Used 2012 Volkswagen Routan

2012 Volkswagen Routan
MSRP Range
$27,020 - $44,280

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable seats
  • slightly nicer cabin than Chrysler siblings.
  • Lacks second-row seat versatility
  • limited driver legroom
  • Chrysler mechanicals serviced by Volkswagen mechanics.
Volkswagen Routan years
Volkswagen Routan for Sale

Edmunds' Expert Review

While the 2012 Volkswagen Routan is a competent minivan, it's still outclassed by newer and more appealing competitors.

Vehicle overview

The 2012 Volkswagen Routan is based on the same platform as the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan. Virtually identical to its American cousins save for a unique grille and rear end treatments, the Volkswagen version offers a slightly firmer suspension designed to make it more fun to drive. Unfortunately, these changes aren't enough to eclipse other, more polished, minivans.

The Routan does share the same 283-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine. It also gets many of the features American families have come to expect in a minivan, including power-operated sliding side doors, an available dual-screen rear seat video entertainment system and more. On the other hand, the Routan lacks some of the cool features available on the Grand Caravan and Town & Country like the handy Stow 'n Go second-row seats.

Mostly, however, the Routan's real problem is simply that it's up against some incredibly stiff competition. To see what we mean, we'd strongly recommend comparing it against the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, both of which are hard to top for their combination of solid engineering, competent driving dynamics and innovative features. The recently remade Nissan Quest is also worth a look by virtue of its distinctive styling and unique interior layout.

Volkswagen Routan models

The 2012 Volkswagen Routan is a minivan available in S, SE, SEL and SEL Premium trim levels.

The entry-level S model comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, power rear vent windows, keyless entry, three-zone manual climate control, second-row captain's chairs, third-row folding bench seat and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio input jack.

The SE adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack, upgraded exterior trim, power-sliding side doors, leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat with lumbar adjustment, heated front seats, power-adjustable pedals, second- and third-row sunshades, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an overhead storage console, a trip computer, Bluetooth and a six-CD changer. SE models with the Rear Seat Entertainment (RSE) package gain dual video screens for the second and third rows, a power rear liftgate, rearview camera, touchscreen audio interface, single-CD player (in place of the six-disc changer), digital music storage and satellite radio. A Garmin navigation system can also be added on models with the RSE package.

Step up to the SEL and you get automatic headlights, a sunroof, remote starting, automatic three-zone climate control, leather upholstery, heated second-row seats, a power-folding third-row seat, a rearview camera, a Chrysler-sourced navigation system with real-time traffic info and voice controls and the touchscreen audio interface with digital music storage, satellite radio and an iPod interface. The rear-seat DVD entertainment system is available as an option here, too, and also comes with keyless entry/ignition and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

The SEL Premium gets xenon headlights, foglights, keyless entry/ignition, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, additional chrome exterior trim, driver seat memory functions, an eight-way power passenger seat, interior wood trim, an advanced trip computer and a nine-speaker audio system. Also available are a blind spot warning system and a cross-path detection system.

2012 Highlights

The 2012 Volkswagen Routan gets just a few minor changes, including a new blind-spot warning system and Rear Cross-Path Detection on the top-of-the-line SEL Premium. SEL models equipped with the navigation system also add keyless entry/ignition and rain-sensing wipers to the standard equipment list.

Performance & mpg

The 2012 VW Routan is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 283 hp and 260 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.

EPA fuel economy estimates are 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined. In Edmunds testing of the mechanically identical Dodge Grand Caravan, this powertrain got it from zero to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds, which is about a half-second slower than the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.


The 2012 Volkswagen Routan comes standard with traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes, front side-impact airbags, a driver side knee airbag and side curtain airbags that cover all three rows. A rearview camera is available on SE and SEL models. The SEL Premium trim level comes standard with a blind zone warning system and Rear Cross-Path Detection, which alerts the driver to approaching cars or pedestrians when backing out of a parking spot with limited visibility.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Routan its highest possible rating of "Good" in its frontal-offset and side crash tests.


