2009 Volkswagen Routan

Find Another Volkswagen Routan
16 CITY / 24 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2009:
  • All-new 7-passenger minivan
  • Dual power-sliding doors
  • Power liftgate
  • European suspension tuning
  • Standard 3.8-liter 6-cylinder powerplant
  • Optional 4.0-liter 6-cylinder powerplant
The Volkswagen Type 2 \"Microbus,\" launched in 1950, demonstrated the convenience of carrying more than 4 passengers in a boxy, utilitarian-shaped vehicle. With the driver positioned over the front wheels, and the engine low in the rear of the chassis, the vehicle configurations were limitless. Over the years, Volkswagen's Microbus platform was built as a bus, camper, cargo van, pickup truck, and even as an emergency vehicle. The van proved popular, and the original platform continued to evolve over the decades through the introduction of the Volkswagen Vanagon in 1979, and the Volkswagen Eurovan in 1990. Unlike its predecessors, the later Eurovan models featured a front-mounted water-cooled engine and the driver was positioned behind the rear wheels in a more conventional (and safer) manner. The Volkswagen Eurovan was sold in the United States until 2003.

Minivans continue to be popular in the United States, and Volkswagen wanted back into the segment. Rather than developing its own, Volkswgen reached an agreement with Chrysler to build a minivan for the North American marketplace. Volkswagen would design the interior and exterior, while Chrysler would supply the platform. The result, the 2009 Volkswagen Routan, first appeared at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show. The all-new model, according to Volkswagen, \"combines European sensibilities in design, fit and finish, and handling characteristics with market relevant features and outstanding value.\" Volkswagen says, \"The Routan is instantly recognizable as a member of the Volkswagen family.\" As such, the front grille, headlamps and exterior treatments mirror the styling found in the rest of the Volkswagen lineup. Likewise, the Volkswagen-specific interior has been enhanced to create a passenger environment that is detailed, modern and visually pleasing, according to the maker.

Volkswagen offers a standard 3-year/36,000-mile warranty on all 2009 Routan models. In addition, all 2009 Volkswagen models come with the Carefree Maintenance Program-all scheduled maintenance described in the vehicle's maintenance booklet is free during the initial warranty period.

Model Lineup
There are three different trim levels for the all-new 2009 Volkswagen Routan: Routan S, Routan SE and Routan SEL. The S and SE models share a 3.8-liter V-6 engine, while the 22SEL model features a larger, 4.0-liter V-6 engine. All models are equipped with a full complement of convenience accessories including power windows, power door locks, air conditioning, cruise control and an anti-theft alarm. The standard S model has dual captain-style chairs up front, and then bench seating in the second and third rows. The SE and SEL models replace the second-row bench seat with two additional captain-style seats and add 3-zone climate control, upgraded instrument cluster, reading lamps in all rows, and an upgraded audio system among other improvements. The range-topping SEL model includes leather upholstery (cloth is standard on the other models), heated seats, and a premium sound system among its list of enhancements.

The 2009 Volkswagen Routan offers a host of unique features. These include a Conversation Mirror (an overhead convex mirror) to give the driver a full view of the rear passengers and available touch-screen navigation with a 20-megabyte hard drive. The rear-seat entertainment system boasts dual 9-inch screens, wireless headsets and a remote control. There are thirteen cupholders in the 2009 Volkswagen Routan-nearly two per passenger.

The all-new 2009 Volkswagen Routan shares the same platform with the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country. The powerplants are largely untouched. The front-wheel-drive 2009 Volkswagen Routan S and SE models are equipped with a 3.8-liter 6-cylinder powerplant. The base engine is rated at 197 hp and 230 lb.-ft. of torque. When mated to the 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode, the EPA fuel-economy estimates are 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway. A larger 6-cylinder engine, displacing 4.0 liters and rated at 253 hp and 262 lb.-ft. of torque, is standard on the Routan SEL model. It is also mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. Interestingly, the larger engine is more fuel-efficient than the smaller engine (EPA fuel-economy ratings for the 4.0-liter model are 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway).

The front suspension of the 2009 Volkswagen Routan is independent, while the rear suspension is of a twist-beam design. It is been specially calibrated to offer a European feel while maintaining a comfortable ride. For additional safety and security, all-season traction and stability control are standard across all models.

All 2009 Volkswagen Routan minivans feature a host of standard safety features. These include a driver and front passenger advanced multi-stage air bag supplemental restraint system, and side curtain air bags designed to cover all outboard seating positions. In addition, there are safety belt pre-tensioners for the driver and front passenger. Rear seats features the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child-seat system on all models.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2009 Volkswagen Routan received 5 stars (the agency's highest rating) in frontal crash testing for both driver and front passenger, as well as 5-star side-impact scores for both front- and rear-seat occupants. The Routan received 4 stars for rollover resistance. When crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2009 Volkswagen Routan received a \"Good\" rating (the Institute's highest score) in frontal offset crash testing and a \"Good\" rating in side-impact testing.

To entertain passengers, the all-new 2009 Volkswagen Routan is available with an in-dash, AM/FM/DVD audio system with a large touch screen. It features a 30-gigabyte hard drive, USB input and music and photo storage. A secondary DVD player that is MP3-compatible (with auxiliary audio/video inputs for game consoles) feeds video images to dual 9-inch roof-mounted LCD screens. The system features a wireless remote control, wireless headphones and Bluetooth capabilities. The infotainment system may be upgraded with the addition of the touch-screen navigation system with a hard-drive information database. The optional navigation system comes with a 1-year complimentary Sirius satellite radio subscription.


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