2013 Volkswagen Routan vs. Its Competition

2013 Volkswagen Routan
Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director

A de facto class leader among minivans--thanks to its family tree--the Volkswagen Routan has some stiff competition from the likes of the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, not to mention the Chrysler minivans themselves.

The Grand Caravan and Town & Country are almost the Routan's carbon copies, but have added features like stow-away second-row seats and in-car wireless internet.

The Honda Odyssey scores for its very large interior and good handling; it has the best gas mileage in the class, but only on the most expensive, six-speed-automatic version.

The Toyota Sienna now comes only with a V-6, which raises its price and drops fuel economy across the lineup, but it's still a functional winner, with excellent safety features and quite good road manners.

The same is true for the Nissan Quest, but in most other ways, the Nissan minivan has fallen behind the rest of the class, with a smaller interior, less flexible seating, and fewer tech features--not to mention a lower score in the IIHS' roof-strength test.

2013 Volkswagen Routan2013 Volkswagen RoutanBrowse Used Listings2013 Chrysler Town & Country2013 Chrysler Town & CountryBrowse Used Listings2013 Dodge Grand Caravan2013 Dodge Grand CaravanBrowse Used Listings2013 Honda Odyssey 5dr EX Angular Front Exterior View2013 Honda OdysseyBrowse Used Listings2013 Nissan Quest2013 Nissan QuestBrowse Used Listings2013 Toyota Sienna XLE2013 Toyota SiennaBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
7.8
Top safety scores and spaciousness are in place, even if the VW Routan doesn't have all the same utility and tech options of the related Chrysler minivans.
8.2
The 2013 Chrysler Town & Country is tops in safety, flexibility, and features--the things that matter in minivans--though it's pricey.
8.2
Function reigns supreme in the Dodge Grand Caravan: it has the best seating system and infotainment features of any minivan, and gas mileage and safety scores are excellent.
8.2
A thoughtful interior, innovative seating, and excellent handling make the 2013 Honda Odyssey a standout among minivans--although it is the priciest of them all.
7.2
Road manners are good--but when it comes to core minivan duties like seating and safety, the 2013 Nissan Quest falls behind every other minivan on the market.
8.0
The Toyota Sienna has excellent power, safety, and seating, and only narrowly misses the class benchmarks in flexibility and gas mileage.
MSRP From     
N/A$30,620$19,995$28,675$25,990$26,585
Gas Mileage     
17 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas/Ethanol V6Gas V6Gas/Ethanol V6Gas V6Gas V6Gas V6
EPA Class     
2WD Minivan2WD Minivan2WD Minivan2WD Minivan2WD Minivans2WD Minivan
Style Name     
4-Door Wagon SEL Premium4-Door Wagon Touring4-Door Wagon SE5-Door LX4-Door S5-Door 7-Pass Van V6 L FWD (GS)
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront-Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
777777
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
MinivanPassenger VanPassenger VanPassenger Van4 Door MinivanMinivan
Transmission     
Automatic w/manual shiftAutomatic w/Manual ShiftAutomaticAutomaticContinuously variable ratioAutomatic