Volkswagen SA has stepped up the competition in the large MPV segment with the introduction of the T5 range, which will be offered in three Kombi and two Caravelle derivatives.

Volkswagen SA has stepped up the competition in the large MPV segment with the introduction of the T5 range, which will be offered in three Kombi and two Caravelle derivatives.

Whereas the T3 and T4 ranges marked a departure from the cult Kombi name (Microbus being preferred for the T3, while other nomenclatures were used for the T4), VWSA has opted to go back to its MPV roots by calling the 8-seater version of the T5 the Kombi.

The new Kombi will be offered with two pump-injector diesel engines - the 77 kW 1,9 TDI and 96 kW 2,5 TDI 96kW. The 1,9-litre engine produces 250 N.m at 2 000 r/min and VWSA claims the 1,9TDI can achieve a top speed of 159km/h and return an average overall consumption figure of 7,7 litres per 100 km.

In turn, the 2,5 TDI is claimed to produce 340 N.m of torque at 2 000 r/min, achieve 168 km/h and return an average overall consumption figure of 7,9 litres per 100 km.

The wider-bodied T5's ergonomic efficiency is one of the biggest areas of improvement over the T4 or any other bus before it, VWSA said on Monday... The gear lever is in an elevated position and forms part of an extended dashboard area and the dashboard is bulkier and closer to the two front occupants than before.

Measuring 4 890 mm in length and 1 904 mm in width, the new Kombi is much bigger and longer than the T4. The load compartment alone is 2 537 mm by 1 625mm and because occupants have many options with regards to seat variation, the load space can be anything from 1 208 litres with all seats in place to 2 736 litres with the second row of seats folded, and then to 4 525 litres with all the rear seats removed. There are sliding doors, which can be locked via remote control on both sides of the MPV.

All seats are fitted with fully adjustable head restraints. A radio and CD with a four-speaker system is standard across the range, 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.

In addition to the tint on the windows, there are sun roller blinds on the side windows. At night, occupants will be able to use the standard-spec swivelling reading lights.

In terms of safety, front airbags, height-adjustable three-point inertia seatbelts, a first aid kit, ISOFIX child seat attachment and a child lock on all doors are standard. Brake discs are fitted at the front and rear with 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 2,5 TDI Kombi's exterior is largely colour-coded, but with black side strips. The 1,9 TDI's front bumper is black however, although it also gets the full compliment of colours offered across the T5 range.

High-spec Caravelle

The two Caravelle derivatives are powered by 96 kW and 128 kW versions of five-cylinder 2,5 TDI engine. The 128kW version produces a 400 N.m at 2000 r/min and transmitted to the front wheels via a manual 6-speed gearbox. Volkswagen claims the 128 kW Caravelle will sprint from standstill to 100km/h in 12,2 seconds and achieve a top speed of 188 km/h. Combined fuel consumption is said to eight litres per 100km on average.

The Caravelle's exterior is fully colour-coded and adorned by alloy wheels and headlights with double reflectors. But it is inside where the biggest differences between the Caravelle and the Kombi lie... All the seats have individual armrests for the driver and occupants, while the front seats are height and reach adjustable with lumbar support and have standard seat warming.

The headlights (with anti-dazzle function) can be adjusted for up or down depending on the driving conditions and the foldable side mirrors are fully remote-controlled. The Caravelle is fitted with 3-Zone climatronic air conditioning for front and rear occupants, with an auxiliary heater in the passenger area, ABS, ESP, traction control, an electronic differential lock and engine traction control.

There are two individual seats behind the front occupants that can swivel to face either front or backwards. Just like the seats, the multifunction table can be slid backwards and forwards depending on the application and legroom required by the occupants.

The second row of seats can be folded flat to provide more luggage space whenever necessary, but when not folded, there is a standard net partition. It can also be moved backwards to provide more legroom for the passengers or forward to create more space in the luggage compartment.

The T5s are offered with a standard 3 years/120 000km Warranty and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. Volkswagen's maintenance plan, AutoMotion is standard for five years or the first 60 000km. This can however be extended to 160 000km as an extra-cost option. Service intervals are at 15 000km, but due to the high sulphur diesel available in large parts of the country, the Kombi needs an oil change every 7 500km.

T5 CARAVELLE prices:

Kombi 77Kw 1,9 TDI SWB R288 500

Kombi 96Kw 2,5 TDI SWB R316 750

Kombi 77Kw 1,9 TDI LWB R293 500

Kombi 96Kw 2,5 TDI LWB R321 750

Caravelle 96Kw 2,5 TDI R355 590

Caravelle 128Kw 2,5 TDI Man R373 860


Removable Towbar R5 415

Cruise Control R2 850

Metallic Paint R3 950

Satnav Monochrome R15 000

Side Airbags R3 080

Leather R14 950

Park Distance Frt & Rear R5 000

Park Distance Rear R3 000

Assisted Tailgate Closing R1 050

Electric Door Left R5 000

Electric Door Right R5 000

Original article from Car