1 Jun 2005
By CHRIS HARRIS
Like its 1993-2004 T4 predecessor, the all-new T5 Transporter-based Caravelle features a short-bonnet nose that houses an engine and front wheel drive transaxle.
Driver enjoyment, occupant space, comfort and refinement levels, and crash protection have risen significantly, a corollary of the T5 being engineered first as a people-mover and then as a van, according to VW.
Subscribing to the evolutionary school of styling are the completely redesigned bodies and cabin, which are purposefully reminiscent of the upcoming Golf V.
And like VW’s vital small car, the T5 sits on an all-new chassis.
Suspension is by MacPherson strut with decoupled subframe and anti roll bars with coupling rods all round. The front struts – along with the engine – are now mounted onto an energy-absorbing subframe for claimed greater refinement and structural rigidity properties.
Powered rack and pinion steering and four-wheel disc brakes are the norm.
All Australian-bound VW petrol engines are EU4 emission compliant. In the T5 they are a 173kW/315Nm 3.2-litre V6 petrol and a 128kW/400Nm 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel engine.
Both offer either a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed ZF automatic transmission with Tiptronic shift, channelling drive to either the front or all-four wheels if the 4MOTION option is ticked,On the technology front, anti-lock braking with electronic differential lock and anti-spin regulation (ABS, EDL and ASR in VW speak) are standard, along with a driver’s airbag and adjustable steering wheel.
All Multivans are sourced from Hanover in Germany.
All models include dual front airbags, air-conditioning, a CD player, keyless entry, power windows and electric mirrors.
Upmarket models also carry sliding and middle-swivelling chairs, and front-side and rear-curtain airbags to a party of seven, as well as traction and stability controls, three-zone air-conditioning, leather trim, a sliding/folding rear table, electric doors and tailgate, satellite navigation and a DVD player.