do you even know what the T5 is, mon freue?

What a lame title. I wrestled with what to name this post. I also have a lot to write about. I am still in the job hunt mode and have a couple of promising interviews. I get the feeling, when it rains it pours and I seem to be more busy now than I was when I was employed. That’s cool, though, since I have learned so much and met so many cool folks over the last month. But, I do need to write about a couple of things outside tonight’s post.

  • Over at Guy Kawasaki’s blog, he posted the Avenue A Razorfish 2008 Digital Outlook Report. A lengthy but very informative read. Guy is great. I have a subscription Entrepreneur magazine where I first became aware of his columns. I follow him on Twitter and know people that know him. He’s one of my heros!
  • I’ve been hacking away on drupal and CSS. Cool stuff.
    • If you are interested on what I’ve been working on, you can check out the preview of the IIAM website here.

Okay, now that’s out of the way, (and I really do plan to post individually about the above points), I can get to what’s been burning, or itching in my mind.

My friends know that our family has a 2003 VW Eurovan GLS. We have three kids and the massive space the Eurovan allows is certainly something we enjoy. Here’s the history lesson. 2003 was the last year Volkswagen brought the Eurovan in the U.S.. In the rest of the world, the Eurovan is called either a Transporter or Caravelle. Our particular body style is referred to as the “T4.” After 2003, VW introduced the highly coveted T5 model everywhere but the U.S.. Here’s some links to support what I claim:

Over at vwvortex.com, a forum where I frequent, there is much disdain that one can not buy a T5 here in the U.S.. Here in the U.S., you have the Ford F150 as the most common vehichle, but everywhere else, if you are looking for a VW T4 or T5, you’ll be surprised to see how popular and common the VW van is everywhere.

So, I was besides myself last week when I saw a T5 in person. I posted about here on the ‘vortex:

You have no idea how this made my day. I think the number of people in the U.S. that have seen a T5 on the road here can be counted on one hand. Regardless, there is no question that German engineered high efficiency vehicles are desired here.

So, I don’t think a T5 is likely here in the ‘States anytime soon, but there are some options that are on the horizon. First, Volkswagen is supposed to launch the “Tiquan” sometime in May. Rumor has it a 40 m.p.g diesel version will be available later this year. I sent an email to our local VW dealer for confirmation but haven’t heard a thing.

I like it.

VW and Chrysler did a joint venture for a minivan. Reviews are mixed. The EV purists decry this as an obscene mockery. Personally, I try to envision how our family of five will fit into it, (for example… I recently checked out the new Honda Passport and was surprised how small the interior was compared to the Eurovan).

I’ll admit I like the look of it. I’m not crazy about the Chrysler drivetrain, but we’ll see. I want a diesel something fierce so whichever comes first, I’m more likely jump on.

So, the next question most people ask me is why do I want a VW diesel so badly? I had a 1985 Mercedes 300D, affectionately named “Gunther” (if you must know, our Eurovan is named “Klaus”). For an 1985 auto to get 24+ mpg was a real treat. I have come to love the sound of diesel engine. And if my testimony isn’t enough to sway you, the last time I checked ( and I need to double check this) the VW Jetta TDI was number three right behind the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight, (both hydrids) on the EPA’s list of most efficient cars.

I’d like to close out by including a few pics of the T5 and our T4.

It should be noted that I bought new, black wheels for our van so it looks even more tougher than it does in the picture.

5 thoughts on “do you even know what the T5 is, mon freue?

  1. So if you really want it would it be so crazy to go to Europe on vacation and bring it back just like the family from Denmark? How much does that cost I wonder?

    Thats great that you saw that.

    Bob

  2. Being a US citizen, you can’t bring in the van. Apparently, the D.O.T. needs three of any vehicle to certify it, and up until this point, VW has been unwilling to do it.

  3. Hi,
    just wondering if that T5 Eurovan you saw down in Georgia was a “real” US-based car or some tourist on a foreign license plate? If it is the former, how did they manage? I try doing just that and can’t just figure out how to get around those beaurocrat hurdles…

    Any directions would be heighly appreciated.

    Vic

  4. Hey Vic,

    Yes, it was a real T5 imported in from Holland. I talked with the drivers at a red light. They had moved over to the U.S. As I understand it, foreign citizens and bring over their vehicles for a max of three years, then they have to go back. We had friends from Germany that brought over their BMW motorcycle and they had to send it back.

  5. got it. Not too much hope for anything “regular” then, unless someone comes along and trashes those “three copies” for the DOT 🙁

    I have heard of a couple of guys though who plan on setting up a non-US company and then have people drive their T5 fleet-vehicles in the U. S. probably on a leasing basis. Might be the solution for everybody desperately wanting a T5. AFAIK, they can even provide the cars to driver specification. I’ll dig their info up for your blog, if that is of interest…

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