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.