer won’t sort it I’ll be writing to VW UK with a complaint under their quality programme as any ISO 9001 firm should sort this properly. Trading standards is always an option!
I currently own a 52 plate t4 and I have the chance of a swap for 04 plate t5, after reading these reports I will be keeping the t4, with 191K on the clock and owning for 18 month, only thing I have changed beside the service is water pump and rad, rear discs and pads. Thanks for all your helpful comments.
Bought 18mths ago with 147K on the clock. Now has 160K and a new MOT and six months tax. The thing drives so, so well and just keeps going. It has a FSH and is a real pleasure to own/drive. You can poke your Fords etc, the T5 is the one to own. Mine is the very, very rare twin sliding door version and is just superb. My issue is that I really don’t need the size anymore and could probably do with downsizing but don’t know to what. I doubt there’s much out there with the Kudos and drive of a T5 and, even though it’s loaded up, still hits 40mpg around town!
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Hi Dave, I’ve been considering getting a Vauxhall Vivaro, but the reports I have read haven’t been inspiring. I did have a VW in ’86 which was brilliant and no probs at all. So considered another VW but was informed they are rubbish concerning MPG and to expect just 25-30, if you’re lucky. Did you say that you have been getting 40mpg? Regards - Charles Thorogood from Essex
Bought this van new in 2006, Best Van I have ever had, goes like the proverbial s*** off a stick! was good for 125mph but got cold feet after that, and the engine was still gunning for more. Cost a mint at £22k, but can honestly say was worth every penny. Had a T4 and was the biggest pile I had ever had and vowed I would never buy another VW, but bought a Ford Transit to replace it with and that was just as bad, drivers seat back collapsed and was on the 4th seat when I sold it after 3 yrs, was delivered with a seam not welded in the roof and Ford garage couldnt find where the water was coming in, eventually I found it, then needed a fuel pump. I moved onto the T5 and as I say great van, the only downside was it didnt like tyres, fronts were replaced at 12k religiously. Mpg for a van this size wasn’t bad and returned 28 round the doors and 32 on a long run, I suppose if I hadnt enjoyed driving it too much and kept my foot off the gas could have done better, was written off in December. Was going to replace but insurance company offering very poor settlement, so can’t afford £24 + vat to replace, don’t know where I go from here, :-(
The Volkswagen Transporter is a great solid van. I bought mine at VW Scunthorpe where the sales rep spent nearly two hours going through the details and answering all my questions. Great after sales service too, can’t fault it in anyway. Great van with high seating position so it’s even easy for the wife to drive. Reversing sensors are a godsend. My wife can now reverse without worrying about blind spots. I wouldn’t swap it for anything else. I was advised by a sales rep to go for the 84ps or the 120ps as the higher specs have more gadgetry, hence more chances of things going wrong.
Decided to get the new T5 in 2010, never had so many problems with a vehicle!! Diesel particle filter first, drive shaft on drivers side spun the bearing taking out gearbox end, problems with radio reception, been back into Leicester VW 3 times for that problem. Van was in Leicester for 6 weeks over Christmas waiting for drive shaft. Now radio packed up altogether and particle filter light on dash came on again tonight. I hate it!! I want my Vivaro back.
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First of all, take it up the road to 3,000 revs and hold it there for well over a mile; that will always sort the DPF. They clog easy and don’t use cheap fuel, always try Shell. Next, try Heron of Newark. Bet they sort your problems faster than anyone else - Mark Dawson from Lincolnshire
I operate airport transfers and the vehicle a T5 (T30) has 400,000 miles. I have had the engine rebuilt, new turbo, starter motor replaced. Offside drive shaft replaced four times. Clutch and mass flywheel replaced. I had a bent camshaft and was told wrong oil used but this was not the case as it is serviced rgularly with correct oil etc. I had that fixed and three weeks later the engine seized solid. So if you are thinking of getting one maybe you should think again? By the way the local dealership is cr**p!
Bought the van new 2005, great for first 15k then noticed noise coming from steering and misfire around 2000rpm. Left van in for first service and faults. Well you wont believe what happened next. I was told to collect van following day and was made wait from 5pm till 7pm for them to finsh working on van. Left the garage and noticed there was no power steering, the engine wanted to jump out of the van and all the warning lights were on the dash. I rang VW Ireland and complained, I had the van towed back to garage and it was there for four months, flywheel broke up, fuel filter broke up and the subframe dropped down! I explained to VW that I would not accept that van back as the engine was completely stripped down to the block, they promised that the van would be 100% and extended the warranty by one year. well that was just the start of it, the van was back every few months with the same problems. noise from steering, idle would shoot up to 1500rpm, burning oil 1ltr per 5000klm loosing coolant, water leaking into cab, misfire from engine @ 2000rpm, it would take six weeks to book the van in to a VW garage the van would be in for as much as a week some times and nothing would be done, all the problems still there when collected, and I would be made wait another six weeks to book it in again. edventually after the diesel pump coming loose and breaking I left the van back with VW in 2008 and I am currently suing them under the sale of goods act and for loss of earnings. My family all drove VW for many years and trusted them, but all three vehicles have had problems from 2002 on and VW warranty are not nice to deal with. All driving Fords now with no complaints.
I have had my van for a year now. It was bought new as a replacement for a trusty old T4 that had finally given up. I have done 13,000 miles in the first year with no problems whatsoever. It has been absolutely superb in every way. I travel over to France every now and then and so fuel economy is important as I live in the south of Scotland. I can get to Rennes and back on one tank of fuel - brilliant. The cab is a comfortable place to be on a long drive and performance is excellent. I can not recommend this van highly enough.
Traded my Vauxall Vivaro in for this, to be honest it was probably a backward step, the main problem with these is the diesel particle filter had to have a regeneration on it, what a pile of rubbish that is, all the main dealer say is you have to rev the bo.....ks out of it and the light will go off, its thirsty as well you always seem to be at the pumps, as far as jct 600 main dealer goes they just want your money and its bye don’t come back. Summary: overpriced, dated now, and I won’t be buying another.
My van is 10 months old now and, apart from taking it back to have sportline wheels fitted because the ultra efficient Germans altered the brake calipers so they wouldn’t fit without retro spacers, and then taking it back to have the sliding door gear panel refitted and resprayed, it’s been good. The van can really shift with that big engine and it’s streets ahead of my old Hiace (05 plate). Overall its good and the flexibility of seats in for children then seats out for joinery work means I don’t have to buy a 4 wheel drive big car to achieve the same results.
Well, having had the vehicle since ’99, it has 160000 miles currently on it. so was thinking of changing for a newer verion, I was just checking the reviews on the newer T5’s. To be honest, the troubles and obvious expense that those guys have incurred by owning the new ’improved’ version, I think I may just run my old girl as long as I can, as there doesn’t seem to be an alternative! The problem I have is that there haven’t been any major problems, apart from expected wear and tear. It’s sure as hell no race car, but it is certainly reliable and cheap to run.
I bought this Transporter shuttle minbus new in 2006 and from day one was an absolute headache; electrical faults galore, oil leaks, when the warranty ran out. I’ve replaced the turbo, intercooler, clutch and flywheel, power steering pump, drive shafts, you name it I’ve replaced it! I even replaced the engine at 157000, at a cost of £4000 at VW dealer, however I didn’t use the dealer from which I bought it, their after sales service was terrible. Avoid Transporters and avoid Donnelly Motor Group in Northern Ireland.
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Had the same dramas when I had my T4 transporter 2.5 tdi. Took it in for an initial major service as recommended by the AA inspection on purchase which found the van to be above average condition for it’s age. I drove it from Durham to the county Antrim VW garage which, as it was my second Transporter ran like a dream. After the service it developed an oil leak and squeaky noise that could start at any given time scaring pedestrians which where dismissed as "spillage from when the new lad did the oil change and the belts have to settle in". So it began, back and forth till I had to move to Preston where the VW garage took one look after loss of power to announce that "who ever changed the timing belt had cracked the turbo" amongst other things which annoyingly led to a bill just short of two grand, which is another matter completely. Long story short, I’m on my second van and after the Preston gang repaired it it runs like a dream, still with little more than an annual service and like the one before really puts in the miles with little effort and would guess it was down to the garage maybe as opposed to the vehicle either that or I’ve been blessed with two amazing machines - Jay from Lancashire
Work supplied for my job, very disappointed, brand new and faults galore! Airbag fault, driver’s door wouldn’t unlock whilst spare key in ignition defrosting cab on cold day, aux socket not working on radio to run mp3, radio reception intermittent permanently, gutless engine, rang Leicester van centre for help getting vehicle unlocked, they never phoned back!! Managed to unlock myself after an hour, I thought VW were supposed to represent quality? Avoid, c**p all ’round.
Best van I have owned, I have the short wheel base model and you can fit a full sheet of plasterboard flat above the wheel arch’s so you do not have to take your gear out. I have the factory steel bulkhead fitted as well, I test drove the 140ps model and found this van very fast, in fact too fast for van. The 102 is very good, not as good 0-60 but perfect for van, the engine has lots of torque and it pulls very well at higher speeds, unless you want to carry heavy loads or be a boy racer then this engine is great. I would advise having rear parking sensors fitted and the s pack. The only negative thing I have to say about the van is the stereo is to far away from the driver so get the steering controls. Also, if this van had 6 speed and another 15hp it would be the perfect van.
Mine was 3yrs old when I bought it. From the word go nothing but trouble. 2.4 engine type. Had it for 5 yrs. Got it serviced twice a yr and looked after it well and still had problems. 2.4 is useless on road trying to pass out anything. I’ll never buy VW again, ever. Have a Nissan Primastar now, far better van.
Bought van in 2007 from VW Hereford, have have no problems apart from the vibration noise that occurs now and then when changing gear (Sounds like I’ve got a cow under the bonnet). I did get shunted in London and had VW fix the damage, as a result I have a new back door but now the side door doesn’t like opening first time. Hmmm. Van is having it’s first MOT today so hopefully it will pass with flying colours. Maybe it’s just me but most of you guys have bought the higher PS models of the transporter and had alot of problems, where I’ve got the 84ps version, which has had no problems really.
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I have a vibration on the left hand side? Did you get rid of it? Joe from Sussex
Had this van 4 months ago having previously had the 2007 130 4 motion. Not as punchy as the 130 and has to be driven hard. Awful for towing no guts at all. Good mpg, but the build quality is also poor, lots of rattles from the dash and the radio doesn’t pick up any decent signal. £26k with a few extra’s wish I had gone for something different now! To add insult to injury these vans can not be re-mapped without VW knowing as the ECU has to be opened up, typical!!
This is my 1st Transporter and I bought quite a high spec van. Medium roof wth 180ps Bi-turbo. Very disappointed with the high level of road noise in the cab and not as torquey as I’d of thought it should be! Anyone any suggestions/comments? Thanks.
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Hello Derek, I tested a few T5s before I bought my current van, this has a cab comfort pack which makes a big difference to road noise, also I put in a bulkhead which cuts it down even more. Finally sticking Dynamat to all metal interior surfaces inc the bonnet. Incredible difference! - Nick Daly from Herefordshire
90% happy with my facelift California except for a worsening rumbling noise from the clutch when changing up. I noticed it from new & pointed it out to the dealer but they couldn’t hear anything. Currently at 4500 miles & it’s much worse. Will see how bad it gets before taking it back & keeping my ear to the ground on web forums to see if anyone else has this issue. (Roy from Hertfordshire sounds like he has a similar problem!)
Owned 07 transporter for 5 months now. 120k miles. Used for work roofing & building, reasonably loaded up. Had no problems to write home about except bit gutless, gave it full service when purchased. Had ecu re-mapped to 140hp, different van, far more driveable, more torquey! Mpg im not too happy about, 31mpg. Was same before re-map, I drive it easy, 65 mph mostly on motorway, occasionally chase MR2’s down the lanes. Poor storage in cab. Plenty of accessories available on net to tart up.
Bought new Nov 2004. Super machine. Currently just completed 80000. No issues apart from an occasional limp home mode kicking in. Just stop and restart the engine and it clears whatever it thinks is wrong. Normally only happens when I drive it hard for long period. Just thinking about a change to the new one. Tried one at weekend 140 dsg.Quite quiet but not as responsive in my opinion. Gear change smooth but it just seemed under powered to the older unit. Being a more maure driver do not get too excited about the latest thing and have no real need to change just now unless I fell in love with it and I didn’t. Couple that to the price and may be we all need to stop and think wht it is we are buying . It is still only a van and the new current price list reads like wishful thinking. Yes they will sell but mainly to company buyers not picking up the tab.Spec a Kombi up with a few creature comforts and you are well into £30000. You can get an 18month old S class merc for that! No it wont carry the kit but it will tow a trailer!
The road tax is a joke on this van? car? £425 a year! I have tried - but with no luch - to get this changed but they tell me it is to do woth the auto box and air-conditioning - this puts the tax up to the same levels as AMG Mercedes super cars. I have had this van for nearly two years and now have water in the oil. The dreaded oil cooler and water pump - do not know about the rest of the damage yet. Good old VW.
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I have a T5 tdi 130 Kombi auto, same problem with tax due to government CO2 emissions... I have a friend with a Merc Vito v6 diesel turbo auto but that comes with cheap road tax? Anyway, just to let you know the oil cooler is covered under warranty, it is a factory recall... Get it booked in at your local VW commercial dealer... Spencer Clarke from Surrey
I have a T5, but never again, nothing but trouble, clutch. flywheel, poor build quality the list just goes on, also have a TT Audi, also which is mechanically C**P these manufacturers should listen to there customers and remember there are other makes available, I for one wont replace my T5 for another VW or buy another Audi. Sometimes we need to go backwards to go forward, I had a transit from new and with 275,000 miles on the clock when I sold it, yes sold it, and I never spent in the 10 years I had what I have spent in repairs on my T5 in 24 months. I can see why they make good surf vans, park them on the beach and just hopes the tide carries them away, oh what a beautiful site! VW and Audi should be ashamed of themselves for producing such unreliable yet expensive machines which at best are hardly capable of doing there job. It will be back to Ford for me after this very expensive relationship with our European manufacturers.
Bought late 2006, had vibration from auto box, took to VW who could not find any problems, said it might a separated tyre. Changed all my tyres but still had the same problem. Took back to VW who said it could be the drive shaft; three drive shafts later, gearbox valves replaced, still the same. Then a new gearbox fixed the problem. Next was the engine management light on 7 times; exhaust manifold leaking exhaust fumes into cab. Have replaced rear brake callipers, replaced water pump, two turbo’s in three months, two wish bones, rear heater packed up, rear and front shocks, heated mirrors stopped working, three arm rests, passengers seat belt. Spent more time in Volkswagen than on the road. I don’t think they could do any thing to make me buy another Volkswagen, which is a shame because with 8 seats and all the luggage room they are the perfect for the job. And to finish the engine management light has just come on again! Thanks to VW I’ve never been so poor.
Hi all! Bought Tansporter 2007 hit 51000 miles and problems started; vibration on engine 1500 revs took it to cardiff Volks. It’s had new fuel pump, 5 injectors, tandem pump cambelt bearings followers and fuel filter. Five weeks later took it out still same problem. 1 month left on warranty turbo blew. New turbo now going very well, all faults cured, just had remap 215 bhp, getting 42 mpg now on a run.
