Last post on Nov 05, 2013 at 4:15 PM
You are in the Volkswagen Eurovan
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Volkswagen EuroVan, Volkswagen Vanagon, Volkswagen Microbus, Van
#276 of 854 Eurovan limitations in US
Aug 01, 2001 (2:38 pm)
Okay, I've just read the Edmund's review of the 2001 Eurovan. Though this review is more favorable than many reviews out there, like those other reviews, they continue to miss the point in a couple of key areas:
1) The Eurovan is NOT a mini van! Why keep comparing it to the mini vans? Mini vans make me sick, because the auto makers in this country seem to think that, because they sell well, EVERYBODY wants one. I don't want one! They're cars with a thyroid problem. If I want a station wagon (what they really are, after all), I'd rather have something like a nice old 57 Desoto.
2) Where do these reviewers get the figures for cargo volume? One of them (don't remember which) actually says the cargo volume of the EV is only about 19 cubic feet! So, no surprise, the Honda and Mopar minis have more cargo volume than that! Take another look, guys, ALL the minivans are TINY inside compared to the Eurovan!
The closest thing to the Eurovan today is the Chevy Astro or GMC Safari. I rented one of those recently to use on vacation. It's bigger outside and smaller inside than my 1993 EV (which has AC problems and a lot of miles, so I didn't want to take it across the desert). I would have been a lot more comfortable in the Safari if I'd had my left leg amputated before the trip - there's just no place to put your left leg in that thing! The fender well intrudes into the driver's legroom MUCH more than does the EV's fender well. Also, the engine cover in the Safari, though less in the way than it was several years ago, is still this big ol' box right there, jutting out from the middle of the dashboard. The Safari has gotten better reviews from the same people that reviewed the 2001 EV. Heck, my 1993 handles better than the Safari, so I'm betting the 2001 does even better. The Safari blew all over the road in windy conditions, whereas in my EV I have to check the bushes along the freeway to see if the wind is blowing at all, because I've never felt it in the EV. The 2001 EV has a smaller, and yet more powerful engine in it than the Safari, and it can tow nearly as much even though it's front wheel drive. Go figure, though.
Then VW misses the point in having the poorest marketing of the EV in the US of just about anything imagineable. While I was in Iceland last year, I was amazed at the number of "eurovan" (still called transporters, which is what they should be called over here, dammit!) models available. Like, why can't I buy a VW "Californian" here, with my choice of gas or diesel, synchro 4x4, 5-speed stick, and a camper package made by VW, not some after-market outfit with poor quality control and customer support like Winnebago??? Many of the taxis in Iceland are long-wheelbase "eurovans" with 9-passenger seating, 5-cylinder diesels and 5-speed stick shift transmissions. I was amazed at how well they got up and went with the driver, myself, and about 6 friends on board.
My 1993 EV is a stick. I don't like automatics, but that's just me. I'd be much more inclined to consider upgrading to a 2001 EV when it's time to give up on the 93, if I could at least get the currently-available MV (even with the automatic) with 4-wheel drive. That'd be nice. Swap out the "little girl's transmission" with a 5-speed and I'd be happier than a...
#277 of 854 Eurovan in US continued..
Aug 01, 2001 (9:18 pm)
VW has a real marketing problem indeed. The Eurovan is very European. To those that have driven much over there the name of the game is to cram as much space as possible into the shortest length and narrowest width. You can get a hint of this by looking at the external dimensions of a Passat compared to an Accord, or look at the lengths of BMW's. Length in and of itself is a bad thing. But Americans look at it differently and want size for their money - e.g. SUV's. The Eurovan does the best job possible in meeting this European concept by building a tall box, it is shorter than any US available mini van (except MPV by 1inch) and it has way more space than any of them. Worldwide, it is a very popular van. In the US most everyone thinks it's weird. I think VW should cater more to the European-thinking niche market in the US and offer it with the TDI engine and 5 speed manual like they do in Europe. Then it would be the MPG champion of all Vans in the US and stil have that great TDI torque. Instead they give us a version that is unpopular in Europe with a real gas-guzzler engine requiring PREMIUM gas, and a slush-box transmission, so it becomes a weird hybrid indeed.
