New 2010 Volkswagen Routan Injects Style and Excitement Into Minivan Class
New 2010 Volkswagen Routan Styling
The Volkswagen Routan is largely a repackaged version of the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan. However, while VW has borrowed Chrysler's tried-and-true minivan architecture, several changes have been made to make the Routan feel like a wholly different vehicle. Most obviously, the VW boasts a sleeker, more attractive appearance that helps it stand out in a class that is largely filled with staid look-alikes.
The interior also boasts an added attention to detail. While similarities between the Routan and the Chrysler twins are clearly noticeable, improved interior materials, more comfortable seating and upscale embellishments all serve to give the VW van a more upper-crust appeal. One downside of the Routan over its American brothers is the lack of Stow-N-Go seating, which reduces cargo versatility a bit. However, the VW Routan still offers plenty of interior volume for the average family.
Standard features are also plentiful, with all Routans outfitted with cruise control, tri-zone air conditioning, power windows and locks, removable second-row bench seat and 6-speaker stereo system with CD and MP3 capability.
New 2010 Volkswagen Routan Performance
For the price, the 2010 VW Routan is likely to be the minivan of choice for those looking for a spirited and agile drive. VW has tuned Chrysler's suspension to provide a sportier feel. The base engine - a 3.8-liter V-6 - offers 197 horsepower. This should be plenty of muscle for the average commuter. However, for those looking for a little extra oomph, an upgrade 4.0-liter V-6 that makes 256 horsepower is also available.
Interestingly, the larger engine is actually more fuel-efficient than the less powerful base engine. EPA estimates put the 4.0-liter engine at 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. The 3.8-liter musters 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. These figures are on par with other top minivans for the year.
New 2010 Volkswagen Routan Safety
As a family car, safety is of course a point of interest when looking at the new VW Routan. Standard safety features include side curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control. In crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the VW Routan earned a top score of "Good" in both frontal and side collisions. However, it should be noted that rear crash tests resulted in a rating of "Marginal."
New 2010 Volkswagen Routan Pricing
Base MSRP for the Routan comes in at $25,900. This is a bit more than the Chrysler Town & Country ($25,175) and Dodge Grand Caravan ($23,175). However, the improved fit and finish and boost in stylish appeal help make the higher price more than justifiable.