Bought the Eurovan with a wheelchair lift to haul my mom & dad around.
Drove it 2200 miles with them.
No big problems: New tires, changed oil, change brake fluid and had to fix ECU (vacuum tube had gone out)
Fun to drive, great road view, lot of room for things.
Cheap interior parts, electrical parts cheap too
My dad bought our Eurovan back in 1997, when I was just a yungun (more than I am now), and ever since then our family has had great experience after great experience in this van.
This is the car I learned to drive on, and I have to say after putting several thousand miles on it, I love it. Yes, I have driven other standard shift cars (some very sporty ones at that), and after nearly 200K the gearbox is still great.
Until it was about 12 years old, it had absolutely no mechanical issues. Sure, parts and repairs can be expensive as heck, but that doesn't take away from how amazing this van is.
Just the other day I drove it over the 193,000 mile mark, and I can't wait to get it to 200,000
Great visibility, easy to drive, great learning vehicle, you can beat the heck out of it, fantastic build quality, great rust protection (coming from the northwest!), ok fuel efficiency for the type of vehicle, awesome for camping, comfortable seats, momentum, momentum, momentum, forgiving tranny, simple controls, easily accessible dash layout, super reliable, German, people mover, junk mover, A/C, fridge, dinner table, soccer parents, pop-up westfalia top, sleeps two adults and two kids, plenty of room for tall people (I'm 6'5" and i fit with headroom to spare), really modifiable, 7 passenger max, if you get in a crash, chances are you'll be on top (alive), not enough room for anything else
noisy on the highway, plastic accessories break after a while (cupholders, handles, etc.), stiff ride,
heavy, sways on tight turns, underpowered, everything from the engine to the gearbox is about maximizing torque, need to install a CD player if you want more than stock
while i love my 17 year old car it has been a money pit it just broke 100,000 and should have tons of life left since i have gingerly taken care of it, but it doesn't...i missed the 4500 $rebate opportunity so im kinda out luck on my trade, i have a real fear of every buying vw again, maintenance very high on higher end models. and no one knows how to work on them. but i must say if i can have another engine he put in and eliminate the vw guts of the vehicle i would totally keep the car.
the interior configuration/limo style, awesome with kids
Not even Volkswagen engineers can get around the laws of physics. But I find they strike reasonable compromises. If it costs a lot of money to fix you need a better mechanic. I know I am that better mechanic. 20 mpg and a curb weight of over 5000 lbs is unheard of, my van does not even have the 102 load index tires yet (there 94 not stiff enough side wall, more rolling resistance ya know). I expect to pick up another 2 mpg from that change alone. The brake pads don't last long if you don't use stab breaking technique. The 5 speed is the only way to go in my opinion. I've heard 17 sec. 0to60, I cant get it to accelerate that slow even if I try. You can't get a better passenger van for camping hands down.
On-Board Diagnostics laptop computer based/VAG COM.You can get a factory manual on a DVD-ROM. Lying in the back on a 90 deg. day pushing the remote start button and firing up its dual air conditioners after a long day of fishing!!!