What are the differences between a VW Transporter T5, T6, and T6.1?

First produced in 1949, the VW Transporter is the best-selling van in history with over 12 million units sold worldwide. The VW T5, T6, and T6.1 are the most recent generations of the VW Transporter van platform.

The current generation of the Transporter is the VW T6.1, which was launched in 2019. This was preceded by the VW T6, which was produced between 2016 and 2019. The T5 came before that and was produced from 2003 to 2016, with a facelifted model launched in 2009.

Whilst the VW Transporter is an iconic vehicle and is instantly recognisable to many, we appreciate it can be difficult to decipher the differences between each of the generations. 

At Redline Campers, we predominantly offer VW campervans built on the T6 and T6.1 platforms but we will occasionally have T5 vans for sale too. 

VW Transporter T5 

Produced from 2003 to 2016 (facelifted from 2009 onwards)

  • Replaced the T4 (produced between 1990 to 2004)
  • The first Transporter available with the option of VW’s 7-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG)
  • Available with 2.0, 2.0 TSI, and 3.2 petrol engines, and 1.9 TDI PD, 2.0 TDI CR, 2.0 TDI CRBlueMotion, 2.0 BitTDI CR and 2.5 TDI PD diesel engines
  • Available as a 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic, and 7-speed automatic (DSG)
  • Available in SWB (3000mm) and LWB (3400mm)
  • Winner of the What Van? Van of the Year award in its first year of launch

VW Transporter T6

Produced from 2016 to 2019

  • Replaced the T5
  • Based on the same 7H / 7J platform as the T6 but with a significant number of revisions and updates
  • These revisions and updates include a new dashboard layout, a new front end, and cosmetic revisions to the tailgate/rear doors and rear lights
  • Available with LED headlights and LED rear lights for the first time
  • Available with 2.0L petrol, and 2.0L TDI turbo and 2.0 L BiTDi twin-turbo engines
  • Winner of International Van of the Year and Auto Express Van of the Year award in its first year of launch

VW Transporter T6.1 

Produced from 2019 onwards

  • Facelifted version of the VW Transporter T6
  • Styling upgrades include a deeper front grille
  • Interior upgrades include a new dashboard, VW’s updated infotainment system, and the option of VW’s ‘Virtual Cockpit’
  • Features high-intensity H7 headlights and daytime running lights and LED rear lights
  • Includes intelligent driver assistance systems including Park Assistant, Cross Wind Assist and Lane Assist
  • Available with 2.0-litre TDI engine
  • Available in 90bhp, 110bhp, 150bhp, 199bhp and 204bhp variants
  • Available with a five-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive, a six-speed manual gearbox and front wheel drive, a seven-speed DSG automatic, and in 4Motion four-wheel drive (4WD).

To make identifying each of these models easier for you, we have produced the following video…

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