Minivan; Built in Germany, USA
  • 3-door van
  • 3-door van
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,200 – $12,700*


1996 Volkswagen EuroVan


1999 Volkswagen EuroVan interior


1995 Volkswagen EuroVan Camper


1993 Volkswagen EuroVan GL


1999 Volkswagen EuroVan GLS


1995 Volkswagen EuroVan Camper

Pros:
  • Antilock brakes
  • Cargo room
  • Passenger room
  • Visibility
Cons:
  • Acceleration
  • Control layout
  • Entry/exit
  • Ride
  • Road noise
  • Steering/handling

For shoppers who favor strictly practical virtues, a EuroVan might be worth the price, though not many are on the used-car market. Those who seek stylishness, performance, or car-like comfort will have to look elsewhere.

Overview

Introduced in spring of 1992, as a 1993 model, Volkswagen’s EuroVan replaced the rear-engined, rear-drive Vanagon, which left the lineup in fall 1991. EuroVan had its 109-horsepower, 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine up front, driving the front wheels. A 5-speed manual transmission was standard, with 4-speed automatic optional.

EuroVan came in CL and GL trim, along with a camper-oriented MV model. All versions rode a 115.0-inch wheelbase and measured 186.6 inches long overall, compared to 97 and 180 inches for the Vanagon.

Base CL and midlevel GL models seated seven, with a 2-seat center bench and a 3-place rear bench. The MV also seated seven but had a pair of rear-facing middle buckets, a swing-up middle table, and a rear bench that folded into a bed. An optional Weekender Package for the MV included a pop-up roof with an integral double bed, plus a refrigerated cooler and screened, curtained windows.

Front and rear air conditioning were standard on GL and MV models, optional on CL. Antilock brakes were optional, but a driver’s airbag was not available.

Yearly Updates

1994 EuroVan
No 1994 EuroVans were issued, as Volkswagen planned to launch a revised version in the spring of that year, as an early ’95 model.
1995 EuroVan
Volkswagen had planned to introduce a revised EuroVan with dual airbags for 1995, but retreated from that intention. No regular 1995 EuroVans were marketed, but a small number of EuroVan Campers, built with the assistance of Winnebago Industries, went on sale through certain VW dealerships. Campers rode a stretched wheelbase, measuring 130.7 inches instead of the usual 115-inch. Seating for four was standard. An optional 2-place middle bench increased seating capacity to six. The middle and 2-place rear bench seats were removable, and the middle seat could also face rearward. Front bucket seats pivoted 360 degrees. A 2-person sleeping room popped out of the roof, and a wardrobe closet sat behind a sliding door. The built-in kitchen includes a 2-burner LP gas range, a refrigerator, stainless-steel sink, cabinets, and a 12-gallon water tank.
1996 EuroVan
Once again, Campers were the only EuroVans on the market.
1997 EuroVan
For the third year in a row, only Campers were marketed.
1998 EuroVan
Campers again were the only EuroVans to be found in the U.S. market.
1999 EuroVan
Volkswagen revived the regular EuroVan for 1999, modifying the basic 1993 design, freshening the interior and installing a V6 engine, as well as dual airbags. GLS and MV (Multivan) models went on sale. Rated at 140 horsepower, the 2.8-liter VR6 was modified to yield more torque in the EuroVan than it did in other Volkswagen models. A 4-speed automatic was the only transmission. A EuroVan could tow a 4400-pound trailer (if equipped with brakes), and had a cargo capacity of half a ton. Low-speed traction control was standard. EuroVans had fully independent suspension, rack-and-pinion steering, and antilock braking. The body was strengthened, with reinforced floor panels and stronger B/C pillars. Daytime running lights were installed, as well as a child safety lock for the sliding door. Standard GLS equipment included power windows, a pollen/dust filter, air conditioning, power locks, cruise control, 6-speaker cassette stereo, intermittent wipers, heated windshield-washer nozzles, rear wiper/washer, and power mirrors. Seating seven, the GLS had a forward-facing center bench and a 3-place rear bench. The MV also seated seven, but had two separate rear-facing seats and a triple rear bench. An optional Weekender Package for the MV included a pop-up roof with 2-person bed, full-swiveling captain’s chairs, window screens for two side sliding windows, a second battery, and a fixed left rear-facing seat with a refrigerator stowed beneath its lift-up seat bottom. Extended-wheelbase Camper versions remained on sale.
2000 EuroVan
Second-row bucket seats became available for the GLS model this year. New features included rear-seat reading lights, tinted rear glass, and remote central locking.
2001 EuroVan
EuroVan’s engine was substantially revised and gained 61 horsepower. Antiskid system and rear child-seat anchors were also added.
2002 EuroVan
There were no significant changes for 2002.
2003 EuroVan
Unchanged for the second straight year. Due to slow sales the EuroVan was dropped at the end of 2003.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

