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2012 Volkswagen Routan

Base MSRP: $27,020 to $44,280
Reviewed
March 2012
by ConsumerSearch
2012 Volkswagen Routan

Pros
  • Nicer interior than Chrysler counterparts
  • Powerful V6 engine
  • Comfortable seating
Cons
  • Lacks interior versatility
  • Cramped driver's footwell
  • Can get expensive
  • Spotty reliability
  • Rivals drive better

The badge says Volkswagen, the guts are all Chrysler

The 2012 Volkswagen Routan is based on the Dodge Grand Caravan/Chrysler Town & Country platform. It shares their powertrain and is dimensionally similar. It shares most of its strengths and weaknesses with those models as well; the Routan has the same powerful V6 that critics praise, as well as the same comfortable seating.

No Stow ‘n' Go seating in this variant

While the 2012 Chrysler Town & Country is considered one of the better full-size minivans and the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan is considered to be the best budget full-size minivan, experts find less to like about the Routan despite the similarities between all of these models. Namely, the Routan lacks the fold-flat Stow ‘n' Go seating for the rear seats, which is often cited as the best feature on the nearly identical Chrysler and Dodge. Ultimately the lack of this key feature diminishes the Routan's appeal against stiff competition, even though testers say it has a slightly nicer interior than its platform mates. It also costs around $6,000 more than the similar 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan, and the top-level model starts at over $44,000.

You can do better

Reviewers agree that there are better options when it comes to full-size minivans, like the best-reviewed 2012 Honda Odyssey (Base MSRP: $28,225 to $43,675) and the 2012 Toyota Sienna (Base MSRP: $25,060 to $40,570) .

EPA Fuel Economy Estimates

- 17 mpg city

- 25 mpg highway

- 20 mpg combined

NHTSA Safety Ratings

- Rollover Resistance: 4 stars

IIHS Safety Ratings

- Front Offset Impact: Good

- Side Impact: Good

- Roof Strength: Good

- Named 2012 Top Safety Pick

See our review of the 2011 model for comprehensive info

Like its Chrysler counterparts, the 2012 Volkswagen Routan carries forward without any significant changes. Our full report on the 2011 Volkswagen Routan (Base MSRP: $26,930 to $43,240)  provides complete details on the model and what experts have to say about all aspects of the vehicle.

Where To Buy

Our Sources

1. Edmunds.com

Edmunds.com provides useful and concise summaries of every minivan on the market, including details on trim packages, on-road impressions and how each stacks up against its in-class rivals.

Review: 2012 Volkswagen Routan, Editors of Edmunds.com

2. ConsumerSearch.com

The 2012 Volkswagen Routan carries on into the 2012 model year without any significant changes. Our full report on the 2011 Routan provides a thorough analysis of what critics are thinking.

Review: 2012 Volkswagen Routan, Editors of ConsumerSearch.com, June 2011

3. FuelEconomy.gov

The 2012 Volkswagen Routan gets 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway/20 mpg combined, according to official EPA estimates. This is lower than many other full-size minivans.

Review: 2011 Volkswagen Routan, U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency

4. SaferCar.gov

In government crash tests, the 2012 Volkswagen Routan gets an rollover resistance rating of 4 stars out of 5. Though the similar Chrysler and Dodge models get fully crash tested, the Routan only gets evaluated for rollover resistance. Due to revisions in 2011 of the crash-test guidelines, results for model years 2011 and 2012 cannot be compared to results for earlier model years.

Review: 2012 Volkswagen Routan, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

5. IIHS.org

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) names the 2012 Volkswagen Routan as a Top Safety Pick after conducting its independent crash tests. This is the highest possible designation from the IIHS.

Review: Volkswagen Routan, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Minivans Runners Up:

2012 Mazda Mazda5 Base MSRP: $18,379 to $22,495

3 picks including: Car and Driver, Edmunds.com…

2012 Toyota Sienna Base MSRP: $25,060 to $40,570

2 picks including: FuelEconomy.gov, Edmunds.com…

2012 Chrysler Town & Country Base MSRP: $29,995 to $39,300

2 picks including: FuelEconomy.gov, Edmunds.com…

2012 Kia Sedona Base MSRP: $24,900 to $29,190

1 pick including: FuelEconomy.gov, Edmunds.com…

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