As the offspring of Volkswagen’s partnership with Chrysler, the Routan is a seven-passenger minivan capable of hauling the entire family for a day at the beach or for a trip to visit relatives during the holidays. While it looks somewhat similar to Chrysler’s Town & Country or Dodge’s Grand Caravan, this VW distinguishes itself with its European styling and family-friendly amenities. In the spirit of this blended vehicle, Volkswagen offers the RoutanBabymaker3000 on its website, a tool that allows visitors to combine the faces of two people to see what their resulting progeny would look like.
Whimsical web applications aside, our tester came standard with a capable 3.8-liter V6 engine (you can opt for a 4.0-liter V6 engine on the SEL trim), heatable and powered side mirrors, and a spacious 83 cubic feet of available cargo space. Overhead storage, complete with LED reading lights, offers additional options for stowing away gear. Second-row captain seating and power-fold third-row seating ensures that everyone and everything has a place to go. Enjoying music and movies in the Routan is easy—our tester came with steering wheel audio controls, a six-DVD changer with auxiliary input jack, and a touch-screen navigation system with a 30-gigabyte Joy Box multi-media entertaining system. Other built-in perks include dual remote-controlled power-sliding doors and an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat. For people with numerous kids, the Routan’s base trim, the S, starts at a relatively inexpensive $24,700.
2012 Volkswagen Routan SEL