Go

2010 Volkswagen Routan

Overview
Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2010 Volkswagen Routan Review

By

Although cost issues kept the slick Microbus concept it showed at the 2001 Geneva Auto Show from ever seeing production, VW finally made its move to join the minivan market last year with the introduction of the Routan. Available in S, SE and SEL trim levels, this seven-passenger, front-drive family hauler was derived from the latest version of Chrysler's best-selling people mover, which itself was completely redesigned for 2008. While the Routan shares most of its key mechanical and electrical architecture with the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Caravan, it boasts unique styling treatments, inside and out. Despite continuing volume pressure on this market segment, Volkswagen hopes the Routan's distinctive VW appearance cues, appealing features, Euro-tuned suspension and attractive pricing will help it win over American families.

You'll Like This Car If...

Buyers who love the formidable benefits a minivan offers when it comes to true utility and ease of operation but want something with a more sophisticated look and driving character will find plenty to admire in the new 2010 Volkswagen Routan.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If your minivan taste runs to a softer-riding package and you want kid-oriented Swivel 'n Go seating or hideaway Stow 'n Go second-row seats, stick to the 2010 Volkswagen Routan's Chrysler cousins. If having a state-of-the art, big-screen navigation system is important, consider a Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest or Toyota Sienna.

What's New for 2010

The Routan line is simplified into four well-appointed trims that include S, SE, SEL and SEL Premium. Stand alone options are eliminated, packaged instead into each trim level. The SE and SEL can be ordered with navigation but require the rear seat entertainment system as well. All trims receive more standard equipment, including three-zone manual climate control on the S trim; Bluetooth, heated seats and power adjustable pedals on the SE; and a power sunroof, remote start, power third-row seat and a tow prep package on the SEL.

Driving the Routan
Driving Impressions

One of VW's primary goals with the Routan program was to impart a distinctly European feel to its ride and handling. Stiffer springs, tauter shock-absorber settings and revised valve proportioning...

... in the power steering system do exactly that, creating a package that's firmer than the average minivan while remaining comfortable as a long-range cruiser. Body roll is nicely curtailed in corners and the steering feels positive without being twitchy. It's not quite enthusiast-grade, but it is a welcome compromise that's ably assisted by the standard Electronic Stabilization Program with traction control and vented-front and solid-rear anti-lock disc brakes. With a curb weight around 4,500 pounds, the Routan is a good deal more energetic with the 4.0-liter 253-horsepower engine in the SEL than with the smaller 197-horsepower 3.8 V-6 in the S and SE. The dash-mounted shift lever takes a bit of getting used to, but its positioning does allow easy Sport-mode gear changes.

Impressively Contoured Seats
While somewhat firmer than their Chrysler counterparts, Volkswagen upgraded both the first- and second-row individual seats in the Routan, adding more aggressive and supportive bolstering to complement the vehicle's sportier suspension tuning.

Carefree Maintenance Program
The Routan comes with VW's all-encompassing Carefree Maintenance program that complements the normal three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty with zero-cost coverage for all basic routine servicing performed during that same time period.

2010 Volkswagen Routan Details
2010 Volkswagen Routan photo Interior

VW established a signature look for the Routan's spacious cabin, retaining the Chrysler gauges, primary electrical components, supplemental switchgear, heating and ventilation elements and the various cupholders, bins and under-floor storage areas, but recasting everything else – from the dash to the door panels to the carpet – in a more upscale manner. That enhanced character plays best in the leather-lined SEL, but even the cloth-covered S and V-Tex faux leather SE trims boast a bounty of soft-touch surfaces and neat center consoles, plus more supportive first-row seats and better-bolstered, adult-scaled foldable and removable second-row Captain's Chairs (or a two-place bench in the S). Row three is best for kids, but it does flip over for "tailgating" duties and can be folded flat into the floor.