Awesome vehicle, 170,000 on the clock had it since Jan 2010 have put 20,000 on clock myself, brilliant no probs. 22 mpg local approx 31-33 mpg on long hauls, highly recommend. Had loads of vans in my time, this beats the lot. (Not keen on the t5, ugly looking beast)
Part x-ed my Caddy in May for this van.It’s been back to South Hereford VW 7 times; 1). New waterpump. 2). Went in to limp mode (new pipe on turbo). 3). Starting problems when parked on hill (could not find problem after 4 days in garage). 4). Limp mode again (pipe not fixed properly). 5). While on holiday in Scotland, went into limp mode again (switch off engine and wait for it to reset itself). 6). Back of holiday (new turbo). 7). 4 weeks later still having trouble starting, took the van back to south Hereford VW, 3 days later (via phone call) and they tell me it needs new head (diesel leaking through the cracks). All I can say is the South Hereford VW van centre have been very good, (when I bought the van they gave me 3 mths warranty, after 4 visits they gave me another 3 months as a good will gesture). Thank f**k when the van is running ok (it’s very good, 34 mpg) so watch this space (van will be ready sat morning fingers crossed)!
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UPDATE: Got the van back today (2 weeks) new head total cost plus vat £5092,92. All done under warranty. Brought the van back from south Hereford and it drove like dream. The lads at S.Hereford VW have been very good, they have given me extra 6 mths warranty. All I can say for now is thanks for the service. PS. I have driven a new 140 bhp dsg for 2 weeks 23 avg mpg well under powered - Mike Vale-Jenkins from Monmouthshire
Bought my van new. After 6 months old a shuddering occurred. Warranty replaced both drive shafts. At 55000km the glow plug warning lamp came on. I stopped and turned off motor. Left it for 15 mins, then started again and it’s never come back on. Now at 60000kms I can’t fault it. I am an Electrician and have roof racks, conduit tube and tools. Total weight approx: 2.48 tons. I drive this van very hard and have travelled to Melbourne and back a few times with no issues. I have had my van up to 200k/ph towing a box trailer and was still very stable at that speed. Hard to say why there has been so many problems with this model. I know of Golf TDi’s blowing turbo’s with very low k’s, which can in turn ruin the motor which have been out of warranty some 7 months. VW had put new motor in for my friend when his turbo and motor were ruined when out of warranty. The bad points are: bad driving position, rough ride off the freeway, noisy, poor traction 2WD when flooring it, towbar too low, c**p stereo, c**p standard seats. I would buy another one. I looked at the V6 Turbo diesel Vito Mercedes and found it had a worse driving position and was some $10,000 dearer. I am looking at buying the new 4 motion 7 speed Bi Turbo DSG because these vans break traction a little to easily. But after reading this forum I need to think about the low speed overtaking power as suggested is slightly lacking than compared to the 2.5 Tdi.
I bought my van brand new back in 1998, it has 106,000 miles, had the starter motor replaced and obviously the timing belt has been changed. It may not be as fast as some of the vans but I do know this; it’s body has had a couple of knocks but it is reliable...... the amount of rust is less than I have seen on a transit that was 5 yrs old, I have even seen a Merc Van with more rust on it than my van, I did say that I would buy another new one when this one has failed but as I was told by the garage I will not be buying a new one as this will keep on running..... will post another comment when my goes to the scrap heap, unless I end up there first!!
Had the van from 42miles to 24,000 still going strong, there isnt much faster out there - very powerfull compared to a transit 110. I have to admit as it is lease I have thrashed it everywhere and it’s never missed a beat! only reason for not giving it 5 stars is purely down to the interior finish; I had a door handle break. Fuel economy is ok.. not amazing but ok. I’m now looking to buy my own, great van.
What have VW done? My 5th van to date, my last was a swb 174 and the best, I now have wing mirrors that fold up not in and seem to contain the radio aerial, I had to purchase the sump guard as an extra. I am now getting rumbling noises when changing up through the gear box abridge dealership told to leave alone as no other reported instances. Too many cost cutting exercises, very disappointed at the moment.
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My 10 plate 180 4motion California also has the rumbling noises when changing gear which has been there from new and it seems to be getting louder now at 5000 miles and it can also be felt through the clutch pedal. VW Hereford (where we bought it from) couldn’t hear anything unusual! It really spoils the driving experience. Another 140 Kombi I drove also had it slightly and a couple of other people on another forum have reported it too with their vans - Antony from Ceredigion
I just wanted to ask you 180 owners if the thing is actually powerfull!! I have a 174 I’ve had since 05 and I am pleased with the power delivery - very noisy in the cab - is the 180 quieter? I use ear plugs on a long run. Road holding, ergonomics all good - water pumps keep failing together with power steering. I drove a 140 at the dealers and it was absolutely gutless. I really want to change but I get the feeling I will be dissapointed. Thanks - Alan Young from Cambridgeshire
I have also had the Released handbrake syndrome happen to me! It sat on a steep hill on the handbrake for 12 -13 minutes then started rolling backwards down a hill to come to rest in a garden wall. VW Garage had it for 5 days doing a "Technical report" to VW Germany. I lost my £200 excess & no claims bonus. Was told they would get back to me with a answer....... still waiting. Other than that the only thing gone wrong is the cup holder fell apart after around 3 weeks!
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I have had the hand brake syndrome as well. It holds then rolls away. I have caught mine twice just in time - Shaun from New Zealand
I have also had the handbrake syndrome. It ran away and hit wall - VW did not want to know - Liam from Ireland
I also had the released handbrake sysndrome and my van ended up in the sea! It was an 07 van I bought from a VW dealer, only had it 6 months. I blamed the driver however when we recovered the vehicle from the sea the handbrake was still on. Van written off. Took 5 hours to recover as floated 200 yards from the shore - Emmet Mc Grogan from County Down
Hey, the cup holder, what a bugger. I hope they sacked the person who designed it, fixed twice and still falls apart. Well at least the engine still runs! - Mark Ebingar from Australia
I purchased this vehicle in June 2006 and from the moment I signed the paperwork I have had nothing but grief with this vehicle. From the non-existent assistance and service from the dealership, Darryl Twitt Volkswagen in Shepparton Victoria here in Australia to the endless issues of failures and reliability with the vehicle. The first issue was with the auto trans. Faulty from new. It would always hunt up and down through the gears when I had the cruise control on, not fixed until 45000km service. Door handle covers breaking/falling off, trans selector button flying off after pushing in to change gears, other interior parts/fittings falling off, annoying vibration in heater box from new, still there after 10 attempts to rectify, still there with 103000 on the clock. Cracked exhaust manifold, alternator totally failed leaving me stranded, drivers seat foam collapsed at 75000, replaced. Cloth trim on drivers seat wore through at 101000, was only replaced at 75000, had to pay was told "normal wear and tear"!!!! The battery keeps draining after parking over the weekend, am told there is "normal" current draw of 100mA, this doesn’t explain why the battery STILL drains over the weekends. Control arm bushes totally worn out at 101000. Now after paying nearly $2000 for the 105000 service along with the seat replacement and control arm bushes, I picked the vehicle up and was given a separate quote and told the turbo actuator is leaking and requires a whole new turbo at $3660. If I had known this at the time of the service I would have just driven it into the river. It’s quoted trade in price is $15000, I have spent $3000 on it in just the past 6 months alone. Having said all this VW up to date have been fairly helpful with some goodwill repairs after the warranty ran out but as I obviously require the vehicle for work, it has probably been off the road for a total of 6 months out of 4 years I have had it. Everyone rubbishes the Australian vehicles but I have a 6 year old Ford Falcon ute and have had nowhere the issues of this vehicle. Will never buy another Euro vehicle again!!
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Hello Ian Watt, Australia! I just thought that could be the lush weather in Australia! Too hot. VW Transporters have gone wrong after the 2006 models - Ink Od from London
Not the best van I’ve ever driven but possibly the best vehicle I’ve ever driven, love it to bits. I’ve got a BMW Z4 and 320se, I prefer the T5 out the lot of them, fast as fok, drives & handles awesome. Gonna part chop the Z4 for another T5 for the misses, she loves ‘em too! Can’t rate the T5 highly enough, great motor! Owned mk1 & mk2 Vito before, they drove great but just fell apart costing thousands. My T5 is up to 117000 now and drives better than new.
Hi all, I have owned my transporter for 9 weeks now and it has gone wrong twice. Currently I am driving a Transit van supplied by VW assist while my van is being repaired. This van was very expensive and VW vans are supposed to be reliable. I have to say the Transit van I am driving has better features on it than my new van and costs some 10k less. Lets hope this fault is a one off and I get trouble free motoring from now on.
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I have owned my T5 for two years, pulling trailers up and down Welsh mountains. It is a 130 chipped to 160 and I’ve had no major problems at all. I tried the 2010 140 bhp last week whilst mine was in for service and was Very impressed. Can you keep me uptodate with how it does over the next few weeks as mine is up for renewal in April of 2011. Perhaps the 180 bhp is the answer unless this one is chippable? Adrian Lumb from Gwynedd
Hi all would just like to say that I’ve read all the bad reviews on the T5! I’ve owened mine for about 18 months now bought it with 100000 on the clock its now up to 117000 & I love it to bits. The turbo started to whistle 12 months in to ownership but thats just cos I cane the nuts off it. I have been meaning to get it done but 6 months later it’s still going strong & embarrising boy racers at the lights. I can not speak highly enough for this van! I had a Vito before, which was nice to drive when it worked! It was a bag of poo, let me down all the time costing thousands in repairs. I would go as far as saying that the VW T5 is not only the best van I have ever owned but the best vehicle and that’s comparing it to my BMW Z4 3.0 and BMW 320 se. I’ve got mine pimped, running on range rover stormer alloys, full body kit with chrome bars, camper conversion big ice install chipped to 185bhp & just love driving it - Mark Twyford from Warwickshire
Hello Martin, my name is Henry and am planning to buy VW Transporter 2.0L 140hp, it has done already 80K, do you think it’s a bad van? Please advise me about it. Many thanks - Henry from Israel
Nice van to drive compared to Toyota or Ford, handles well and good on juice. Only the turbo fell apart at 11500 kms whilst on a ski weekend. Rang VW assist and had it transported via tilt tray back to my place and then to dealer following day. No cost to me thank god. My first euro commercial van and I don’t have much faith after warranty period. If this is any indication of what quality German build is like, I would have to say that it is over priced crap.
Cosmetic surgery gone wrong here! Having major problems with gearbox & engine. Dealer really struggling to resolve problem, makes me feel sick every time I look at my van or any other T5 facelift. Wish I’d stuck with my last 2.5 130bhp, have owned 3 x T5 2.5 130bhp and found them bomb proof. If I can find a low mileage 2.5/130 the facelift will be gone.
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I’ve got a t5 facelift, had from new, 3000 miles done, had clutch/flywheel at 1000 miles, still the same rattles from gearbox when clutch not engaged. VW have admitted there’s an issue but can’t fix it, they say it’s either the input or output shaft. I say just put a new gearbox in the f----r! Not impressed! - Paul Mitchell from Bedfordshire
Bought with 30k on the clock, 1 month later needed a waterpump, 6 months later a new turbo. 73k on it now 2 yrs later, going ok. Good points: Very frugal 600miles for 80 litres, very stylish, fast. Bad points: Crap seats, ride quality, turning circle, build quality. If only honda could make a small commercial vehicle..
VW should be ashamed of this most un-reliable pile of s**t . Worst vehicle EVER!
Hi to you all. I am the owner of a 2004 VW Transporter 126kw type 5. I have just completed a 4680 klm trip in my van towing a Geist caravan (weight 1200kg loaded: my VW van was converted into a camper van in 2005). I had no trouble at all, the van as now done 73000ks while towing the caravan and I DID NOT use sixth gear (overdrive), only fifth. There was only a 200 rpm difference between gears. On the trip I averaged 8.62 kilometers per litre, I was away for 21 days. Next year, all being well, I want to go away for two months up to the KIMBERLYS in the far north of our state.
Very nice van a lot nicer to drive than a Transit or Vivaro but nowhere near as well built as the transit. Have had the VW for 5 weeks and have done 4000 miles so far and it’s used as a plasterer’s van. The rubber cills on the back doors are peeling off and side door becoming very stiff to slide. The interior feels ok a bit flimsy in places and gerabox very clunky. Overall nice drive but don’t think it will last as long and well as my old transit.
Wanted a T5 for ages, though wish I’d never bothered. Bought it from a VW dealer a year ago, it had 20k on the clock. So far it’s had a new gearbox, new drive shaft, new windscreen wiper motor, new ecu,and now the driver’s door handle does not work and it will not start when the engines hot! Booked in again with the dealer next week. I am sure there are other things I have had done to it but to be honest its been to the dealer more times than I can remember. The interior just falls to bits, and the ashtray/cup holder makes me laugh every time I use it. Complete junk. Basically it’s a complete load of rubbish. Had nothing but trouble with it and would never buy another VW, which is a shame as it’s a great looking van. Apart from the looks its got nothing else going for it whatsoever. It even drives like a bag of s**t ! Take my advice, don’t buy one.
Bought the van new for 20k. After a couple of months the transmission started playing up in 5th gear. The van went back to dealer so many times I lost count, no one knew what was causing the problem (having been vehicle technician myself specialising in transmissions and vcads work for many years the bullshit faded to silence and shrugging of shoulders). At 40 months old 56k the transmission failed. The van went back to the dealer at a proprosed cost of 4.5k. Needles to say I kicked off big time, eventually VW coughed up half the bill. I’ve done endless hours of reserch into the T5 transmission, my conclusion is the transmission is not up to the job, FWD is not the answer. Having spoken to a VW technician this is a well known problem, drive shaft splines cvs flywheels and transmissions failing, major components on a 20k van not on VW.Having said that, what is the alterative? I’m in the market for a new van, thought of the new 180 dsg but been told to stear well clear. Anyone with same problem please let me know... if I haven’t spoken to you already. Something about the T5, strangly I love it, I can’t help wondering if VW had got the drive line right what an awesome vehicle it would have been.
My van kept going to limp, approx every 100 miles. The garage put a cleaning fluid through the turbo and it didn’t do it again for almost 700 miles. It went into limp less frequently, but still continued. Eventually, it showed the oil can fault light on the dash, had to be recovered and I haven’t had it back since (6 and a half weeks now!). The garage drained the engine of oil to check for damage (apparently you see small shards of metal if there is damage internally). They thought it might be an oil pressure problem. So, they then ran a cleaner through it and replaced the turbo - which incidently was knackered according to the garage (I do trust them, but am doubting them a bit!). I was due to get it back yesterday. They had been driving it around for 2 days, saying it was running lovely, then yesterday the oil fault light appeared again. They are scratching their heads.
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Hi mate, if you have any doubts ask to see the old turbo as I’ve had a few problems with turbos and I eventually rebuilt my own and they are simple to do. And you have to change the oil feed pipe to the turbo so if you need to know more, just ask - Joe Mclear from Devon
This van has been GREAT except for a problem with the sliding door. VW dealership Carrs in Indian Queens tried to fix repeatedly but we only actually got it sorted when we got our local garage to do it. Wouldn’t buy car from there again as didn’t feel appreciated as a customer at all. The van drives really well and cruises on long drives. We opted for six seats as we have a big extended family. It’s a great family car, but, three rear seats are easily removed if needed. My husband uses it everyday for building work and when we go away we can fit a matress in the back too , this model highly recommended and trustworthy.
