August 11, 2016
Spiritually, this is a modern day VW van. It is the van VW should have built, instead of the super expensive and impractical stuff that they did build. Its reasonably priced and offers a lot of value. I bought a new left over 14 model hi top mid wheelbase gas model last Sept. Have over 9k miles on it now. Problems? Brakes do squeal a bit, but not enough for me to care enough to try to change it as they are powerful and will stand this van on it's nose in an emergency. I know, had to do it once. Traction control worked great. No issues with latches or anything that some people have had with them. Mine's doors and all accessories work just fine. Mine did suffer a weepy radiator as many '14 models did. I showed it to the dealer and they ordered a new radiator in for me and swapped it out. No coolant issues since then. Half day to repair. It had an engine sensor go bad, but was still safe to drive. Another half day repair under warranty. I gave it it's first oil/filter change at 5k miles and will do another next month as it hits 10k miles. Very easy access to everything to service it! The good stuff. Love the power this V6 makes. Very smooth and rev happy. The transmission does a great job of putting the torque to the ground too. This van takes off like a rabbit from a stop. Very smooth through the six speeds too. This is one of the better auto transmissions I have owned over the years. Love the FWD handling. Tracks straight as an arrow even on steeply crowned roads. Sucks up the bumps and rides well too. Very tight turning radius. In a parking lot, its like driving a forklift backwards! Between the large side mirrors and back up camera and back up sensors, you can really maneuver this van well in a tight space. I find the seats very comfortable on road trips. But it needs better grab handles for driver and passenger entrance and exiting. The ones provided are up way too high in the ceiling. You have to be over 6' tall to use them! We're short people. Sturdy handles on the A pillar like my old van had would be much better. The seven cup holders are kinda useless too. Except for the one up on the dash, they are difficult to reach. And even that one if kinda far away from the driver. I installed a big center console between the seats just to have more useable cup holders and a place to lay a sandwich. I am slowly turning it into a sleeper van as I can afford it. I started off with 100 squ ft of sound insulation in the box and a thickly padded carpet on the cargo floor. Now it rides quiet at 70 mph on the hiway like a good mid size car. I have 300 watts of solar panels on the roof supplying two 90 amp hr deep cycle batteries. I use a pure sine inverter to run a small apartment sized fridge. It is self sustaining. Batteries will run it easily all night and then solar recharges in about 4 hours during the day. In the past 11 months I have enjoyed the heck out of this funky van. Not perfect, but very good at many things. Love my road trips in it and its ability to swallow just about any cargo. The AV works great even on a 100 degree day. Heater is very efficient in the winter too. I'd highly recommend the gas model. Mine gets about 15 mpg around town and 20-22 mpg hiway at 65 mph.