By Cars.com EditorsMay 13, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Joe Wiesenfelder takes a look at the 2009 Volkswagen Routan. It competes with the Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan.
(upbeat rock music) Cars.com auto review. Hi, I'm Joe Wiesenfelder, senior editor at cars.com. I have a 2009 Volkswagen Routan it's a minivan.
Now you might've seen some of those ads with Brooke Shields, claiming that women are getting pregnant just to get this van it's cheeky. It's funny. Then they bring in German engineering. Now the Routan is built by Chrysler on basically the Chrysler Town and Country. I always like to judge a model on its own merit. I don't care if it was based on something else or not, but when you do this, and then you had mentioned German engineering, you're just asking for it, you're just asking for it.. Now the real German engineering, the best I can tell is that the suspension is a little different than the Chrysler vans. And I've had the thing for several days and it is quite comfortable. I do like the ride quality. I'll give him that. There's some other things you might expect in a Volkswagen though. Volkswagen pretty much across the board has tilt telescoping, steering wheels. This one doesn't telescope. You can get adjustable pedals, which serves a similar purpose, but it's an option. I feel like I could use a little bit more leg room here and I've had passengers say the same thing. For what it's worth the interior dimensions, the seating is all exactly the same as Chrysler and the Dodge Grand Caravan. Now Volkswagen is known for the quality of its interiors and so as Chrysler, in the other direction. So the question is, how did it come out? Honestly, there are aspects here that are very Volkswagen. I think the low gloss, soft touch stuff here on the dash, is nice. Not as wild about some of this material here. There is an optional center console that you can get. This is the standard one. That's pretty low rent. One unfortunate thing is that when you go to fold the seats down, it kind of has to stay here. It's not the type that goes into the floor. That's stow and go, and that remains a Chrysler and Dodge exclusive. You can tilt it up like that, which helps a little. Now I use this thing over the weekend to move some stuff, and this was kind of a pain, I must say. You can remove them, but the problem with that, as it has always been is that if you go somewhere and you see something you really want, you've got the seats with you. You can't, you know, leave them wherever you are. Now on the plus side, because this vehicle was made to accept stow and go where it's offered, it has these big bins in here. And I can say, it's not the best shape necessarily, but if you have something soft, like small bags or a, a duffle or a rucksack perhaps, you can fit an awful lot in there. The third row seat does fold into the floor and down, it goes perfectly flat. You can get the optional power folding third row that's offered in the Chrysler and Dodge van. If you are a Volkswagen owner and you've probably are used to a certain level of quality, a certain feel of solidity. It's not really here. This thing somewhere between a Chrysler and a Volkswagen in that regard, but it's not Volkslur or a Dodgewagon or something like that. It says Volkswagen on it. So I think people might like it. They might like the way it looks. They might like the way it drives or what have you. But if you are looking for a Volkswagen, you might be a little disappointed. <v Announcer>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog kicking tires.net.