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Mike, we have a T5 Shuttle with a rattle on our offside rear sliding door. What was the problem with yours and which garage sorted it? We live quite close to Carrs and they have been unable to sort it - Nige from Cornwall
OMG, where do I start? Off loaded a shabby looking but reliable 112 Vito for a shiny good looking 174 VW Transporter, German engineered excellence we are told, well 3 years later and nearly £14000 later on repairs all I can say is never ever buy one. You name it, it has gone wrong; 3 drive shafts, 1 stub drive, eats tyres 5 set in 65.000 miles, 3 sets of brakes, new power steering pump (engine oil in power steering), 4 set of discs, keep warping (yes all genuine VW parts), latest and still in garage for second time dule mass fly wheel and drive shaft again shattered for total loss of power. These are just the things that stick in my mind not to mention the alternator failing and suspension problems. I wouldn’t even sell it second hand now, I wouldn’t put any one through the pain, I would rather scrap it because that’s all it’s worth. A good looking van but that’s all. Running gear total rubbish and with very good inside information VW know it. Leave well alone, you have been warned......
My 1st experience with VW. I have always been a Vauxhall man, bought the 180 bh LWB. Wow, what a machine, comfort, overtaking excellent. Loaded or unloaded makes no difference to drive! Being a 6 foot man - found cockpit a little small, but acceptable, fuel consumption... well I thought it would be better - but it is 180 and I’m heavy footed. If you’ve ever enjoyed driving Golf’s, it has very similar characteristics, a nice positive feel, tight and responsive. Have only had it a few weeks - am glad I got the rear parking sensors - haven’t felt or seen any issues yet and hope not too. Wanted a Sportline but they won’t be released until end of year... can’t wait, I will be getting one!!!
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I genuinely hope you have trouble free motoring with your van but be warned - get over the 50k mark and offload it unless you have a bullet proof warranty. I have excellent and reliable information from high-end VW tecnos and they all reckon we have been taken for mugs my friend... me included... and 6 other contractors Ive met in 5 months.. I agree... good looking van but that’s where it ends I’m afraid... total cost of van and repairs in 3 years - £38000 ... just bought 115 new Vito; I’ll let you know lol good luck... (and yes, scrapped £12,000 worth of van, couldn’t sell it... couldnt sleep at night :) that bad... honest. Richard Forsyth from Kent
Bought a new t32 kombi, so far ok but rear brakes making a sound, going to ring VW. Already owned 05 t28, had many problems but all fixed under warranty.
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The funny plumber is a guy who works for VW so beware! They are besides themselves worrying about several re-call issues but they wont let you in on it until enough noise is generated by the over charged public; how they can justify their prices is beyond me, a bit of a false ledgend, people are happy to part with more money for an inferior product because of the badge, never again - VW REP SUPER REP from England
Hi, yeah, first time ownership of a Kombi t32 14o ps. An excellent drive, really comfortable but the rear off-side sounds like I have an optional extra of a mouse trapped in the wheel arch. It is going into VW tomorrow... Martin from England
Having had a T4 with great reliability for a few years I took the plunge and bought an 05 1.9 T5. with 40 k on it. Since then I have done another 45k, mainly with boats on the roof. It generally drives very well and returns about 500 mile per tank full, however, in the last couple of months the Dual Mass Flywheel went bang and now the drive shaft splines have gone (male and female bits). Reading on the web now rather than before purchase I have found that this scenario is all too common. NOT WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT FROM VW paying premium prices for a supposedly quality product. Think twice, do you need to pay an extra couple of grand over and above normal maintainance costs?
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I too have a VW Transporter t5 1.9 104, its a 55 plate and i’ve owned it since it was 8 months old. It had a clutch and flywheel under warranty at 27k another a week before it came out of warranty, a new clutch thing for alternater as it was ceasing and making a strange breaking up noise, a new side door lock that didn’t want to open when the sun came, another £200+. Then i’ve had trouble with leaking coolant and have had the bottle changed and pressure tested. And now to top it all of a dinging noise when changing 2nd to 3rd, 3rd to 4th and clutch judder, so another clutch, flywheel, rebuilt gearbox and only 82k on the clock with a full VW history. I’ll be going back to a Transit! - N Cirket from Bedfordshire
Had two x t5’s both with gearbox probs. Like an idiot bought a 2010 t6,done 900 miles and its gotta go back and have a clutch/flywheel etc, c**p! Wont get another! - Paul Mitchell from Bedfordshire
Bought this van off a dealer and had nothing but problems. Under warranty had the water pump replaced 38K, air conditioning poly went 40K £600.00 fan switch just went all this in under 50K. Today the alternator has given up the ghost, another £700.00. Had a Toyota previously and it had 96K on the clock. Drove it up to 110K, no problems what so ever. Wont be bying VW ever again.
70,000 miles in comfort, then the oil turned to mayonnaise. £1,300 later and the oil is still turning to mayo. I’m sure the garage did what the bill says and change the oil cooling element in the sump. However, either that wasn’t the problem and I’ve been ripped off or, well, it couldn’t have been the problem. How can I be losing a litre of water through the engine every 200 miles. VW, designed to fail or what? I thought I’d be getting something that would see the kids through to college.
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There is a bung on the block near the water pump which, when the vehicle is gotten ready for delivery to customer, is supposed to be taken out and replaced with designated hose and fitting. This is done all across Europe but generally over looked in the British Isles. If not done the water pump inevitably leaks through shaft seal and it runs into sump and mixes with engine oil instead of out through this hose. Hope this helps! Ivan Roulston from Ireland
Ivan, hello there! I have a t5 130 2.5 tdi vw 2006 with 86k kms on the clock. Two weeks ago the water top up light came on so I topped it up with about 500 mls and again last week the same again. I had also been checking the oil levels at the same time and also the van just had a full VW service in Dublin 4 weeks ago. The oil levels were correct on all checks. Yesterday the oil light came on so I checked it and it was low and when I took off the filler cap there was a white mushey substance on the inside of the cap and down inside the neck of the oil filling chamber. The dip stick did not show any sign of the white stuff, what do you reckon could be up with it? - Colm from Connemara, Ireland
Not sure of this problem, mine had the engine oil mix with coolant and brought on coolant light, can’t remember, I think something to do with oil cooler. I Will check out and get back - Ivan Roulston from Ireland
That water problem you have has happened to me and now the turbo has blown, best get it checked out, hope this helps - Gavin Lane from Devon
Hi, I picked my T5 55 plate up from Belfast two weeks ago and drove 500 miles home to Dorset. When I got off the boat at Stranraer, I drove for about 70 miles and the yellow oil light came on so I stopped and the book said either senser switch playing up or oil level needs topping up. I checked after a few minutes and the oil looked clean and up to level. The light seems to come on and off every few days. I’ve done 650 miles now so not sure. My real worry is that I have a milky scum under my oil filler cap and down the spout. It’s not that bad but seeing as the guy I bought it from told me he had changed the oil and filters it the last thing I would have expected to see; maybe he changed the oil and sold it cause he thought the same,maybe I’m being paranoid? - Karl Rymes from Dorset
It is the water pump definately - Jonathan Norris from Hampshire
At 108,000km the van stopped. The mechanic found that the speed sensor was damaged from inside the engine. After removing sump (not an easy job) it was found that approximately one third of the oil baffle had broken away over a period of time? This has been belted into a nugget which eventually damaged the speed sensor. A miracle engine was not damaged. Local VW dealer not interested in knowing or following up my concerns with VW Australia.
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I bought a Transporter Shuttle 2009 2.5 lwb. After five months and 14,000 miles the engine failed - loose metal from oil baffle. VW replaced engine under warranty. After a further six months and 28,000 miles my engine failed again, metal from oil baffle again. Engine being replaced by VW again. I have now demanded a new vehicle as this one is not fit for purpose - Patrick from London
I have a 2005 2.5 TDI which I bought with 43,000km. At 51,000km, I had the same problem, the oil plate tore off a chuck of metal, got stuck in the engine and just stopped. This happened three times in a matter of 4500km. VWSA just could not give a hood to my problems. They keep telling me they have never had this problem before. As the two year guarantee is up I have no claim so we have not replaced the plate and now I have overfueling problems. The mechanic wants to pull his hair out with this bus as when he sorts out one problem, another comes to haunt him. I have had turbo pipes blow off, aircon gear break and now overfueling. When it’s going, I just love driving it. I’m sure it will stop its nonsense soon? - Graham Todkill from South Africa
My 09 VW Transporter is noisy as hell to drive; the tyre noise comes right into the cab. The radio is OK but the speaker system is of a very poor sound quality. I also have a Ford Transit that leaves it standing in regards to to driveabilty and build quality. The doors on the van are poorl you have to slam them to close. Also a very rough ride.
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Dear Paul, I have just bought a T30 and have the same problems that you have. I spoke to customer services, as usual their response was of no value, the tyre noise is driving me mad, did you resolve yours? Also the clutch is sharp, the ride and seats uncomfortable. How do you think these problems can be overcome? Any ideas? Regards, Anthony from Norfolk
Boy, am I glad I looked on this web site... I have a Company 2010 T32 transporter and the road noise is loosening my fillings because of resonance and effecting my hearing and is mainly noticeable on textured roads and is unbearable!! I took it into S.M.G. Cowfold near Horsham, West Sussex and the service manager came out with me to witness the noise and as I turned to him with a noise of what can only be described as being in a jet liner as it takes off (we were doing 30 mph) he said (quite predictably) that it was NORMAL.!!!! When I reacted saying "who the hell would buy one of these once they have driven it on a road test" he added it could be the tyres. I asked for them to be changed just to see if it improved things but (predictably) was unable as lease company wouldn’t allow them to!! I went away very disappointed, especially when they said they had fixed one of the buzzing speakers but as I checked it before driving off it was exactly the same. Please help, I want my quite excellent 2.5 Vivaro back - James Eyres from England
Thank goodness it’s not just me! I have just swapped my ’07 Renault Trafic for a new 2011 LWB 102ps Transporter, the road noise is unbearable at low speed, a really really loud rumble which is definately not something you get used to. I’d have the Trafic back tomorrow for ride comfort, fuel economy and performance - Stu Wood from England
"Lets go to work" they say. Surely that should be, let’s try to get to work to earn the money to pay for new gearbox £2000, Dual mass flywheel £700, new steering pump, new water pump £800 new, intercooler £750 plus repair bills from local garage £1100 to sort out that the injector seals where leaking and van would not start! VW couldn’t even find the problem..."Computer says all is ok Sir" ..Well why the hell do I turn the key for 2 minutes every morning until the pile of c**p starts then!!! DO NOT BUY A T5, unless you have very deep pockets and are happy to constantly employ the "Technicians" at VW. By the way, I was unlucky enough to buy 4 of these vans in 2004 and the list I have given you is just on my own one. It has covered a grand total of 80,000 miles and I can’t wait for the journey when it finally disappears into the distance to become someone else’s problem. VW are not interested in any of the problems and obviously know they have created massive design faults. Latest problem with other van is camshaft worn, this will cost £2500 and although the garage say it is caused by wrong oil this is not the case. Van owned by us from new and serviced always with the specified longlife oil. I can’t be bothered to argue, it will get me no where. If one person reading this decides not to buy a T5 then my time has not been wasted.
Responses to this review
I’m not - Oli Dines from Essex
I have been reading all these post of the shocking quality of this van, I really wanted to buy a trouble free van. Looks like I won’t be buying a t5. Thanks for all the insight!! - Dane from Australia
Well sir, consider that job done. I have now decided to go for something other than a VW transporter. I think I’m going to go for an 04/05 Transit. If I can find one which hasn’t rotted already! Cheers - Ben Lord from Nottinghamshire
OK, man from Kent, I won’t let him buy a T5 either. I prefer the Caravelle anyhow. Thank you - Lali from Yorkshire
Today (14/01/2011, I got my new T5. I have got to be honest, the engine seems improved but does not have the same power as the old Touraeg powered ones. My main complant is the noise, the engine is fine now but road noise is very bad and the front end seems lighter causing the handling not to be so good. It also seems very hard on the springs and everything rattles. The bulkhead and dash have driven me nuts all day and the cigarette litghter power socket rattles so much my sat nav loses its conection and does not charge. The radio is also rubbish. I have had T5s before and had lots of problems, one of which had three complete engines, luckily it was still under warranty. I would never reconmend one to anyone. If you want a good van stick to Ford or Vauxhall - Nicholas Presland from Buckinghamshire
I have a 94 T4 campervan, 2.4D, for 6 years, done 40k miles. No real issues. Fuel injector pump re-furbished at 80k miles. Thinking of getting a newer T5 in due course, but having read your review, you have saved me. Not going to buy one now - Ian James from Devon
Bought van new in July ’05, no problems under warranty. At abount 70K water pump failed causing £700 repair, also constant problems with handbrake. Last week while loading vehicle on my drive the handbrake released itself. The van crashed into a wall causing 4k worth of damage. My drive is quite steep and I normally also leave it in gear but on this occasion I did not. If anyone else has experienced this please comment.
Responses to this review
Check for recall on handbrake on VW T5 at http://www.vosa.gov.uk/vosa/apps/recalls/default.asp. I read that a fault on the handbrake caused a recall - s1ms from Cornwall
Mine did the same. 2004 T5 174. Handbrake seems on firm enough but seems to slacken off when the brakes cool down. Angled drive, scraped down wall. Always leave in gear now. Handbrake not too strong at best - Ian from Wiltshire
I have a 54 130ps camper. Handbrake has always been dodgy. At six months old van ran away whilst parked and its progress was arrested by a telegraph pole. Caused damage to tailgate and broke rear screen. I lost my excess and glass excess. VW have known about this problem from day 1 but have lied, lied and lied again and will not admit a design fault. The problem, as was suggested in other posts, is that as the brakes cool down, the handbrake does not grip and the van rolls away. VW’s response was to say that if I had parked the vehicle properly, as per their handbook, IE in gear and with the wheels jammed into the kerb, I wouldn’t have had a problem. Seems they knew about the problem from day one - Martin Norman from Surrey
’07 t5 handbrake fails, two front shocks replaced water pump and oil cooler both replaced and clutch and fly wheel. Van serviced every six months, treated very gently, very poor design, all this work to a four year old van after only 56,000 miles. Next van is a Ford Transit - Peter O Donoghue from England
Just had new T5 Transporter, now on third one having had 04 swb 130bhp from new then 07 lwb 130bhp, now on 10 lwb 180 bhp. Have changed every three years to keep in warranty, which "yes "early models did suffer with fly wheel problem knocked out timing, Faulty hand brakes, steering rack, inter-cooler, water pump, but I had recalls to advise of problems and had van sorted at dealer. Like all new models you get problem but the t5 is now 7 years old and has been improved with progress. Transit’s every 12 month so they can charge for bits to put every model in Ford range right. Yes all my work done under warranty for which I have had over 4 VW call outs in the last 7 yrs, " What a service, the best" Call in to report a problem, guy rings you and says be with you at this time and every time with you as they say. Will either fix or get you in another van . New T5 WHAT A TOOL, one thing I will say in VW defence I bought my t5 04 plate 5k deposit new and sold after three years with repayments of £300 a month and have worked way up 7years later to my new T5 £25k and I haven’t had to put a penny in the pot. The resale value is fantastic. Anyway new van, just amazing, so much better than older model, 300miles plus on £40 of fuel. Goes like you stole it. Could be in a church when you drive it, sits like tank at any speed ( if you know what I mean?) Stops like you hit a rugby player. 70mph at 2000 revs Errrrrr what does your transit do??? Pulls a 2.5ton trailer and load on motorway at motorway speeds????? up and down hills with out changing gear. Errrrrr what does your transit do " not pull a trailer" if you got any sense.... like sitting in one of those big chairs at pictures Errr transit your still trying to find the steering wheel adjuster lever. WHAT NOT GOT ONE?... How very odd. oh well just listen to that engine at the junction rattle and shudder the van. Just the best t5 to date they have got rid of all the gremlins, and got this one so right. Yes you say I have a new one but you buy any second hand van and it’s either been used to rob a bank, carried a battleship across a ploughed field, or used to simulate Jenson Button’s win in OZ 2009. Transit I had one for three weeks while i was waiting for new t5 as my old one sold so fast for some reason?????? lol. WHAT A PILE OF S@*" after two days I took it back to see if it had a hole in the fuel tank, I even stayed up one night because i was convinced that someone was stealing the fuel in the night. But no it just drank it like an AA candidate. Noisy I have been to watch the Who on the 2nd row i’ll never be fooled by a Transit again no no. Mine’s for sale in three years time if you have 18k and if want my number just ask for my mate the funniest plumber in Tamworth and he will tell you it.
