Used Car: 2011 Volkswagen Routan Review
The 2011 Volkswagen Routan is a solid minivan, but in a highly competitive class, the Routan falters with interior and reliability scores that trail the pack.
Don’t let the Volkswagen nameplate fool you; this is a Chrysler minivan that the German automaker has tweaked with its signature flare. For 2011, the Routan gained a new, more powerful 3.6-liter V6 engine and a refreshed interior, just like its Chrysler and Dodge relatives. Reviewers were satisfied with the engine power, but still preferred the driving experience of the 2011 Toyota Sienna and 2011 Honda Odyssey. The Routan’s selling point was its refined interior, but with the numerous upgrades to the 2011 Chrysler Town & Country, the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan and other 2011 minivans, reviewers wondered if the Routan was worth going after. The Routan has good safety scores but also carries a poor reliability rating.
While the Routan doesn’t have Stow ‘n Go seating like the Town & Country or Grand Caravan, reviewers noted that the Routan’s seats were slightly more comfortable. However, with the updates to the Town & Country’s and Grand Caravan’s interiors, reviewers felt that the quality gap between the Routan and competitors was closed considerably. The Routan seats seven with a pair of second-row captain’s chairs. All trims come with a third-row bench that folds flat into the floor to increase cargo space, which is about average for the class. The Routan’s standard features are fairly typical among minivans and include cruise control, power windows and a six-speaker sound system with an auxiliary input. Optional features when it was new included a touch-screen entertainment console with satellite radio and USB input, Bluetooth, rear DVD entertainment system and a Garmin navigation system.
Other Cars to Consider
If you like the Routan, consider its platform-mate, the 2011 Chrysler Town & Country. With an interior update for 2011, the Town & Country offers more standard features than the Routan, but features the same powertrain. Additionally, the Town & Country gets slightly higher safety and reliability ratings than the Routan.
The 2011 Toyota Sienna is a top-ranked minivan that offers good performance and a refined interior, even on base trims. When it was new, reviewers were impressed with the Sienna’s cargo space and interior comfort. While its safety scores aren’t quite as good as the Routan’s, the Sienna received a higher reliability rating.