I've owned many types of cars and minivans but our 2001 Eurovan weekender is by far the most flexible and fun even though it's now 13 years old.
With 3 small kids and time off, my wife and I meandered 1,600 miles across California off the beaten path and had way too much fun.
It's a home while on the road and the club seating means the kids face each other for hours of travel without fatigue.
Anywhere we park the kids have a hangout.
Mechanically it's quiet and powerful.
We change the oil and trans fluid more frequently than specified by VW.
It has 131,000 miles and still drives solid.
Visibility is good and interior size feels generous. We are not a bells and whistles family.
The pop-top and fold-down rear seat sleeps 2 adults below and 3 little kids upstairs.
Curtains make it private.
Club seating with dining table is perfect for small meals or laptop work surface.
This is not a minivan,
it's a rolling hangout at the beach or for trips up Hwy 101 with independence from hotels.
The seats sit high so kids have good views over traffic.
Lots of storage for stroller and camping stuff.
I highly recommend a Eurovan weekender if you like adventuring with your kids but don't want a large camper.
It is a good commute car too.
The stock Eurovan stereo is AM/FM cassette only so an upgrade to CD/MP3 is needed.
Add a transmission oil cooler to baby the transmission.
We bought our 2001 Eurovan used in 2006 with 70k miles.
Now, in 2014, it has about 130k without any major mishap.
That said, expect to spend about $1500/year on maintenance AND they are notorious for having the transmission die ($6K repair) between 40k-70k miles.
9 years later, our van has taken us on multiple camping trips and has gone to Burning Man several times.
The engine runs a little rougher than it use to but it is still a very nice, drivable car for a large van.
Sadly, I don't think our van will survive for very many more years because various bits are starting to fall apart, but it has not had a gentle life (we park it outside, take it camping, have kids, etc.).
- The pop-top and the foldout bed for camping.
- The table for feeding the kids after a trip to the zoo or the park.
- It seats 7 people so we can take guests as well as our family of 4.
- We have a bike rack mounted on the trailer hitch.
Just bought this vehicle-had 10 hour drive to get it (handicap van) now fixing all the electrical issues. I have always loved the German engineering but the asian cars have QC! I am old school, don't think you should have to pay $300 for a key or $300 for an igniter that replaced a $3 set of points - that's "progress?" I guess I know too much about engineering, mechanics, electronics, etc. It must be easy to design products without regard to cost to the client!
"German engineering" is what I used to crave, but it may be a thing of the past.
Don't follow - lead, as you once did; produce a car for the people! Reliability-don't need all the security and courtesy circuits that fail in a few years-give us the basics, solid engineering.
We have had Volks vans since the green "bus" and hate/loved each one. The best one was the early vanagon with all that room in back and front, great interior coverings, etc....but the wind roll on the highway was bothersome. Our Euro is excellent to drive, sits above the crowd, no roll, a bit noisy, holds lots of people. Interior too fuzzy. Less width was not good. If only there were people out there that know how to service it. Looking for something more gas economical (we get 19 mpg)and a vehicle that fits tall people. Hate to give up on our Euro and its camp capabilities, etc. Don't like the backward facing middle seats and the cutback on leg room in the back.
Height, passenger room, ease of driving, safety, great brakes, "character".
Seat covering too cheap, fuzzes off. Hate the cut in width to add step-ups that are useless. Need room between front seats and leg room on passenger side back. Front inconvenient, no storage. Back facing seats are uncomfortable and not safe. Engine in front made the Euro ordinary and cut space.