There's my 2 cents worth ( I recently got back from driving a Turbo Diesel 5-speed Renault Megane Scenic van in France which got well over 40 mpg with plenty of torque. No problem at all doing 100MPH plus on the Auto route. With diesel the equivalent of $2.60/gallon my fuel costs were actually lower than if I was driving a minivan in the US (which get ~1/2 the gas mileage of the Renault.
#278 of 854 Eurovan Accessories
Aug 05, 2001 (1:24 pm)
Greetings from Wyoming. We just purchased a 2001 Eurovan MV and we love it. Now we're considering floor mats, seat covers, bra, and mud flaps to protect our investment. Is this a good idea? Can anyone recommend specific products? Should we buy genuine VW parts or is there a good alternative? Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks.
#279 of 854 ev accessories
Aug 06, 2001 (6:07 pm)
I just purchased floor mats and bra from gowesty.com and was very happy. Let me know if u find seatcovers.
#280 of 854 what's your dream Eurovan
Aug 10, 2001 (5:05 am)
Ok, I can only look at the German web site and deam of having the choices provided in Europe. The new 2.8l for 2001 has nice power and price drop is great, but only 188ft/lbs of torque for this heavy van? How about boring this out to 3.2l or larger to improve torque? Five speed would be nice since most of us that have ever owned a bus shifted for ourselves and like this feature. A syncro with a transfer case with low gears plus road clearance would be awesome for those of us that love to venture off-road and camp! Now add the great mileage plus altitude power compensation of the 111KW TDI engine and now we can get great mileage. I remember seeing someone post that VW only sold about 2000 EV here last year. When you're at the bottom, why not experiment with some new offerings? Don't try to be just another DC mini-van. Somebody pinch me!
Aug 10, 2001 (8:36 am)
Well, based on what I saw in Iceland last year as a guide, I'd like a long-wheelbase Eurovan with the TDI diesel, Syncro 4x4, and 5-speed manual. An MV would be okay, as my kids are growing and I probably don't need the poptop for extra sleeping space.
I actually posted something like this as a comment on VWOA's website. Got a couple of quick responses, until I contradicted the rep's remark that VW doesn't "make" any options for the Eurovan other than what's over here already. When I told him about what I saw in Iceland, I got no response.
A guy I met at a SOTO meet in the late 80s had a similar experience. He took a Canadian transporter brochure to a VW dealer and pointed to a double cab 4x4 Tristar pickup and said "I want one of those. Can you order it for me?" to which the dealer replied with something like "They don't make one of those." Even with the pictures right in front of him! He ended up buying a used 1984 or 85 doublecab 4x2 pickup from an outfit in Idaho that used to advertise in Hot VWs. Had it right there. SOMEBODY makes them (I'm betting VW ;o)).I checked their prices once, and found them too high for my taste.
Shortly after that trip last year, someone on the EVUpdate list noted that they heard of an outfit in the upper midwest that will import European cars and equip them for US safety and smog. I may look for them when it comes time to replace my 93 EV. Problem would be getting warranty repairs done, if you needed them (my 93 sure did! SEVERAL times!). I'd probably try to negotiate the price down to compensate for a lack of a powertrain warranty and do the work myself. But even then, I'd have to special order parts from Europe somehow.
Aug 12, 2001 (10:13 am)
Don't know if it's a misprint or what, but I just got a brochure in the mail for the 2001 Eurovan, with an offer of a free t-shirt if I test drive one. In a small footnote to the base price, it says "equipped with the 5-speed manual transmission". I'd be a notch closer to going for it one of these days if they really do offer a stick. Add the Syncro to that, and I'd be even more tempted...
#284 of 854 European parts availability
Aug 13, 2001 (10:06 am)
I will tell you from experience that most dealer's are not supportive of finding parts for non-U.S. spec vehicles (let alone servicing them under warranty). It is sometimes hard to get insurance for these vehicles. I would highly recommend staying away from importing a new European spec cars unless money is no object.
One modification I was curious about is knowing if someone has added a supercharger on the VR6 engine since aftermarket kits are available for the Jetta & Golf. Don't know if it would bolt into a EV, but the extra power would be great pushing the weight up mountain grades .
Aug 13, 2001 (11:31 am)
I got the same brochure as tjparker, but I've checked Edmunds, Kelly Blue Book and VW sites, and they just don't show a manual transmission for the Eurovan. Darn. Oh well, I probably couldn't talk Mrs. Colo out of her Odyssey anyway.