1988 Volkswagen Vanagon Wolfsburg Subaru 2.1


Great traveling and camping van


Replaced head gasket several times.

Repaired/replaced A/C several times.

Rebuilt transmission at 100,000 miles; some adjustments since.

Replaced wheel bearings at 150,000 miles.

Replaced engine with Subaru engine at 200,000 miles.

Custom muffler at 200,000 miles.

Repaired sliding door "railing" 240,000 miles.

General Comments:

Wonderful people mover.

Bed and pop-up table are GREAT for camping.

Van is a bit noisy due to window noise (rubber needs replacing) ; otherwise, no rattles or noises - after 21 years and 242,000 miles!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th May, 2009

1988 Volkswagen Vanagon GL 2.1


In for life...


Nothing, but I did buy the car with a fried engine.

General Comments:

This is my 4th Vanagon (I still have the 2nd) and I love it more than my previous three. I've been upgrading to newer and nicer models whenever I get the chance. This one is a '88 with all the options: power windows, mirrors, door locks, steering, club seating, mag wheels, wide moulding on the sides, and the ground effects bumpers.

She's a joy to drive. With the fresh engine I can easily pull hills and even surprise a few people off the line. Extremely comfortable seats, lots of legroom and storage make long drives a pleasure for everyone. The ground effects and slight lowering of this model have done wonders for its drive-ability in high wind situations.

A year or two in this model and I'll start looking for a 1991...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th October, 2002

7th Sep 2004, 13:31

How are you at getting up hill in your 88 Vanagon?

I have an 87, and it does well, but bought an 89, and it is slow going up hills. I can't figure it out.

Email weatherbill@comcast.net

8th Jun 2009, 20:11

Has anyone ever figured out the fuel economy (mpg) of these things? I kind of inherited a i988 Westphalia, original almost mint condition 4 speed with a 2.1 L motor and standard transmission. I was told that it was originally made for the German army, but when funding ran out it was sent to Kohner Westphalia werkes to be made into a camper, and I have to admit it seems to have a stouter stance than others I have seen in this area.

I was thinking of taking it on some long distance trips, but with a very small tank I can't seem to be able to drive more than 3 hours without having to re-fuel. I really like this vehicle and the fact that it was never driven in the winter makes it even more of a conversation piece. Appreciate any info.