Most Fun Money I've Spent in a Long Time
August 20, 2016
The 2003 Eurovan is one of the most fun vehicles I've ever driven or owned. It has a similar feel to the old VW Bus - high up with a flat steering wheel - but with much better engineering and a lot more power. Mine is a basic GLS and I love the huge open box with windows all-around. I like the styling and it still gets a fair amount of attention when I take it out.
I gather it wasn't a very popular van when it was sold; and the 2003 was one of the last and best years where they used the standard 6-cylinder VW engine and transmission as used on other VW products. It puts out well over 200 horsepower, more than double the power of the old rear-engine buses, and it can move out quickly.
The visibility is unparalleled and it cruises effortlessly on the freeway. The A/C works great too with lots of vents throughout the cabin. We have attached a screen on the back door for camping and we have a portable camp oven and other camping toys so I don't miss the camper-van features at all. It is a much more useful daily vehicle without all those extra built-in fixtures (and a whole lot cheaper).
My only complaints about the Eurovan are the lack of a glove compartment and the height of the front doors off the ground - it's a high jump for us old, short people. As a solution, I bought an aftermarket storage and drink console that goes between the seats from EuroCampers; and I am considering getting aftermarket side steps. I also don't know enough about the reliability of the van yet, since it's not my main vehicle, it's 13 years old, and I've only put about 250 miles on it - out of over 240,000 total. Oh, and the radio kind of sucks too.
We plan to use it for the beach and for camping trips locally and hopefully further afield. It's a unique van that can be found cheaply in the GLS package, but the MV popups and camper vans cost a small fortune. Unless you have a big bunch of kids and plan to camp a lot, it hardly seems worth the extra cost. The GLS is a big winner!