VW T5 Buyers Guide

T5 Buyers Guide strip

What follows is a brief VW T5 buyers guide to the VW T5 Transporter and is best read in conjunction with our guide to VW Campervan Conversions

VW T5 Buyers Guide


The T5 is the 5th generation VW Transporter by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and takes us pretty much up to modern day with the launch of the new T6 in September 2015. Produced between 2003 and 2015 it was the replacement for the T4 VW Transporter. With the T5 Transporter, VW made an even greater leap towards higher levels of comfort and everyday usability, yet still managed to retain some of the now familiar Transporter styling cues. It’s therefore more likely to find T5 campers with comforts such as electric windows / mirrors, cruise control, air conditioning and parking sensors particularly on the professional from new conversions. In 2010 the T5 received engine, interior and exterior upgrades with these later models often being referred to as T5.1s. To combat ever tougher emissions, diesel engine choices were restricted to 2.0 units in varying states of tune. Whilst externally as with the T4 before it, the T5 received a front end face lift resulting in a sharper more aggressive look and the dashboard was also upgraded with different controls and gauges. Once again campervan conversion companies such as Autosleeper, Bilbos, Danbury, Leisuredrive and Reimo immediately offered T5 based conversions. The T5 also marked the end of Westfalias long relationship with VW and amazingly in over 50 years VWs first own conversion in the form of the California. In addition, the T5 sparked a huge amount of smaller convertors to spring up all offering their own conversions. This can often make the task of choosing a T5 campervan very confusing.

Engine / Gearbox

Although offered with petrol engine options they are rare and so nearly all T5s found in the UK will be powered by one of the diesel engine options. Initially these consisted of either a 1.9TDI four cylinder or 2.5TDI five cylinder both with varying levels of power, but with the launch of the T5.1 changed to 2.0TDIs only, again with differing power outputs culminating with the bi-turbo 180bhp. Gearboxes came in the form of 5/6-speed manuals or 6-speed Tipronic / 7-speed DSG semi-automatics.

Engine Options (most common UK versions)

Engine Type Engine Code Size (Ltrs/Cylinders) Power (bhp) Cambelt Intervals
Diesel (TDI) AXC 1.9/4 85 4 years
Diesel (TDI) BRS 1.9/4 102 4 years
Diesel (TDI) AXD 2.5/5 130 n/a - direct drive
Diesel (TDI) AXE 2.5/5 174 n/a - direct drive
Diesel (TDI) CAAA 2.0/4 84 140,000 miles or 4 years
Diesel (TDI) CAAB 2.0/4 102 140,000 miles or 4 years
Diesel (TDI) CAA 2.0/4 140 140,000 miles or 4 years
Diesel (TDI) CFCA 2.0/4 180 140,000 miles or 4 years

Please note: The information provided within this VW T5 buyers guide is intended as a starting point for potential buyers and should be treated as a source for basic reference only.

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