The VW T5 replaces the T4 range and six versions, four Kombi and two Caravelle models, will be available for local sale. It boasts a more modern look and a better designed interior.
Its predecessors, the T3 and T4, marked a departure from the cult Kombi name, with Microbus being preferred for the T3, while other nomenclatures were preferred in the T4.
With the T5 however Volkswagen South Africa has opted to go back to the roots of MPV motoring by calling the 8-seater version of the T5 the Kombi.
It is offered with two diesel engines, the now-acclaimed 77 kW 1.9TDI pumpe duse, as well as a new 2.5 TDI 96 kW pump injector (Pumpe Duse) engine. The 77 kW produces 250 Nm at only 2 000 r/min, while the 96 kW 2.5TDI produces 340 Nm also at a low 2000 r/min.
The 1.9TDI can accelerate to a top speed of 159km/h, while the 2.5 TDI model has a top speed of 168 km/h.
VW says that it has improved ergonomics on the T5's interior. The gear lever is now easy to reach in an elevated position that forms part of an extended dashboard area. T
There are also more space in the T5 than the T4.
The height-adjustable front seats come with head restraints that can be adjusted for height and articulation to provide maximum comfort to the front occupants.
All the other passenger seats are also fitted with fully adjustable head rests. The last row of seats is foldable to increase luggage space to 2 736 litres.
All Kombis are fitted with a standard radio and CD with a four-speaker system, with the satellite navigation system being an optional extra.
Air conditioning is also standard across the range, with mechanical switches for both front and rear occupants.
Front airbags are standard and are complimented by height adjustable 3-point inertia seatbelts. ISOFIX child seat attachment and a child lock on all doors are also standard. There is even a comprehensive first aid kit.
It comes with ABS brake as well as an electronic differential lock (EDL), traction control, and new on the T5, engine traction control.
Exterior features include halogen headlights and the safety-critical rear fog lights. The 96kW 2.5TDI Kombi's exterior is largely fully colour coded, but with black side strips.
The 1.9TDI's front bumper is black however, although it also gets the full compliment of colours offered across the T5 range.
The Kombi is available with a short and long wheelbase.
The T5 Caravelle is powered by two versions of VW's 5-cylinder 2.5 TDI. The first version has a power output of 96kW and 340Nm at 2000rpm. The other version has a power output of 128kW.
The 128kW version produces a massive 400Nm at only 2000rpm. All this power is transmitted to the front wheels via a newly developed manual 6-speed gearbox.
VW has equipped the Caravelle with a number of safety features. There are brake discs all round, and these are aided by ABS, ESP, traction control, an electronic differential lock and engine traction control.
The Caravelle comes with alloy wheels and headlights with double reflectors. All the exterior features are fully colour-coded.
It's interior also appears more luxurious than that of the Kombi and all seven seats have individual armrests, while the front seats are height and reach adjustable with lumbar support. The front seats come with standard seat warming.
Unlike the Kombi there are two individual seats behind the front occupants which can swivel to face either front or backwards. A multifunction table can also be erected when these seats face backward.
Just like the seats, the table can be slid backwards and forwards depending on the application and legroom required by the occupants.
The Caravelle is fitted with 3-Zone climatronic air conditioning for front and rear occupants, with an auxiliary heater in the passenger area.
Optional extras include Volkswagen's base satellite navigation system and cruise control.
A 3 year/120 000 km warranty and a 5 year/60 000 km Automotion maintenance plan are standard. Service intervals are 15 000 km, but an oil change is required every 7 500 km.
Kombi 77Kw 1.9 TDI (Manual) SWB - R 288 500
Kombi 96Kw 2.5 TDI (Manual) SWB - R 316 750
Kombi 77Kw 1.9 TDI (Manual) LWB - R 293 500
Kombi 96Kw 2.5 TDI (Manual) LWB - R 321 750
Caravelle 96Kw 2.5 TDI (Manual) - R 355 590
Caravelle 128Kw 2.5 TDI (Manual) - R 373 860