2010 Volkswagen Routan Review

Pros & Cons

  • Perfect crash-test scores, comfortable seats, powerful optional V6 engine.
  • Interior tweaks can't mask ho-hum Chrysler roots, slow and inefficient base engine.
Other years
Volkswagen Routan for Sale
List Price
$5,300

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2010 Volkswagen Routan is an improvement over the Chrysler minivans it's based on. But with rivals like the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna to choose from, we can't recommend this tarted-up Dodge Grand Caravan clone.

Vehicle overview

Even before the term "minivan" was coined, Volkswagen had such a vehicle in the form of the Microbus, that lovable, slow-as-a-snail but roomy box-on-wheels favored by surfer dudes and Deadheads. After the Microbus came the Vanagon and the Eurovan, the latter of which ran through the '90s and into the early 2000s. However, after 2003 -- the Eurovan's last year -- VW had nothing to offer minivan shoppers.

The gap was finally filled last year when VW brought out the Routan. But unlike those earlier in-house vans, the Routan is not much more than a rebadged variant of the Dodge Grand Caravan/Chrysler Town & Country. Most of the VW's body panels are shared with its American cousins, though the Volkswagen features a slightly different look via the company's familiar headlight and grille design, as well as unique taillights. And though most of the interior components are likewise common among the trio, the Routan does boast a more elegant dashboard.

Chrysler's innovative Stow 'n Go and Swivel 'n Go second-row seats can't be had in the Routan, but VW makes up for that with superior second-row seat comfort. The third-row seats still fold into the floor to ease loading of larger cargo. Mechanically, there are only minimal changes. The engines and transmissions are all the same, though VW tuned the suspension to provide more refined handling and ride qualities.

There are enough changes on the reasonably priced 2010 VW Routan to make it the best of the three. But that's like saying "Revenge of the Sith" is the best of the "Star Wars" movie prequels. Chrysler's myriad quality issues with its latest minivans don't bode well for the Routan, and even putting that attribute aside, this is not a segment-leading minivan to begin with. It's a competent people mover with a hint of European flair, but rival models like the Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona and Toyota Sienna will serve the typical minivan buyer better.

2010 Volkswagen Routan models

The 2010 Volkswagen Routan seven-passenger minivan is available in four main trim levels: S, SE, SEL and SEL Premium.

Base S models come standard with 16-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, tri-zone air-conditioning, cruise control and keyless entry. Every S also features heated side mirrors, a six-speaker CD/MP3 audio system with an auxiliary input jack, a removable second-row bench seat and a 60/40-split third-row bench that folds into the floor.

The SE adds 17-inch alloy wheels, power-sliding rear doors, upgraded V-tex upholstery, heated front seats and tri-zone manual climate control. This trim's standard features list also includes power-adjustable pedals, an eight-way power driver seat, removable second-row captain's chairs, rear sunshades, Bluetooth and an upgraded audio system with a six-CD changer.

VW actually has a few extra variants of the SE and SEL trim levels. The SE with RSE (rear seat entertainment) adds a rear-seat entertainment system as well as a power liftgate and satellite radio. The SE with RSE and Navigation adds -- you guessed it -- a hard-drive-based navigation system with digital music storage capability and a back-up camera.

The SEL comes standard with the navigation system, power liftgate and satellite radio. You also get a larger engine, a towing preparation package (with a load-leveling rear suspension), foglights, remote engine start, a sunroof, leather upholstery, a power-folding third-row seat and heated seats for the first and second rows. The SEL can also be equipped with the rear-seat entertainment system (it also includes an extra display screen). The top-of-the-line SEL Premium includes all that plus xenon headlights, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, a nine-speaker premium audio system, an eight-way power passenger seat, driver-seat memory functions, a 115-volt AC power outlet and rear park assist.

2010 Highlights

There are no major changes for the 2010 Volkswagen Routan.

Performance & mpg

The 2010 Volkswagen Routan S and SE models come with a 3.8-liter V6 that produces 197 horsepower and 230 pound-feet of torque. The SEL and SEL Premium are outfitted with a more sophisticated 4.0-liter V6 rated at 253 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. Both engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Surprisingly, the smaller 3.8-liter engine has an EPA fuel economy estimate of just 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined, while the 4.0-liter V6 yields a respectable 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined. The latter also provides superior acceleration from zero to 60 mph -- 8.9 seconds, according to VW's estimates, versus 10.2 for the 3.8-liter mill.

Safety

The 2010 Volkswagen Routan comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability control and full-length side curtain airbags. In government crash tests, the Routan scored a perfect five stars in all frontal and side-impact categories. Likewise, in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Routan scored the best possible rating of "Good" in frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests.

Driving

Volkswagen says the Routan evinces "European ride and handling characteristics." Thing is, Europeans tend to drive vehicles that are half the Routan's size. For such a large conveyance, the Routan acquits itself fairly well on twisty roads; it also swallows most bumps and ruts without complaint. However, its driving dynamics still remain a step or two behind the segment-leading Honda Odyssey's. The interior remains quiet at highway speeds, and the 4.0-liter V6 makes the 2010 VW Routan one of the fleeter minivans around, if you care about that sort of thing. The hoary 3.8-liter V6 is sluggish and thirsty, but you're stuck with it unless you ante up for the SEL.

