The Routan catches a lot of flack from automotive journalists, and justifiably so, given its questionable ethos, but it still has some very solid merits (space, utility, comfort, etc). Those merits just all happen to match those of Chrysler's almost identical minivans, with the added bonus of some slightly better interior trim for front-row occupants.
I agree with Joe wholeheartedly: this is a very nice minivan, but it's not a proper Volkswagen van.
Other notes: This 3.8-liter V-6 sounds extremely coarse under hard acceleration (much like the similar 3.8-liter V-6 in my dad's 1995 Dodge Grand Caravan). This Routan had slightly less than 1000 miles on it, but the right-rear sliding door had already developed a noticeable rattle, although I couldn't detect it again when I drove the van a few days later. VW customers miss nothing by not having the ability to order Swivel 'n Go in their minivans; unless you plan to have a lot of picnics or old-maid tournaments in your van, Stow 'n Go is the way to go. Unfortunately, Volkswagen customers can't get that option, either.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor