VW Transporters, LWB variety, any major problems?

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  • VW Transporters, LWB variety, any major problems?
  • Premier Icon Spud
    Subscriber

    Have a SWB at the moment, looking at replacements and LWB is appealing for a host of reasons. However, do those of you that have a LWB have any issues with speed bumps, getting around/ in car parks etc with the length and clearance if lowered?

    trail_rat
    Member

    It’s 400ish mm it’s still a small van and it’ll fit on a regular supermarket carparking space

    I struggle to see what issues you could have with such a small van.

    Other than self inflicted lowering stupidity of course.

    andrewh
    Member

    Just gone from SWB Transit to LWB Transit, about another 3ft in length.
    More awkward to park obviously, turning circle is much worse and RWD appears to be hopeless in muddy fields, but can’t blame that on the length.
    Extra space is well worth it. Bigger is better.
    .
    Also ferries will be pricier but not been on one yet. 5m seems to be the cutoff, I think an LWB T5 is well under that.

    andyl
    Member

    never seen the point in getting a van and then lowering it and putting silly big alloys and low profile (car) tyres on it.

    Best T5’s to me have stock suspension with some General Grabber or similar tyre.

    Whenever I have seen a LWB it has been too large for normal spaces.

    SWB: 4,892mm LWB: 5,292mm

    In comparison a Mercedes E-class is 4.9m and sticks out of most UK spaces which are typically 4.8m.

    phil5556
    Member

    I agree with trail rat. A LWB T5 is not a big van and fits pretty much anywhere my other car fits.

    Premier Icon Clink
    Subscriber

    I’ve gone from a SWB Transit Custom to a LWB Renault Trafic – extra space for bikes/kayaks/sleeping is a revelation. Driving fine, tight car parking spaces can be tricky but well worth it.

    Premier Icon wallop
    Subscriber

    Absolutely no problems whatsoever. Defo over 5m though – adds £15 between Portsmouth and Cherbourg, for example.

    The extra length meant we could have a bike garage inside the back of ours, rather than bikes on a rack externally (which was a no no for us).

    Premier Icon Spud
    Subscriber

    Thanks all, all good points. We did have an E Class estate before the current Caravelle and it did stick out of parking spaces a bit but not massively so. We have a caravan, but would look to use it for the odd night away.

    Premier Icon steveh
    Subscriber

    As above the length difference is 400mm over the SWB version but the difference it makes to interior space is huge. No problems specific to LWB versions.

    What kind of van are you looking for? I do quite a bit with transporters so have a pretty decent knowledge of them and potential worries.

    Premier Icon Spud
    Subscriber

    Cheers Steveh, it would be LWB 204 DSG, we have little use for the 7 seats of the Caravelle we have now as we carry two dogs, two kids and kit. So a Kombi makes more sense. It’s just the length and if lowered are there issues with speed bumps etc. I assume not from what I’ve read in several places and the additional space would be a benefit.

    Premier Icon jeff
    Subscriber

    I went from a SWB T4 Kombi to a LWB T5 Kombi.

    SWB was just like an estate car, anywhere say a passat could park, the van could go.

    LWB, the extra length is noticeable, the turning circle is bigger, there is one local multi storey car park which is a pain with the new van. It’s not a car-like parking experience any more. I’ve fitted a reversing camera, I might add sensors too.

    But for bikers, I reckon LWB is the way to go. Easy to roll 5 bikes in, wheels in and just go. SWB involved wheels out and faff. The extra space is really worth it.

    We looked at caravelles – far too expensive, plus fluffy carpet to destroy with dirt, and taking any seats out is a 2 man job. Kombi + insulation + carpet lining is the sweet spot I think.

    EDIT – if you do want to lower, read up on T28/30/32 differences.

    Premier Icon llama
    Subscriber

    Never had a problem with clearance, only 40mm lowered so not silly

    Car parks can be a problem sometimes no doubt. Not so much sticking out, more manoeuvring in/out when the lane and/or space is narrow. This is usually older car parks when busy. Plus we put bikes on the back so that adds.

    mark90
    Member

    LWB T5 here. The extra length is well worth the slight occasional inconvenience when parking. It does stick out of most parking spaces a little, but not enough to be a problem. The only time the length or turning circle is an issue is an is (a) finding a parking spot in busy street parking as often the spaces left by small cars pulling out aren’t quite big enough (b) tight car parks when you want to drive into the space rather than reversing in to enable access to the rear doors/tailgate.

