The Routan has received accommodation for being the most appealing minivan from JD Power and Associates. This minivan is the top of the line from VW and offers seating for up to 7 passengers. This vehicle is in direct competition with models like the Town and Country and the Grand Caravan. Since the Routan is rather new, only being released 2 years ago, it has a lot of catching up to do, but it is off to a strong start. Not offering swivel seating, may take some points away from this VW, but it also allows it to have a smaller body and small gains in the fuel economy department. The sporty look of this minivan may be its main selling point, but it truly offers a lot of options and a very strong package for anybody looking for a full sized family vehicle that can carry 7 passengers.
The higher trim levels of the Routan offer leather seats, navigation systems, rear cameras and many higher end options. The Routan may be new to the minivan game, but they have definitely done their homework.
Transmissions: 6-speed automatic
Engines: 3.8L V-6, 4.0L V-6
Models: S, SE, SEL, SEL Premium
For 2010 the Routan gains several new colors. Navigation arrives as standard equipment in both SE and SE Premium trim levels, while the latter also gets rear seat entertainment tossed in the package.
The only panels the Routan shares with the Town & Country are the side doors. VW front and rear valences, lighting, and badges ensure that most admirers are clueless about the Routan's origins.
Inside, the Routan's interior shares its switchgear, headliner, gauge cluster and audio/nav system with its Chrysler cousin, but virtually everything else has been given a makeover to VW specs. And that's a good thing.
Performance & Handling
With a suspension makeover featuring 50-percent stiffer springs and shock absorbers, the Routan tries to impart a little fun in the driving experience. The power steering is also revamped for better feel. The base, 197-horsepower 3.8-liter engine feels a little rough and underpowered, but the 4.0-liter 253-horsepower unit in the SE and SE Premium trims will get the kids to soccer practice in plenty of time.
Standard driver and front passenger multistage front airbag, side curtain airbags front and rear. Stability control is included as standard equipment.
EPA Fuel Economy
S, SE: 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway
SEL, SEL Premium: 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway
- Nicer interior trim than Chrysler cousin
- Suspension makeover offers less body roll
- Dual rear entertainment screens available
- Integrated VW style
You Won't Like
- Leaves out some of Chrysler's better features
- Hugely expensive top trim level
- Base engine less than great
The Euro-fan's minivan is here
If You Like This Vehicle
- Chrysler Town & Country
- Dodge Grand Caravan
- Honda Odyssey
- Toyota Sienna