2012 Volkswagen Routan vs. Its Competition

2012 Volkswagen Routan
Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director

The Routan's a large minivan with seating for seven--in other words, it's in the thick of the four-way battle for minivan sales between Chrysler, Honda, Toyota and Nissan.

Chrysler's minivans are nearly identical to the Routan, but they offer fold-away second-row seats that strike us as more flexible than the Routan's removeable second-row captain's chairs.

In that sense the Routan's more like the Odyssey and Sienna, which have better handling but most often, higher pricetags, and their second-row seats slide but do not fold into the floor.

At the bottom of the pile is the latest Quest, which has less interior space and lower gas mileage than almost every minivan on the market, and a less flexible interior.

2012 Volkswagen Routan2012 Volkswagen Routan
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2012 Chrysler Town & Country2012 Chrysler Town & Country
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2012 Dodge Grand Caravan2012 Dodge Grand Caravan
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2012 Honda Odyssey 5dr EX Angular Front Exterior View2012 Honda Odyssey
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2012 Nissan Quest2012 Nissan Quest
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2012 Toyota Sienna2012 Toyota Sienna
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Quick Specs
The Volkswagen Routan isn't very different from the Chrysler minivans--and that means top safety performance and features, with a little less than best-in-class flexibility.
The 2012 Chrysler Town & Country isn't substantially different from the Dodge Grand Caravan, but it's fully equipped and a significant bargain compared to well-equipped minivans from Japan.
With its worst penalty-box trim neatly excised, the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan is a high-functioning box on wheels.
The 2012 Honda Odyssey is the priciest of the minivans, but innovative seating and excellent handling set it apart from all the rest.
It's less spacious and less flexible than before, but the 2012 Nissan Quest drives better than other minivans.
It's not as flexible as some minivans, but the 2012 Toyota Sienna is large, safe, and still has options for four-cylinder power and all-wheel drive.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
17 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy
Gas/Ethanol V6Gas/Ethanol V6Gas/Ethanol V6Gas V6Gas V6Gas I4
EPA Class     
2WD Minivan2WD Minivan2WD Minivan2WD Minivan2WD Minivans2WD Minivan
Style Name     
4-Door Wagon S4-Door Wagon Touring4-Door Wagon American Value Pkg5-Door LX4-Door S5-Door 7-Pass Van I4 FWD (GS)
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Minivan4 DoorPassenger Van4 Door4 Door Minivan5 Door Reg WB
Automatic w/manual shiftAutomaticAutomaticAutomaticContinuously variable ratioAutomatic
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Volkswagen Routan vs. 2012 Chrysler Town & Country2012 Volkswagen Routan vs. 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan2012 Volkswagen Routan vs. 2012 Honda Odyssey2012 Volkswagen Routan vs. 2012 Nissan Quest2012 Volkswagen Routan vs. 2012 Toyota Sienna