Car Mechanics (UK) - - Project Mercedes-benz E320 Cdi -

The 1.9 has the tried and tested five-speed ’box from the T4, while the 2.5 came with VW’S new six-speed unit to han­dle the ex­tra power and torque. An ex­cel­lent DSG semi-au­to­matic Tip­tronic tran­mis­sion was also avail­able.

Both man­ual units are bul­let­proof, but as a dual mass fly­wheel (DMF) is em­ployed, po­ten­tial buy­ers would do well to as­sess its con­di­tion, es­pe­cially on high-mileage vans. Stop-start town driv­ing, where there’s been er­ratic ac­cel­er­a­tion or where lazy driv­ing has meant the van’s been driven in the wrong gear, can cause the DMF’S early demise. Tell-tale signs are a rat­tle on the over­run and a nasty jud­der while ac­cel­er­at­ing. Be warned, when the DMF fails it will usu­ally take out the clutch and starter mo­tor, and the to­tal bill can eas­ily ex­ceed £1000, so if you sus­pect loom­ing dis­as­ter, you’ll need to ne­go­ti­ate this amount off the ask­ing price.

The DQ500 DSG ’box suits the T5 well and is prov­ing very re­li­able. Just make sure the fluid’s been changed ac­cord­ing to sched­ule at 40,000 miles.

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