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Hi Neil. Do you have the new 2 litre motor in your type 5, if so how does it go?? I am thinking of upgrading from my 2004 5 cylinder 2.8 diesel. There is not much of a write up on the 2litre motor yet, not that have found any on the web yet - Keith Graham from Australia
Hi there, I bought my first brand new VW 9 seat Transporter Shuttle SE 2007 130HP LWB 2.5 diesel 6 speed gear box, good vehicle but lower gears (1,2,3,) very tuff right from new. VW dealer has promise that once I cover 10,000 ml it will be smooth and easy, unfortunately for me at 20,000 ml and 30,000 ml the gear box is still the same VW dealer now is saying that this it specific of 6 speed gear box and apparently they are all the same, has anybody experience such problem? VW mechanics do not like this 6 gear box but because there all the same not a lot can be done (words of dealership) in 4 weeks my warranty is finished, what to do next? anyone? - Andrew Kowalski from Hertfordshire
Hi Neil. I should have said my VW t5 is a 5 cylinder 2.5 128kw turbo diesel, so far no troubles. I am just about to leave on holiday to Bangkok Thailand then onto Laos for three weeks. After I get back I am going up to the north of our state towing the Geist caravan (1200kgs), a round trip of 3000klm with the type5, I have every confidence in the type5, I will let you know how I go - Keith Graham from Australia
Hi Neil, just ordered new t5 140 hp, got a transit 57plate I agree a pile of c**p but worried about space as VW is smaller. I am plumber, how do you find the space? There seems to be more bad reports than good about the t5!! - Ian Parsons from Yorkshire
How funny! I’m gonna be chuckling at this for the rest of the day! Daniela from England
Bought van for work purpose for my lads to go to work; travel all over the country, as I own a steel erecting company. A great van, great on fuel, going very well still. Bought from new, 2004 model, a very happy customer.
I’ve had this T5 about 3yrs now and thank God I’m just about to get rid off it, it was used as a taxi and although it was practical the van kept letting me down. First off the dual mass flywheel has gone 3 times, drive shaft twice, intercooler split, electric windows have mind of their own, air bag warning light on and off. I have done 100,000 miles in 3 yrs and the car has been serviced very regularly. It has cost me thousand in repairs and lost work. I had 3 more shifts to do before it was got rid of when the drive shaft went again. Roll on Wednesday when it finally, I goes will never buy VW again.
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Very interesting, have just been looking at VW Caravelle for use as taxi, having used Mercedes in past have fancied a change, been thinking of new pre reg 09/59 T5 but also the new 140, from what you say not what would want at all for this use, may have to reconsider - Martyn Black from Aberdeenshire
I have had two T4’s from new, put high mileage on both and have been very pleased with both vehicles. My current T4 has the five cylinder intercooled engine and after 200,000miles it still pulls like a locomotive! I have always been a firm believer in good, regular maintenance, I service every 10k and this has paid dividends because I have had very few problems. There was a fuel pump problem at 30k and it was replaced under warranty, this problem arose because the dealer put petrol in the tank before I collected it new and the petrol damaged the pump causing the bearings to squeal. Also the actuater arm on the turbo was sticking recently causing power to be vastly reduced. This problem was overcome by the judicious lubrication of the offending component(a point to be remembered by all who run this series of vans). Overall the vehicles have performed well, economy is good, power delivery and reliability excellent. I’m sorry to hear so many tales of woe concerning the T5, these problems can’t all be down to poor individual driving style, though I suspect more than a few are. As good and quick as these vehicles are they are still only LCV,s and all operators should remember this. Hopefully all the bugs have been ironed out as I have just ordered a facelifted T5 LWB 180PS DSG 4MOTION with nearly all the bells and whistles, we’ll see!
I’ve just sold my Jeep Commander and was really keen to buy a VW Transporter. After reading all the reviews I’ve changed my mind.I do think German engineering tends to be over-rated. You can’t beat the Ford Transit.
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Hi. Also thinking about a new T5 SWB, possibly a 102PS. Would be interested to know what reviews you read. Thanks - Dave Scott from Aberdeenshire
Let me get it right, you’ve reviewed it and given it one star despite not actually owning one? - Gary from Ireland
Kevin, Mate-o-mate you must have driven a write off or some think. Tell me if you buy your Transit new what’s it worth gonna be worth in three years??? I’ll tell you "scrap money" and if we carry on at the mo don’t count that as 2k handout either. New 2010 Transporter’s got to be the best on fuel, comfort, power, looks and street cred. What does 70mph at 2000 revs ??? Not your transit mate. What will pull 2.5 ton on motorway and do 70mph and still pull up hills in 6th gear??? Not your transit. Please, please go back to a dealer and ask for a test drive. I’m on my 3rd T5 lwb, best van by far and still get well over half it’s value back after 3 years whatever the miles - Neil Turner from Staffordshire
30,000 miles and I also have had the dual mass flywheel for a princely sum £900. Very very unimpressed, particularly seeing that this seems to be a common design problem. Not exactly inspiring confidence for a 4 week trip around Europe this summer.
Bought second-hand from a local VW dealer, with 28k on the clock. Test drive was fine and other than the price tag i was convinced it would fit the bill... Took the gamble and a year down the line I wish I hadn’t been seduced by its styling & peformance credentials. Problems: 1) Not very economical, but managable considering its around town driving - Av. 450 miles to a tank (if riding the torque all the way!) 2) On sweeping corners (lefts & rights) the driveshaft generates a metallic rotational grinding noise - sometime barely audible, but ALWAYS felt through the accelerator pedal as a vibration!! Drove with VW mechanic and sod’s law not a peep!.. Local dealer has checked & found nothing wrong, - VERY convenient for them as I’m outside warranty now! 3) Shortly after 30k it has developed an INTERMITTENT accelerator issue whereby from 1st gear as I press CLUTCH to change up to 2nd there is a SHORT SCREECHING NOISE, then as I work up through the gears the the TURBO becomes abnormally loud (like a whale has just surfaced under the bonnet!)... Engine feels like a bag of nails and creates A DEAD SPOT ON THE ACCELERATOR which when pushed past suddenly slaps the turbo in the face thus snapping the van forward... Worst of all, my annoyances with the van are intermittent which as you likely know mean they’re as predictable as the weather... If VW won’t help then I’m left no choice but wait until the van ruins itself. You may argue my driving style etc., doesn’t suit the van, however I’ve had the DPF light up twice and both times the manual procedure has resolved this, so I can’t be going far wrong if at all... Back to the drawing board VW. I feel robbed. Lets hope the new face-lifted range has addressed these reputation-damaging issues.
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Hello Harry, Just read your report, I had the same problems on my 174 Caravelle. The metallic vibration from the drive train was the rubber coupling breaking up, sounds like yours has gone. The turbo noises were the same as mine too and were manifold gaskets blowing, had it happen 3 times and took a few visits to spot! Apart from that, 130,000 miles and lots of tyres I’m glad it was a company car/van!! - Andy from New Zealand
Bought my T4 a year ago and have spent a bit on it since, ie service etc..starts first time every time and is quite fast. Probs: Not many although turning on the lights changes the radio station frequency (weird). I wanted a T5 next but after reading so many duff reviews I’m doubtful. My previous vehicle was a Ford Transit, which I owned for nearly nine years, apart from the usual probs like new battery, water pump, etc it was no problem at all, at least they were made in the UK where people who assemble them have a good idea what quality means. The only reason I tried VW was simply because they are narrower than the trannies, although not as stable when cornering, easier to park etc for the wife. I think VW have a reputation that they don’t deserve. I’ll keep my T4 for a while longer as they seem to better than the T5, but I may go back to Ford who have a greater share of the commercial vehicle market, over 30% which must mean something compared to other manufacturers.
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Hi Peter, did you get a Transit after all? My transit is a 53 plate and all mk 5s built in Turkey now had a severe gear box problem that cost me 4 days off the road and £900 plus vat; absolutely poor service from Ford, no help, no payment etc. So won’t be buying another. The Transporter T5 seems to be trouble but only with the 1.9 engine so going to buy T5 2.5 5 pot lump P.S the transit drinks diesel - Andy Moore from Surrey
Hi Andy... no I’ve still got the T4...I worked for Ford for 27 years at the transit plant in Southampton and on occasion we used to do what is called a tear down of other manufacturers vehicles. This involved a complete strip down of every component to judge build quality fit and finish etc... The vehicles were then scrapped off this included Toyota VW Mercs. I can understand your concern re Transits being built in Turkey, VW’s from Brazil. It’s all to do with cheap labour when half the production operators ride round on Donkeys...Quality Control... ISO... doesn’t mean a thing to them. To be fair there wasn’t a great deal to choose between any of the competition in those days. Ford has more dealerships in the UK than any other which means they are a popular brand... And the good old Tranny has a massive market share...Volkswagens ridiculously over priced and from the reviews Vie read my T4 will have to fall apart before I get another... Yes it will probably be another Transit - Peter Green from Hampshire
Hi! I bought t5 transporter 130bhp 2.5cc only 4mths ago. Sept 06 having a lot of problems with particulate filter, paid £180 having it regenerated. VW say it’s because I do town driving, this happens every 4weeks, tried driving it as in manual but no joy, light still on, can anybody help with problem??? I do like this van otherwise, cheers.
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Buy yourself a well proven Ford Transit, I had one for nearly nine years, replaced a lot of the usual things, exhaust,tyres, battery, starter motor and water pump, nothing major like gearboxes drive shafts or all the other major parts these VWs seem to need after only nominal mileage. Ford started it all and are still the leaders in the medium van range with approx 46% of the market. I have a VW transporter 2.5 diesel and although its faster than my old tranny the ford was not turbo charged whereas the Transporter is, its a T4 on a\ 2002 plate - Peter Green from Hampshire
Think you’ll find VW are having quite a few problems with the DPF systems on the new T5`s, well l am, got a T32 had it 9months been off the road 2 of them. Sadly garage not able to fix, now at the point of asking them to take it back - Jack Field from Lincolnshire
Rubbish van, I’d NEVER buy another!! Is it just mine or do all Transporter vans Shake as you go over a bit of rough ground??? I’ve had it totally checked out; suspension; mounts; all the rubbers(including the tyres) Ok, so they look good, really modern etc etc, but in regards to handling- Motorway, 10/10 (although a bit noisey-probably the reason why the stereos’ are so good!!) Around town, 1/10 (if that). OK would I recommend one to you? NO WAY! (Unless of course you’d like to buy mine?)
Bought my van almost 4 years ago with 113k miles on the clock and service history. Only problems I’ve had are a broken rear spring (apparently a common fault), glow plug relay failed, starter motor, and ignition switch. All of which were easily remedied at little cost. It drives well and is a good workhorse. Would always recommend a VW. They’re worth spending the extra on!!!
I’ve had my t5 174 tdi 6 years now. I bought it from new and the water pump went at 30k, this was done under warranty in its 2nd year. Now it has 152k on the clock and it’s starting to show its age. 1st, clutch went, no warning whatsoever it just felt like every gear was neutral, 675 quid. 2nd, nearside drive shaft, again no warning, it just snapped at the boot, 272 quid but did that myself. 3rd, gear box, it hasn’t quite gone yet but it’s going to very soon, struggle to get it in 1st gear and it crunches like hell when trying to get it in 6th. Am not knocking the van at all, I drive it hard and quite surprised it hasn’t gone wrong sooner. Bit pricey on the parts/repairs but as they say, "nothing lasts forever" and "all good things come to an end". Its earnt its money and I’d have another.
Not very happy with T5, cruise knackered, offside drive shaft went and had a job to get goodwill from VW, now I have problems with rumble from steering and coolant leak and quite loud rattle from offside engine area. I have 2 driving hols to France and Spain this year and I would not trust it as far as I can throw it. T4 was ten times better. My advice when the warranty is upis to get shot of, a VW warranty after 3 years is so expensive and now I know why. I will be hiring something else for hols and getting shot of shortly.
Absolute pile of s**t. I’ve had Volkswagens all my life, always the 1.9 diesel Golfs and Transporters but no more after this. I bought my 2003 model Transporter 1.9 tdi when it was only 4 years old with 65,000 on the clock. It’s cost me a fortune and left me stranded in central France for a week when the inevitable flywheel,slave cylinder went taking with it the engine sump,clutch and drive shaft costing me €1800 with only 85000 on the clock.Its also had constant minor problems such as the headlight switch, back door lock,side door handle etc., going. This van has never even done heavy work; tow bar never used. Previous owner musician carrying only band equipment. I’ve only been using it as a camper.
I bought the van second hand from Euro Vans at Eastbourne, nothing but trouble, poor starting, turbo not working, typical bad news story from VW. Why do people say these vehicles are so good? Bought a Toyota Hiace, no problems at all.
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I have recently bought a VW T5 auto from VW Eurovans in Eastbourne, the vehcle has been nothing but trouble, I have had the vehcle only 2 months and it has gone back to the vw dealer 3 times with gearbox problems - Tayub Amin from England
Bought my 5 cyl t5 second hand with 38000km on the clock. Shortly after the power steering reservoir started overflowing with engine oil from a bad seal on the pump. Cost a new pump, fortunately under warranty, but other than that a brilliantly versatile vehicle with so much power and economy to boot. best vehicle I have owned. Have a set of chains for mud in Swaziland and let the tyres down for the sand in Mozambique. 16" wheels are the secret for clearance also remember to switch off electronic traction! Also own a very reliable Audi A4 and a new VW Beetle which has been trouble all the way, so win some lose some I guess.
