USA Model Summary for 1990 VW Vanagons

Seven models of the Vanagon were built for the US market for model year 1990. These were:

Prices shown in individual descriptions are MSRP figures from actual window stickers and other reference sources. Where a range of prices is shown, this depicts the range of MSRPs found. The price ranges are not an attempt to indicate a selling price range. These varied prices are likely the result of mid-year price changes from VW.

Colors available

Pastel White

Flash Silver Metallic

Orly Blue Metallic

Bordeaux Red Metallic

Tornado Red

(Not all colors available on all models.)

Distinguishing features

There are very few exterior features to distinguish a '90 from the '89 model year. The '90 continued to have black window trim like the '89 models. The 1990 has additional carryover features from 1989 including:
  • 2 Black plastic front grills (common to 1986-1991)
  • Rectangular primary headlights, separate square high beam lights (common to 1986-1991)
  • Large VW logo in center of upper front grill
  • Large VW logo in center of rear hatch
  • Black plastic vents at the rear of the rear side windows

The 1990 GL, Carat & Multivan (new this year) Vanagons had metallic silver aero-styled bumpers with matching rocker panels and body colored outside rearview mirrors. After an absence of several years, 1990 marked the return of the base Vanagon model that lacks many of the luxury features of the other Vanagons. 1990 was also marked by the absence of a GL Syncro model.

An eighth model, the Vanagon Carat Wolfsburg Limited Edition, may have been built. I have seen one 1990 Vanagon Carat in the Tornado Red paint color with Wolfsburg Edition badges, but the van's window sticker did not have a single mention about Wolfsburg Edition. The price on the window sticker was identical to other Carats at $18,670. I've had conversations with the owner of a second Carat with WLE badges, but he is not the original owner and couldn't verify the authenticity of the badges. I have been unable to find any differences between the Carat model and the WLE badged vans, with the potential exception of the Tornado Red paint. I suspect that the badges were added sometime after the van left the factory, and that no WLE model was actually made. If you have any additional information on this subject, I would appreciate hearing from you. Please email me at SyncroHead@aol.com with your comments.

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Passenger vans Passenger vans

Syncros Syncros

Full campers Full campers

Partial campers Partial campers

Wolfsburgs Wolfsburg editions

1990 Vanagon

Previous passenger vanSee all passenger vansNext passenger van    $14,080

Standard Features:

  1. Drivetrain

    2.1 liter water-cooled horizontally opposed engine
    Digifant electronic fuel injection
    90HP @ 4800RPM (SAE net), 117FtLbs @ 3200RPM
    4 speed manual transmission
    Rear wheel drive
    Electronic ignition
    Dynamic oil pressure system
    Thermostatically controlled 2-speed electric radiator fan

  2. Suspension, wheels, steering

    Independent front & rear suspension
    Power assisted brakes, 10.9" front solid disks, 9.9" rear drums
    Power assisted rack & pinion steering
    Steel belted radial tires, size 185/R14C
    14" steel wheels, 5.5" wide
    Chrome hub caps

  3. Exterior, body

    Paint choices: Pastel White or Flash Silver Metallic
    Black metal bumpers with plastic end caps
    Dual outside mirrors
    Sliding side door
    Sliding side windows
    Non-opening front wing windows
    Electric rear window defogger
    Intermittent front windshield wipers

    Wheelbase:

    96.9"

    2.46 meters

    Front track:

    62.4"

    1.585 meters

    Rear track:

    61.8"

    1.57 meters

    Length:

    179.9"

    4.57 meters

    Width:

    72.6"

    1.844 meters

    Height:

    75.9"

    1.93 meters

    Ground clearance:     

    6.3"

    16 cm

    Turning circle:
    (curb-to-curb)

    35.8 ft     

    10.91 meters

  4. Interior

    Padded edge on instrument panel
    Speedometer with trip odometer
    Fuel level gauge
    Coolant temperature gauge
    Analog clock
    Illuminated vanity mirror
    Illuminated lockable glove box
    Front bucket seats
    Two rear-facing removeable seats behind front bucket seats
    Three passenger rear bench seat with "Weekender" feature
         (seat folds into bed, cushion over engine)
    Grey tweed upholstery
    Rubber floor mats

    Cargo capacity:

    Behind rear seat:

    49.7 ft3

    1.408 meters3

    Rear seat down:

    92.9 ft3

    2.633 meters3

    Rear seat down, rear-facing seats removed

    201 ft3

    5.696 meters3

  5. Miscellaneous

    15.9 Gallon fuel tank mounted under center of van
    18 MPG EPA city estimate
    19 MPG EPA highway estimate

Optional Features:

