Defying some predictions from the rumor mill, the Volkswagen Routan minivan is coming back for the 2011 model year.
Since it shares running gear with the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan, the 2011 Routan gets similar updates, starting with the upgraded powertrain. This year, the offering is a 3.8-liter Pentastar V-6, teamed up with a six-speed automatic. The Routan's 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque are delivered to the front wheels.
The usual front, side and curtain airbags are fitted, with anti-lock brakes and stability control.
The Routan's been praised as a higher-quality version of the Chrysler minivans, but with the improvements to those vans, we're eager to see photos of the Routan. (The 2009 model is pictured here.) VW promises they're coming soon--but in the meantime, pricing has also been revealed:
Routan S: $26,930
Standard features include manual sliding side doors, cruise control, ambient lighting, AM/FM/CD with auxiliary audio jack, power windows/locks/mirrors, and cloth seats. In this edition, the second and third-row seats fold, and the second row captain's chairs are removable. Again this year, the Routan omits Chrysler's Stow 'N Go fold-away seating system, but the storage tubs that would contain seats in the Chryslers are fitted to the Routan's floor.
Routan SE: $31,770
Adds power sliding side doors, a power driver seat, heated mirrors, 17-inch wheels, power-adjustable pedals, a CD changer and Bluetooth, front heated seats, and vinyl upholstery.
Routan SE w/ RSE: $33,790
Adds on a rearview camera, a touchscreen-driven audio system with satellite radio, hard-drive storage and a USB port. The RSE stands for "rear-seat entertainment"--which means twin LCD screens and a back-seat DVD entertainment system with gaming ports.
Routan SE w/RSE and Nav: $34,750
Incorporates a navigation system.
Routan SEL: $37,390
Tops off other editions with a standard sunroof, automatic climate control, navigation system, satellite radio, USB port and real-time traffic. There's no DVD system, but leather upholstery applies to the first two rows of seats, and the rear end gets a load-leveling suspension.
Routan SEL w/RSE: $39,390
Adds back in the DVD entertainment system.
Routan SEL Premium: $43,240
Comes with a premium sound system, a 115-volt power outlet, memory for the power-adjustable pedals, and dual front power seats