Interior

VW spruced up the Routan's Dodge-sourced interior with a revised dash layout, including a modified center stack and Volkswagen's trademark red-and-blue backlighting. However, anyone who has spent time in the Town & Country or Grand Caravan will instantly recognize the cheap-feeling switchgear, dash-mounted shifter and basic overall design as straight outta Motown.

The Routan lacks Dodge's innovative Stow 'n Go and Swivel 'n Go second-row seats, but at least its conventional seats are firm and ideally shaped for proper support. The third-row bench folds flat into the floor, while the second-row bench or captain's chairs can be removed for serious hauling duty. VW claims the Routan can carry up to 144 cubic feet of cargo -- that's about average for a minivan, which is to say, it's gigantic.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2010 Volkswagen Routan.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Watch the oil level
fshifteh,09/22/2012
SE 4dr Minivan w/Rear Seat Ent, Nav (3.8L 6cyl 6A)
This is an update on my previous posts. Recently at 28000 miles I noticed the oil pressure light was flashing in my Routan. After inspecting the dipstick I was surprised to see that the car had very little oil, so I ended up adding 2.5 quarts of 5W-20 oil. I was surprised because I have never missed any of my scheduled maintenance. When I took the car to the dealer they said that they have seen this issue with these vans. And the recommendation was to check the oil level every 3000 miles. They said these vans burn oil in average 1 quart every 3000 miles. For your info, I have changed my engine oil in average every 5500 miles when the light had indicated that it is time to do so.
2010 Routan SE w/RSE and NAVI
rxjava,02/24/2011
SE 4dr Minivan w/Rear Seat Ent, Nav (3.8L 6cyl 6A)
After test driving the Toyota, Chrysler, Dodge, Kia and Honda minivans we settled on the Routan. Of the minivans tested the dashboard/instrument panel and gauges of the Routan give the appearance of an upscale car and does not scream minivan. The faux metal strip is convincing and is more refined compared to cheesy faux wood. Seats are comfortable and operation of controls are intuitive. The ride is quiet and taut with good steering input. The 3.8L V-6 is more than adequate around town. We live close to the Sierras and the van performs adequately going up steep grades although the engine will rev at higher RPMs. Shifts to the lower gear are nearly imperceptible
Great Value Minivan
ad,10/09/2010
SE 4dr Minivan w/Rear Seat Ent, Nav (3.8L 6cyl 6A)
I have previously researched this car for almost 6 months and I just decided to buy it now for a huge incentives (i mean $8400 off from MSRP!). The only downful on this van is that they always attached it with chrysler/dodge. Hey people, we should be proud of our own products. Anyway, based on my analysis, the handling is decent, it has enough power to pass slow moving cars. I dont have problems changing lanes, the side mirror is a good size and its adequately placed. I dont have problems with my blind spot side. It feels that you are in control in the road. My family loves it. Dont get the overpriced Sienna and Odyssey. Save your extra money for vacation.
Mini Van
Niki_baby,03/26/2010
S 4dr Minivan (3.8L 6cyl 6A)
This van is great for the family its wonderful for the kids and it has plenty of room. My kids love this van they are always saying that it is the most roomy and they are super comfortable in this van. I use this for my kids when they have sports it has all the room i need to carry all the chairs and all the other equipment that's fio sure any big family would love this car. i know we do this is the best van ever. Pricing is good to. its very fair and i love that it was cheep enough for a woman with 7 kids :)

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2010 Volkswagen Routan

Used 2010 Volkswagen Routan Overview

The Used 2010 Volkswagen Routan is offered in the following submodels: Routan Minivan. Available styles include SE 4dr Minivan w/Rear Seat Ent, Nav (3.8L 6cyl 6A), SE 4dr Minivan w/Rear Seat Ent (3.8L 6cyl 6A), SE 4dr Minivan (3.8L 6cyl 6A), S 4dr Minivan (3.8L 6cyl 6A), SEL 4dr Minivan w/Rear Seat Ent, Nav (4.0L 6cyl 6A), SEL 4dr Minivan w/Navigation (4.0L 6cyl 6A), SEL CARB 4dr Minivan w/Rear Seat Ent, Nav (4.0L 6cyl 6A), SEL CARB 4dr Minivan w/Navigation (4.0L 6cyl 6A), SEL Premium 4dr Minivan (4.0L 6cyl 6A), and SEL Premium CARB 4dr Minivan (4.0L 6cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2010 Volkswagen Routan?

Price comparisons for Used 2010 Volkswagen Routan trim styles:

  • The Used 2010 Volkswagen Routan SEL is priced between $5,300 and$5,300 with odometer readings between 102414 and102414 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2010 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) 2010 Volkswagen Routan for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2010 Routans listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $5,300 and mileage as low as 102414 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned 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 Used 2010 Volkswagen Routan.

Can't find a used 2010 Volkswagen Routans you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volkswagen Routan for sale - 8 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $23,349.

Find a used Volkswagen for sale - 5 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $17,224.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen Routan for sale - 10 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $8,527.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen for sale - 4 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $12,929.

Should I lease or buy a 2010 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
Check out Volkswagen Routan lease specials