1990 Vanagon Syncro

Previous passenger vanSee all passenger vansNext passenger van    Previous syncroSee all syncrosNext syncro    $17,605

Standard Features:

  1. Drivetrain

    2.1 liter water-cooled horizontally opposed engine
    Digifant electronic fuel injection
    90HP @ 4800RPM (SAE net), 117FtLbs @ 3200RPM
    5 speed (4 + low) manual transmission
    Full time All Wheel Drive
    Locking rear differential
    Electronic ignition
    Dynamic oil pressure system
    Thermostatically controlled 2-speed electric radiator fan

  2. Suspension, wheels, steering

    Independent front & rear suspension
    Power assisted brakes, 10.9" front solid disks, 9.9" rear drums
    Power assisted rack & pinion steering
    Steel belted radial tires, size 185/R14C
    14" steel wheels, 5.5" wide
    Chrome hub caps

  3. Exterior, body

    Paint choices: Pastel White or Flash Silver Metallic
    Black metal bumpers with plastic end caps
    Dual outside mirrors
    Sliding side door
    Sliding side windows
    Non-opening front wing windows
    Electric rear window defogger
    Intermittent front windshield wipers

    Wheelbase:

    96.7"

    2.46 meters

    Front track:

    61.7"

    1.57 meters

    Rear track:

    61.4"

    1.56 meters

    Length:

    179.9"

    4.57 meters

    Width:

    72.6"

    1.844 meters

    Height:

    78.3"

    1.99 meters

    Ground clearance:     

    8.3"

    21 cm

    Turning circle:
    (curb-to-curb)

    35.8 ft     

    10.91 meters

  4. Interior

    Padded edge on instrument panel
    Speedometer with trip odometer
    Fuel level gauge
    Coolant temperature gauge
    Analog clock
    Illuminated vanity mirror
    Illuminated lockable glove box
    Front bucket seats
    Two rear-facing removeable seats behind front bucket seats
    Three passenger rear bench seat with "Weekender" feature
         (seat folds into bed, cushion over engine)
    Grey tweed upholstery
    Rubber floor mats

    Cargo capacity:

    Behind rear seat:

    49.7 ft3

    1.408 meters3

    Rear seat down:

    92.9 ft3

    2.633 meters3

    Rear seat down, center seat removed

    201 ft3

    5.696 meters3

  5. Miscellaneous

    18.4 Gallon fuel tank mounted above transmission
    16 MPG EPA city estimate
    16 MPG EPA highway estimate

Optional Features:

1990 Vanagon GL

Previous passenger vanSee all passenger vansNext passenger van    $16,490

Standard Features:

  1. Drivetrain

    2.1 liter water-cooled horizontally opposed engine
    Digifant fuel injection
    90HP @ 4800RPM (SAE net), 117FtLbs @ 3200RPM
    4 speed manual transmission
    Rear wheel drive
    Electronic ignition
    Dynamic oil pressure system
    Thermostatically controlled 2-speed electric radiator fan

  2. Suspension, wheels, steering

    Independent front & rear suspension
    Power assisted brakes, 10.9" front solid disks, 9.9" rear drums
    Power assisted rack & pinion steering
    Steel belted radial tires, size 205/70 R14
    14" steel wheels, 5.5" wide
    Aero wheel covers

  3. Exterior, body

    Paint choices: Pastel White, Orly Blue Metallic, or Bordeaux Red Metallic (burgundy)
    Metallic silver aero styled bumpers & rocker panels
    Body colored, heated power outside mirrors
    Sliding side door
    Sliding side windows
    Opening wing windows
    Tinted glass
    Electric rear window defogger
    Rear window wiper with intermittent feature
    Intermittent front windshield wipers

    Wheelbase:

    96.9"

    2.46 meters

    Front track:

    62.4"

    1.585 meters

    Rear track:

    61.8"

    1.57 meters

    Length:

    179.9"

    4.57 meters

    Width:

    72.6"

    1.844 meters

    Height:

    75.9"

    1.93 meters

    Ground clearance:     

    6.3"

    16 cm

    Turning circle:
    (curb-to-curb)

