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Volkswagen Routan (2008): first official pictures

Thu, 07 Feb 2008

By Ben Pulman

First Official Pictures

07 February 2008 14:38

Volkswagen’s Routan minivan is here, with European-inspired style for the US masses. Based on a Chrysler Grand Voyager the Routan is over five metres long and will use the American car’s engines.

In standard form the Routan will be powered by a 3.8-litre 194bhp V6, mated to a six speed automatic ‘box. If you want more grunt then there’s a 4.0-litre V6 with 248bhp and 259lb ft.

But while the engines are American asthmatics, Volkswagen is claiming the suspension is European-tuned. Quite how far such purported tweaks will go towards correcting the woeful driving experience of the Grand Voyager remains to be seen.

What is definitely American is the cupholder count. Volkswagen is claiming a frankly ludicrous 13, and all for less than $25,000 (sub-£13,000). And for such a paltry amount of cash you also get ESP, dual sliding electric doors and an electric tailgate, and touch-screen sat-nav. To keep the kids happy there are two nine-inch headrest-mounted screens, and to keep an eye on the kids there's a conversation mirror.

By Ben Pulman