• May 8, 2008
Click above for high-res gallery of the Volkswagen Routan

The new Volkswagen Routan minivan hasn't even gone on sale yet and there is already an incentive on its hood. This one, however, is not your typical cash back deal. Instead, Volkswagen is working under the assumption that the people likely to actually purchase a Routan are those with kids to haul. As such, VW of America is teaming up with Upromise to provide buyers with $1,500 towards a higher education savings plan. Upromise is a company that works with retailers to provide cash back bonuses when one of their registered credit card is used for purchases. Those rebates can then be transferred to a 529 education savings plan. To be eligible for the college bonus, you have to pre-order the Chrysler-built Routan by the end of August and take delivery by the end of November.


[Source: Volkswagen]

PRESS RELEASE

PURCHASE VOLKSWAGEN'S ALL-NEW ROUTAN AND HELP FUND YOUR CHILD'S COLLEGE TUITION

HERNDON, VA.-Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced today a partnership with Upromise, the country's largest private source of college funding contributions, to provide $1,500 to customers who purchase or lease a new 2009 Routan for their child's future education savings.

"We know parents are concerned about saving for their kid's future. To help families tackle this challenge of saving for college, we're excited that we are able to partner with Upromise," said Tim Ellis, Vice President of Marketing, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "We're aware that the cost of college continues to rise exponentially, far outpacing inflation, and our hope is to help our customer's off-set that cost, while getting a great new vehicle."
Upromise members can get $1,500 in college savings when they pre-order a Routan by August 31, 2008 and take delivery by November 30, 2008. To do so, members should log on to www.upromise.com/vw, print their unique Upromise VW Savings Code, and present it to their preferred Volkswagen dealer at the time the pre-order deposit is made. Anyone can join Upromise at no charge simply by visiting www.upromise.com. Signing up is fast, simple and completely free.

The Routan, Volkswagen's all-new seven-passenger minivan, delivers families the best of both worlds: a vehicle that combines German 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 Routan's interior also follows the traditional Volkswagen design philosophy that form follows function. The Routan comes with a host of functional features, including: conversation mirror, rear seat entertainment system with two nine inch screens for second and third row, touch screen navigation with 30 GB JoyBox™ Multi-Media Entertainment system, dual power sliding doors with power windows, power fold third row seating for extra storage room, and no less than thirteen cup holders.

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 also 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 will have starting prices of $24,700 for the S Model, $29,600 for the SE Model, $33,200 for the SEL Model and $38,400 for the SEL Model equipped with a Premium Package. A distinctly designed minivan at an attractive price point will broaden the brand portfolio, while providing a roomy alternative to existing Volkswagen owners. The Routan is expected to be available at dealers in September 2008. For more information about the Routan, please visit www.vw.com/routan.

About Upromise
Launched in April 2001, today Upromise is the largest private source of college funding contributions in America, with more than 8.5 million members and $425 million in member rewards. Membership is free and can help families save money for college while making everyday purchases of products and services at more than 21,000 grocery and drug stores, 14,000 gas stations, 8,000 restaurants, as well as thousands of retail stores, and more than 575 online shopping sites. Upromise partners include Citi®, ExxonMobil Corporation, Bed Bath & Beyond®, McDonald's®, JCPenney.com, LandsEnd.com, Sears.com, and hundreds of others. Upromise also makes it easy for families to start their own college savings strategy through tax-advantaged 529 college savings plans offered through Upromise Investments, Inc. or by using Upromise contributions to help pay down eligible student loans. Upromise is a wholly owned subsidiary of SLM Corporation (NYSE: SLM), commonly known as Sallie Mae, the nation's leading provider of saving-and-paying-for-college programs. Upromise is headquartered in Newton, Mass., and has more than 350 employees. For additional information, visit www.Upromise.com.

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Volkswagen of America, Inc. recently announced Electronic Stability Program (ESP) as standard equipment on all its 2009 vehicles. As a result, Volkswagen is one of the only original equipment manufacturers to offer an electronic stability control system on their entire product line – ahead of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) deadline requiring vehicles in the 2012 model year to include stability control systems. Volkswagen's ESP technology works in conjunction with anti-lock brakes and helps reduce loss of control and rollovers to avoid crashes. NHTSA predicts nearly 10,000 lives could be saved each year if automakers included stability systems as standard equipment.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Rabbit, New Beetle, New Beetle convertible, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, GLI, Passat, Passat wagon, Eos, and Touareg through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at vw.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      VW Routan?

      A rebadged Chrysler?

      That will certainly help VW's reliability ratings.

      Add some VW pricing to an already overpriced Chrysler product. Who'd have thought?

      They (VW) really couldn't have brought anything original over? Or at least make it a diesel or hybrid or something?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge has always rated higher than VW in reliability, especially electronics, but in pretty much everything else.
      • 6 Years Ago
      While I think the idea of the Routan is somewhat silly, I think it actually does look a lot better than its Chrysler variants, and for that reason alone I'd rather own it than the other pair.
      And this type of marketing is kinda cool, so I guess it works.

      I think the bigger question is... Does ANYONE still want a minivan, anyway?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Does anyone still want a minivan? Heck yeah I do (25/Male)! Honestly, if I had 4+ kids, I wouldn't want a Suburban or Highlander (silly backrow) or Pilot (silly backrow). I would do the Acadia/Enclave/Traverse, but the minivan is better.

        Why? Well, I like the styling of them (except the Chrysler products), and this VW face works really well on vans. Looks better than brick-like SUV's.

        Also, they are way more useful. Easier access to seats with sliding doors, seats that fold into the floor, better fuel mileage, more useful features (lots of cupholders, kid entertainment, storage, waaay more storage). Minivans have more interior volume than even the excellent GM triplets. They are just more practical and beautiful. That is why I like them.

