Chicago 2008 Preview: 2009 Volkswagen Routan Minivan Unveiled

Volkswagen is going to officially unveil the 2009 Routan minivan at the Chicago Auto Show.

If parts of the Routan look familiar to you its because the minivan shares most of its structure with the recently introduced Chrysler and Dodge minivans. If you look closely pretty much everything between the A and D pillars is exactly the same as the Chrysler minivans. That leaves the front and rear of the minivan for VW’s distinct style.

The front fascia looks very similar to that of the upcoming Tiguan SUV and the rear looks similar to the Touareg and Golf.

Buyers have their choice between two engines, a 3.6L V6 with 197 hp and 230 lb-ft of torque and a 4.0L V6 that puts out 251 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque.

The 2009 Routan is expected to start below $25,000 when it is released later this year.

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European inspired design and driving dynamics highlight new minivan

CHICAGO – Volkswagen of America today unveiled the Routan, an all new seven-passenger minivan. It delivers the best of both worlds: a vehicle that combines European sensibilities in design, fit and finish, and handling characteristics with market relevant features and outstanding value.

The Routan is instantly recognizable as a member of the Volkswagen family, with its stylized front grille and exterior treatments. The interior enhancements create an environment that is visually pleasing, modern, and meticulously detailed. The high quality materials, beautiful textures and rich luxurious colors are combined with exacting tolerances and superb fit and finish. While pleasing and contemporary, the interior also follows the traditional Volkswagen design philosophy that form follows function.

Second row captain’s chairs offer an increased level of luxury and comfort while still providing the convenience of a traditional minivan, with over 32.7 cubic feet available behind the third row seats and a full 83 cubic feet is available behind the second row.

The Routan will come standard with a 3.8L V6, offering 197 hp and 230 lb. ft. of torque when combined with the standard six-speed automatic transmission. A 4.0L V6 will be available rated at 251 hp and 259 lb. ft. of torque. Routan features European tuned suspension and steering optimized for handling and improved driving dynamics. Standard all-season traction control and ESP, brings safety and security to the Routan.

The Routan comes with a host of unique features, including:

• Conversation Mirror
• Rear seat entertainment system with two 9 inch screens for second and third row, wireless headsets, and remote control
• Dual power sliding doors with power windows
• Touch screen navigation with twenty meg hard drive
• Power lift gate with flood lamp
• Thirteen cup holders

Volkswagen delivers a competitively priced entry into this high volume segment with prices starting below $25,000. The Routan will be built in an already existing facility in Windsor, Ontario.

With Routan, Volkswagen dealers add a vehicle that will provide additional, incremental growth in the market. A distinctly designed minivan at an attractive price point will broaden the brand portfolio, while providing a roomy alternative to existing Volkswagen owners.