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Hi Gavin, I have exactly same problem on ’05 transporter at 110,000 miles. Power steering reservoir magically tops itself up, and sprays oil through some little pressure release hole in (or near) the cap. Power steering reservoir is also the exact colour and consistency as engine oil. I think IT IS engine oil. Could my power steering be mixing with engine oil in some cooler or radiator??? Love to know a little more about how you fixed it and how much it cost?! All the best, thanks for your review - Murray Lonsdale from England
owned this van now for 3 and a 1/2yrs,no major probs yet ,just oil in coolant,fixed on warrenty twice!!! Had chip conversion to raise HP a few years ago; don’t bother, save your money, went from 31-33 average mpg to 25 average with no big discernable notice in performance. Taken it 5 times to south of france on various trips and so far not as much as a glich. It’s used every day for towing 1.5ton diggers and compressors and again as yet no clutch or gearbox problems. I dont drive it hard, just pottle around, sorry to hear there can be so many probs. I nearly bought a Merc instead of VW, both solid vans just preferred the looks of the VW, I’m glad I chose it though I have heard of gearbox problems but think that might just be 1.9 versions. Time will tell on reliability but I’m planning on keeping it for another 4-6 yrs.
Have a 174 TDI. In 70,000 miles its broken down 4 times, oil in the coolant, air mass meter, 2 other things that I didn’t really understand, cruise control no longer works (garage said it was because I had a different radio fitted), sliding door doesn’t unlock, front number plate fell off and plastic above rear number plate came very loose. Not pleased at all with Heritage VW in Bristol, they don’t seem to have the knowledge to deal with these problems or they just don’t care. Don’t know what to do with the van. It’s brilliant when it works but mostly it’s a shed on wheels. As you can tell I’m a bit upset by it all.
Had van from new, it’s nice to drive and good on fuel. After 24 months had a loud bang, no gears and it was the drive shaft completely snapped in half but under warranty so was lucky. Now at 4.5 years had the power steering pump, oil cooler and water pump go . I had reported oil light issues to VW while still under warranty but they said they could not find a problem until now and they are now arguing saying it isn’t their fault for not checking the original fault properly. So be warned VW are an arrogant bunch of W*&^%r’s and will never admit fault. Has any one else had this problem as we need to get together to make them listen.
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Hi, I have a T5 2.5 130hp 2005 Kombi. I just had my 2nd long life service 43000 on the clock £450.00. I told them I was geting some shacking through the steering wheel and asked if they could look at it after the service, I got a note saying that the top strut mounts have gone, the anti roll bar bushs are cracked and the power steering pump is on the way out; leaking fluid into the sump and it will cost about £1100.00, "did I want it done?" No thanks, I want to investigate first. I asked the garage if it will solve the problums and the answer was "maybe, not sure" The parts need to be done after only 43000 mile, I’m not impressed! I have had VW’s all my life, this is the first new one and the worst. I spoke to VW UK and asked if thay have had many pumps and strut top mounts go wrong as my local garage have done 5, they said no, it’s not a problem they have had. What can I do?!! - Andy Jackson from Dorset
Hi Rodger, sorry to hear your problems. I bought a t4 2.4 in 1994, new. During that time as a plumbing htg gas eng it had a hard life but in honesty all that was needed was the usual service parts, nothing major at all, so looking back at ownership its been good value. I sold it after thirteen years service, it cost new £13000, so got moneys worth. It was very reliable, the only main bad thing was that the factory fitted electric widows that were coupled up to auto closure went wrong a month after buying, it was back in and out of VW at least 12 times, in the end they could not fix the problem. VW’s solution was to remove the autoclosure function on the windows, well the worst part of it all was VW. I totaly agree with you, they are an arrogant,unhelpfull shower of t***s, although I bought a second hand t4 2.5 tdi, I love these vans. I am looking to buy a new one but I feel that if anything goes wrong, VW will just treat me like they did before, so I’m not sure about a new t5, it’s a mixed bag. VW need to listen to customersand loose their arrogance - Malcolm Dale from Yorkshire
I purchased my van a year ago, it was nearly 3 years old with 100,000 on the clock. Trouble free for 12 months, clutch has just gone. £900 bill for new clutch, fly wheel and slave cylinder from Mr. Clutch. Had a Renault van and a Peugeot van before which weren’t as nice to drive but never had repair bills like this. Very concerned now about future reliability and costs. Also when the steering lock is on full when manoeuvering there is quite a bit of juddering. Service is now due. If this is another large bill I don’t think I will keep this van long term, instead of the planned 5 years. Shame because I like driving it and it’s perfect for my job.
Write your report here...Great van, would buy again now on 200k in under 3 yrs, only had a gearbox go which was done under the warranty at 12k, has always been reliable and does 35mpg. Can only guess that people with lots of problems may be overloading their vans or driving them like t***s to cause so many problems. They say only a bad workmen blames their tools.
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2008 102 t30 Excellent van. Everyday it carries 1000kgs, sometimes twice a day. So hard work never caused it a problem. No problems with anything apart from the back bumpers a bit bashed with forklifts !!! A lot of high bhp ones seem to be problematic! - Walt from Staffordshire
I’m from Australia and have a 2005 T5 2.5Lt 6Speed manual with 123k on the clock. This is a expensive car down under. It’s the best van I have ever owned when it comes to power and comfort, bloody brilliant ! I use it for work and often spent weeks in central Australia. I wouldn’t call my trips hard, demanding would be a better word. At 120k the power steering pump exploded leaving me stranded in 48 degree temperatures for 4 hours before I flag down help. $1900.00 AU to fix it. Two weeks ago BANG no gears, no speedo, still waiting to hear from the mechanic why and how much $$$$. Sounds like input shaft. Breaking down where I go can kill you! I can no longer trust this van in the Australian Outback so today I purchased a 2009 Crewman T5 2.5Lt, 228Kw with 6 speed manual, 4 motion with optional RH door and towing pack. Drive away with 12 months rego this cost me $52000.00 AU I almost purchased the Benz but went for the VW again? I hope I’ve done the right thing but I’m a little worried after reading this review section.
Was Fine for 3 years now 91k, squeak on dash I can put up with but, rear door will not open? Front offside drive shaft splines broke.
I drive a T5 transporter shuttle bus as a taxi, the back windows are a c**p design and have been broken countless times over the last four years, the triptronic gearbox has now packed up after 294,584 miles. It is the fastest van I have ever driven (132 mph would you believe), the body work is perfect. Taking in account that it’s a night taxi, where you are picking up drunks that abuse the vehicle, this is to my mind the best bus on the market. Well done Volkswagen.
I live in South Africa and work in Botswana and Zambia. To date this is my favourite car. Equipped with Seikel Dakar suspension and 16" wheels, the body clearance on the sides is an awesome 300mm! Actual under-vehicle clearance is probably >260mm. Also fitted is the (expensive) diff lock and a dual battery system. I use this vehicle to work in lodges in Botswana including the Makgadikgadi Pans. A guide that works on the pans was complimentary of it’s great off road comfort and was surprised at the ability in mud and sand. Although I drive the car enthusiastically, the return at the pumps is favourable for it’s huge size. A careful drive will return about 30mpg, which is not bad for a 2 ton 4X4 brick! I believe the 2WD is a lot more frugal. Very proud at the moment as the T5 engine, inherited from the R5 Touareg, is currently powering the 1,2,3 domination of the Dakar as at stage 9 on 11 Jan 2010. My 112CDi Vito cannot compare with this superior vehicle.
Initially i was very pleased with the bus, comfortable and practical for me, my wife, four kids and three labradors. There is always a slight offset pull when accelerating, I put this down to heavy load. Hang on, this is a commercialy rated veh. major beef at 78000 miles dual mass flywheel disintegrated as did drive shaft, what a stupid cheapskate design,if there is too much torque/transmission shock, improve and strengthen mountings and components. To pass cheap designs onto customers who end up with expensive bills I feel VW are totally betraying the trust of loyal (not for long) customers. P.S. Who designed the rubbish sliding door windows? Having read everybody elses beefs I am filled with dread for the next 100000 miles.
VW transporter 1.9 tdi 85 bhp with 116,000 miles complete, no issues up to now. today during cold weather got stuck in 4th gear. I left until mid day and all ok again. got checked out and water got into gear linkage cables and froze. To fix it will require new linkage. (currently tried to get water out with wd40 and grease) all in all I’ve had this van from new and I would recommend it to anyone.
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Beware Brian 4th gear stuck several times, nothing to do with water /ice, the gear stripped leaving me 200 miles from home. On inspection it was a bad casting on the teeth, the van had only done 50,000 miles and was out of warranty by three months; VW just laughed. Fixed it myself and has been OK for the last two years but gearbox will have to come out again when I can’t stand the noise from the lay shaft. Seems there is a general gearbox problem, just luck if you get a good one. Like a fool have bought a second Transporter, I see from the service history this has had a new gearbox at 47000 miles - Paul Davies from England
I’ve just bought a 174 Sportline Kombi van after owning a ex AA t4 swb. I thought after trouble free motoring I was pushing my look and law of averages says sooner or later it’s going to let me down, here we go; I have never ever ever had so much go wrong with a vehicle in my life and we own a commercial garage so we’ve seen our fair share of bad vehicles. My 174 after 2800 miles is on its 3rd turbo after constant ecu light on and constant limp mode. The heater will not clear the screen, I left it running for an hour outside work the other day and from half way up the screen it still didn’t un-freeze the screen. The next thing to go was as I was pulling out of our drive I pressed the foot brake and the pedal was solid, as though the servo had packed up, enter the RAC again. They came out and told me it was the abs kicking in, well no it wasn’t, so he told me there was nothing he could do so my wife went out the next morning and it did the same thing, foot pedal solid, then it works fine after pumping a few times. I’m awaiting VW’s response but I will never buy another VW again, the sportline is badly made, badly finished off, not as quick as everybody makes out. I’m disappointed after owning a well made, well finished off t4. I’ve had the RAC out to my 174 3 times and the AA out once. Never again, if i can get rid I will.
Just had 12 of these on hire for 4 weeks. Main faults were 5 of them need new gearboxes, either gears crunch or dont go in at all. 1 had the door handle fall off on the inside and out making the door totally useless. All have gone back to the hire company totally battered and in need of warranty repairs. Load space is appaling due to the large wheel arches inside the back. Once loaded the van is extremely unstable. Whenever you have a passenger in the van who isnt a midget they continually put the hazard lights on with their knees. Worst vans ever.
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I own a 2005 type 5 that as been converted to a campervan. I also tow a geist caravan (1200kgs) I have 87000Ks on the clock and so far everything is O.K. I find it interesting the talk about the WATER PUMP problem, when I take it in for its next service T will ask the mechanic to check it out. thanks for the info... ps mine is a 128kw 5cylinder - Keith Graham from Australia
I’ve just bought a t32 window van 1.9pd102 but there was no handbook with the van, can anyone help me to buy one anywhere? i have tried everywhre without success, thank you.
I have a transporter for my business, a 57 plate which has just clocked 80k with very little faults other than a couple of rattles. People with turbo faults need to understand that VGT turbos need time to warm up before setting off flat out and to cool off after they have been worked hard. Doing this a major fault can be avoided. Drive shafts on front wheel drive vans will fail from time to time especially when van is fully loaded I would not have or recommend any other van than VW!
I bought this van in 2005. Great until just a month before the warranty ran out, so it got the clutch repaired. However, 20,000.00 for a van without brake wear sensors on it has cost me 600 pounds. Then a week after the warranty ran out the alternator buggered up costing 450 pounds. Then the turbo intake pipe blew off costing a further £105 pounds. Now the 5th gear is buggered and it’s about to go in to find out if it’s a 500 pound job or a 4,500 pound job. Not impressed now. The van layout is great and the drive comfortable but for a working van that has just hit 110,000 mile (90% motorway miles) this cannot be good.
I bought my Sportline new in 2007. Its now late 2009 and I have just clocked up 75,000, no mercy, trouble free miles. The only fault I had was a broken cooler pipe bracket which caused a rattle. Top van in my opinion. Those people with continual problems I can only guess its the way you drive’em..pussies!!
I’m on my 4th Transporter and it’s the dearest at £27,000. I’ve never had as much trouble with a vehicle ever. At one point it was in the dealers for 7 weeks with a fault they couldn’t find. As I write this I’m waiting for a return call from the dealer regarding my 2nd Turbo that went nearly 3 weeks ago. It’s had so much go wrong I can’t remember half the problems, but there have been at least 20. I’m seriously thinking of changing my van but not VW.
I bought a 1.9 102bhp t5 when it was 15 months old and initialy I was very impressed with it but then couldn’t get into any gear with out crunching. I took it back to the dealer and they changed the gear box oil and all was ok for a while. Next it started to wobble when doing speeds of 42-60mph. I took it back to the dealer but they couldn’t find the cause. It continued to wobble so I took it back again and this time they put a new steering rack on. This didn’t solve the problem so made another visit and this time had a new gear box fitted. The problem was still there so another visit to the dealer and a new drive shaft on the driver’s side has been fitted but this still hasn’t fixed it. The 3 year warranty is up soon, what do i do??
Responses to this review
This problem is normally p/s drive schaft or please check tyres for flat spots, I know this as I was master tech for VW - The Rab from County Antrim
Vehicle is not fit for purpose - involve trading standards as to your rights of return, also ask the RAC to do a purchase survey to ascertain the vehicle validity. I suspect that vehcle has been seriously damaged in transit to showroom and dealer had had to fanny it up rather than lose the purchase price and not been able to complete the repair. Also, take the vehicle for a stringent MOT to a garage that does cut price MOT as they are looking for work - the more it fails the more work they get. Summarise all that and contact VW UK and ask them for a new vehicle, at the very least extend the warranty for another 3 years - John firstname.lastname@example.org McGonigal from Scotland
These VW mechanics must cost VW alot of money as they keep putting parts on vans and it doesn’t cure it. I took my van into Agnews, told them what was wrong with my van as I am a service manager myself. I told them it was the gearbox that was at fault and then Rab phoned me up to tell me that I needed a new clutch to which I said no it doesn’t. He then said I am sure that is the problem. How could I argue as they are meant to be the experts. I got into my van to find that they had done 0.3 of a mile in it on a test drive, surley they would need to drive for at least five to ten miles? I drove the van not even the length of the show room to find I had the same problem. I then phoned the service manger the next day told him I still had the same problem he said I couldn’t as he test drove it himself and it was fine. He then tried to tell me that I must be doing some thing wrong. After driving a van for four years why would I be doing some thing wrong now? They then took the van back in again the stripped the box down and found the box was scrap so they put a recon box in, which also has a noise in it but hey how would they know this as there was only 0.1 of a mile on it this time. You go to a main dealer thinking your going to get a good job done, this is not the case - Thomas Purdy from County Down
Have same "wobble" problem, have had new driveshaft, now dealer is removing gaerbox to check flywheel, did your van get sorted and if so what was the problem? Tim Foster from Sussex
Nope, wobble never sorted - still doing it but will wait until the tyres are changed and then I will go down the "vehicle is not fit for purpose route". I will have to wait and see - Kevin from Sussex
This is an excellent vehicle, mine has done 150k so far and the only fault I can find is that it judders when pulling away with full lock on; it feels like the brakes are pulling on or the four wheel drive is cutting in, not sure, but when clutch is dipped it rolls freely. Once you are moving or using a bigger turning circle there is no problem. Has anyone had the same problem or at least similar? I would be interested to know before paying for the VW garage to take a look.