        Also, when VW has their own van someday, I would love to see them put a variant of their 2.0 diesel in there. A 170hp/260tq 2.2L 4 banger would be sweet, returning well over 20 mpg city...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Okay, point taken,
        but who really has 4+ kids anymore?

        I'd rather stop at 2 and take a Jetta SportWagen TDI, if I just couldn't resist the "soccer mom" urge, but that's just me.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Typically public schools do offer honors programs, or programs that challenge those that are willing to go to the extra mile. IMO parents ARE a huge part of the equation reinforcing what their kids are picking up from our educational institutions.

      Even if your kid attends some of the best institutions, it doesn't promise anything.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yeah because spending money on new cars is a far better investment than spending it on your children's education.

      Then again that is why more kids are in public school instead of a private one where they might really shine. Cars are more important than kids in far too many houses.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "...that is why more kids are in public school instead of a private one where they might really shine"

        Private schools are statistically proven to be no better than public schools academically. http://www.ewa.org/library/docs/privatevspublics.pdf is but a single example. And there are many public institutions rated far higher than private ones.

        From what I've found having many friends who went to private schools and universities, plus having raised three kids and knowing parents who send their kids to private schools and universities, the primary factor in deciding the private versus public decision is how bad you fear those different than yourself. It's the best kept secret in education. Sure there are always exceptions, and sure we wrap it up with all these falsehoods about how Billy will get a better education here, or Betty will be in a more nourishing environment there, but when the rubber hits the road the dark secret is that it's almost always a question of who you want your kids hanging out with.

        I can easily afford to send all of my kids to private school, and unfortunately many in my neighborhood do, but I feel my kids will be far more rounded, have a more diverse viewpoint and overall make better, more productive adults by NOT going to private school. Don't mean to rant, I just run into that skewed private school perspective far too often and it tends to get under my skin.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Obvious Allen you just don't get it.

        Its about priorities. Instead of wasting money on the new car they can put it towards their children's future. Yet most won't. worse some will be cry baby pee pant logic like you and claim it still costs more to go to private school and as such they couldn't afford it anyway - without acknowledging all the other non-essential expenditures wasted monthly.

        $25K with no down payment plus tax and fees comes over $500 a month. So it only gets sillier. Throw in the added costs of higher insurance for a new vehicle.

        One of the best people I know drives for UPS, she is a regular delivery driver. She jokes that her and her husbands new cars are actually their children because they drive five or six year old cars while putting three through PRIVATE SCHOOL. (fwiw, both are drivers for the ups)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Cry baby pee pants logic? Are you f-ing serious?

        Is this guy serious?

        I really can't believe I just read that in an adult discussion. And I think you're missing the point. You don't just instantly have a decision whether your kids are going to public school or private school. Many areas (like mine) don't even have anything else. A lot of people just go to "school."

        I will agree that many people might have their priorities mixed up... but I don't think private school has any need to be any high priority. And I don't see any reason why it should be.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "when the rubber hits the road the dark secret is that it's almost always a question of who you want your kids hanging out with."

      100% true. People want thier kids around other kids with a focus on learning. You make it sound negative. I would much rather my children around focused dedicated students with involved parents that take education seriously. I know this also exists in Public School but you also get those that are only there because the law says they have to be. Not all private schools are better than all public schools but the difference is one can "shop" and select one that is better than the public school. If the local public school is better than a smart parent would choose that option. Its the same as choosing an Honda vs a Toyota. Not all all Toyota's are better than all Honda's but some are.
      • 6 Years Ago
      My kids have gone to public and private schools. The general rule is most private schools are better than most public schools - but not always. Just like most Japanese cars are more realiable than most American cars which are more reliable than most European cars - but not always. There are always exceptions.

      In all my conversations with other parents not having their kids 'hang out' with someone different than them has never come up. Of course your mileage may very. This weekend were having the parents and child of one of his classmates over since the children have become good friends. They are hispanic and we're not. I can only speak for ourselves but it is not an issue for us.

      And yes the VW vans are nicer styled than the Chrysler twins. Hopefully this is the beginning of some good collaborations between the two. Maybe will get a car with VW styling, interiors and diesel engines, Chrysler electronics and nifty interior features.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I must say, It looks less deformed than the dodge variants.
      • 6 Years Ago
      How about VW keeping the college fund and invest in putting something better than a solid or torsion beam rear suspension on this? VWs selection of this vehicle for their minivan has cost them a lot of respect from this reader. It looks good, but an archaic lousy suspension can't be hidden.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Good way to buy an authentic Chrysler while feeling "German-engineered".

      That 197hp 3.8L V6 is a true gem I tell ya!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Then maybe you would rather have the 4.0 v6 - 251 hp and 259 ft. lb. of torque with the 6 speed tranny? The 4.0 is whole generation newer than the 3.8. The 3.8 is just fine for a minivan. It ain't flashy but it gets the job done. It and the 4.0 will be replaced in about a year with the Phoenix.
      • 6 Years Ago
      My son's 529 is one reason I'm not driving a shiny new car.

      I expect he keep me out of a nursing home when I'm senile.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Roth IRA may be a better way to save for college tuition. Plus, unless you're able to put a ton of money into one of these savings plans, they can hurt your eligibility for outright grants when college's assess your ability to pay.
      http://familyfinances.suite101.com/article.cfm/roth_ira_for_college_savings
      • 6 Years Ago
      Take a good look at this minivan and the Mitsubishi Raider guys because that's exactly what the next Titan is going to be, a Ram with a makeover.
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