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    Thread: Purchased a new (old stock) 2010 Routan. Some thoughts...

    1. 07-14-2012 12:57 PM #1
      long story short, we needed 2 new vehicles. i got a Touareg and my wife got a Routan. Well, its both our cars, but you know.

      it's been while since i paid attention to cars. 10 years ago when i had my lovely e46 M3 i was more "into" vehicles. then, i grew up, had 2 kids, and now a minivan has entered my life. before that i had a nice Mercedes.

      i read thru a lot of posts here and it seems everyone bashes the Routan for being a Chrysler. good grief people. enough. those that get all bent on the matter need to just find a better cause. go save a whale or get mad at the state of our economy.

      here is the deal, and i have driven and owned plenty of high-end German vehicles to make this statement. the Routan is really nice! i test drove it before i knew it was a Chrysler and it drove very nice. tight. good suspension. very German. if i was biased going in then maybe i would nit pick. in hindsight, it still has a nice feel. now we own one and it is so comfy.

      Navigation is better than all of my cars...including the Tiguan's fickle system that i had for awhile. Garmin makes it. The 2 LCD TVs are way cool...better than Honda's idea of a thin split screen. Roomy. Soft supple leather. quiet. etc.

      so far so good. it is a very nice VEHICLE.

      ...I said VEHICLE

      i am not a badge buyer (well not always). we all are to some extent. but, i got 2010 loaded model for $9,000 off sticker and my bro-in-law paid $43k for a Honda. $13k less for the Routan and we compared the 2 vehicles. Both have pros and cons.

      in the end, the Routan is a nice ride. it serves its function and the looks are classic VW with the subtle changes in its lines. it drives wonderful and is very roomy.

      am i upset it is a Chrysler? why should i? my uncle paid $120,000 for a CHRYSLER MERCEDES!!! not 100% the same analogy, but that argument has some teeth. my Mercedes had Chrysler-USA-ish fit, finish, and feel in some ways.

      i dunno, i guess i thought i would share for those "adults" looking for advice here when choosing to buy a family vehicle.

      ***lastly, people overlook the fact that the Routan ranks #1 in safety from both major institutes. this is THE MOST important feature, not the cup holders or shift knob. my children are more important than a badge.

      2007 VW Touareg V8 with Air Suspension
      2010 VW Routan

      http://chrisbilodeauphotography.com

    2. 07-14-2012 03:13 PM #2
      I have to chime in with my 02.... After 3 Volvos we got the Routan due to some fatal flaws with the 10 year old XC90 offering. The Routan is functional and thats about it when compared to the Volvos, IMHO. The materials are lesser quality, the body fit and finish is meh, at best. I am not upset that it is a chrysler, I am not impressed though either.

      It is no worse than the three Jeeps that we owned and we have friends that own the VW dealer so we got an outstanding deal.

      The Routan will be around as long as it needs to, as soon as the middle little is out of car seats it will go, mind you that'll be 7 or so years. The new XC90 will debut in 2014, that will place us perfectly for a 1-2 year old (2017-18) CPO XC

      I am happy with the safety ratings!
      10' Routan SE, 28k
      09' Volvo S80
      98' Chevy K1500
      13' Ford Interceptor Utility

    3. Member VWroutanvanman's Avatar
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      07-14-2012 05:00 PM #3
      That 5-star crash rating that the C-D-R trio received is nothing to sneeze at. My wife and I were in a 50 mph head-on crash with our 2010 Dodge G Caravan (it was only 4 months old, and had less than 5k miles on it), which was totaled by the insurance company. It would have cost over $25,000 to repair it. The entire front end from the firewall foward needed to be replaced, including the frame rails and engine and trasmission, along with the hood and fenders. But surprisingly no glass broke, and because the frame rails bent where they were supposed to, and absorbed much of the impact, the seat belts and airbags did their job. We bought the Routan as a replacement for the Dodge, so we are big fans of the Chrysler vans. No word yet from VW (at least from the dealer) on wether the 2013s are a go.
      Last edited by VWroutanvanman; 07-14-2012 at 05:04 PM.

    4. Member Air_Cooled_Nut's Avatar
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      07-15-2012 07:36 PM #4
      I've never grown up and am brand conscious when it comes to vehicles. Having survived my childhood in an orange '72 air-cooled VW and a '60-something purple Ford pickup truck, safety rating validities are near the bottom of the checklist -- the safety star rating is meaningless: It doesn't test when a Fiat 500 goes head-to-head with a Lincoln Navigator (1 star...maybe). Vehicles nowadays have to go through a litany of safety regs so just about any vehicle will be much better than something considered a classic.

