Should I consider a vintage VW Van for our new family vehicle?

John Paul, AAA Northeast's Car Doctor, answers a question from a reader contemplating an unorthodox choice in a family vehicle.

The Volkswagen 'Light' Bus.
The Volkswagen 'Light' Bus. –Volkswagen

Q. I recently got married and purchased a house, and now I’m going to be a dad. I can’t resign myself to driving a typical family car. I’m thinking of a vintage Volkswagen van. What do you think of this idea? 

A. Congratulations on all the changes in your life. I remember the Volkswagen vans fondly but recently had the opportunity to drive a very nicely restored 1965 and my memory got a bit clearer. They are underpowered, handle poorly, don’t stop well, and have none of the safety features that are so common in today’s cars. There are great choices in SUVs and minivans, but perhaps a European wagon would work. The VW Golf Alltrack, Audi A4, Volvo V60, and Buick TourX can handle New England winters. And they’re fun to drive. 

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John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Car Doctor. He has over 40 years of experience in the automotive business and is an ASE certified master technician. Email your car question to jpaul@aaanortheast.com.