Routan Minivan Unveiled In Chicago
Feb. 6, 2008
Volkswagen's new Routan minivan. Click on images for larger views.
Looking upscale and very VW-like, the Routan minivan was unveiled today at the Chicago auto show.
It's based on Chrysler's popular minivan and will be built at the same Canadian factory in Windsor, Ontario, but the Routan features distinct Volkswagen-penned styling, inside and out, as well as special chassis tuning.
So the VW should hustle to Wal-Mart and soccer practice with a firmer, more European ride and crisper steering.
The front fascia has a chrome grille and looks like a shrunken Tiguan, especially the swept-back headlights, while the back has a sporty roof-mounted spoiler.
The dashboard has a tiered effect, similar to the Passat, and appears more flowing and better integrated than Chrysler's own.
The Routan seats seven with four captain chairs and a third-row bench seat.
Space is 32.7 cubic feet behind the third row, a healthy 83 cubic feet behind the second.
Amenities include dual power-sliding doors, a power liftgate, touch-screen navigation system, plus rear-seat DVD entertainment system with two nine-inch screens.
V6 engines and a six-speed auto transmission carry over from Chrysler — standard is a 3.8-liter with 197 horsepower, optional is a 4.0-liter with 251 horsepower. Stability and traction controls are standard.
With Chrysler long recognized as North America's minivan leader, the Routan benefits from many of the advances that the US automaker has made in perfecting this people mover over the past two decades.
The North America-only Routan will go on sale later this year, priced competitively around $25,000 US.
Also see: Routan Photos