I started out with a '68 VW picture window bus, coming from a '63 Dodge Dart. Most impressive was that I could fill my grocery cart with goodies, and then put in the bus with gobs of room left over. For a trip to San Diego from our home in Redondo, the Dart was filled to the brim with car seat for the baby, play pen, suitcases, food, and all the other paraphenalia for a trip, leaving only room enough for the two adults and the baby. With the bus, we all had breathing room and extra room to share. After 16 years with the '68, we purchased an '84 Vanagon, water cooled. Hauled a tent trailer to Alaska, and going through Seattle, came a “knockin” from the rear. Turns out the CV joints weren’t lubed well, and wound up being filled with grease (VW grease) on the Meziaden Highway outside of Prince George BC. Also had problems with the heads and case. Magnesium case would be eaten where the head/“gasket” (read overpriced O-ring) came together, resulting in coolant leaking out while on the road. Very annoying. This was traded in on a Dodge Caravan in 2005, which I had been lusting over for several years, before I needed to repair the case/head problem again for the third time.
Was very happy with the Caravan although after 13 years, it was showing some wear with little things like the headliner fabric separating in a couple of places, and wear on the driver’s seat. The Stow-and-Go feature was the reason for buying this car, and it was still in perfect condition, as were the seats and the carpet. I traded it in October last year on a Chrysler Pacifica, as the Caravan and Town & Country models have been discontinued. Have been pleased with the Pacifica, but compared to the Caravan, it has so much more tech stuff and percieved power, that I’m still getting used to it. Being up a bit higher than other cars, with good visibility sure gets a person into the “minivan” state of mind, and other cars pale in comparison.