As a former T5 & then 5.5 Kombi owner, vans certainly do have their uses. I did a lot of miles in our 5, and apart from routine maintenance it was solid as a rock. Had it for 4 years and it got taken all over Europe and the UK for riding and racing.
Same with the 5.5 - only ran it for just over 12 months, but it was again, reliable & it served a purpose.
However - despite being the most 'car like' van i've driven of its size, it's certainly not car like. The bench is unpleasant for passengers on long journeys, it's a lot noiser (Kombi was better - more soundproofing?) both rattled & squeeked, even with the a/c maxed out it struggles in the heat, etc etc.
A half decent estate is a much nicer place to be.