    35.8 ft     

    10.91 meters

  4. Interior

    Padded instrument panel
    Speedometer with trip odometer
    Tachometer
    Fuel level gauge
    Coolant temperature gauge
    Digital LCD clock
    Illuminated vanity mirror
    Illuminated lockable glove box
    4 speaker radio prep with antenna
    Air conditioning with outlets in front & rear
    Fresh air vents in rear passenger area (4)
    Deluxe front bucket seats with fold-down adjustable armrests
    Two passenger center bench seat with fold-down armrests
    Three passenger rear bench seat with "Weekender" feature
         (seat folds into bed, cushion over engine)
    Grey velour upholstery with a small squares pattern
    Full carpeting
    Cloth inlays in door panels

    Cargo capacity:

    Behind rear seat:

    49.7 ft3

    1.408 meters3

    Rear seat down:

    92.9 ft3

    2.633 meters3

    Rear seat down, center seat removed

    201 ft3

    5.696 meters3

  5. Miscellaneous

    15.9 Gallon fuel tank mounted under center of van
    18 MPG EPA city estimate
    19 MPG EPA highway estimate

Optional Features:

1990 Vanagon GL Camper

Previous full camperSee all full campersNext full camper    $20,990

Standard Features:

  1. Drivetrain

    2.1 liter water-cooled horizontally opposed engine
    Digifant electronic fuel injection
    90HP @ 4800RPM (SAE net), 117FtLbs @ 3200RPM
    4 speed manual transmission
    Rear wheel drive
    Electronic ignition
    Dynamic oil pressure system
    Thermostatically controlled 2-speed electric radiator fan

  2. Suspension, wheels, steering

    Independent front & rear suspension
    Power assisted brakes, 10.9" front solid disks, 9.9" rear drums
    Power assisted rack & pinion steering
    Steel belted radial tires, size 205/70R14
    14" steel wheels, 5.5" wide
    Aero wheel covers

  3. Exterior, body

    Paint choices: Pastel White, Flash Silver Metallic, or Bordeaux Red Metallic (burgundy)
    Black aero styled bumpers
    Body colored, heated power outside mirrors
    Sliding side door
    Sliding side windows with screens
    Opening wing windows
    Tinted glass
    Electric rear window defogger
    Rear window wiper with intermittent feature
    Intermittent front windshield wipers
    Pop-top roof with cargo carrier

    Wheelbase:

    96.9"

    2.46 meters

    Front track:

    62.4"

    1.58 meters

    Rear track:

    61.8"

    1.57 meters

    Length:

    179.9"

    4.57 meters

    Width:

    72.6"

    1.84 meters

    Height:

    80.9"

    2.05 meters

    Ground clearance:     

    7.5"

    16 cm

    Turning circle:
    (curb-to-curb)

    35.8 ft     

    10.91 meters

  4. Interior

    Padded instrument panel
    Speedometer with trip odometer
    Tachometer
    Digital LCD clock
    Fuel level gauge
    Coolant temperature gauge
    Illuminated vanity mirror
    Illuminated lockable glove box
    4 speaker radio prep with antenna Air conditioning with outlets in rear only
    Fresh air vents in rear passenger area (2)
    Deluxe front bucket seats with fold-down adjustable armrests & swivel bases
    Two passenger rear bench seat (folds into bed, cushion over engine)
    Grey velour upholstery with a small squares pattern
    Removable carpeting
    Cloth inlays in door panels
    Two store-away tables
    Sink & water storage tank
    LPG/110VAC/12VDC refrigerator
    LPG stove
    Clothes locker/ 3 door closet
    Overhead storage cabinet
    Fluorescent light
    Privacy curtains
    Removeable screen for hatch door
    Two person overhead sleeping loft
    110VAC electrical outlet
    Circuit breaker
    Electrical cable
    Fire extinguisher
    LPG tank
    Skylight

    Cargo capacity:

    Behind rear seat:

    49.7 ft3

    1.408 meters3

  5. Miscellaneous

    15.9 Gallon fuel tank mounted under center of van
    18 MPG EPA city estimate
    19 MPG EPA highway estimate

Optional Features:

1990 Vanagon GL Camper Syncro

Previous syncroSee all syncrosNext syncro    Previous full camperSee all full campersNext full camper    $25,575

Standard Features:

  1. Drivetrain

    2.1 liter water-cooled horizontally opposed engine
    Digifant electronic fuel injection
    90HP @ 4800RPM (SAE net), 117FtLbs @ 3200RPM
    5 speed (4 + low) manual transmission
    Full time All Wheel Drive
    Locking rear differential
    Cruise control
    Electronic ignition
    Dynamic oil pressure system
    Thermostatically controlled 2-speed electric radiator fan

