Board Logo

How many Ks out of a Diesel?
bangalowvw - April 29th, 2014 at 05:51 PM

Hi Folks, I'm considering buying a used T5 transporter. The issue is I don't have a heap of money and most of the T5's in my budget have a fair few ks on them. I know there is no real definite answer to this question, but how many ks can you expect out of a modern turbo diesel motor before serious cash needs to be spent? I know a diesel is better than petrol for longevity, but if I find one that has good up to date service history what can I expect? Anyone have any experience with this sort of purchase? Also, aside from fuel economy and power, is there much between the 2.5 and the 1.9? Cheers, James.

Phil74Camper - May 7th, 2014 at 08:11 AM

The T5 Transporter was introduced to Australia in 2004, replacing the T4. On debut, the T5's Australian engine choices were an 85 kW 2.0-litre petrol or 173 kW 3.2 V6 petrol; either a 63 kW or 77 kW version of the 1.9-litre TDI, and the 128 kW, 400 Nm 2.5 TDI. The main difference between the 2.5 and the two 1.9 diesels is that the 2.5 has one extra cylinder - it's an in-line 5. It was the biggest-selling version in Australia, so you will find more examples for sale second-hand than the 1.9s. They're a better pick.

The V6 petrol engine and the little 63 kW 1.9 diesel were both discontinued from the Transporter range in 2007 (you could still get the V6 in the luxury Multivan though), so now it was just the 2.0 petrol, or the 77 kW 1.9 or 128 kW 2.5 TDIs. The Transporter range was awarded 4 ANCAP saftety stars in 2008, the first commercial van on the Australian market with that level of safety.

In 2009 the entire T5 range was updated and refreshed. Petrol engines were no longer available at all, and now the only engines choices were new 2.0 TDI diesels - 75 kW/250 Nm, 103 kW/340 Nm, or 132 kW/400 Nm.

Volkswagen TDI diesels are pretty much indestructable and will give you excellent service for years to come, especially if properly maintained so far. At 100,000 km they are barely run in. If anything, their weak spot is not the engine but perhaps the DSG gearbox fitted to later models. Some have given trouble while others have been fine. The service history also plays a part. They are a bit different to drive than a normal auto. Look for a manual if that worries you; the earlier T5s also had the choice of a conventional auto. These are very good but expensive to repair if anything goes wrong. Have your VW serviced regularly and properly by a VW specialist.

Newer T5s are better and will have less km, but older ones will be a bit cheaper with more km on them. If you are really short of money, an earlier T4 Transporter could also be an option.

HappyDaze - May 7th, 2014 at 08:27 AM

My 2.5 litre T5 gave excellent service, and when I sold it with 120,000km up, still had lots of good life left.

Volksmuller, who serviced the T5, recommended a new water pump be fitted at 100,000km as a precaution. If you find a T5, check to make sure this has been done, as a water pump failure can cause expensive engine damage.

66deluxe - May 7th, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Ive often get 1000k out of 72 litres in my 2.5 5 cylinder.

bangalowvw - May 11th, 2014 at 06:37 PM

Thanks guy's. Appreciate the info Phil74Camper.