2002 Volkswagen EuroVan Review

Used EuroVan for sale
List Price Estimate:$3,543 - $5,935
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Volkswagen EuroVan model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Roomy second- and third-row seats, lots of headroom inside the cabin, responsive steering, capable brakes, MV model's flexible cabin arrangements.
  • Handles like a delivery van around corners, lots of wind noise on highway, awkward driving position, outdated cabin ergonomics, rear seats are hard to fold, no driver-side sliding door or side airbags.

The EuroVan is unique among minivans, but it lacks the easy handling and user-friendly design embraced by its peers.

Vehicle overview

Despite myriad shortcomings, or perhaps because of them, the Volkswagen Vanagon and its successor, the EuroVan, became people-mover cult favorites. Sadly, there weren't enough cult members to sustain sales, and the van went on hiatus while Volkswagen started recruiting. The EuroVan returned in 1999 with several improvements designed to make the oddball entry more palatable to American tastes, and was upgraded yet again for 2001, finally providing enough oomph at the right price to double sales -- to roughly 3,500 units.

Motivated by a 24-valve VR6 engine, this powerplant makes a healthy 201 peak horsepower. Charged with hauling more than two tons of steel, plastic and glass, the EuroVan easily keeps up with traffic, though more powerful vans from Honda and Chrysler still have an advantage here. We enjoy the VR6's broad torque band, which allows the EuroVan to feel quicker than it truly is. A four-speed automatic is standard. Premium-grade fuel is recommended, and fuel economy is rated at 17 mpg city/20 highway. In GLS form, the EuroVan can carry payloads (passengers + cargo) of up to 1,554 lbs.

Although the EuroVan is one of the few minivans with an independent rear suspension, this does not result in the car-like handling buyers in this segment have come to expect. Despite a smooth highway ride, the van's body rolls heavily when cornering. However, this minivan does have responsive steering and strong brakes -- these attributes, combined with its quasi-counter-culture appeal, may be enough to offset its old-school handling characteristics for some buyers. Additionally, Volkswagen has added a stability control system (ESP) for 2002, which should improve the EuroVan's performance on slippery roads. Two trim levels are available: GLS and Multivan (MV). Order a GLS, and you get seating for seven forward-facing passengers, 16-inch alloy wheels, four-wheel antilock brakes, stability control, dual-zone (front/rear) automatic climate control, six-speaker cassette stereo, cruise control, heated washer nozzles, a full-size spare tire and power windows, locks and mirrors. Options include seat heaters and a sunroof.

The MV includes all of the GLS features and also seats seven, but two riders are looking out the back window and the third-row bench converts into a bed. Besides the above options, the MV can be fitted with the Weekender Package, which includes a pop-up roof, a two-person bed, a small refrigerator (housed in the base of a rear-facing second-row chair), swiveling captain's chairs, sliding windows with screens and curtains, and an additional battery. Note that getting the Weekender deletes certain conveniences -- for example, you get manual climate controls (for the front only), rather than the automatic system.

Attentive shoppers will notice that side airbags are neither standard nor optional on the EuroVan. There are, however, headrests in all seating positions, ALR/ELR three-point seatbelts for all forward-facing outboard passengers and child-seat anchor points in the second and third rows of the GLS (second row only in the MV). Neither NHTSA nor the IIHS has crash-tested this vehicle.

Pull the seats out and the GLS is capable of moving 150 cubic feet of cargo. Buy an MV with the Weekender package, and you've got a full-fledged camper that still fits in the garage. Though unique and full of personality, the EuroVan is nonetheless battling it out in a highly competitive market where long-time stalwarts like the Dodge Grand Caravan and Honda Odyssey offer superior cargo space, performance and refinement at a lower price. But if you're looking for something that won't embarrass you at Woodstock '02, don't forget the EuroVan.

2002 Highlights

The EuroVan saw many upgrades for 2001, including a more powerful 201-horsepower V6 engine. This year, VW equips its minivan with a stability control system (ESP) to improve handling in inclement weather and adds Emerald Green, Reflex Silver and Black Magic Pearl exterior color choices on the MV with the Weekender package.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2002 Volkswagen EuroVan.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars
15 years and still running strong
MV 3dr Minivan (2.8L 6cyl 4A)
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.
3.75 out of 5 stars
GLS 3dr Minivan (2.8L 6cyl 4A)
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.
4.5 out of 5 stars
10 year review
MV 3dr Minivan (2.8L 6cyl 4A)
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
4.88 out of 5 stars
A Joy to Drive!
GLS 3dr Minivan (2.8L 6cyl 4A)
I'd like to get a gas miser to drive, just so the oil exporting countries don't get more money, but I can't give up this ride. I have over 100,000 miles on it and it runs like new. It's never had a tune-up...no plugs, nothing. I change the oil every 5,000 miles; it doesn't burn it at all. The seating position gives me a great view of the road. It's like sitting in a comfortable chair in my living room watching my HD big screen. It should have a popcorn popper built in. Besides being able to see traffic well, it handles like a car not a truck. It's built on a very strong truck frame, solid and secure. I can fold down all the back seats in seconds and put in 4 x 8 sheets of plywood.

More about the 2002 Volkswagen EuroVan

Used 2002 Volkswagen EuroVan Overview

The Used 2002 Volkswagen EuroVan is offered in the following submodels: EuroVan Minivan. Available styles include MV 3dr Minivan (2.8L 6cyl 4A), and GLS 3dr Minivan (2.8L 6cyl 4A). The Used 2002 Volkswagen EuroVan comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic. The Used 2002 Volkswagen EuroVan comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2002 Volkswagen EuroVan?

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Which used 2002 Volkswagen EuroVans are available in my area?

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Can't find a used 2002 Volkswagen EuroVans you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volkswagen EuroVan for sale - 6 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $7,701.

Find a used Volkswagen for sale - 2 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $13,008.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen EuroVan for sale - 5 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $25,613.

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Should I lease or buy a 2002 Volkswagen EuroVan?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out Volkswagen EuroVan lease specials