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Blake Noble

VW @ Chicago 2008: 2009 VW Routan

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VW @ Chicago 2008: 2009 VW Routan
VW's Caravan-based Routan debuts at Chicago 2008
vw_routan_lead_450-op.jpg
Link to Original Article @ Autoblog

Well, thanks to the German pub Autobild you can now see the collaborative efforts of Chrysler and Volkswagen in the form of the VW Routan. Unfortunately, the V-Dub van hardly harkens back to the time of the mini-bus, as everything between the A- and D-pillar is a dead ringer for the Chrysler/Dodge on which it's built. The new front fascia is attractive enough, with swooping headlamps, well-proportioned air dams and a chrome grille fitted with the VW logo, while the rear benefits from a similar tail lamp design as seen on the Touareg and Golf.

Power comes courtesy of a 3.6-liter V6, with 197 hp and 230 lb.-ft. of torque routed through a six-speed automatic transmission. Buyers can upgrade what's under the hood with a 4.0-liter V6 producing 251 hp and 259 lb.-ft. of torque. Traction control and ESP will be standard, along with dual power sliding doors, power windows and thirteen (13!) cupholders. Some of the options include a touch screen nav with a 20 gig hard-drive, power lift gate and a rear seat entertainment system with two, nine-inch screens.

Volkswagen plans to price the base Routan below the $25,000 mark and sales are expected to begin later this year.

Volkswagen's press release is available in full after the jump.
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I like this VW van, quite a lot. I think VW has definitely built a better Caravan here. And lets hope Chrysler manages to learn a few things on how to design a nice interior.

Edited by YellowJacket894
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The Microbus Concept came out 7 years ago, and it easily beats this Routan in design...

vw.microbus.500.jpg

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The Microbus Concept came out 7 years ago, and it easily beats this Routan in design...

vw.microbus.500.jpg

+2

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It's certainly an improvement over the Caravan/T&C... but... WTF? Atleast they fixed the sagging ass. The interior certainly isn't up VW's usual standards. It's worse than the Rabbit's. Bleh. It's good thing I'm not in the market for a minivan and thus, my opinion is voided.

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The Microbus Concept came out 7 years ago, and it easily beats this Routan in design...

Never said it didn't.

But, for what it is, it's actually much better than it's American counterparts thus far and you can't deny that.

Edited by YellowJacket894
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Never said it didn't.

But, for what it is, it's actually much better than it's American counterparts thus far and you can't deny that.

True, the interior looks much improved, and supposedly the handling is improved, too. Those are two of the biggest shortcomings of the Chrysler vans. If it's priced appropriately, I think it could be the best or second-best minivan out there.

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True, the interior looks much improved, and supposedly the handling is improved, too. Those are two of the biggest shortcomings of the Chrysler vans. If it's priced appropriately, I think it could be the best or second-best minivan out there.

Probably not best, since Chrysler left out the flexible seating system.

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Probably not best, since Chrysler left out the flexible seating system.

If I were ever in the market for a minivan, God forbid, I would sacrifice the flexible seating for better handling and to avoid the standard run-of-the-mill Chrysler interior styling.

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Probably not best, since Chrysler left out the flexible seating system.

Link?

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a 3.6L w/o more than 200 hp... SAD!

Yeah it's pretty sad. Can't wait for the new Phoenix engines.

Edited by Dodgefan
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a 3.6L w/o more than 200 hp... SAD!

That's a typo from Autoblog; it's actually a 3.8L that has less than 200 hp.

I'd rather see a Golf or Passat powertrain - a 2.0T with 197 hp or a 3.6L with 276 hp, mated to a six-speed DSG.

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http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/autoshow...agenroutan.html

It may have them, but that's what I read, that it appears not to have Stow `n Go at least.

Doubt it. Every minivan has Stow 'N Go in the third row, and if the second row is only available with captains chairs (which don't fold into the floor, like the GC/T&C's), there will still be stowage space underneath. The only question is whether it'll have Swivel 'N Go.

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Doubt it. Every minivan has Stow 'N Go in the third row, and if the second row is only available with captains chairs (which don't fold into the floor, like the GC/T&C's), there will still be stowage space underneath. The only question is whether it'll have Swivel 'N Go.

