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.
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 oil housings on these vans are made of plastic and are broken easily during oil changes. We lost all the oil and it ruined our engine. Each time we get oil changes we have to ensure the housing is not cracked. We asked Volkswagen to recall these vans but they refused. We absolutely hate the van because of this issue!
My 2001 Volkswagen EuroVan is a performer and fun to drive. We tow a boat with it and take long road trips. For traveling, you can't beat it. The reliability is poor and the repair costs are higher than most cars with the standard brake job costing $800. You should factor a 30% increase on repairs for Eurovan over a Golf or a Jetta. They are hard to work on and parts are scarce.