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2001 Volkswagen EuroVan

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2001 Volkswagen EuroVan
Available in 2 styles:  GLS shown
Asking Price Range
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Estimated MPG

17 city / 20 hwy

Expert Reviews

    Expert Reviews 3 of 4
2001 Volkswagen EuroVan 3.4 5
$ -
August 15, 2001

The occasion was an August family reunion in Breckenridge, Colo. Our ride: A 2001 Volkswagen EuroVan MV, a daringly different - and dated - minivan with a new 2.8-liter V-6 engine that makes 201 horsepower. The good news for consumers is VW slashed the price of the EuroVan by more than $5,000. The bad news is that, at a base price of $27,700 for the top-of-the-line MV (for Multivan), it's still too expensive. Our $32,225 EuroVan Weekender test model drew plenty of admirers in this Rocky Mountain ski resort. But for those on the inside, especially during our two-hour commute to and from the airport, the German offering garnered mixed reviews.

She: So there we were at the Blue Moose Café, eating organic granola. A woman in overalls and tie-dyed tank top who was breakfasting with her basset hound Archie asked me about the EuroVan. She just loved its looks. Said it reminded her of the good old days with the VW Microbus. I guess if you remember Woodstock and protest rallies, you'll be drawn to the EuroVan, the successor to that hippie-mobile. In fact, EuroVan is the antithesis of the soccer-mom minivan. It stands out with those sharp European edges, flat sides and towering 76.4-inch height. It's 11 inches taller than a Ford Windstar!

He: But it still doesn't have much stature in my book. The design is a decade old, and it's actually the successor to the successor - the old Vanagon. EuroVan drives and feels like an anachronism. Something that should have been retired along with peace signs, bongs and bell bottoms.

She: It may be an anachronism to you, but some buyers will see EuroVan as a refreshing alternative. I especially liked the optional $3,235 Weekender package. How many domestic minivans have a pop-up roof with a two-person bed, rear seats that fold to form a sleeping platform, a refrigerator and curtains? And, unlike more conventional minivans, the EuroVan can carry seven passengers and still feel roomy. We were hauling four people and nobody griped about feeling claustrophobic.

He: I felt claustrophobic in the driver's seat, which doesn't adjust as easily or fully as most minivans. And there's no place to put your left foot because the wheel well intrudes. Besides, why don't you list all the stuff you can't get on the EuroVan? Like side air bags, an entertainment system and a standard CD player? Can you live without dual sliding doors? A power liftgate like the ones Chrysler offers on its minivans? And how about a glove box? And those front-seat cupholders, on the floor near the shift lever, are in a foolish location.

She: I can see the trip to Colorado didn't mellow you out any. No Rocky Mountain High achieved in the EuroVan, huh? I will admit that VW needs to work on the EuroVan's noisiness. And even with an engine that makes 61 more horsepower than the previous one, our test EuroVan often seemed to struggle to climb steep summits. But how many people are going to be trekking around at 10,000 feet ab ove sea level?

He: Steep summits? We had the gas pedal floored on I-70, and I couldn't get the needle past 65 at one point. Even the Cavaliers and Corollas were passing us. I also noticed it was a little difficult to change gears with the floor-mounted shift lever on the four-speed automatic transmission. And the EuroVan's tall profile makes it feel tippier than some minivans on tight turns. Here's another question for Miss Alternative Minivan Promoter - who are you going to get to help you remove the seats in the EuroVan? You need tools. Even if you don't mind that inconvenience, don't buyers demand minivan seats that fold flat or roll in and out?

She: I'm not saying EuroVan is a great minivan. It's not. And it's not a major player, either. Volkswagen says it only expects to sell about 5,000 of them in the U.S. this year. That's nothing compared to big leaguers like the Dodge Caravan or Ford Windstar. But EuroVan is an acceptable minivan. That's why it gets two sars fro me. Among its strong points are excellent visibility with that high driver's seating position and standard anti-lock brakes. Also, VW says EuroVan is the only van to offer a standard electronic stability- and traction-control system that can keep a driver from swerving out of control in an emergency situation.

He: Sorry, EuroVan doesn't cut it with me. I'd rather save my money and wait for VW to make the Microbus in another couple years. Bet that would make the crowd at the Blue Moose spit out their granola and run for the dealership.

2001 VW EuroVan

Anita's rating: acceptable

Paul's rating: subpar

Likes: Plenty of room inside for seven passengers and their luggage. More power and displacement than on previous model. Weekender package is great for campers. VW cut the sticker by $5,000.

Dislikes: Still underpowered, especially when driving in the mountains. Seats not easy to remove. No room for driver's left foot. Driver's seat not easily adjusted. No sliding door on driver's side. Tailgate is heavy and bulky. Overpriced and outdated against the competition. Lousy air conditioning for rear passengers.

Make/model: 2001 Volkswagen EuroVan MV

Type: Front-engine, front-wheel drive, seven-passenger minivan.

Price: Base, $27,700; as tested, $32,225 (inc. $615 destination charge).

Engine: 2.8-liter V-6; 201-hp; 181 lb-ft torque.

EPA fuel economy: 17 mpg city/20 mpg highway.

12-month insurance cost, estimated by AAA Michigan: $1,274 (Ratesmay be higher or lower, depending on coverage and driving record.)

Where built: Germany

    Expert Reviews 3 of 4

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