2009 Volkswagen Routan

Sam Smith

On the road, the Routan feels similar to its American cousin, although body control, high-speed stability, and steering feel have all been mildly improved. The seats are typically VW supportive, and most of the interior textures resemble those found in a Passat, not a Pacifica. Certain embarrassing features, such as the T&C's wobbly front-row console and flimsy shift lever, carry over, but those touches are thankfully few and far between.

Philosophically, though, the Chryswagen is kind of on thin ice. While it won't be sold outside of North America, the justification for its existence is awfully meager. VW's stock-in-trade has typically been enthusiasm and innovation, and badge-engineering a less-than-perfect Detroit product for quick and dirty sales numbers doesn't fall under either of those headings. When all is said and done, the Routan might look and feel like a Volkswagen, but that doesn't mean that it is one.

The Specs
On sale: Now
Price: $24,700
Engines: 3.8L V-6, 197 hp, 230 lb-ft; 4.0L V-6, 253 hp, 262 lb-f
Drive: Front-wheel

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