Lake Placid, New York - While many credit Volkswagen with creating the minivan concept with its legendary Type 2 Microbus way back in the '50s, the company's present managers gladly award that distinction to Chrysler Corporation and its acclaimed brainstorm of 1984. "There's nothing mini about our van," they say with a twinkle, before showing a video that demonstrates how their latter-day Microbus successor, the EuroVan, can swallow tall loads that defeat the grandest Voyager. And it's true, you could always fit a lot more into a Volkswagen EuroVan than the seven occupants it accommodates in comfort and style.
Only thing was, size apart, Volkswagen forgot to put a couple of other important things into its capacious hauler when it was launched in 1993: power and value. With a piddling 109 horsepower on tap from five grumpy cylinders, the first EuroVans could barely outrun an original Microbus--or, for that matter, a smart American shopper on foot, although there weren't too many of those chasing EuroVans, as the Spartan VW was priced uncomfortably close to its more powerful, better-equipped American competitors.
Sales were predictably slow. So slow, in fact, that between 1994 and 1997, Volkswagen forgot to bring the EuroVan to America at all (except for a Winnebago camper conversion).... Read full article