Volkswagen Eurovan Origins
Volkswagen introduced the Eurovan in 1993 as a replacement for its rear drive Vanagon, a model that slowly faded away into invisibility. The 1993 Eurovan came with enhanced features like a front-engine/front-wheel-drive platform, anti-lock brakes, and a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that produced 109 horsepower. The 1993 Eurovan also came with standard five-speed manual transmission and the option for a four-speed automatic.
The 1993 Eurovan became Volkswagen’s answer to the mainstream van, but after less-than-ideal sales, Volkswagen discontinued production until the model was reintroduced for the 1999 model year. The carmaker improved the 1999 model with the addition of new safety features, a 140-horsepower six-cylinder engine, structural enhancements and the ability to tow up to a 4.500-pound trailer or 1,000 pounds of cargo. Volkswagen also strengthened the Eurovan’s body while reducing road and engine noise.
Though the carmaker enhanced the Eurovan for the 1999 model year, by the year 2000, sales stalled, prompting Volkswagen to make some much-needed adjustments. First, the Eurovan’s price mirrored the luxury minivans of its time instead of its direct competition. Second, the 140-horsepower engine became the subject of scrutiny.
In 2001, Volkswagen improved the Eurovan with a VR-6 engine that produced 201 horsepower. The price was reduced to promote sales to car buyers who could not otherwise substantiate the price. As a result of the changes, sales increased by 106 percent, even though they still fell way below expectations.
Manufacturing continued until 2003 when Volkswagen decided to cease production due to declining sales. About the Volkswagen Eurovan
Despite its shortcomings, the Volkswagen Eurovan was known for its roomy cabin, responsive steering, and easy maneuverability. RV enthusiasts appreciated the cabin flexibility in the MV model which could transform from a minivan to a multivan within minutes.
People remember the Eurovan for its high sticker price, noisy engine, and outdated cabin mechanics. In addition, car buyers had difficulty folding the rear seats. The vehicle did not include a driver-side sliding door, which made entry and exit difficult and awkward. Side airbags were nonexistent as well. Volkswagen Eurovan Features
The 2003 model remained unchanged with no improvements from its predecessors. The front-wheel-drive vehicle boasted extensive cargo room with three doors and room for seven to sit comfortably. The 2003 model included standard features like four-speed automatic transmission, power controls, cruise control, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, four-wheel independent suspension, automatic climate control, and more.
After the massive improvements to the 2001 model year Eurovan, Volkswagen ceased adding any more enhancements. In 2003, the assembly line manufactured its last Eurovan. Volkswagen Eurovan Evolution
Volkswagen began its entrance into the Eurovan market with the 1993 model, which failed to generate enough sales to keep it going. Back to the drawing board, Volkswagen made several enhancements in time for the model’s re-release for the 1999 model year.
The 1999 Volkswagen Eurovan housed a 140-horsepower six-cylinder engine. It required premium fuel and received 15 mpg for city driving, an expense carefully weighed by auto buyers. The model offered two trim levels: GLS and MV (Multivan).
The GLS included seating for seven, anti-lock brakes, traction control, automatic climate control, 15-inch alloy wheels, and power controls. Buyers could order heated seats and a sunroof as an option.
The MV appealed to the RV enthusiast with a third-row seat, which doubled as a bed. The MV included all the features of the GLS with additional upgrades such as a pop-up roof, a bed comfortable for two passengers, a refrigerator, curtain-covered sliding windows, captain’s chairs, and an extra battery.
The 2000 model year Eurovan did not look entirely different from the previous year, yet Volkswagen made some improvements. The model received remote central locking, tinted glass, and a break-wear indicator. Captain’s chairs replaced the bench seats in the GLS model.
Volkswagen injected the 2001 model with a little speed by adding a 201-horsepower, VR-6 engine. Additional adjustments included the electronic stability control system, which automatically applied the brakes as needed to help the car remain in control. Further additions comprised a premium-grade stereo, standard foglights, and single second-row seating.
To add to the many 2001 upgrades, Volkswagen introduced new color options to the 2002 model year Eurovan. Emerald green, reflex silver, and black magic pearl topped out the list of color options for the MV trim as part of the Weekender package.
In 2003, Volkswagen did not make any new adjustments. It discontinued manufacturing of the Eurovan due to declining sales.