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2011 Volkswagen Routan

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2011 Volkswagen Routan Review

A Dodge or Chrysler minivan with Volkswagen quality packaging.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2011 Volkswagen Routan is a minivan based on the Dodge Caravan. This car model is aimed more toward the family sector than to the campers and hippies who served as its original consumers.

The Range

Body styles: minivan
Engines: 3.6-liter V-6 engine
Transmissions: six-speed automatic
Models: Volkswagen Routan S, Volkswagen Routan SE, Volkswagen Routan SEL, Volkswagen Routan SEL Premium

What's New

For 2011, the Volkswagen Routan gets the new, more powerful and efficient 3.6-liter V-6 engine that now powers its Dodge and Chrysler minivan siblings. It also gains an enhanced trip computer and a cheaper navigation system option sourced by Garmin and integrated into the stereo's touchscreen interface.


The 2011 Volkswagen Routan S comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, power rear vent windows, and cruise control. The SE has 17-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack, upgraded exterior trim, power sliding doors, and power-adjustable pedals. If you get the Rear Seat Entertainment (RSE) package, the Routan SE will come with a power tailgate and a rear-view camera. The SEL adds automatic headlamps, a sunroof, remote ignition, and a rear-view camera. The SEL Premium features xenon headlamps, fog lamps, keyless ignition/entry, automatic dimming exterior mirrors, and additional chrome exterior trim.


The 2011 Volkswagen Routan comes nicely equipped with a little help from the Chrysler family. Standard interior features include a leather-wrapped, tilting steering wheel and shifter, rear air-conditioning controls, second-row captain's chairs, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The SE trim adds an eight-way power driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment, heated front seats, leatherette-looking premium vinyl upholstery, second- and third-row sunshades, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, an overhead storage console, a trip computer, Bluetooth, and a six-CD changer. If you opt for the RSE package, you also get a Chrysler-sourced touchscreen audio interface, a CD player, digital music storage, satellite radio, and video screens for the second and third rows. The optional Garmin navigation system can be integrated into the touchscreen audio interface included with the RSE package.

The SEL trim includes automatic three-zone climate control, leather upholstery, heated second-row seats, a power-folding third-row seat, the touchscreen audio interface, a Chrysler-sourced navigation system, real-time traffic updates, voice controls, digital music storage, satellite radio, and an iPod interface. The rear-seat DVD entertainment features come as options on the SEL. The SEL Premium trim adds driver memory functions, an eight-way power passenger seat, interior wood trim, an advanced trip computer, and a nine-speaker sound system. It also offers an optional 115V outlet to charge electronics.

The interior of the Routan boasts nicer qualities than its Dodge and Chrysler counterparts. To inject some semblance of Volkswagen into the Routan, the model has thick carpeting, well-shaped seats, and a soft material on the door panels, armrests, and dashboard. The second-row captain’s seats cannot be removed, but they can fold flush with the floor, and the third-row seat recline all the way flat to the floor.

Even though the Routan is a minivan, it offers minimal front seat legroom. A driver of normal height may find the cockpit confining. Cargo space measures 144 cubic feet with the second-row seats removed.

Performance & Handling

The 2011 Volkswagen Routan contains a 3.6-liter V-6 engine with 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. It also has a six-speed automatic transmission. During a sprint test, the Routan accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds.

Volkswagen replaces the Chrysler-based suspension with firmer parts. Adjustments to the power steering unit valve result in a heavier feel, so that the minivan feels more connected to the road. The Routan provides a smooth ride, but the engine does produce noticeable amounts of noise.


The standard safety features for the 2011 Volkswagen Routan include anti-lock disc brakes (ABS) with brake assist, stability and traction controls, front-side airbags, and full-length side curtain airbags. You can also opt for the rear-view camera. The four-door Routan models have rear airbags available as an optional feature.

In 2010, The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Volkswagen Routan its best possible rating of ""Good"" for protection in frontal-offset and side-impact collisions. It also received five out of five stars for protection in front- and side-impact collisions.

EPA Fuel Economy

Volkswagen Routan S: 17/25 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Routan SE: 17/25 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Routan SEL: 17/25 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Routan SEL Premium: 17/25 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Powerful engine
  • Comfortable seats
  • Nicer cabin than its Dodge and Chrysler counterparts

You Won't Like

  • No second-row versatility; No stow-and-go seating
  • Limited driver legroom
  • Noisy engine
  • Heavy reliance on the Chrysler/Dodge foundation

Sum Up

A Dodge or Chrysler minivan with Volkswagen quality packaging.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Honda Odyssey
  • Toyota Sienna
  • Nissan Quest

See the New 2012 Routan.

Front & Driver Side View

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