The Volkswagen Routan is basically a Chrysler Town & Country with a different interior, a Volkswagen exterior, and revised suspension settings. It has nothing in common with previous Volkswagen minivans. Routan was introduced for 2009. The 2010 Routan is unchanged, except that more content is now standard, and there are correspondingly fewer options.
Volkswagen opted to make the second-row seats thicker and more comfortable than those in the Town & Country, so the Routan lacks the Stow 'n Go and the Swivel 'n Go seating features that make Chrysler minivans unique because the bigger seats won't fit in the storage bins. The Routan does have the useful underfloor storage areas, however.
The third-row seats fold into the floor, and the second-row seats can be removed to create a flat load floor that is big enough for 4' x 8' sheets of plywood. When the third-row seats are up, there is a handy well behind them that's great for groceries.
Routan is offered with two engines, the Chrysler 3.8-liter V6 and the Chrysler 4.0-liter V6. The 3.8-liter V6 is adequate for around-town duty, and the 4.0-liter V6 offers decent pickup and passing power.
We found the Routan offers a smooth ride and the driver enjoys a commanding view of the road. The ride is pleasant enough, ironing out most bumps.
A DVD rear-seat entertainment system features screens in both the second and third rows. Video game systems can be plugged in, and each screen can show something different, including the front navigation screen. Also offered is Volkswagen's JoyBox hard-drive radio. It has a 30-gigabyte hard drive that can hold thousands of song and picture files.
The Routan has a nicer interior than the Chrysler, and it makes for a great rolling living room for families.
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