Responses to this review
It could be the power steering belt. I’ve just had mine done after experiencing left hand turn juddering on pull away. It’s cured the problem - M Lewis from England
It’s just your four wheel drive sysem thats all. Same happens in jeeps in 4WD. the van you have is in full time 4WD - John Radsom from London
Hi, I have an older synchro Transporter and it does that, it’s like the brakes are on when you tight turn, all 4wd are like that, it’s just the way they are don’t worry - Andy Horton from Yorkshire
I have a t5 transporter window van, at 70000 miles the dual mass flywheel (what a thoroughly c**p piece of design) packed up, two grand later back on the road, asked VW dealer if is this a model problem? No he said, never had one in before with this problem, b******s I thought, as his nose gave pinnochio a good run for his money. I digress, your symptoms are similar to my early stages, next will be transmission rock on clutch take up followed by a bang. Bon chance mon brave!! - Anthony Norton from Devon
Can sympathise, have just had exactly the same problem with my Transporter at 65k miles and was also told by garage that they had never had this problem in before! Going to collect van tomorrow and meet pinnochio - Gary Graves from England
I bought my 2.5 Transporter new in 2001 and it’s now 11 2009. I’ve never had a thing go wrong with it. It is serviced once a year, not by a vw garage as they are a rip off. I have nothing but good to say about the VW Transporter.
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Can you help? I bought a 2001 VW Transporter Cathargo Camping car recently in London. To re-register it in France I need info on weight. Is your vehicle similar and can you supply any weight information? If you can I will send you details of what I need. Thanks in anticipation of your help. Email is: mhurworth1[at]gmail[dot]com - Mavis Hurworth from France
I,m now on my third T5 174 ps. The first was a 54 plate which went back to the dealer over 20 times with the same fault, plus problems with the turbo, discs and pads at 20k. I valeted the van at 1 year old with 30k on the clock and gave it back to the dealer with the log book and keys telling them i was rejecting the vehicle as it was not fit for the purpose.They then sold me an 06 at really good rate inc. part exchange, which i kept for 3 years with no problems until the week after the 3 year warranty ran out, then it fell apart mechanically. I now have an 09 model which has just notched up 4k and developed an intermittent noise which is getting more regular and sounds like the flywheel as it’s when the engine is under load either accelerating or throttling off. I took it to the dealer who said bring it in when it’s noisy and they,ll have a listen. Reassuring!!!! I’ll work more local if it helps shall I ?! We also have a T5 130 ps on a 55 plate, which has been perfect,so perhaps the 174 is just too much of a beast.
I have just bought a T5 56 reg Transporter. With only 52,000 miles on the clock, what could go wrong? In 5 weeks of ownership I’ve had to fit a new clutch and flywheel, front shocks, tailgate light,it’s been bad at starting and now it’s in for a central locking fault. The dealer had the van for 4 days this time and they still can’t locate the fault on the central locking. The van is of poor build quality but the service from the dealer has been very good though.
Responses to this review
Me too. I bought a 56 plate T5 in September. It has had front shocks, clutch, central locking fault, starting fault, injector seals and the turbo blew up. The van has 57,000 miles on it - Graham Foggo from England
I had the same problem starting (when parked on hill), just found out the heads cracked, £3000 at the vw garage so make sure you dont get fobbed off - Mike Vale-Jenkins from Monmouthshire
Central locking fault under drivers seat. The wire is corroded goes green and brakes off terminal. Cean off green corrosion, put on a new terminal and reconnect... problem solved! Common fault on these have fixed over 10 VW Transporters with this problem - Chris Emporium from England
I bought the van 2years ago, loved it when first got it and still like it now. I haven’t had any problems with it, apart from 2 fly wheels, which VW fixed under warantee. Although I must admit I’m worried it could happen again. Looking forward for the T6.
I have always bought VWs as they are German and have a reputation for superb reliability and build quality. However after having this van for a year I can honestly say I’ll never buy VW again. When you pay nearly £20,000 for a van you would expect only minor faults. So far I’ve needed a new wheel bearing, new radio, new wheel discs (because my brakes wore into the discs). This van doesn’t have brake wear sensors as standard because it was too expensive. On a £20,000 van! That little job cost me nearly £600. The VW staff are awful, they still think that their vehicles are brilliant and refuse to believe that they could go wrong. I’m just of to Southern Motor Group (VW) now to get my diesel particulate filter sorted. Another bloody day off work. Don’t know if I’ll get it sorted under warranty, apparently VW are getting really picky on what repairs they will carry out under warranty. I’ll be buying Japanese next time, all day long. Do not buy this van. I’d sell mine tomorrow if there wasn’t a recession on!
Responses to this review
Spot on mate, tell me about it. Mine is a 55reg from new and I've just spent over 5k on repairs, they just fall apart - Dean Plimsoll from Dorset
I’ve got a 174 Sportline Kombi, brand new sep 09. I’ve had 3! yes 3! turbos, the wiring loom stripped due to a electrical fault that in the end they told me it was number 3 turbo up the spout and now the brake peddal is solid for the 1st application servo problems? Heater won’t clear screen for love nor money. I had a brilliant t4 before this and the t5 sportline kombi is the pits, my milage is 2800miles. What a heap - Rich Smith from England
Not done 60,000 miles yet and its had a water pump & now a gearbox & clutch - £4000 of repairs in 2 months! Appalling reliability!! Very, very disappointed with the vehicle - also extremely disappointed with VW Commercial - they would not help us at all. I do not consider that this it is acceptable, that a low mileage vehicle, only 4 years old should have such major mechanical failures. This vehicle has been main dealer serviced and well looked after by us. It seems that VW’s reputation for engineering and customer service is not what it was!
My van was delivered to me with no miles showing and on a transporter. Few extras included. I love the van, great handling, brilliant to drive. I’ve done nearly 60K now. All good, so far. Now for the down side, the intercooler went at 30k, cracked exhaust manifold at 35k, alternator and air con. drive coupling at 57K. Fortunatly everything was done on warranty with no quibble, but just started to lose coolant so it’s going back in at my expense this time. Fingers crossed, it might be time to get another new one...
What can I say? I have always bought Volkswagen and this is my first Transporter. After all the hype of the vans I thought I couldn’t go wrong. But since owning the vehicle I have had the pressure house from the intercooler blow off, all tyres have at some point worn in one place like they are bulging (baffled the guys at my local tyre place). I bought the van when it was 4 years old (70k with 12 month warranty), only they never put it on the system as having a warranty. 2 weeks ago the fly shattered taking the clutch and all other clutch related parts with it. Fly wheel seems to be a very problematic part, these should never go before about 200k but VW reckon they don’t last much longer. They tried to charge me £175 for picking up the vehicle from the motorway. Anyway, 2 weeks later I am still struggling and fighting the warranty on this as the parts alone are up to £900 plus the splines on the drive shaft have gone. 4 hours to find the fault at £50/hour plus a further 6 hours to fix. I need to buy a new van and with the VW being so costly I will definately think again, may even consider a Ford, yes, things are that bad.
I love my van and really look after it, it has always been serviced by the main dealer and I very rarely drive it hard. It just keeps going wrong. I’m on my 3rd gearbox, I had a knocking from the steering column and a leaking sliding window within 60K. Luckily it was all fixed under warranty by the main dealer with the minimum of fuss. Its now out of warranty and has covered 75K and has kindly just spit out parts of the turbo into the intercooler. The Turbo alone is £1100 from VW so I’m expecting a £1500 bill. Also the heater controls are jamed so they will only work on the window, haven’t priced the repair on that yet but its got to be in the region of £200-£300. Its such a shame these great vans are so costly to keep on the road. When its out of warranty it will cost the same as the monthly payments on a new one to keep on the road, should I go and buy another one?
Responses to this review
In answer to your question, no. But the only real alternative is the Merc, but read the reviews on that! Crikey! The bigger question is does anybody make a car or van that is capable of high mileage and daily use that does not fall apart these days? AD from England
I'm just looking for a reliable van. Got a vivaro, which has just done 200000. It's still going but have had to recon the gearbox. I got a newer vivaro, which seems to have come with the problems everyone else has had. Does anyone out there have the answer we all want? - Michael Curson from County Antrim
Its not the most stylish van in the world but read the reviews on the Toyota Hiace - they are bulletproof. Latest versions come with aircon as standard - Chris Bark from Nottinghamshire
Quite simply the worst van I have ever owned. If anyone is contemplating buying one, please do some research on the web first. 42 days at the dealer in 3 years. Faults include - turbo, ecu, water pump, flywheel, clutch, gearbox. The final straw was a driveshaft stripping its spline without warning 100 miles from home, requiring a return trip on the back of a recovery vehicle (for the first time in over 30 years of driving). All the above faults are known weaknesses on the 5 cylinder variants (again, dont take my word for it- ask one of the mechanics at the main dealer. It is not a question of if it is going to let you down, it’s when). Decent van centres are few and far between; my local one, who seemed to cause as many problems as they cured, have thankfully closed down.
Comfortable for passengers, not much boot space unless the lwb version. Seemed to drive top heavy around corners. Very dissapointed.
I went through 3 clutches in the first 6 months. From new I’ve had wires snap in door loom - a common problem. This is not as good a van as I would have thought!!
I purchased a VW Transporter 1.9 Trendline brand new in 2007. The cost was £14,000 and I was very disappointed with the van from day one. It was scrubbing the tyres on both sides on the front very quickly. The van never felt like it was driving true and I only got 25 to 28 to the gallon. I heard a lot of positive things about the Transporter’s but I was not not impressed. I will stick to Renault, I have had several without any issues.
I have it since new. 3rd radio, 2nd auto gearbox, 3rd instrument unit, fuel pump and a million minor hicks up which I already learned to ignore. So far I can’t afford to by a new van. Honestly, is there anything better?
A great all round vehicle that does what it claims to. Great for converting to camper or mobile caravan.
Has anyone got any ideas what it could be? I have recently bought a t5 with 175k on the clock. It has been in the garage for a good seeing to - cam belt, filters change etc. After the engine has warmed up an a longish journey (after approx 1hour) the engine starts losing power and juddering, it then stops as if it clears and may not happen again for sometime. Has anyone got any ideas what it could be?
Responses to this review
I've had what sounds like the same problem. No answer as yet to the cause. I was wondering if you'd had your fault resolved? - A Duffy from England
It's the engine exhaust cleaning itself - Laine Parker from England
I have the same problem with no results from two mechanics who can’t seem to work it out. Any news on yours? - Mitch Anderson from Bedfordshire
I bought a VW Transporter T5 for taxi work, beautiful to drive and very comfortable. In fact, our clients love it. Service charges are very reasonable and I like the long service schedule that comes with the vehicle. Down side is the vehicle has only done 200,000 miles and has had to have some serious cash spent on it over the 4 years eating away at any profit it has made for the business. At 110, 000 miles Turbo blew on M25 with customers on board, then needed new clutch at 120,000 miles, new gear box 128, 000miles approx and now at 200,000 miles a damn new ABS System has just been fitted with very little change from VW out of £1800. Excellent to drive, but I doubt I will buy another one for taxi work again. They just don’t appear to be able to cope with the vehicle continually stopping and starting.
I’m on my second 174. Just bought a Chip Express chip kit for it. Fitted in 10 minutes and you can really tell the difference. The standard van is fast but now!
Hi, I love my Transporter but had the same problems as Jodie in Devon - offside drive shaft spline failed at 50,000 miles. I bought a new drive shaft for £150+VAT. I hope it will be OK.
Responses to this review
It will be ok as normally, you should replace also spline schaft as it is longer than the old one - The Rab from County Antrim
Van bought new April 05, apart from 2 driveshafts, a water pump, oil in the coolant, and a few other issues, no major mechanicals etc. Van has now done 300,000 miles 4 years on and has NEVER had a clutch!!!!!!!!! This is after a mixture of solo motoring, towing a 2 ton twin axle trailer and towing a 1500 kg twi axle caravan!!!!!!!!! My secret - CRUISE CONTROL. Best thing ever invented. Previous vans 88bhp 2.5 T4 160,000 miles and 102bhp 2.5 T4 360,000 miles, neither had new clutches throughout my ownership. Yep you guessed it both had CRUISE CONTROL.
It’s just awesome. Knocks spots off a Vito. It’s (very) fast, comfortable, economical, good to drive, reliable. It will hold its value and is built like a tank!
First of all, rapid, it really does drive well. I’ll give 2* for that plus Smith Knight Fay Manchester have looked after me. Problems- electrics went within two weeks, wing mirrors folded in, no indicators etc. 5 visits to workshop for low break fluid. 2 slave cylinders, 1 turbo, 1 clutch, another electrical unit that stopped it from starting. VW reliability? Van has only done 30k.
I think that these cars are pretty good. I would recommend them to any one that I now and they would see where I am coming from. They are a good work horse and I have use them for a while now and had no problems. So, that is why I would recommend it to anyone.
I have a 2007 Transporter; from the 3rd day of having it the particulate filter started blocking up. It has probably been in garage 10 times for this problem; they tell me to get on motorway in 3rd gear and keep my foot down - great if you can afford to do this every week (I cannot). Now I have had 3 red lights come on altogether and they now tell me its going to cost me £2500 for a new filter - not good and not happy. Why cannot VW sort there act out with this problem?
Responses to this review
Unfortunately this is a known problem with all modern cars. I had a vauxhall Zafira from new that spent more time at vauxhall than I had it - Kevin Elliott from Hertfordshire
What these people told you about 3gear was wrong as normally it is 4/5 gear 2000rpm for 20 minutens as this increases temp till 600c and cleans the kat when all lights are on. It’s too late, sorry, kat is 100% blocked. I know this as I was Master Tech by VW for 5 years and had this problem loads of times - The Rab from County Antrim
Hi, sounds like some people get a bad van. I bought my van brand new in 06. I’m a same-day courier, this van has been exellent. The amount of problems I can count on one hand, it has just clocked up 195,600 miles and has been fitted with its first set of discs today. In the past it has had a rear wheel bearing which it didn’t need as the noise was wrongly diagnosed; it turned out to be a tyre. At 125000 miles the turbo went, this was replaced as part of the 2 year unlimited mileage warranty. The only other money spent on it is oil and servicing. I have had various vans in the last 15 years of courier work, my last one was a old shape caddy in which I did 312000 miles and was very good. This has led me to buy another VW. Renault, Vauxhall, Citroen and Ford are not in the same league, guys at work drive various vans, most of them crap, you get what you pay for believe me. Hope this helps anyone considering buying VW.
Bought new on a 04, it runs fully loaded constantly full of tools, it grips over fields and winds down country roads like a train, pulls trailers excellently, current problem is when you hammer it and it decides 2000 rpm is enough, just a quick off-on and its away again, yes I had the gearbox problem at 12000, couldn’t select reverse when stationary, VW did this free of charge. I have finally found the latest Goodyear tyres don’t blister, they do actually wear out, mechanic fitted from new 8000 miles and all four where blistered, "not a tyre problem though!". It drives like a car not a heavy van. I love it, we have a 06 Vito all I can say is - don’t knock the VW until you have tried one. It would get stuck in a puddle, unlocks doors if it feels like it, loves engine oil, needs two people to lift front electronic windows, seats are like a park bench. Remember accountants design and build new vehicles, not engineers.
