UCB Parents Recommendations

VW Eurovan

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November 2002

I would like feedback from any families who own or have owned a VW Eurovan (camping or non-camping model)within the past three years. I would like to know, how mechanically reliable it is or not, how disruptive having only one side door is (for loading and unloading children)(as opposed) to two side doors like the newer minivans have, and how much of a plus it is to have all the camping equipment when you are primarily using it to transport your children from here to there and driving it to work. Thanks donna


I would suggest checking out the Eurovan mailing list:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ev_update/

Looks like they're running at some 1,000+ messages per month; post your question there, and I'm sure you'll get responses from families who have driven many thousands of Eurovan miles. The resources at http://type2.com and http://vanagon.com may also be of general interest.

It might be worth inquiring as to whether or not the Eurovan is available with doors on both sides. This feature was introduced by VW in the 1950s (yup, half a century ago), and may still be available by special order.

Our '70 VW bus has seen over 300,000 miles and continues to serve us well; I imagine they've only gotten better in the past 3 decades. Also, the VW product is (and has always been) a mid-sized van; VW owners have been known to take insult at the word ''minivan''. :)

Good luck! -Greg


icky point. Eurovans and Vanagons are not MINIVANS. They are real, live, honest to goodnes VANs. Now that that is settled... :) http://www.vanagon.com/links/lists.html

Check the above link for many email lists - vanagon and eurovan. I'm sure someone there can help you with your (NON MINI) van questions. kathy


Wait until late 2004 for the new VW Microbus (released as a '05 model). And if you can't wait that long, get the VW Euro Van, they are going to be reducing the price because the new Microbus will be out soon, so you could probably get one for $24K. About the same as the ugly, lumpy potato called the Toyota Sienna. The Honda is expensive, but it holds it's resale better and has that cool 3rd rear seat that folds away. I think the Honda is popular because it's a trendy thing, everyone's doin' it! The Honda is also a 3 year old van and the new '(04) one will be out late 2003. Styling wise the Honda is also a little uninspired and wedge like, Hondas in general are not ''pretty'' cars. The Toyotas and Hondas tend to look like last years good idea when the new ones come out, they look dated fast. But the VW EuroVan like other German autos age gracefully, and tend to look more contemporary longer and also have a more loyal cult following. Like the old boxy Westfalia VW vans, '92's still look fantastic and have a good resale. The VW EuroVan has a great VR6 motor with alot of power, and the new MicroBus will have an updated version. Both are made in Germany. The interior materials are not that different between the Japaneese and American minivans, maybe marginally better in the Japaneese. But overall very cheap feeling, flimsy switches and knobs, inexpensive plastics, yuck! In contrast, go sit in a VW Golf or EuroVan and it's like a BMW or something, fabric covered b-pillars, rubberized parts, just a dramatic difference in quality. And that's where you spend most of your time with the auto, so it should be quality and not cheap feeling. It is very worth while to purchase your auto in Los Angeles, auto capitol of the west coast. Look for dealers in Orange, or elsewhere in LA. You could save thousands, and it costs $80 bucks to get there on Southwest. They just have more cars there, go figure. Also, auto brokers are really great. Good luck, think VW for your poeple mover! anon
From: Tilmann

I might be biased for german cars but I like our '93 Eurovan a lot. We bought it last year in June when we moved here from Germany and it is running fine since then. The only thing that broke so far was the fuel pump. Compared with most of the American Minivans it has more space in the passenger area and still has considerable space in the trunk when it seats 7 passengers. The other advantage compared to the Minivans I drove so far is that you have a much narrower turning radius with the Eurovan and it has a better clearance. I touched the ground of many driveways with a Ford Winstar. The Eurovan engine is relativly weak in the eyes of american Minivandrivers with its 115 hp. >From my understanding Volkswagen sold only the '93 Model (this is already the "rounder" design) as a van. All newer models come only as a camper. So you have to look around for a used one.

Dealers: We had very bad experience with McNevin on San Pablo. They obviously tried to cheat on the DMV registration fee and became very nasty when we started argueing with them. We finally bought our Eruovan from Stevens Creek Volkswagen in San Jose, where the personnel was much friendlier and the prices were also better. You might also check the Dirito Brothers in Walnut Creek.

Good luck, Tilmann


From: Barbara

We love our VW Eurovan. We've done several long trips in it and it is comfortable and plenty powerful enough for us. We wanted a stick shift rather than an automatic and that, combined with the size and comfort of the VW made it our choice. They probably are hard to find, though, because they don't sell regular vans anymore, just campers, as previously reported.


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