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QUALITY | 8 out of 10
Stow 'n Go and Swivel 'n Go second-row seats are unavailable in the Routan
cavernous in-floor storage
Car and Driver
plusher and more supportive bolstering
Standard features for all Routan minivans include an ingenious power-folding third-row seat, 144 cubic feet of storage with the seats stowed and removed, and sliding doors both left and right with windows that roll down. All trim levels offer a Volkswagen-tuned suspension that promises better handling than the Chrysler vehicles with which it shares a platform, a fact that's reflected in its stable on-road feel. Despite the "German tuned" suspension, the Routan feels more like a slightly more composed American minivan, with comfort at the fore. Seats are supportive and comfortable, with no complaints even on long trips.
Taking a look at the interior, the Routan's Chrysler roots begin to show, and not in a good way. Materials, switches, controls, and other details aren't quite what you'd expect from a Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna, much less a Volkswagen. The controls for the HVAC, for example, are a morass of illegible black plastic buttons and require more attention to adjust than they should.
Cars.com points out that the Routan's front seats have "more prominent side bolsters" than their American counterparts, and finds only "modest" legroom, though they note the seating room specs are identical to the Chrysler vehicles' for all three rows. Car and Driver loves the 13 cup holders and observes that "storage bins are as prevalent as tourists in Tijuana," but notes that like the Caravan and Town & Country, the Routan "lags behind the rest of the minivan pack in interior volume."
Because the Routan also lacks the seating features that Chrysler calls Stow ‘n Go and Swivel ‘n Go, the Routan gives up some of its utility and is tight on passenger space. On the flip side, as Automotive.com notes, since the seats don't stow into the underfloor storage bins, they're open for use all the time.
The Routan sacrifices some utility and passenger space, but delivers a composed and comfortable cabin.