I think this is my 3rd or 4th post on this vehicle and I guess you could say that this is a "real" long term review. The Eurovan is one of those vehicles that is still in demand for the VW enthusiast due to the low volume imported between 2001-2003 and the lack of a true replacement for the T-4 generation. The result is high resale values for low mileage, well maintained vehicles. In 15 years of ownership the Eurovan is still in great condition, the paint looks great and other than the usual service I have had very little problems. With 96,000 + miles on the van it is now time for the shocks to be replaced as they are getting a bit "bouncy" but not really that bad and probably could go for another 20 K miles. I will be replacing with the Bilstein B12 sports kit which consists of the 4600 series HD shocks and lower springs that lower the back-end 40 cm. I am having to replace the rear and intermediate muffler (resonator) due to small holes that have appeared in the pipes but the muffler and resonator are just fine. The two parts were about $240.00 from Bosal an fairly easy to replace. For anyone looking at buying this van the lower the mileage the better and I would stick with a late 2002 or 2003 model as I understand that the timing chain guides were updated around 2002 and should be more reliable. Maintenance is also very important for these vehicles and especially the transmission so I would try and find one with complete maintenance records if possible. The weak point on these vans is the transmission and the service schedule calls for transmission fluid replacement every 40K miles. I have done my twice and have no issues and the transmission shift very smoothly. The issue with the transmission is partly due to the transmission fluid cooler that is located on top of the engine and is more of a heat sink that a cooler (no fan, not located in an area with great ventilation). There are kits out there that can be retrofitted to place a cooler in front of the radiator which would be worthwhile if buying one with a well maintained transmission. I would also recommend changing the fluid every 25k miles to ensure longer life of the transmission. I will probably write another review in 5 years as I have no plans to sell this vehicle.
I have had this car for 10.5 years since new and still enjoy driving it. Just coming up to 70K so low mileage. I do almost all the work on my car so the maintenance is not bad. Repairs that have been needed to date are: coolant temp. sensor $30.00, MAF sensor ($190) and now just need to replace the O2 sensor ($76.00). New front end bushings need so installed new front control arms and tie rod assembly with alignment ($1,000). Replaced original brakes at 32k(front) and 34K (rear) and now have about 10K left on 2nd set so have drilled Zimmermann brakes and EBC pads to go on. Tune up easy to do. Most important service is to change transmission fluid per service manual
Resale value. Fun to drive and tons of room. Performance good for close to a full size van.
No rattles or squeaks.
Running 17" wheels during summer improves the stance. Handles excellent in snow with Nokian WR2 snow tires.
Not really suggested improvement but rather a wish list of what the car could have been.
A five speed transmission would have been great (better mileage). If the tranny ever goes out I would try and replace with a 4 motion if possible to modify.
For styling it would have helped to have side skirts to hide the visible unibody frame welds.
Wish the MV rear facing seats were in a track like in Europe so they could be switched around so driver's seat more comfortable on longer trips.
Finally, that VW bring over the T5 (modern version) of the van to the US.
Bought a Eurovan used with 60,000 miles. In great condition when purchased. Car computer died at 80k, the dealer told my wife the car had "a head ache" and it would cost $2500. I refused and insisted it must be under warranty and under my persistence was then covered by my warranty. Hmm. The car drive like a giant box. The interior is average, the seat are uncomfortable for long trips. The cup holders and plastic part break. A sliding window took 5 trips to the dealer, 18 hrs, and $600. The transmission is going out at 120k, and the brakes are expensive and require special tools. One door handle is broken, the window is stuck, the dealer says $500 to fix. AC died. Hard to find a mechanic
The size is great and the overall concept of the car is great. The V6 is quick, unfortunately the van doesn't handle with the suspension provided. The back seat folds down into a pretty good size sleeping area, and a child can sleep on the floor. Great for camping with the fold out table and curtain
Improved quality of interior. The finishing details and comfort are lacking. Improve the mechanical integrity.
Love the power and sitting up high. Suggestions for improvement: remote control that only unlocks driver's door, not all doors at same time (this could be unsafe; a stranger could jump in other side as one enters driver's door), automatic door locking as vehicle starts to move, glovebox in front of passenger seat. would like FLAT back seat so when it's turned into a bed it is not so lumpy and uneven. I was disappointed that my new 2002 did not have a standard CD player (only am/fm/cassette). I'm the original owner & have owned 2 other VW vans.. the 1990 pop top was superb. I'd love to see the 1990 set up, but put the engine in the front and add safety air bags and a v-6 engine.
V-6, sit up high, easy to drive, great visibility. Dependable with consistent servicing.
More leg room in front seats, glove box, automatic door lock when driving away. Remote control to have option to open only drivers door or all doors.option for leather seats would be nice.
Editors comparing the EuroVan to a Honda Odyssey completely miss the point. The Euro is big. It's not a minivan. It's a full size van. Compared to the smallest minivans like the Odyssey, it's kinda boxy and rolls in the turns. But compared to a Dodge or GM full sized van or the bigger SUVs, well, there's no comparison. You can put seven full sized adults in a EuroVan and drive across the country comfortably. Try that in an Odyssey. You can move couches and washing machines and your old big-screen tv in a Euro. Try that in a Dodge Caravan. Your three-cart trip to Costco disappears in the EuroVan. And it's still reasonably fun to drive. It's heavy. 15 mpg if you're lucky. We love ours.