Used Car: 2009 Volkswagen Routan Review
The 2009 Volkswagen Routan adds VW styling and a smoother ride to a Chrysler design, but ultimately, this minivan suffers from a cheap interior and a mediocre base engine.
The 2009 Volkswagen Routan has the same platform as the 2009 Chrysler Town & Country and the 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan, but stands out with a more handsome exterior. Since the Routan was a joint effort, reviewers liked Volkswagen’s touches on the Routan’s design, but lamented the Chrysler influences on the van’s interior and performance. Overall, reviewers didn’t think the Routan stacked up against other minivans. With competitors like the 2009 Honda Odyssey and 2009 Toyota Sienna receiving top marks in nearly all categories, reviewers found it hard to recommend the Routan.
The Routan’s base engine was considered decent by reviewers, but many preferred the SEL model’s 4.0-liter V6, which offers 56 more horsepower. The Routan has average safety scores for the class, though it carries a poor reliability rating.
Reviewers noted that the seats in the Routan were more comfortable than those found in its Dodge and Chrysler counterparts. The Routan’s interior is slightly more upscale than the interiors of the Grand Caravan and Town & Country, but reviewers felt it didn’t live up to its price tag. The Routan seats eight with the second-row bench or seven with a pair of second-row captain’s chairs. Cargo space is average for the class. All trims come with a third-row fold-flat bench for increasing cargo space.
Notable standard features include cruise control, power windows and a six-speaker sound system with an auxiliary input for audio devices. Optional features when it was new include satellite radio, a DVD entertainment system and a navigation system.
Other Cars to Consider
The 2009 Toyota Sienna won our 2009 Best Minivan for the Money award due to its positive reviews and low long-term ownership costs. Its safety scores aren’t as good as the Routan’s, but the Sienna carries a class-leading reliability rating. When it was new, reviewers loved the combination of the Sienna’s high-quality interior, versatility and overall build quality.
The 2009 Chrysler Town & Country and the Routan share the same frame, but the Town & Country offers innovative interior features like the convenient Stow ‘n Go seating that reviewers praised. Out of the three Chrysler-based minivans, reviewers said that the Routan offered the best ride and handling, but the Town & Country received better interior scores.