In its initial form, the 5-cylinder engine developed 109 horsepower. Either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission might be installed. When EuroVan reentered the market in 1999, they were fitted with a 2.8-liter V6 engine, developing 140 horsepower. The V6 gained 61 horsepower in 2001, bringing it up to 201 hp.

ohc I5
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/150
Engine HP 109
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 140
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
17/21
17/19
ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.8/170
Engine HP 140
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 177
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

15/20

11.7

ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.8/170
Engine HP 201
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 181
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

17/20

Road Test

Far more modern than the old rear-drive Vanagon, EuroVan retained Volkswagen’s traditional virtues of mammoth interior room and utility. What it lacked was contemporary styling and carlike comfort.

Though acceleration with the 5-cylinder engine is adequate for most tasks, you cannot easily merge into freeway traffic or pass at will on 2-lane roads, without planning ahead. Ride quality is much firmer than on most minivans, too. The suspension notices nearly every pavement flaw, even if it provides a relatively flat ride and fine overall quality.

Engine noise is prominent at all speeds. Road and engine noise are intrusive at highway speeds.

European character is evident in the very firm but supportive chair-like seats, and in absence of interior ornamentation. The rear bench folds down for more space, or can be unbolted to create room for a 4×8 sheet of plywood.

Step-up into the interior is higher than in most competitors. Gauges are unobstructed, but the driving position is buslike, with the steering wheel fixed at an awkward horizontal angle. It’s a long reach to the stubby floor-mounted shift lever. Climate controls are confusing. Visibility is almost panoramic, though the driver sees too many headrests in the mirror.

The VR6 engine of 1999-00 adds some welcome power, but it’s still sluggish. A test model took a leisurely 12.2 seconds to reach 60 mph and averaged only 16 mpg, including plenty of highway driving.

Nimble at freeway speeds, the latest EuroVan is highly maneuverable in snug spaces. Still, it feels somewhat “tippy” in tight turns and the front end tends to plow severely in aggressive cornering. Seats are firm and comfortable. No minivan has more passenger or cargo room, but entry into the front seat is tricky.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2001 Volkswagen EuroVan GLS

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 3
30%
Fuel Economy - 3
30%
Ride Quality - 4
40%
Steering/Handling - 4
40%
Quietness - 3
30%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 3
30%
Room/Comfort Front - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Rear - 8
80%
Cargo Room - 8
80%

Other

Value - 2
20%

Total: 43

Specifications

3-door van
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
115.0 186.6-188.5 72.4 75.6-76.4
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
166.6-201.0 21.1 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.3 41.3 37.8 28.3
3-door van
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
130.7 202.3 72.4 80.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
201.0 21.1 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.3 NA 37.8 NA
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1994 EuroVan 3-door van

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 1
20%
Front Passenger Injury - 3
60%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Horn
Description: Water gets into the horn and distorts the sound unless a splash shield is installed. (1997)
Audio system
Description: The CD player skips if the vertical/horizontal switch is out of adjustment. (1995-2000)
Transmission leak
Description: The final drive unit was factory filled with automatic-transmission fluid that leaks from the vent. Later models were filled with final drive oil which will also fix the leak problem on these models. (1994-96)
Battery
Description: The Premium-V radio drains the battery if the technician’s test equipment is removed before the entire test sequence is finished. (1999)

Recall History

1993
Description: Connecting ends of fuel feed and return hoses in engine compartment can “settle” over time, which could cause clamps to lose their tight fit and permit fuel seepage.
1993
Description: Improperly installed torsion spring can cause emergency brake to release.
1993
Description: Upper locking bolt holding steering assembly’s universal joint can loosen, rendering steering system inoperative.
1997 Camper
Description: During installation of camping equipment on some vans, an improperly adjusted power-tool drill bit punctured the fuel-tank vapor container, which will allow fuel vapors to escape.
2001
Description: Instructions for child-restraint anchorage system are incorrect.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.