On the road, the 2012 Volkswagen Routan's firmer suspension tuning gives it better handling than you might expect from such a big and boxy people mover, though it still pales by comparison to the driving dynamics of the Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna SE. As expected, though, the Routan delivers a comfortable ride.

The 3.6-liter V6 engine is powerful, though it can sound a bit unrefined under hard acceleration compared to the Odyssey, Sienna and the rest of VW's engine lineup. The six-speed automatic is well-matched, however, producing quick shifts that help make the most of the engine's output.


While the 2012 Volkswagen Routan's passenger cabin is still a bit nicer than those of the Grand Caravan and Town & Country, recent upgrades to the Dodge and Chrysler versions means they no longer look quite as cheap by comparison. Even so, for an automaker known for its top-quality interiors, the Routan looks low-budget compared to other models in the VW lineup.

Up front, some drivers may find the seat and pedals a little too close to one another for comfort. The second-row seats lack the removable center section found in the Odyssey and Sienna that bumps total passenger capacity to eight, not to mention the clever Stow 'n Go feature found in the Dodge and Chrysler that allows them to fold down into the floor to maximize cargo space. The Routan's third-row seat does fold into the floor, but it's tilted rearward enough when in use that sitting there ends up feeling a little awkward.

When it's time to haul freight instead of passengers, the Routan offers 83 cubic feet of space behind the second-row seats. Remove those and you have a cavernous 144.4 cubic feet of cargo room.


Overallundefined / 5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2012 Volkswagen Routan.

5 star reviews: 33%
4 star reviews: 33%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 34%
Average user rating: 3.3 stars based on 3 total reviews

Trending topics in reviews

  • engine
  • value
  • transmission
  • interior
  • appearance
  • maintenance & parts
  • reliability & manufacturing quality
  • fuel efficiency
  • infotainment system
  • lights

Most helpful consumer reviews

4.875 out of 5 stars, Love it

I really like this minivan. The interior is very appealing - drives very high up on the highway. Like the aluminum pentastar engine as well.

1 out of 5 stars, Crappy vw with Chrysler unreliable history
Julius m,
SE 4dr Minivan w/Rear Seat Ent, Nav (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

We bought this van last 2015 as a cpo from the dealer with 38k miles in it. When the car hits 45k miles the check engine light went on and it was the cracked head gasket. I noticed that as the miles goes up, the 3.6 pentacrap engine becomes more rough especially in the cold morning. Transmission is jerky in the cold morning as well. The tiptronic gone at 60k miles, transmission leaks at 65k engine mount bad on 65k and then fuel line detached from he engine at 70k miles, rockerarm gone bad at 83k miles and another rockerarm at 87k miles. Now my van wont start because TIPM gone bad and the dealer replaced wrong parts (great job for the mechanics). Its still sitting in the dealership. Why does VW picked a van that has worse reliability than them????? THey could have picked atlest honda or toyota and then rebadged it to VW. No more VW for me for life. These cars are just endless money pits.

4.25 out of 5 stars, Best Minivan for the Price

We got the best minivan for the price. We bought ours Certified Used 2012 Routan SE with Nav and DVD with only 2.5K miles for $24K for something we plan on owning for 5-6 years only. We looked at Toyota and Honda both very nice cars, but by going with Routan we saved 13K to 16K for the same options as other competitors. This minivan is convertible, quite when driving, powerful, nice looking and just what we were looking for. The one bad thing is they won’t be building this model any more for 2013 and dealers having some brand new 2012 minivans that you can save $7-8K off the sticker price with very good options. This being our first minivan we are so far happy with it

Write a review

See all 3 reviews

Features & Specs

SE 4dr Minivan w/Rear Seat Ent, Nav features & specs
SE 4dr Minivan w/Rear Seat Ent, Nav
3.6L 6cyl 6A
MPG 17 city / 25 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
Flex-fuel (ffv)
283 hp @ 6350 rpm

