For those who need a vehicle that focuses on people-moving and little else, the 2012 Volkswagen Routan just might hit the mark. With improved fuel economy and responsiveness compared to the Chrysler platform on which it is based, this minivan offers a V6 that delivers plenty of performance.

Key Features

With a host of standard features and available upgrades, the 2012 Volkswagen Routan also provides one of the best powertrains available in its class – all for an affordable starting price. With the capability to hold seven passengers, as well as a third row that folds flat, this minivan provides space and convenience.

Changes for 2012

The SEL with the navigation package now includes push button start, keyless access and rain-sensing wipers. The SEL Premium adds Cross Path Detection and Blind Spot Monitoring to increase protection for both the driver and anyone who may be around.

What We Like

The V6 engine is a major benefit thanks to the added power boost, while still managing to provide a respectable fuel economy for a minivan. As added bonuses, the 2012 Volkswagen Routan also delivers an agile driving experience that is bolstered by equally responsive steering. The available features list is also long for an improved fit for personal needs. We also like the fact that this minivan also delivers a good safety rating in its class.

What Concerns Us

While overall a decent option in minivans, the 2012 Volkswagen Routan is lacking when it comes to the interior thanks to parts that look and feel downright cheap. The lack of folding second row seats also limits the available cargo space when compared with other models in the class. The third row seating is also best left for the kids unless you are only taking a short trip, as the comfort level and available room are somewhat lacking.

Available Models

There are four different models available for the 2012 Volkswagen Routan. Each uses the same 3.6-liter V6 engine that can be used with E85. This engine produces 283 horsepower @ 6,350 rpm, 260 lb-ft torque @ 4,400 rpm and delivers a fuel economy of 17/25 mpg city/highway.

Major Recalls

A major recall is available for the 2012 Volkswagen Routan due to improperly machined right rear bearing and hub assemblies. This could lessen the durability, increasing the potential for the wheel to separate.

Common Issues

There are several common complaints about the Routan, with most of them focusing on brake and electrical system issues and failures.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Volkswagen Routan and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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