With its fat, dune buggy-style tires, luxuriously soft, wide, brown seat, and simple two-valve air-cooled engine, combined with modern electronic fuel injection, racy external oil cooler, and splashy chrome trim, the VanVan 200 seems on one level like a state of confusion on two wheels. But the thing is, it works. The low saddle and plump tires provide a superbly comfortable ride, the EFI makes starting and warm up laughable easy, and the unusual appearance is an attention-getter.
So the VanVan 200 is a crossover in every respect. But how does it work? It’s best in suburban or urban settings, where the traffic isn’t brutally fast, though it can surpass 70 mph given a long enough straightaway. The 60-mpg observed fuel economy is better than that of any hybrid car, and the ride comfort is good. As for off-road travel, the suspension and geometry belie the fat-lugged tires, and the VanVan 200 disappoints with squirrelly tracking and soft suspension. Stick to streets and neighborhoods though, and the little VanVan 200 is golden.
Likes: Comfy seating, unusual fat tires, fuss-free fuel injection.
Dislikes: Middling performance, suspension, and brakes.
Verdict: Just right for civilized, casual putting about.