  2. Suspension, wheels, steering

    Independent front & rear suspension
    Power assisted brakes, 10.9" front solid disks, 9.9" rear drums
    Power assisted rack & pinion steering
    Steel belted radial tires, size 205/70 R14
    Alloy wheels, 5-spoke, 14" x 6" wide

  3. Exterior, body

    Paint choices: Pastel White, Flash Silver Metallic, or Bordeaux Red Metallic (burgundy)
    Metallic silver aero styled bumpers
    Body colored, heated power outside mirrors
    Sliding side door
    Sliding side windows with screens
    Opening wing windows
    Tinted glass
    Electric rear window defogger
    Rear window wiper with intermittent feature
    Intermittent front windshield wipers
    Pop-top roof with cargo carrier

    Wheelbase:

    96.7"

    2.46 meters

    Front track:

    61.7"

    1.57 meters

    Rear track:

    61.4"

    1.56 meters

    Length:

    179.9"

    4.57 meters

    Width:

    72.6"

    1.84 meters

    Height:

    82.1"

    2.09 meters

    Ground clearance:     

    8.3"

    21 cm

    Turning circle:
    (curb-to-curb)

    35.8 ft     

    10.91 meters

    Curb weight

    4100 lbs

    1860 kg

  4. Interior

    Padded instrument panel
    Speedometer with trip odometer
    Tachometer
    Fuel level gauge
    Coolant temperature gauge
    Digital LCD clock
    Illuminated vanity mirror
    Illuminated lockable glove box
    Power door locks including side door and rear hatch
    4 speaker radio prep with antenna
    Air conditioning with outlets in rear only
    Fresh air vents in rear passenger area (2)
    Deluxe front bucket seats with fold-down adjustable armrests & swivel bases
    Two passenger rear bench seat (folds into bed, cushion over engine)
    Grey velour upholstery with a small squares pattern
    Removable carpeting
    Cloth inlays in door panels
    Two store-away tables
    Sink & water storage tank
    LPG/110VAC/12VDC refrigerator
    LPG stove
    Clothes locker/ 3 door closet
    Overhead storage cabinet
    Fluorescent light
    Privacy curtains
    Removeable screen for hatch door
    Two person overhead sleeping loft
    110VAC electrical outlet
    Circuit breaker
    Electrical cable
    Fire extinguisher
    LPG tank
    Skylight

    Cargo capacity:

    Behind rear seat:

    49.7 ft3

    1.408 meters3

  5. Miscellaneous

    18.4 Gallon fuel tank mounted above transmission
    16 MPG EPA city estimate
    16 MPG EPA highway estimate

Optional Features:

1990 Vanagon Carat

Previous passenger vanSee all passenger vansNext passenger van    $18,670

Standard Features:

  1. Drivetrain

    2.1 liter water-cooled horizontally opposed engine
    Digifant electronic fuel injection
    90HP @ 4800RPM (SAE net), 117FtLbs @ 3200RPM
    4 speed manual transmission
    Rear wheel drive
    Cruise control
    Electronic ignition
    Dynamic oil pressure system
    Thermostatically controlled 2-speed electric radiator fan

  2. Suspension, wheels, steering

    Independent front & rear suspension
    Power assisted brakes, 10.9" front solid disks, 9.9" rear drums
    Power assisted rack & pinion steering
    Steel belted radial tires, size 205/70 R14
    14" 5 spoke alloy wheels, 6" wide

  3. Exterior, body

    Paint choices: Pastel White, Orly Blue Metallic, or Bordeaux Red Metallic (burgundy)
    Body colored, heated power outside mirrors
    Sliding side door
    Sliding side windows
    Opening wing windows
    Tinted glass
    Electric rear window defogger
    Rear window wiper with intermittent feature
    Intermittent front windshield wipers
    Metalic silver aero style bumpers & rocker panels
    Front spoiler with brake cooling inlets

    Wheelbase:

    96.9"

    2.46 meters

    Front track:

    62.4"

    1.58 meters

    Rear track:

    61.8"

    1.57 meters

    Length:

    179.9"

    4.57 meters

    Width:

    72.6"

    1.84 meters

    Height:

    75.9"

    1.93 meters

    Ground clearance:     

    6.3"

    16 cm

    Turning circle:
    (curb-to-curb)

