1991 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Camper from North America


Fantastic compact camper van


Very little has gone wrong.

A vacuum hose running to the fuel pressure regulator.

An o-ring on the oil cooler.

A left axle CV joint at 140,000 miles.

A set of upper ball joints at 160,000 miles.

Otherwise just routine scheduled maintenance all the way.

General Comments:

This is an outstanding vehicle! I hope I never wear it out, because nothing comes close to being such a great design.

Lots of room, comfortable for long trips, two can sleep and cook in this camper-van very comfortably. We use it for long trips, and it has always been reliable and lots of fun.

For a heavy vehicle it is quite economical, averaging very close to 18 mpg.

Ours drives like new, despite having close to 200,000 miles on it. The automatic shifts perfectly and the engine burns no oil.

The interior looks just like new, amazing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 16th March, 2009

1991 Volkswagen Vanagon Carat from North America


I love my magic bus!


My head gasket has now started to leak, and smells like syrup if I drive it over 10 miles. Of course! My mechanic tells me this is very common in these vehicles.

Interior lighting system has some type of short; the fluorescent light in the back has never worked and the fixture has come out of the roof.

The stereo left speakers do not work at all. Right ones rattle quite a bit.

Electric window buttons come out of the door easily.

General Comments:

I love all the room inside. I carry my fishing gear, massage table and all accoutrements, plus kids and dogs at once.

Not a lot of get-up-and-go. Don't think about getting anywhere fast.

The wind wreaks havoc. Not so great on snowy roads; I have several friends who have gone over sideways.

Seats are extremely comfortable for long-distance driving. Kids and their friends like that they can face each other while traveling.

The table is a lot of fun.

Lots of sleeping room for camping. Can carry all the gear and get just about anywhere with the high clearance. This is especially important here in Montana.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th August, 2004

1991 Volkswagen Vanagon GL Camper (Westfalia) 2.1 gas from North America


Water pump replacement at 80,000 kms.

Power door lock problems at 110,000 kms.

General Comments:

What a vehicle! I can't believe there is so much functionality and so many features in one vehicle. This is our only vehicle. It has been very reliable.

With such a large vehicle and such a small engine it doesn't go anywhere quickly. I still gave it a 7 as it has great low end torque and the engine performs flawlessly. Fuel economy is superb for such a large vehicle.

Variable costs (gas @ CA$0.50/litre and maintenance) are about CA$0.10 per km. These vehicles need to be maintained by someone with great familiarity of their quirks and needs. Dealers fall in to this category but are very expensive. Don't skimp on maintenance.

The Westfalia camping package in this vehicle is superb.

I hope this vehicle lasts forever!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th March, 1999

3rd Jan 2006, 16:32

Get to know your car, and do not trust the garage to be flawless and honest. The only way to stay on the road without unpleasant surprises is to know what can go wrong and be prepared with the essential tools and spare parts. Then you can enjoy your ownership of a faithfull VW. The older, the easier it is to maintain a VW.