SE 4dr Minivan w/Rear Seat Ent features & specs
SE 4dr Minivan w/Rear Seat Ent
3.6L 6cyl 6A
MPG 17 city / 25 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
Flex-fuel (ffv)
283 hp @ 6350 rpm

S 4dr Minivan features & specs
S 4dr Minivan
3.6L 6cyl 6A
MPG 17 city / 25 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
Flex-fuel (ffv)
283 hp @ 6350 rpm

SE 4dr Minivan features & specs
SE 4dr Minivan
3.6L 6cyl 6A
MPG 17 city / 25 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
Flex-fuel (ffv)
283 hp @ 6350 rpm

See all Used 2012 Volkswagen Routan features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
DriverNot Rated
PassengerNot Rated
Side Crash RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
Side Barrier RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
DriverNot Rated
PassengerNot Rated
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front SeatNot Rated
Back SeatNot Rated
Rollover4 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of Rollover16.4%

IIHS Rating

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

Side Impact Test
Roof Strength Test
Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
Moderate Overlap Front Test

Is the Volkswagen Routan a good car?
The Edmunds experts tested the 2012 Routan both on the road and at the track. Edmunds’ consumer reviews show that the 2012 Routan gets an average rating of 3 stars out of 5 (based on 3 reviews) You probably care about Volkswagen Routan fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Routan gets an EPA-estimated 20 mpg. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Routan has 32.7 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Volkswagen Routan. Learn more
Is the Volkswagen Routan reliable?
To determine whether the Volkswagen Routan is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Routan. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Routan's 3-star average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more
Is the 2012 Volkswagen Routan a good car?
There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2012 Volkswagen Routan is a good car. Our consumer reviews show that the 2012 Routan gets an average rating of 3 stars out of 5 (based on 3 reviews). Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2012 Routan is a good car for you. Learn more
How much should I pay for a 2012 Volkswagen Routan?

The least-expensive 2012 Volkswagen Routan is the 2012 Volkswagen Routan S 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $27,020.

Other versions include:

  • SE 4dr Minivan w/Rear Seat Ent, Nav (3.6L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $34,490
  • SE 4dr Minivan w/Rear Seat Ent (3.6L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $33,490
  • S 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $27,020
  • SE 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $32,010
  • SEL 4dr Minivan w/Rear Seat Ent, Nav (3.6L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $39,890
  • SEL Premium 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $44,280
  • SEL 4dr Minivan w/Navigation (3.6L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $37,890
Learn more
What are the different models of Volkswagen Routan?
If you're interested in the Volkswagen Routan, the next question is, which Routan model is right for you? Routan variants include SE 4dr Minivan w/Rear Seat Ent, Nav (3.6L 6cyl 6A), SE 4dr Minivan w/Rear Seat Ent (3.6L 6cyl 6A), S 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A), and SE 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A). For a full list of Routan models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2012 Volkswagen Routan

Used 2012 Volkswagen Routan Overview

The Used 2012 Volkswagen Routan is offered in the following submodels: Routan Minivan. Available styles include SE 4dr Minivan w/Rear Seat Ent, Nav (3.6L 6cyl 6A), SE 4dr Minivan w/Rear Seat Ent (3.6L 6cyl 6A), S 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A), SE 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A), SEL 4dr Minivan w/Rear Seat Ent, Nav (3.6L 6cyl 6A), SEL Premium 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A), and SEL 4dr Minivan w/Navigation (3.6L 6cyl 6A).

What do people think of the 2012 Volkswagen Routan?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2012 Volkswagen Routan and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2012 Routan 3.3 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2012 Routan.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2012 Volkswagen Routan and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2012 Routan featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2012 Volkswagen Routan?
Which 2012 Volkswagen Routans are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2012 Volkswagen Routan for sale near. There are currently 4 new 2012 Routans listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $7,899 and mileage as low as 83000 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2012 Volkswagen Routan.

Can't find a new 2012 Volkswagen Routans you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Volkswagen Routan for sale - 6 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $16,541.

Find a new Volkswagen for sale - 2 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $13,890.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2012 Volkswagen Routan?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Volkswagen lease specials