• Powerful engine
  • Functional interior
  • It's actually a Chrysler
  • Sluggish transmission
SUM UP A Volkswagen that only Americans could love.

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for Routan in 2012

Last year, the Routan received an extensive mechanical freshening, so there isn't anything significant to report for 2012. There are a few packaging changes to the various trim levels. The Routan SEL with navigation now comes with push-button start and rain-sensing wipers. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-path detection are standard on the top-of-the-line SEL Premium...
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Volkswagen's longstanding success in the United States is due in part to its enthusiastic fan base. The largest VW in the family, however, probably doesn't excite the Vee-Dub faithful all that much. The reason is simple: the Routan isn't a Volkswagen. VW's marketing may promise German engineering, but that's more than a little far-fetched. In fact, the Routan is really a Chrysler Town & Country with slightly different front and rear styling, a retuned suspension, and a few interior upgrades. It's even built by Chrysler in a Chrysler factory. Unfortunately, one of the Town & Country's coolest features--the Stow 'n Go second-row seats that fold into the floor--isn't available on the Routan. Last year, the Town & Country received a major makeover--and so did the Routan. The core of that change was a new 3.6-liter V-6 that replaced two aging V-6 engines. Power climbed to a very impressive 283 hp with no negative effect on fuel economy. The suspension and the chassis were also updated, improving the ride, handling, and steering. Unfortunately, the six-speed automatic is still not world-class. It is often hesitant to downshift and uncertain of which gear to choose. With a taut suspension and a nice interior, the Routan is a decent minivan, but it's not a true Volkswagen.

The Range

Drive: Front-wheel
Trim levels: S, SE, SEL, SEL Premium
Body style: Minivan, 7-passenger
Engine: 3.6L V-6, 283 hp, 260 lb-ft
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Passenger volume: 163.5 cu ft
Capacities: Towing 2000-3500 lb; cargo (behind third/middle/front seats) 33.0/83.0/144.4 cu ft


Standard safety equipment includes ABS; tire-pressure monitoring; front, driver's knee, side, and side curtain air bags; and traction and stability control. Optional features include a rearview camera, parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-path detection.

EPA Fuel Economy

All: 17 mpg city/ 25 mpg highway

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Chrysler Town & Country
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Nissan Quest
  • Toyota Sienna

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2012 Routan Standard Equipment

Climate Control

  • Rear Air Conditioning


  • Cruise Control
  • Keyless Entry
  • Power Locks
  • Power Outlet(s)
  • Power Windows
  • Steering Wheel Tilt


  • Privacy Glass


  • Cup Holders
  • Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel


  • Brake Assist
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Driver Air Bag
  • Engine Immobilizer
  • Front Wipers, Variable Intermittent
  • Head/Curtain Airbag
  • Heated Outside Mirrors
  • Knee Air Bag
  • Passenger Air Bag
  • Rear Airbag
  • Rear Curtain Airbag
  • Side Air Bag(s)
  • Stability Control
  • Traction Control


  • Folding Rear Seat
  • Third row seat

Sound and Entertainment

  • Compact Disc MP3 Capable
  • Compact Disc Player

Tires and Wheels

  • Wheel Covers
What are the factory warranties? See Warranties
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