    35.8 ft     

    10.91 meters

  4. Interior

    Padded instrument panel
    Speedometer with trip odometer
    Tachometer
    Fuel level gauge
    Coolant temperature gauge
    Digital LCD clock
    Illuminated vanity mirror
    Illuminated lockable glove box
    Power door locks including side door and rear hatch
    4 speaker radio prep with antenna
    Air conditioning with outlets in front & rear
    Fresh air vents in rear passenger area (4)
    Deluxe front bucket seats with fold-down adjustable armrests
    Two rear-facing removeable seats behind front bucket seats
    Storage trays between front seats & rear-facing seats
    Three passenger rear bench seat with "Weekender" feature
         (seat folds into bed, cushion over engine)
    Folding side table
    Power front windows
    Fluorescent light
    Privacy curtains
    5 cupholders
    Light grey velour upholstery in a small pinstripes pattern
    Full carpeting
    Cloth inlays in door panels

    Cargo capacity:

    Behind rear seat:

    49.7 ft3

    1.408 meters3

    Rear seat down:

    92.9 ft3

    2.633 meters3

    Rear seat down, rear-facing seats removed

    201 ft3

    5.696 meters3

  5. Miscellaneous

    15.9 Gallon fuel tank mounted under center of van
    17 MPG EPA city estimate
    18 MPG EPA highway estimate

Optional Features:

1990 Vanagon MultiVan

Previous partial camperSee all partial campersNext partial camper    $20,670

Standard Features:

  1. Drivetrain

    2.1 liter water-cooled horizontally opposed engine
    Digifant electronic fuel injection
    90HP @ 4800RPM (SAE net), 117FtLbs @ 3200RPM
    4 speed manual transmission
    Rear wheel drive
    Cruise control
    Electronic ignition
    Dynamic oil pressure system
    Thermostatically controlled 2-speed electric radiator fan

  2. Suspension, wheels, steering

    Independent front & rear suspension
    Power assisted brakes, 10.9" front solid disks, 9.9" rear drums
    Power assisted rack & pinion steering
    Steel belted radial tires, size 205/70 R14
    14" 5 spoke alloy wheels, 6" wide

  3. Exterior, body

    Clearcoat metallic paint
    Body colored, heated power outside mirrors
    Sliding side door
    Sliding side windows with screens
    Opening wing windows
    Tinted glass
    Electric rear window defogger
    Rear window wiper with intermittent feature
    Intermittent front windshield wipers
    Metalic grey aero style bumpers & rocker panels
    Front spoiler with brake cooling inlets

    Wheelbase:

    96.9"

    2.46 meters

    Front track:

    62.4"

    1.585 meters

    Rear track:

    61.8"

    1.57 meters

    Length:

    179.9"

    4.57 meters

    Width:

    72.6"

    1.844 meters

    Height:

    80.9"

    2.055 meters

    Ground clearance:     

    6.3"

    16 cm

    Turning circle:
    (curb-to-curb)

    35.8 ft     

    10.91 meters

  4. Interior

    Padded instrument panel
    Speedometer with trip odometer
    Tachometer
    Fuel level gauge
    Coolant temperature gauge
    Illuminated vanity mirror
    Illuminated lockable glove box
    4 speaker radio prep with antenna
    Air conditioning with outlets in rear only
    Fresh air vents in rear passenger area (4)
    Auxiliary rear heater
    Deluxe front bucket seats with fold-down adjustable armrests
    One passenger rear facing seat behind driver's seat
    Two rear-facing removeable seats behind front bucket seats
    Storage trays between front seats & rear-facing seats
    Three passenger rear bench seat with "Weekender" feature
         (seat folds into bed, cushion over engine)
    Folding side table
    Power front windows
    Power door locks including side door and rear hatch
    Fluorescent light
    Privacy curtains
    5 cupholders
    Light grey velour upholstery in a small pinstripes pattern
    Full carpeting
    Cloth inlays in door panels
    Removeable screen for hatch door
    Two person overhead sleeping loft
    Rear clothes locker

    Cargo capacity:

    Behind rear seat:

    49.7 ft3

    1.408 meters3

    Rear seat down:

    92.9 ft3

    2.633 meters3

    Rear seat down, rear-facing seats removed

    201 ft3

    5.696 meters3

  5. Miscellaneous

    15.9 Gallon fuel tank mounted under center of van
    18 MPG EPA city estimate
    19 MPG EPA highway estimate

Optional Features:

1990 Vanagon Carat, Wolfsburg Limited Edition

Previous passenger vanSee all passenger vansNext passenger van    Previous Wolfsburg editionSee all Wolfsburg editions    $??,???

Existence of this model remains uncertain at the time of this writing. It appears that the only difference between this model and the other 1990 Carats may be the Tornado Red color of the Carat WLE.

If you have any additional information on this subject, I would appreciate hearing from you. Please email me at SyncroHead@aol.com with your comments.

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