    Premier Icon mick_r
    Subscriber

    I quite like the fact the long version of new Dispatch etc is in the rear overhang not wheelbase – so it fits in any regular space that has a grassy bit or kerb that it can overhang. If it was done in wheelbase then we would definitely be sticking out by a foot or so in some regular spaces.

    Trail rat has a skewed perspective on “long” based on the monster Daily 🙂

    trail_rat
    Member

    It’ll fit where your long dispatch fits though. The length is also in the overhang. It fits in a regular space when there is a grass area behind it.

    Premier Icon mercuryrev
    Subscriber

    Had a LWB and then SWB T5 (both Kombis) and would go for a LWB every time. The difference in length makes no difference when driving or parking, but the extra space is very, very handy.

    The only thing I would worry about is making sure you don’t have to replace the DPF filter. We ended up using our SWB 180 Sportline as a daily driver and it never got the chance to do a proper regen as we usually do short journeys. 2000 euros later and we had a new DPF filter….

    We now have a Transit Sport LWB DCIV and it’s a much better drive than the Sportline. Quieter, more responsive, better equipped and more comfortable. Yes we’ve lost the folding removable seats, but that’s a small price to pay. The quality of plastics, body panels etc., isn’t the same, but again, small sacrifice as I have lost all faith in VW. How they can charge so much to replace a filter they know will eventually block is beyond me. The least they could do is subsidise the cost of their poor design.

    steve_b77
    Member

    Going OT a bit here but…..

    We ended up using our SWB 180 Sportline as a daily driver and it never got the chance to do a proper regen as we usually do short journeys. 2000 euros later and we had a new DPF filter….

    How they can charge so much to replace a filter they know will eventually block is beyond me. The least they could do is subsidise the cost of their poor design.

    Why would they subsidise something that you’ve not looked after? It doesn’t take much to do a forced re-gen and every man and his dog knows diesel engines aren’t suited to short regular journeys

    Premier Icon mercuryrev
    Subscriber

    Sorry, do you know me?

    How is it OT when the OP asked for any major problems?

    How have I not looked after it? I used it to do what it was intended for, didn’t I? Or should I have taken a detour every time I wanted to go to the supermarket, or builders merchants?

    Do VW tell everyone buying their very expensive vans that they can’t use it for short journeys?

    Previous to the van I had a Audi A4 and a Seat Leon, both diesels and used in exactly the same manor. Both didn’t block their DPF filters.

    As far as I was aware the van was carrying out regens, it had a full VW service history and had done 70k miles. For the last 15k miles it had been used to run around locally and do 600 mile runs up and down France on at least 6 occasions over 18 months.

    Why when other diesel cars and vans don’t suffer such problems do VW carry on supplying vehicles with a DPF system they know will fail and then charge a ridiculous amount of money to replace it.

    It’s a very poor design and VW aren’t interested in improving it, or admitting they cocked up. Fine, I won’t be buying another VW in a hurry.

    thesurfbus
    Member

    Like others have said the LWB can be a pain to park and manouver around tight spaces, but its worth it for the extra space over a SWB.
    I had a SWB for 4 years and a LWB for 2 years and wouldn’t go back to a SWB.
    I am currently running around in a courtesy SWB while mine is in for a front bumper respray (VW valeter jetwashed some laquer off my front bumper), and the SWB feels just like a car to park.

    mrwhyte
    Member

    I have a LWB T4 (been in garage for 3 months though, that’s another story) but with bed in there plus a dog, that extra space is great.

    Like others have said, some car parks are a little tight, especially if people park rather close to you each side. However, majority of the time, I have no issues parking. Just have to be a little more vigilant as to where you park though.

    Is there much difference between a T5.1 and a T6? Same 2 litre engine? They look identical apart from the front wings but I’ve never been in a facelift.

    I’m looking at local vans online. I want to go newer than my 2.5 T5 (quieter, air con, DAB, etc.) but don’t want to spend T6 money. I’m looking for an actual ‘van’ not a big wheeled, slammed, 30 grand super van.

    Oh, and to answer the original question, LWB every time. It’s a bloody van so drive it like one. The extra space inside is worth it.

    Premier Icon steveh
    Subscriber

    T6 has standard bluetooth and DAB but aircon only on high end models as before. Engine are all 2.0 but 2016 is the changeover year to the euro6 engine with ad blue.
    Also give me a shout if you’re seriously looking, I can probably help.

    Also give me a shout if you’re seriously looking, I can probably help.

    Will do at the time but I’ve got a shopping list and the van is 3rd or 4th in line.

    Bummer about the air con. I swore on my ancestors graves that I’d never do another euro trip without it.

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