This is about the 12th or 15th VW van I've owned since 1974. It has more horsepower than the air cooled editions, does better in hot climates (Central CA), and just feels good to drive on a leisurely road trip to nowhere in particular. With the beds, pop top, table and rear-facing seats it is great for a weekend getaway or hauling the kids to soccer games - but is definitely NOT a Chrysler mini-van. Gas mileage isn't great (16-18), uphill climbs are generally not a big problem (if its a long steep one, don't get in a hurry), and it's comfortable to drive. Amazing people and cargo room too! A/C works well and can get downright cold! These are getting harder to find and the prices are climbing.
Style, versatility, roominess and the "community" of other VW van folks who are about the friendliest folks on the road - always willing to chat or help in a pinch.
Optional 2.4 liter engine - aftermarket - is a good upgrade as are 15-16 inch wheels and brighter headlamps.