Exterior
2010 Volkswagen Routan photo

Volkswagen's decision to endow the Routan with a unique exterior pays handsome dividends. In order to create its own sense of corporate visual character, VW kept only the side door panels, glass and windshield from the Chrysler minivan donor platform. Up front, the Routan's prominent grille, air intakes and aero headlamps impart an arguably more sophisticated flavor with recognizable VW flair. The rear-end treatment, while less distinctive, brings smoother, rounder overall contouring and features a Routan-specific hatch design. At the S trim level, the Routan has 225/65R16 all-season tires on steel wheels, while the SE and SEL have standard 17-inch alloy rims with 225/65 tires.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Beyond V6 engines, a six-speed automatic transmission and seats for seven, all Routans feature an impressive array of standard equipment, including power windows, locks and mirrors, keyless remote entry, three-zone air conditioning and cruise control. Front seats on the S trim level are manually operated, the SE has a power driver's seat and both front seats are power-operated with the SEL Premium. The upper trim levels also have dual-power sliding doors, second-row Captain's Chairs, steering-wheel audio and cruise control buttons and a six-disc CD/DVD player with an enhanced AM/FM/CD/MP3 sound system. The air conditioning is manually control on the S and SE, and automatic on the leather-trimmed SEL, which also gets a power sunroof, remote start and power folding third-row seats. All models include stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes and front and side-curtain airbags, and all scheduled maintenance is free during the vehicle's basic warranty period.

Optional Equipment

The new model lineup leaves the options list limited to a few dealer installed items. If you order the SE you can have the rear seat entertainment system with or without navigation, but not the other way around; on SEL trims the rear seat entertainment system must be bundled with navigation. The navigation package includes a 30 GB JoyBox music hard drive, USB port and backup remote camera.

Under the Hood

All 2010 Volkswagen Routans are fitted with one of two different Chrysler V6 engines. Both run on regular unleaded gasoline and are backed by a six-speed automatic transmission with manual Sportshift mode. The 3.8-liter overhead-valve V6 in the Routan S and SE makes 197 horsepower and 230 pound-feet of torque while the more sophisticated single-overhead-cam 4.0-liter in the SEL cranks out a robust 251 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque. Surprisingly, the bigger six also earns better EPA fuel economy ratings, with 17 mpg city and 25 mph highway marks compared to the 3.8-liter's 16-mpg city/23-mpg highway numbers. Not so surprisingly, that extra muscle also helps trim the SEL's factory-estimated zero-to-60-mph acceleration time from 10.2 to 8.9 seconds.

3.8-liter V6
197 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
230 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23

4.0-liter V6
251 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
259 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2010 Volkswagen Routan Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
6.2
Out of 10

Based on 127 Ratings for the 2009 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    6.6/10
    Quality
    6.4/10
  • Reliability
    6.4/10
    Performance
    6.9/10
  • Comfort
    7.4/10
    Styling
    7.5/10

this is in my top 3.

By on Saturday, April 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned 15 new vehicles in my lifetime. My 2011 VW Routan SE is the second best car I have owned. I have had this vehicle for 4 years and 8 months and it has just over 60k on the odometer. I have had it in the shop for premature brake problems (they seem to have a reputation for this) and the dealership did the repairs for free. I just recently had the rear discs and rotors replaced at an independent shop but was told the fronts were still good. I also experienced a hard transmission shift early in my ownership but it seems to have become less of an issue. I had a issue of my cruise control not staying engaged and shopped it four times before they found a pinched cable. Has not been a problem since. I just last December put a new set of michilin tires on the car. Those are the extent of the bad, now for the positive. I paid just over $25k for this SE model with the entertainment package and the VE covered seats, in August of 2011. My wife and I are above average in height and this vehicle is perfect for our height when entering and exiting. The heated seats work great and they are extremely comfortable on trips. My gas mileage when traveling at 70 miles per hour exceeds 30 MPG. It does suffer when going faster than 70 and of course when driving in the city. However we still get over 20 in city driving. The room inside the vehicle is spacious. Everyone is comfortable, but don't try to squeeze that third person in the third row, it just won't work. Even 3 small children can't get along in that seat, it just isn't comfortable. The dvd system works beautifully. The power doors, especially the tailgate, is a big plus. I will admit those side doors have hung up on me at times, but you can manually move them and the problem is not constant. There are many small places to store items and if you remove the middle seats (takes 2 minutes) you have all kinds of room to go shopping. My wife and I are in our retirement years and we will go on trips looking for gems to bring home. We throw a cooler full of drinks and snacks in the cargo area and come home with all kinds of items in that storage space. The vehicle is very versatile and dependable. It is relatively quiet on the road, the air conditioner works fine, it has a smooth ride, and with over 60k this vehicle still has plenty of life. Yes, I know I could have a major problem tomarrow, but I don't feel that is going to happen. I feel safe and secure in this VW and that is one of the reasons this is the second best car I ever owned."

