Shopping for a new Volkswagen Routan?
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STYLING | 7 out of 10
Think of it as a Volkswagen interpreted by Chrysler.
Car and Driver
overall shape is pure Dodge
attractive new front fascia
VW calls the Routan the "Volkswagen of minivans," and it wears its corporate identity clearly on its exterior. The attractive front end pairs a large VW logo with monochrome bumpers that give it more curb appeal than its platform-mates at Dodge or Chrysler, though the resemblance remains apparent.
Car and Driver says the Routan "still looks like a Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan from the outside," and the inside is "clearly a Chrysler dressed up in prettier Volkswagen materials." As Jalopnik puts it, "there's not much to connect it to its German heritage." Nevertheless, they call the Volkswagen-specific front-end "attractive." Despite the overall resemblance, Motor Trend points out that the only shared body panels between the "arguably more attractive" Routan and the Chrysler versions are the "side doors." Automotive.com says the Routan has a "boxy main body."
The interior is mostly successful, too, though the details aren't as refined as most "pure" Volkswagen vehicles, with some plastics coming up short. On the other hand, the instrument panel is easy to read, pleasingly styled, and attractive with a two-tone color scheme.
Cars.com notes "significant changes to the dashboard and door panels," and praises the improved materials and "low gloss, soft to the touch" styling of the upper dash, but doesn't like the plasticky silver elements or the blue backlighting and panel gaps. Edmunds similarly praises the "more upscale appearance," but slams the "chintzy switchgear."
Though the Routan doesn't fully capture Volkswagen's typical feel, it delivers enough style to make it an attractive option.