I bought the van two years ago with 24000 miles on the clock and have loved every minute. I’ve had a lot of work vans, mainly Transit’s (poor), and a T4 that was great. I have had my T5 chipped 165bhp so now engine is even more impressive. I have done all the oil and filter changes and a set of brake pads, front and rear. No faults at all, now on 48000 miles. The van gets driven very hard and I am always impressed how it performs. I hope this carries on as it is.
At first I was very happy with van, now not so sure. Last year the flywheel shattered while driving at moderate speed in 5th gear - replaced under warranty, now out of warranty the gearbox needs replacement at an advised cost of £1700 plus VAT. Did not expect a bill of this magnitude for a van I have owned from new and looked after, full service history etc. approaching 70000 miles, disappointed with you VW.
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I had the same problem at 78000 miles, I doubt I will be getting another, I will avoid dual mass flywheels like the plague, what a c**p design, I’m sure VW could do better - Anthony Norton from Devon
Having recently purchased the van three weeks ago and having covered around 700 miles to date, so far so good as they say. The only shocker I have had is the road fund tax being at £400 / 12 months because of the issue of the details on the log book as recorded as being a car and not a van on the log book. I have seen other comments made on the subject and it seems a hard pill to swallow on the fact that it has a couple more seats than a van and you pay a penalty. I thought the Government were trying to encourage car sharing, another Labour faux pas I guess to add to the list.
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My 06 T32 SWB Window van has the high road tax on it, VW called and changed it about two weeks after I collected the van, just emailed BBCs Watch dog with the problem - Adam Maunder from Cornwall
I bought my van from new and the road tax has doubled in the last 2 years because it is registered as a diesel car. I have spent all that time trying to get the details on the log changed. DVLA can’t alter the details, VW won’t alter the details. They say because it has extra seats it has to be classed as a car. I was not told at the time of purchase that although I was buying a van, it would be registered as a car and I would be spanked for road tax. The really frustrating thing about this is that some vans are registered as LGV’s - it’s just pot luck who enters the details on the registration document. I would like to hear from anyone who is experiencing the same problem or from anyone lucky enough to be registered as LGV. Let’s get this problem sorted - Watchdog here we come!
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Yes I know what you mean but I’ve dropped lucky for once. I have a 2007 shuttle with the nine seat option, its a 2.5 long wheel base, 130 bhp, my mate has the same vehicle in a 6 seat kombi, same engine but a short wheel base , his road tax is £400 per year whereas mine is £210, bonkers - Neil Jackson from Nottinghamshire
Hi. I got my VW Transporter 2.5 9 seat shuttle bus in July this year. The tax for a year is about £430 and is down on log book as a diesel car and I wouldn’t of got it if the dealer had told me. Plus I’m only getting about 430 miles on a tank - a very dear van. We should only be paying about £200 a year tax - thanks DVLA and VW - Stephen Quigley from England
New water pump and turbo. Faulty central locking and brake switch. Uses more oil than diesel - pile of s**t.
My partner and I have had our T5 for 3 years, it was bought 2nd hand with 79,000 on the clock from a VW dealer and it is now sitting at 170,000. All that we have had to replace is the Water Pump and Altenator. To be honest the van has never needed anything else. Thank you our trusted T5 xx
Responses to this review
I have had three water pumps on 90k and no other problems... touch wood. I have the T5 130 2.5tdi and my beef is that it canes the oil and eats brake pads. On the motorway it’s a dream to drive but around town its a bit of a pig - Adam Amith from Dorset
Bought new 53 plate from Ashford Kent main dealer who are less than useless. Recalled for steering rack safety mod within weeks, now judders at low speed! Engine refuses to do over 2000 revs in 2nd gear at random times! Loads of bits fall off, for example, passenger window winder, driver’s door handle etc... rear spring broke. I am an electrician and carry light loads only - at the 1st MOT VW said it needed new pads AND DISCS! At 30,000 miles local garage said discs still fine at 65,000! Heater pipes to dash/windscreen seem to have become loose as poor demisting and dashboard top gets unbelievably hot! Traction control is bl@@dy dangerous - wet road, T-junction, up slight slope, CANNOT pull away without locking TC button out as brakes grab and release alternate wheels causing van to jump up & down. VW say nothing wrong! Lately ABS light comes up and stays on until ignition turned off and on again, VW say can’t happen! Couldn’t believe a modern van costing £13,000 + tax comes with cassette/radio, manual windows/mirrors and a handbreak that can’t hold it on a hill! Plus side, comfortable driving position... good handling... was hoping van would last another 3 years until I retire but worried it won’t!
I bought a Transporter Kombi T30 104bhp with 105,000 miles already on the clock. An ex VW Service Vehicle with full VW History. Well, I’ve had none of the disasters that seem to be mentioned in these reviews except a slight intermittent power steering problem. It fails randomly and I only notice it once a week for a few seconds. Other than that it drives superb. It wont accelerate at low revs, especially in second gear, and its not the fastest of models but it does accelerate reasonably well and on the motorway it will cruise as smooth as silk at 80/90mph. I expect a lot from any vehicle I buy and if it doesn’t perform it gets the chop ASAP but this is a pleasure. I drove a Merc Vito 110 to compare before I bought the VW - dreadful driving position and as you may notice on a lot of Merc Vitos... they are rust buckets on wheels. I am a fan of VW/Audi but I was passenger in a Renault Traffic Sport recently and jeez, that thing flew like the wind. Noticeably very quick, and a Vauxhall Vivaro 115 crew cab (all done up with tints and alloys/ lowered) blitzed me at the lights few weeks back.... So...confused?? I am.
If everything in life was as reliable as a VW..... we would be well and truly up the creak with out a paddle. My van has had new gear box, clutch and fly wheel replace at 95K under warranty. Clutch failed again at 190K - main dealer replaced it but missed the fly wheel which need replacing a week later, and two weeks later the gear box has completely collapsed and needs replacing. Always have had squeal on tight cornering, high pressure hoses replaced frequently plus problems with back door. I would never ever have one of these vans again. As for prices of main dealers!! For example - new clutch, main dealer £900, specialist in Leeds £500 Hmmm no-brainer really.
Bought this van after having my previous t5 which was 9 months old had gearbox problems... only to have the same with my new van. Whenever it goes to the main dealers they say they can’t find problem; very unhappy as van was £13000 + vat and I don’t expect this type of crap. Wish I still had my old escort van which was sound... too many other irritating problems too mention, wont buy another for sure!
Having bought the vehicle new from a main dealer I feel compelled to let people know what they are letting themselves in for. The car has been in to the dealer more times that I can remember. After day 2 of owning I had to return the car because the Air Con had failed (kept overnight) resulted in leaking pipe. Then returned on a further 2 times for the same problem, each time re-gassing needed. Now for the good stuff. How about replacement Water Pump, replacement Sat Nav unit, consistant rattle from rear bench seat, replacement gearbox (common at 65,000), replacement Turbo Charger, replacement Battery, all this was luckily covered under warranty. But then 10,000 miles and just 2 months out of warranty rear shocks leaking and then just yesterday the icing on the cake. Travelling down the M1 Motorway in the middle lane all power lost, dashboard lighting up like a Christmas Tree, resulting in Head Gasket Failure. VW customer service is not worth the phone call. All they tell you to do is take to the main dealer then they will see what they can do (maybe a goodwill gesture??). This car has been serviced at every interval by the dealer themselves. They failed me on my MOT saying that rear shocks are leaking and Brake discs are dangerous (Total bill approx £1000??). I then took the vehicle to an independent garaged for repair work to be told that "shocks do need replacing, brakes are a little low but still have life left in them?? Total repair bill inc MOT £248 with original VW shocks fitted. Would I buy another one? Hell would have to freeze over first. Take my advice and go to Mercedes and buy yourself a proper Van/People carrier.
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Don’t swap to the Vito. I have had two of these over-rated European vans and although they treat you mariginally better than VW (my brother has a transporter T5 auto that has been a nightmare). All we expect from a commercial vehicle (especially here as they cost more than anywhere else in the world) is that we can get throug a commercial lease before it starts falling apart. Brother’s VW T5 auto gearbox gone at 110000. Power steering seals shortly after. Not to mention other "off the road" problems. Well we have been comparing notes with many individuals who own vans and our research has convinced us not to ever purchase a Mercedes Benz Vito or VW. Gone are the days when you purchased that marque and were reasonably assured of a quality product. Get a Hyundai i-Load (5 year warranty 160000kms here) ..at least they are trying constantly improve their product and deliver it at a reasonable price together with a proper warranty - Leslie Howard from Australia
I have a T5 Transporter Van T28 with 2.5 engine, bought new in January 2003. Apart from the 4 re-calls and a fault with the brake-peddle double switch, which took some months by the Main Agent to find, it has been quite good. But now it has developed a squeak from the dashboard just above the passenger’s airbag. This it intermittent, but is very apparent for most of a journey (may be 50 to 100 miles) it will then cease for a similar period, if you are lucky. You can get some relief by removing the speaker cover (near-side front) and pressing down on the exposed area. (The wife cannot sit pressing down on it all the time). It is also apparent whilst cornering. Hitting a pothole will sometimes stop it, until you meet the next one when it will return. Of course the Agents have never had this problem before!!! They are willing to dismantle the complete dash, at £80 per hour, but will give no assurance that they can correct it. I see from the letters that mine is not an isolated case, has anyone found a cure? If so please let me know.
I have a three year old T5 Transporter van, bought new in July 2005. In September this year, when the vehicle was six weeks outside its warranty, the offside drive shaft and inner spline failed. Even the VW mechanic said a component like this "should never fail in the lifetime of a vehicle like this". I had just had it serviced at the VW dealership, Murrays, in Plymouth because I believed their lies that if I did this, even after the warranty ran out, I would be shown good will for being a loyal customer. I got it towed to Murray’s and had an incredibly frustrating week (without transport) trying to get them or VW UK to value my custom by showing some good will towards me and this £500 repair. To add insult to injury Murray van centre had done the repair without my express permission. I had told them to wait until I knew if there would be any good will, but they ignored me (probably because I am a woman) and did the work anyway. They even had the cheek to tell me they would not charge me for taking the part out and putting my broken drive shaft back in. I looked into getting the repair done elsewhere as I thought it may cost less, but because the part can only be bought from VW and I would have had to of added the cost of towing to the bill, not to mention not having transport for a further few day, this was not a viable option. I was forced to give Murray my business. This was even more infuriating when they informed me I would have to pay over £100 extra if I wanted to take away the drive shaft that had failed, which was outrageous given that it belongs to me and I had paid for a new one. This van has done less that 35,000 miles and very little work in it’s lifetime as I use it for surfing and camping. I was quite complimentary of VW Transporters until this happens but now I have lost all faith in my van and VW as a brand. I am shocked and disgusted that the component failed, that VW would not do anything to help, and at the treatment I received as a customer of Murray van centre. The manager and the sales man were incredibly rude to me and very unhelpful, far from the ’valued customer’ treatment I was lead to believe I could expect.
Many recalls for handbrake failure... check recalls list.
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What sort of handbrake problems? My handbrake regularly lets itself off, which it did on Tuesday whilst I was in the papershop getting me paper taking out a brick wall and doing 600 quid damage to the back of van! - Paul Pryor from Essex
My window van costs me £220 for six months duty, seems excessive for van with 130 ish HP. If you have a window van of similar spec what are you paying in duty and is it classed as a diesel car on your log book? Could you let me know. Fairly pleased with the van, funny flat spot now and again, in traffic mainly when on and off the gas around 40 to 55 mph, when this happens the engine fans run slowly after the vehicle is stopped, engine temp stays at 90 and the exhaust smells very hot!. Lights also flicker slightly when it happens at night?? VW have updated the ECU but it happens around twice a month? No fault codes show apparently. When the engines going well it goes like a rocket, stiff T32 springs are hard at slow speed but it corners very well at speed and stays flat without roll. Buy another? Not sure.
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I also have a similar problem. Have Vw got to the bottom of it yet? - A Duffy from England
Hi, as I’ve replied to somebody else, I have a 2007 lwb 2.5 130bhp manual 9 seater shuttle, and road tax costs me £210 per year , my mate has a 6 seater kombi same year same engine in a short wheel base, and he has to pay £400 - Neil Jackson from Nottinghamshire
Great van! I got this van about 2 years ago with over 140,000 miles on the clock. The van is now up at 175,000 miles and the only things I have had to change are a ball joint and a power steering belt. I know other people with other vans. One friend has a 5 year old Transit that has more rust on it than my 14 year old van! I was looking at buying a new van and was considering a Vauxhall or Renault and have heard nothing but poor reviews from friends who own them. BUY a VW - They are expensive for a reason!
This van has been a total pleasure to own. It’s my 4th T5 as I get a new one every year as I travel up to 60k a year. I never had a single breakdown on any of them in over 200000 miles... No real problems to speak of really - just good quality vans as they say - you get what you pay for. When I part exchange every year it’s still worth very good money... Top vans VW! Thanks!
Driving on M60 motorway in Manchester, when a coolant warning light came on, advising me to stop and check coolant levels. Pulled over to hard shoulder and saw that the coolant reservoir was full to the top with engine oil. Don’t know about any of you lot, but where I come from that’s ’head gasket failure’. Got 17k miles on the clock. Never take van over 2500rpms and now this after a year of premature and incorrect settings on the Diesel Particulate filter. Bulb holder on interior light had never been fitted to the front cab from the factory. Complained to VW and they explained that there must be some mistake. VW would never make that mistake. Sick of reading maps in the dark after 4pm and when I switch my ignition off have to carry a torch. Van needs to have handbrake cable tightened as van rolled down a hill and nearly went into a large pond in someone’s garden. Bounced off someone’s fences. VW van centre mentioned that it’s a good idea to leave van in gear on a hill for extra safety. VW Assistance came round and diagnosed problem with my van as a ’blown’ cylinder head gasket. He was shocked as the engine looked brand new and was very apologetic. VW Van centre Manchester reckon I can get my van back in 5 days. That’s good when you’re a very busy heating engineer in Manchester.
Worst car I have ever owned by a mile! 700km - new turbo fitted, wiggle door lock with any key (not moving enough to unlock) and passenger window winds down to help thieves steal the car, VW wont supply radio unlock code, dash board fails intermittently, oil leak on motor, oil leak into turbo, flywheel has been replaced, plastic jack holder busted from factory, remote control lock not working, 1 month off the road in repair in 7 months of owning the car, 15,000km on the clock and 7 services later car still doesn’t run properly. No control over engine speed with throttle from time to time, car shut-down in middle of freeway in front of truck. When backing off throttle then applying power again car surges dangerously and without warning rather than apply power smoothly. Has all been detailed to dealer and all they can do is tell me they will give me a loan car as a reward and that I am even lucky to get that! Car now owes me $65,000 and only cost me $50,000 the rest is lost income :( VW are a pack of ****** who don’t care for their customer once the money is in the bank. Will never buy one of these lemons again. If you have had problems similar can contact me email@example.com
When HOT engine oil begins to bubble up into your power steering reservoir and spill out over the engine, I consider that a dangerous mechanical failure. A sealed unit which malfunctions in a dangerous manner should be VW’s responsibility. IT’S NOT WEAR AND TEAR - IT’S A SERIOUS PROBLEM WITH A VW COMPONENT THAT ALLOWS CONTAMINATION OF THIS CRITICAL FUNCTION (steering) BY ENGINE OIL. When a VW mechanic diagnoses the fault over the phone and on inspection describes it as a "dangerous common fault" VW should show concern. THEY HAVE NOT AND IT’S A JOKE DON’T BUY VW!!!! GREAT PRODUCT, BAD CUSTOMER CARE VW - THEY JUST DON’T CARE IF YOUR STEERING FAILS APPARENTLY...