Best Car Ever

By on Saturday, April 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "space and storage, good price, drives well"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My family loves the VW brand. My first car was a beetle and my husband's was a jetta. We bought our Routan SEL Premium in 2014. It powerful and drives so well for a minivan. It is way more stylish than the Chrysler/Dodge. I love that there is no 2nd row stow-and-go because the seats are far more plush and large, also in the 1st and 3rd row. The power doors, tailgate, and 3rd row seats are especially helpful for my kids and my German Shepherd. We have never had any mechanical problems and gas mileage is a tiny bit above average. Car seats fit in easily and the nav/backup/radio is simple but thoughtful. I own all VW cars. We have a 2015 Touareg and 2011 Sportwagen. The dual dvd lets the kids watch something in the 2nd row and another thing in the 3rd row. (keeps them quite so we can listen to music :) ) I love the Routan and VW so much!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Not worth the headache

By on Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 69,900

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Dual DVD Players, Captain Chairs in second row,"

Cons: "Brakes, sliding doors, and transmission issues"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"We owned our 2010 Routan for five years. If you google Routan, you'll find a plethora of issues. Chrysler built this vehicle, and VW actually tried to get out of their contract with Chrysler to stop making it. Today, they no longer make the vehicle. Another issue, was that Chrysler allegedly but brakes on the VW Routan that are not big enough for this vehicle. We got rid of our van because of this reason. I was putting new brakes on it every year. You may like this van if you, a) want a deal because they don't hold their value and b) you are ok with maintaining a vehicle. Chrysler also wouldn't let VW have the stow and go seating so instead VW has large comfortable captain chairs in the second row. They are nice, but do not fold out of the way like the Chrysler."

11 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Love my van!

By on Wednesday, August 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Great vehicle, love the space, the buckets seats in the middle row are wonderful. Love the stowaway back row of seats. Wish the bucket seats in the middle would slide, because getting to the back row of seats is difficult when you have to climb in between the two bucket seats in the middle. Mediocre gas mileage."

9 people out of 16 found this review helpful

The kids love it, and so does my mechanic

By on Tuesday, May 05, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Unreliable

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Lots of creature comforts, fun to drive"

Cons: "Mechanically poor, cheaply built, money pit"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Just unloaded this van after owning it for 87k miles. The first 60k miles were extremely uneventful other than the usual tires and brakes. After that, however, things really started to go downhill fast. First, the radiator blew. Then, a bad oil leak developed. Then the fan motor blower went out. Then the power steering system developed a bad leak. Then another coolant leak developed. Also, the van would sporadically just not start and smell of burning electronics. I maintained this vehicle religiously - addressing every problem as it arose, replacing the brakes every 12 months (not cheap - and should you really have to replace breaks every year? Very poorly designed), oil changes at 6k miles on the dot. Unfortunately, the van became too unreliable and it's not worth it to me to keep a car that I can't count on. We decided to trade it in, and on the way to the dealer a horrible thumping sound developed under the car. I don't even want to know what that was. All of this is not to say that the van doesn't have it's strengths. There are tons of creature comforts that make this van the ideal family vehicle, not the least of which are the dual DVD screens and accessory jacks. My kids were devastated to see the van go. Overall, I could not recommend this van. If longevity in a minivan is what you want, just bite the bullet and buy a Honda Odyssey. You will kick yourself if you don't, like I am."

17 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Love this ride!

By on Monday, May 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Room for everyone, nice ride, best looking minivan"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have driven a 2012 Routan since early 2013 and it is by far my favorite vehicle yet. I had an issue with the alternator around 40,000 miles but as usual the VW company takes great care of their drivers and it was towed, replaced, and returned swiftly and conveniently. Kids love the ride, so do the parents (and the friends for a good night out on the town - can haul a lot of drunkards with just one sober driver!). If you're on the fence, just go for it! Also extremely impressed at how this vehicle has held its value."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Share this page
Advertisement
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

Advertisement