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Volkswagen Routan Review – Are Minivans the New Black?
As more and more people are discovering minivans as an ultimate solution for transporting families, they are also on the lookout for upscale solutions or more parent perks.
We all know that minivans are easier to navigate and get better fuel economy than an SUV. Minivans also have nearly as much room as a sports utility, which makes them a better option than, say a full-size car. However, minivans have historically had somewhat of a bad image, because they lack style and they do not appeal to younger families or those concerned with the image a minivan portrays (me, included). However, once Volkswagen debuted the Routan, everything changed.
I have to admit that I have long declared I will never be a minivan owner. I love SUV's. I drive one. I have driven one for years. I love everything about my SUV.
Minivans, to me, have always represented that I am giving up a piece of myself and just giving in to the fact that I am only a parent. That I should only drive something for my kids. My own hang up, I know, I know!
All of this changed the day I drove a Volkswagen Routan.
The Routan features seating for up to seven passengers, with captain's chairs in the middle and a third-row bench seats. The seating is roomy and comfortable.
And dude, the cup holders alone in this thing rock. I could have two drinks (my ever present Diet Coke and a water bottle) plus another cup holder to store stuff. Pretty sure that the cup holder to person ratio is about 3:1. I am cool with that.
The Routan has four trim levels, including S, SE, RSE and RSE. There is also an optional navigation system. When buyers choose the SE trim level, or higher, they can choose the optional heated front seats. This is a fabulous add-on. A perk all people should take advantage of if they have the opportunity. In addition, the Routan features a three-zone climate control system, which allows the front, middle and back rows to control the temperature separately.
The Routan features a powerful V6 engine, which is capable of producing a little over 280 horsepower. Another interesting feature is the six-speed automatic transmission with a manual mode. The Routan is capable of getting 17 miles per gallon in the city and 25 on the highway.
The Volkswagen Routan features a three-year or 36,000 miles comprehensive warranty (which covers any cosmetic malfunctions). Volkswagen also includes their five-year or 60,000 mile powertrain warranty (which covers any mechanical malfunctions). The Routan received an ‘excellent' rating in crash tests, with a four-star rating.
The S model starts at about $27,000 and the RSE with navigation has an MSRP of $34,500.
Disclosure: Volkswagen provided us with a Routan to drive for a few weeks and I have to say that after driving it, I would definitely consider this minivan.