The V-W Bus has been a cult car since the 1950s, and the revamped T5 Multivan is worthy of its illustrious ancestors. With no lack of confidence, VW calls its cars simply 'the car'. So it might as well call the T5 'the bus'. The T on VW's commercial vehicles stands for 'Transporter', but the bus is lifestyle incarnate for highly mobile people from families to nomads.
Car tester Mathis Kurrat concedes the Multivan is ideal for anyone who needs space for any reason - professional or private, for a conference room or a camper for big families. He can't think of many cars that accommodate seven people and luggage besides.
Mathis Kurrat points out that, even if the two-meter-wide and five-meter-long Multivan isn't the sleekest car, its simple contours make it easy to maneuver.
We tested the biggest TSI gasoline-powered engine with 150 kilowatts giving the T5 lots of pick-up and temperament. VW's two-liter turbo can push the van from zero to one hundred kilometers an hour in nine-point-five seconds.
Mathis Kurrat takes that as a very decent time for a multivan, even if it takes lots of fuel to do it. The diesels in the range available are quite a bit more efficient but no less nimble.
And the maximum torque of 350 Newton meters is not to be sneezed at. The dual clutch transmission in the van we tested changes gears swiftly and easily in perfect harmony with the powerful engine.
Mathis Kurrat likes the VW bus's high seat position and the better view the driver has of obstacles coming up.
One of the biggest obstacles comes up right on the showroom floor: the T5's list price, starting at a good 32-thousand euros in Germany. The 2-liter TSI-engine version we tested with a dual clutch transmission costs a whole 20-thousand euros more. And it doesn't end there: the lavishly equipped business edition commands a business-class 120-thousand-euro price tag.