Well I'm sure the 3rd row will fold, but the 2nd's won't which is the real trick of Stow `n Go, since everyone's 3rd row folds.

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:rotflmao:

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first off, i was ready to bash this until i looked at the pictures more. the dash is nicer than the chrycos, and the front end and rear end revisions are better also.

chrylser's 3.8 in the vans is known for holding up ok and delivering good mpg. you could not make the same claims for a VW powertrain. VW's have problems even staying running. In a segment where reliability is needed, its better that VW did not put its own engines in there.

The new 4.0 chrysler is a good motor (i tested it in a pacifica). it moves out pretty well and that should be a nice uplevel engine in these vans. In C/D's recent test it had accel times near the top so it will be fine for this segment.

i would be fine losing the sto n go. sto n go is very useful, but everyone forgets it compromises the seating quality in the second row. Since the third row stows, I am ok if the 2nd row merely folds in the VW version but has better, more comfortable seats. We also have no idea if the complex mechanism for the stow n go would actually hold up over time.

rear end is very odyssey like and the front is Eos like. those two tweaks are minor but do tend to make this van much less stodgy than the breadvan chrylsers.

buy the dodge and get a lifetime warranty. whatever.....most cash strapped families, or at least more and more, are leasing. plus the chryco warranty has 'conditions'. families do not maintain cars to a rigid standard. So if this leases as cheap as the DCX vans, they are in like flint because this product is more attractive and VW showrooms have much better coffee and the receptionists are actually attractive. Since its not a real VW, you won't need to be at the dealer 24/7 attempting to get things fixed, although it is still a chrylser so you would have to still get a few things fixed.

i was ready to rag all over this but it fills a place for VW in the market until they bring their own van here. I can get this van, drive a VW, but still get it worked on for some things at the dodge dealer a mile from my house.

VW's option packages will probably be easier than the chrylsers.....for example, heated seats are often alacarte on Jettas etc. so maybe that will be the case here too.

this is a definite alternative to the honda and toyota and nissan. SO, I'll at least have to look at it.

what you are not reading about that is the white elephant in the room, part of the reason CUV's do so well now and vans don't (aside from the mommy needs to preserve her sexy image thing) is that women these days are very fixated on AWD and only the toyota offers it. They gets SUV's and CUV's to get the AWD, because they do not think any vans have it. It would help the van segment to offer more AWD options. I can attest as friends of our traded their odyssey for a pilot and another friends they ditched their caravans for a pilot as well. AWD was one of the reasons as much as the mommy complex / i'm still trying to be sexy even though i am 35 now and have popped out a couple kids factors into it.

with the routan, princess mommy can feel good dumping her jetta for a VW van because VW's are still cool.

This is nowhere near as heinous as the 'Acura SLX' or other horrific rebadges (Saab 9-7 and 9-2). It may not be as ideal a product as the concept van, but i think they could not justify the business case for that. Face it people, rebadges like the Suzuki XL7 and this are a way of life. Look at consumer electronics, its all rebadges. Zenith plasma=LG. Best Buy 'Insignia' store brand=whoever they can get to make them, many times LG. Magnavox=Philips.

this may not be as cool as the GTI, but if VW, like the asians want greater share and volume, they cannot just sell a one trick pony. apparently they felt they needed to be into vans too.

this sure makes the touareg seem even fatter. the touareg is small but like a half a ton heavier. LOL

for me, if the interior is nice, its gonna be worth my time to check it out. i hate that shifter loc, but my hope is the door panels are not sandpaper plastic like the dodge cars are so much of today.

don't forget, in europe this allows VW to make the van here (cheap) and ship it over with their badge on it. I wonder if europe gets a smaller motor choice or a stick option?

It is amazing how much nicer the whole rear end is on this thing compared to the chrylsers.....yay, this totally boots the Kia off the list now! WHEW!

Edited by regfootball
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Strange name..Routan. Fits with Sharan, Tiguan, and Touran, though, I guess..(is this going to be an NA-only model?)

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I lol'd.

That's the only thing I can do when I see this thing.

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just read autoblog's writeup on their time with an 08 Grand Caravan. glowing review. if the VW improves on that, the ROUTAN should be a well done machine.

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