All Routans come with a 3.6L V6 and a 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive.
Volkswagen aimed to make the Routan more exciting to drive than the typical minivan, giving it a "European-tuned" MacPherson front suspension and twist-beam rear axle suspension with crisp rack-and-pinion steering. When properly optioned, the Routan is capable of towing up to 3,500 pounds.
Inside, the Routan gets a clean, 2-tone appearance to the instrument panel, with materials and gauge faces that match the rest of VW's lineup and crisp white lighting on all gauges and dials. All models come with supportive bucket seats in front, but there are two possible configurations for the second row. The Routan S model has a reclining bench seat in the second row that can be removed when desired, while other models have two second-row captain's chairs. Both configurations feature a 60/40-split third-row bench that folds neatly into the floor to expand cargo space when it's not in use.
No matter what the trim, the Routan comes with standard features and conveniences aimed at busy families and passenger comfort, including a total of 13 cupholders and plenty of storage cubbies throughout for everything from childrens' toys to parents' smartphones.
The S model includes 3-zone air conditioning, cruise control, power windows and locks and a 6-speaker CD sound system. The SE adds a lot more of the luxuries most buyers will want, including heated front seats, power sliding doors and a garage door opener, while the SEL brings a host of desirable features such as a power sunroof, power tailgate, heated front and second-row seats, and rear side-window sunshades as well as a navigation system, 2nd and 3rd-row video screens and integrated iPod input. At the top of the range, a Premium package completely loads the Routan with features, including HID headlamps, fog lamps, remote start, rear parking assist, an optional rear entertainment system, a 506-watt sound system with CD/DVD changer and a 115-volt power outlet. A towing package is standard on SEL and Premium models.
Anti-lock braking, electronic stability control, front active head restraints and a bevy of front and side airbags are standard across the Routan range.