By on August 11, 2010

In the last installment of our New Or Used? series, Sajeev, Steve and our Best and Brightest teamed up to help a reader find the modern equivalent of a Volkswagen Microbus. Because answers were limited to US-market vehicles, this CrossTouran wouldn’t have made the cut, but in a perfect world, this might just have been the car our reader was looking for. But with a starting price of €27,700 ($35k) for a 105 HP version, it’s still missing the kind of US-market appeal that might tempt VW planners to send it stateside… especially with the more American-friendly Tiguan starting at $23k, and the more off-road-capable Touareg going for about $40k. But if a small, AWD van is what you’re looking for, there is an automaker willing to take a risk on your peculiar tastes: the next-gen Mazda5 may not be a looker, but it’s said to come with an AWD option when it debuts in the US early next year.

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15 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Modern Microbus Uncovered? Edition...”

  • avatar

    Too bad, as it appears a far sight ore appealing than the rebadged Chrysler they call the Routan. And as for the Tiguan, I really want to like the little bugger, but am having a hard time warming up to it…despite the fact that they offer it with a manual tranny.

  • avatar

    It’s actually only about 15% more expensive than the Tiguan, which starts at €24,175 in Germany (also with the 90 kW engine).

  • avatar

    Saw quite a few Tourans in Holland last visit. Based on a Golf, it’s way smaller than a Chrysler Routan, which is probably why we don’t get one. Very driveable in city traffic with lots of visibility for easy parking. I love the things, with they’d bring ’em here.

  • avatar

    €27,700 ($35k) for a 105 HP version

    LOL @ both price and power.

    • 0 avatar

      sales tax (19%) in Germany, currency conversion not applicable for car prices in general, etc. etc. I think we had this issue often enough in the past, but TTAC (and some reader obviously) still fall into the trap. Disappointing.

    • 0 avatar

      Yep. No auto site seems to get (or care enough to commit to getting) that simply dropping a price into a currency conversion calculator means little to nothing in the real world.

  • avatar

    Looks like everything else, Matrix/Mazda/etc…

    VW should go with original designs to inspire some love.

    Totally agree on the price and power problem. 35k for a Matrix? I don’t think so. The Germans have some serious inflation of attitude if not economics.

    Bring the Microbus Concept into production, start it at low 20s and rock the world.

  • avatar

    prediction: VW will come out with a microbus sort of transporter. It will be called the Wulgfluumhom (pronounced WOO-log-phlem-hum), base price 38k.

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    You’re comparing the American-market price of the Tiguan with a directly-converted-to-dollars Euro price of the Touran?
    The Touran isn’t more expensive than the Tiguan. It also isn’t available with AWD.
    Also, a modern Microbus – that would be the ridiculously affordable Caddy.

  • avatar

    Expected more from a Niedermeyer…

    European market prices are almost always INCLUSIVE of VAT, so the price to be used for comparison purposes (to a pre-tax US price) is actually almost 20% lower.

  • avatar

    I still don’t understand why VW didn’t put their VW Microbus Concept from a few years ago into production. They were having success with the new Beetle at the time, and from the PT Cruiser, to the Mustang and Camaro it’s been proven that retro sells, at least in the US market.

    The VW Microbus could have been a minivan that non-minivan buyers would have gone for. If it had the smart use of interior space and family friendly features that Oddy/Sienna/Caravan buyers crave, combined with high style and retro-chic that affluent ex-hippies and hipsters crave, they could have had a runaway success.

  • avatar

    What a shame that VW has joined the ‘they all look alike’ crowd in auto and minivan design. This thing looks like a Chrysler design to me. But all cars look like Chrysler designs, even the Benz and the BMW look like Chrysler designs.

    Maybe in 15 years, the car companies will have decided to develop unique-to-brand vehicles. I won’t spend car money until they do.

  • avatar
    Acc azda atch

    Ya know… I think its really pathetic when the Mazda5 has to have a awd unit.. to make people buy it.
    Is there no actual intelligence here? Having a awd unit.. only means your vehicle is heavier.. but without the snow tires it actually needs, or the concept to operate the #*@*@ thing.
    And seriously..
    WHO actually buys a TOUREG to go off road. This VAN has as much ability as the TOUREG uses it.

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