Responses to this review
I have had the same here. Went in for a 65,000 mile service and told I have an oil leak into the power steering and the coolant is leaking too. I have already had a new clutch which broke to bits after 25,000 and all the window trims replaced. This should not all happen within 4 yrs on a commercial van. I am not pleased - Mike from Devon
I have the same issue with my VW. Can you please tell me where you got to with your VW? Kind regards - Dom R from New Zealand
Had absolutely no problems whatsoever with my T5 after 20,000 miles. Would like to comment on a review by a previous reviewer SHAAZAD HASSAN from LANCASHIRE who reports he has had problems with the diesel particulate filter. It is a common condition T5 drivers encounter apparently, but you will only experience this if your constantly doing short journeys & not allowing the engine to reach running temperature, which you should be doing whatever vehicle you drive! The filter will get clogged with the worst of the ’cold engine soot’ constantly on short journeys & will resort to safe mode. Running temperature on my van is achieved after 4-5 miles driving on A or B roads which I’m happy with, also considering the filter is the main reason my vans emissions are so low, costing me £120 for 12 months road tax!
Responses to this review
I have the same van but pay £180 for 12 months tax. Can I ask how you got yours to be different? Thanks - Ian from Fife and Kinross Shires
This van is only 3 months old, it has already had a new turbo, intercooler, drive shaft EGR valve and every gasket along the exhaust replaced. It has had all new bonnet support rubbers as they stick to the underside of the bonnet and stop it from opening. The handbrake was adjusted at a week old due to rolling when pressing the clutch to start. Since then this van has rolled down my drive and caused a large amount of damage upon impact with my garage. VW say tough, you should leave it in gear. I have had this van inspected by VOSA, it even rolled away for them. It appears that when the handbrake is applied to hot rear disks, once the disks cool they contract, causing the pads to loose grip. That means that this van is an MOT failure at 3 months and it doesn’t comply with construction and use regulations for sale in the UK. If any one else is / has suffering / suffered with the handbrake issue please contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will never buy another of these vans - poor quality and a poor service from the main dealer. Leaking driver’s door; back to the dealer three times - never rectified properly and now get wind noise instead. Turbo air pipes failed at 6 months; side loading doors rattles - never resolved. Clunking noises when making slow full lock turns; clutch judder although the dealer could not find it. This was just before the warranty ran out. It is now much worse and needs a new clutch/flywheel; the van has only covered 36,000 miles of light use then a few weeks ago the water pump has failed, total pants.
Bought my T26 in 2004 and have covered 34000 miles now and must say this is superb. Apart from the steering problem in the early days and the usual brake light switch replacement the van is all I expected from VW. Cannot agree with some of the previous comments about the T5.
Superb van. Yes, a few niggles like a new steering coupling and leaks from windows and rattles but nothing that can’t wait until next service each time. The 174 engine is a joy - power and economy in equal measure. 40k miles now and very reliable. I cannot imagine a better all round vehicle.
Hi - husband bought one of these about 2 years ago - last Christmas it broke down and had to be taken to dealer with a turbo problem; it stayed there for 3 weeks as parts had to be ordered in (must have been coming from the moon)!!! In September past it went in for routine service and it was discovered that it needed new steering rack. This van has only done 31,000 miles - does not get any driving abuse whatsoever - have rang customer services but may as well have been talking to a brick wall!! Can’t afford to change this van but we probably have to. Absolutely disgusted with this service.
I have a LWB Shuttle 2.5 Tiptronic, and as far as being a van is concerned it is fantastic, incredibly comfortable, great workhorse, seriously looks the Biz! And it’s great to drive apart from a persistent intermittent fault that VW say they cannot find, even suggesting that it doesn’t exist even though they have had the van SEVEN TIMES and their master technician has witnessed the fault whilst passenger in the vehicle (he even suggested the likely cause!!!!) BUT, it would seem VW is reluctant to effect any repairs. I have read on other forums regarding the DSG gearbox, that a number of people are having serious issues too, but VW seem uninterested in resolving these problems. Clearly the VW of the new millennium is far removed from that of the previous!
Hi to all people who have bought the Transporter. Stop running the Transporter down - it’s one of the best vans on the road - maybe you all bought from poor dealer with no good after-service. I have the ’07 Trendline; from new with major conversion done. I am very happy. So spend bit more money on new model.
Responses to this review
Hi, I have to reply to shawn: Sorry mate, dealers don’t make these vans, VW do. It’s very clear from the many disgruntled customers that there is common problems, mainly clutch and flywheel, gearbox, blocked filters, but what is absolutely clear is VW and a lot of dealers cannot give a s**T , only poor dumb excuses, the more I read the more I think I’ll get a Toyota for my next van - Malcolm Dale from Yorkshire
BEWARE; do not buy the t5 Transporter, I’ve had my t5 for just over a year and I’ve had 2 alternators; 3 fan belts; the heater’s and coolers don’t blow or clear the condensation from windows; the gear knob split and came off in my hand; I had to glue it back on; the drink’s holders fell to bits (they wouldn’t glue back together). The driver’s door handle cover keeps falling off and to cap it off I’m told today that I’m looking at a new gearbox - teeth have sheered off the main drive. This van has done 80k but light work; I honestly thought that when I bought a t5 I had made a good choice... HOW WRONG I WAS TO BUY A VW T5! I couldn’t wait to get rid of my Vito but would swap it back for this pile of crap straight away.
I got my T5 August 2008, was at first very happy. But as time has gone on I’m becoming increasingly unsure. I got it from a massive garage in Sittingbourne, obviously I cannot say their name, but i would not go back. The bloke said to me they don’t need cam belts until 100,000, I then found out its 60,000. I wanted a van I didn’t have to spend loads on. Too late I suppose. Anyway, its going in for a service, and cam belt. I already have the squeak in the dash previously mentioned, the rear door lock does what it wants when locking, the van judders when steering; when idling and the vents in the dash don’t blow cold, as the dials are knackered. Not the sort of thing you expect from a 54 reg vehicle. And I have found this all out in ten days, so what’s left to come. Seriously doubt the build quality with these new t5’s, I really do.
As with any new vehicle, I guess, first impressions great. I had to have a new clutch & flywheel at 18,000 due to a bad shuddering. They also replaced a leaking water pump. A wiring fault which kept the rear wiper firing up at all times, even though it was switched off. They broke the plastic wiper cover whilst doing this, it’s never been replaced. There has always been a problem with a flat spot in 2nd gear, when pulling away after idling at traffic lights etc. VW carried out an management update, which made the vehicle more flexible in the lower gears, but has never cured the flat spot and it reduced fuel consumption. Both sliding windows had to be replaced, due to leaks, n/s twice. Second n/s window, catch broke first time it was used. I have been waiting forever for a VW regional technician to road test vehicle for an apparently untraceable vibration that occurs between 40 & 50 mph. This, coincidentally appeared shortly after it had been in for the replacement clutch/flywheel. Southern Motor Group in Croydon have been bulshitting for months regarding this and VW GB have been complicit in coluding with them over this matter. They told me it was the wheels out of balance, I had only just had new tyres and rebalance two days before. Then it was the alloy wheels ’out of shape’ They fitted a set of new steel wheels and tyres. ’no change’ They had the vehicle for weeks in total, for road testing, which consisted, I later found out, of one of their staff members using the vehicle as personal transport, putting hundreds of miles on the clock and using gallons of my fuel. I believe that the third year Van Centre warranty, is not worth a light. When it’s been back to them during this period, I firmly believe that they just leave the vehicle standing in the yard and do sweet FA to it. Strangely they would never give an invoice for warranty work supposedly done during this period. It went back for clonking noises from the steering, noisy steering pump, at low speed. The handbrake has never been efficient from day one. The only way to make it work half securely is to pump the foot brake and nearly pull the lever out of the floor. This is a known problem, but VW say "it meets the required standard" I guess they knew from the off. "Refer to handbook," it advises that you should park in gear and kerb your tyres to make sure that it doesn’t roll away. I know many owners who have had this problem resulting in vehicles rolling away, causing damage to their’s and other vehicles. I’m still waiting for VWs Regional Technician to road test the vehicle. I have my doubts that such a person exists, or that VW are capable of diagnosing the problem. Having owned a T25 for 15 years, I thought, obviously mistakenly, that I could expect the same reliability. The future does not bode well.
Mine is coming up to 3 years old and the end of it’s warranty. Initially I was delighted with it. Very comfortable, bags of power and torque and if I drive it carefully I can get 36mpg quite heavily loaded with tools and equipment and a rather heavy false floor and drawer arrangement. Early on I experienced intermittent toughness in the steering at high lock. At it’s first service at nearly two years old I was told I need to take it back for a factory recall on one of the steering linkages. Today is in VW van centre having a new water pump and power steering pump fitted together with a burst hydraulic hose in the steering system. They’ve had it for two days now and it looks like I may not get it back today as they don’t seem to stock many parts. From all the reports above I’m starting to fear that this could just be the beginning of some more expensive repairs. I was planning to keep the vehicle for at least 10 years, but I think it might be time to trade it in.
Responses to this review
I have had my Transporter for two and a half years never again. I had the oil cooler go in April £680 repair and now I need new engine due to valve seat dropping. This van has only done 29,000 miles now scrap at a £6,200 repair bill. Will not buy VW again - Jeff Smith from England
Van bought new in Sept 07 from Manchester VW van centre. Engine is currently BPC engine code (2.5tdi DPC). Currently covered 14.5k miles with mixture of motorway and urban driving. Clutch pedal is almost at biting point when 10mm off the floor. Diesel particulate filter has had two firmware updates to the ECU, under warranty. Have to drive everyday for approximately 10 minutes twice a day on the motorway at 2000-2500 rpm’s to regenerate the DPC otherwise the filter gets blocked and the van switches over to limp-home mode with a 50% reduction in power output. This is a real pain in the butt and is a big waste of fuel at current prices, especially when you are carrying 2000kg of payload including piperack/roof rack and 3 section ladders etc. Costs me around a tank of fuel a month to carry out this environment friendly procedure which wastes more fuel and then contradicts what it initially was there to achieve as you are doing unnecessary mileage. The company that manufactures the Diesel Particulate Filter for the VAG group is called BASF Catalysts based in Ludwigshafen in Germany. Coincidently, my wife is employed by this company as a Travel manager and has contacted the appropriate department internally/unofficially in Cheadle, Cheshire at the Stanley Green site. The response of the R & D manager at this firm was that there is a problem with the settings/parameters in the ECU program which need setting up correctly and that there is a superior technology available to VAG group called DOC filters. Unfortunately due to cost they didn’t adopt this technology. They went for the more cost effective one which in turn causes me more aggravation and wasted diesel and time. My van is fully loaded and I mean everything on the options is excluding left-hand drive. Seems to be dying a death systematically and gradually. What happened to German build quality.
Responses to this review
Try www.brickyard.com or the brickyard etc.., it is a VW website for enthusiasts, there is a modification for this, it does mean blocking the egr valve but it has good reports from owners. Good luck - Richard H from England
In response to Shazad’s review, that is not the half of it! I know the problems he had with his van, and managers within that building did not care about it! After numerous visits to the Van Centre, the attitude of the Aftersales manager was disgraceful as he and the master tech were more bothered about his skin color than the problem(s) with his vehicle! His vehicle would be in the Van Centre for a week, sometimes more, but in that time would only be in the workshop for approx 20-30% of that time. The problems were never taken seriously, and the guys on the service desk, would have to ’fob off’ as managers did not want to know. Any more questions regarding VW Van Centre Manchester, just post them here - Dave Wilson from England
absolute pile of cra* !!!!!! i have had to many problems to list but main one is flywheel and gearbox , i have had 3 replacements already which were carried out under warranty however it has just gone again outside warranty so i have been given a big repair bill ( currrently being disputed with vw customer care ) i would seriously urge any one looking to buy a t5 to look at something else i have spent hours in the garage with this van and now have so many bits falling of i have got to the point where i superglue them back on myself, from a really pi**ed of plumber.
What can I say... Bought mine 3 years ago 2nd hand from a VW dealership. Until this year/last month it’s done well. With 69K on the clock now, just had a new water pump, new starter motor and new clutch.... Due the high performance of the van (174 bhp), VW have done some fancy stuff with the fly-wheel (Duel-mass or something similar) to get the power output. So if you have a T5 2.5tdI (130 or 174) and it starts juddering whilst pulling off in 1st of reverse, be warned - it will cost you a hefty repair bill.
This van has been in the garage more times than I can remember. Problems such as leaking rear windows, clutch, steering vibration, water pump, paint problems around side door handle, power steering fluid problems, loss of drive to gearbox due to input shaft worn, rollers on doors not rolling, clunking sound on steering full lock when turning slowly. All items have at some point been rectified under warranty but now the warranty period is up I wonder if its time to call it a day with this van at 65,000 miles. It has no way been as good as the 6 other t4 vans that I have owned, all of which have done above 110,000 miles. As a self employed electrician, a good van is why I paid 20k plus for this one and other lone vans I have had have felt like the quality element as gone.
I have 26,500 miles on clock, the vehicle has failed its second MOT on front n/s shock absorber. The van still looks like new but I’m not a happy self employed joiner.
Fantastic to drive great comfort eats the miles effortlessly! But starting to have doubts about its reliability and ruggedness. My vehicle has done 65000 miles bought new in 04 mostly motorway work light loads not thrashed is currently in a thousand bits with gearbox failure and has been for two weeks waiting for a 4th gear to arrive! Asking at 3 service centers why it should get stuck told it was a mystery and that it is normally the 6 speed box that gets stuck in first and second, is this a common fault perhaps? While the gearbox is out I am fitting a new clutch as everything on this van takes so long to do. The dashboard has developed an annoying squeaking which I am still trying to stop . This is a long term project for me one day to be turned into a camper van so I hope nothing else major occurs! Great to drive not so sure about reliability not something I would thought I would say about VW as I have owned several and also run an LT!
I have owned 3 of these VW vans in the past 10 years, they have all been great. Unfortunately though the ALL NEW T5 VW Transporter is a disaster it has broken down 5 times now and has been towed back to the dealership. The faults i am having are not isolated they are becoming more common now there are more of these vans around and some are reaching 4 years old with high mileage. The faults i have experienced are expensive to repair and even though VW have admitted they are due to faulty parts they will not replace them now i am 3 weeks out of warranty. The problems i have had include the entire range not just the T26. This is a great van; i have never been so comfortable sat in my van waiting for the AA to recover me from the hard shoulder of the M1. If you want a van you will love for 2 years and loath for the rest of the time you own it, buy a VW T5 Transporter.
I’ve had this van from almost new and I would recommend it to anyone. Solid as a house and very comfortable to drive thanks to fully adjustable drivers seat and steering column. This is a van that will just run and run and not let you down.
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