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#8

in 2012 Minivans

Avg. Price Paid: $15,738 - $24,096
Original MSRP: $27,020 - $44,280
MPG: 17 City / 25 Hwy
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2012 Volkswagen Routan Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Car reviewers say that while VW has nicely dressed the Routan's interior, now that the Chrysler and Dodge vans have upgraded interiors, the Routan’s isn’t as impressive. The seats also get mixed reviews. While most reviewers agree that the Routan's seats are more comfortable than seats in Chrysler minivans, the Routan doesn't have Chrysler’s available Stow ‘n Go, which limits their versatility. Despite the trade-offs, reviewers generally like the Routan's interior.

  • "Now that the interiors of the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan are much improved for 2011, the Routan's advantage over its siblings has shrunk considerably. The dash covering, seat upholstery, steering wheel and several bits of switchgear continue to be nicer than what you find in this van when it carries an American label, but there's still too much Chrysler content here (especially the audio interfaces) to put the Routan on par with Volkswagen's typical offerings." -- Edmunds
  • "Volkswagen did a very good job on the Routan's interior." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The Routan's dashboard follows the Town & Country's design, with two distinct layers separated by metallic trim. Materials quality has improved noticeably." -- Cars.com

Seating

Volkswagen decided to forgo the flexible Stow ‘n Go seats that are available in the Grand Caravan and the Town & Country. While that means that the seats are less versatile, it also means that they are more comfortable. Overall, reviewers like the first and second row of seats, but don’t mention the third row at all.

  • "Wide, comfortable chairs contribute to long-haul comfort. … The Routan does not offer Chrysler's Stow 'n Go or Swivel 'n Go 2nd-row-seating options, but the Volkswagen's seats provide superior comfort." -- Consumer Guide
  • "No Stow-n-Go or Swivel-n-Go seats here, but the Routan's individual first- and second-row perches do offer plusher and more supportive bolstering." -- Motor Trend
  • "While somewhat firmer than their Chrysler counterparts, Volkswagen upgraded both the first- and second-row individual seats in the Routan, adding more aggressive and supportive bolstering to complement the vehicle's sportier suspension tuning." -- Kelley Blue Book

Interior Features

Though the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan got interior updates for 2011, the Routan did not. As a result, the Routan's interior earns mixed reviews. While the materials are nice enough, reviewers complain that VW quality is lacking in some of the flimsy features and insubstantial switchgear.

  • "Volkswagen did a very good job on the Routan's interior. The general ambiance is more sophisticated than that found in the Chrysler cousins, and assembly looks top notch. Plastics are a combination of soft touch and hard surfaces, but even the hard pieces look about as nice as plastic can." -- Consumer Guide
  • “Unlike the Town & Country and Grand Caravan, whose dashboards received substantial upgrades last year, the Routan gained only a redesigned multifunction steering wheel. The steering wheel doesn't telescope, however." -- Cars.com
  • "Certain embarrassing features, such as the T&C's wobbly front-row console and flimsy shift lever, carry over, but those touches are thankfully few and far between." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Inside, the Routan looks rich and feels solid but is clearly a Chrysler dressed up in prettier Volkswagen materials. Although the overall design is more thoughtful, the buttons and switches are all Chrysler, and the domestics' innovative but remarkably cheap-feeling center console remains, ready to be yanked out and tossed from the vehicle at a moment's notice. The shifter feels as though the odds of its finding drive or snapping off in your hand are dead even." -- Car and Driver
  • "There's no disguising the Routan's modern roots: a non-Germanic vehicle made for people comfortable living inside a box. If you can't see the problem, blinded as you are by the steering wheel's big-ass logo, you can feel it. The switchgear and cabinetry respond with Chrysler-esque imprecision." -- The Truth About Cars

Cargo

The Routan has ample cargo space, but reviewers complain that the Stow ‘n Go seating available in Chrysler minivans wasn't carried over to the Routan. That means that to carry a lot of cargo, owners must remove the second-row seats, which aren't light. On the plus side, because the seats weren't made to fold into the floor, they are more comfortable than the Stow ‘n Go versions. The third row of seats folds flat into the floor. The Routan has 144.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the second and third rows removed, and 83 cubic feet with just the third row gone.

  • "Vast space is available, but the 2nd-row seats must be removed to achieve a flat load floor. The seats are heavy and cumbersome to take out and store. The split-fold third-row seat easily flips flat into a well via a series of numbered straps." -- Consumer Guide
  • “Numerous storage areas abound inside the Routan, which features cup holders at every seating station, under-floor storage bins and an overhead storage console. An available 115-volt outlet is ideal for powering laptops or game consoles, and overhead airline-style lighting allows individual nighttime illumination that won't light up the entire cabin.” – Kelley Blue Book

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