      Our Passat was basically too small for our family of four. My Jetta would be no better and my Squareback doesn't have heat (horsepower was more important than heat for me). I fitted our '76 VW Bus (camper) with a middle row seat so we could haul us and my folks. Plus with it removed we could haul even more crap if necessary. On the down side it had poor heat, no A/C, manual tranny (wife only knows automatics ), and lost more oil than the Exxon Valdez. Me and the kids loved it

      Wife kept looking at mini-vans. I couldn't understand what was wrong with the one we had. I sure as hell didn't want anything more modern! So I told her it had to be German otherwise I wasn't going to drive it. Ever. And she knew this was true. She knew my hatred of mini-vans was so strong that she though it was at a cellular level. Trooper that she is, she did all her comparisons (she is a server validation engineer so she's very qualified) and decided upon the Routan.

      Great, a car with American underpinnings, yuck. I don't like American cars. Just don't and won't apologize for it. The quality just isn't there and, frankly, most often neither are the looks. It was a small consolidation that VW did the proper German thing and firmed up the suspension and seating. The navigation is more like an Etch-a-Sketch in comparison to my 4G smart phone with Google Maps and Navigation but, I guess, should the day ever come where we're somewhere that doesn't have cell phone service it will come in handy.

      Now that we have it I can say it's better than I expected even given my low sights. It shifts way better than the Passat and it has good engine response & power. I secretly do like the low growl when I push the 'Go Fast' pedal down into the floorboard. The dual DVD players keep the kids enraptured and the hauling capacity - for people as well as the inorganics - is good, too. I wish it did have Stow-n-Go seating instead of me having to rig it myself at some later date. The CAN-BUS system is a PITA, particularly for those of us who still like to tinker and customize our rides beyond paint and wheels. I like the shifter on the dash as that was something I had thought (many years ago) that would be an interesting place to put one and maybe a more logical one for racing. The rear-view camera should be a requirement for all large vehicles and not an option -- it's help my wife and I on many occasions when parking downtown.

      As far as mini-vans go, it has broken the mold for me. Now I know when I see a mini-van plodding along in the left hand lane it's because the idiot behind the steering wheel is only an IQ point above a butterfly...and that they're probably looking at their off-spring in the back instead of the road ahead while texting their physical trainer and drinking a Super-Sized Diet Coke at the same time I'm fine with our mini-van, though it's not what I consider "mini". But I still don't like them and even though I'm using one doesn't mean I have to. It serves a purpose and keeps the family happy. I know when the kids have flown the nest the van will go (even my missus wants something sportier) and something mid-life crisis-ish will replace it before the parking spot in the garage goes cold.

      Last edited by Air_Cooled_Nut; 07-15-2012 at 07:44 PM.
      95 Jetta GL 2.0L, chipped, intake, exhaust, compression, cam, close-ratio w/Peloquin, etc.
      72 VW Squareback, rag top, 2.0L, parents original owners
      76 VW Riviera Bus, the family camper -- '13 Touareg Executive
      06 Ducati Sport Classic 1000...only motorcycles can feed the need for speed

    5. 07-15-2012 08:34 PM #5
      it is a very functional minivan. that is FOR SURE. it has retro German looks but by accident. it is a Chrysler. that said, it is nice on its own merits.

      That said, they should have removed the "Stow and Go" from the side. WAY BIG OVERSIGHT and a slap in the face in a vehicle that does no have it!
      2007 VW Touareg V8 with Air Suspension
      2010 VW Routan

      http://chrisbilodeauphotography.com

    6. 07-15-2012 10:04 PM #6
      oh, by the way, the Navigation is great and not cheap. Garmin system. Ferrari puts the same exact Nav system in their $250,000+ vehicles.
      2007 VW Touareg V8 with Air Suspension
      2010 VW Routan

      http://chrisbilodeauphotography.com

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      07-16-2012 06:03 PM #7
      Not sure if we're talking about the same navigation system here...I have the Chrysler 430N (RHB) and its absolutely terrible. The visuals are pretty bland, there's no voice navigation input and the Bluetooth UConnect module is absolutely terrible. It takes about a minute to get the car into Bluetooth discovery mode (very annoying when you constantly flash phone roms) and the voice recognition is the worse I've ever used.

      After using SYNC with MyFord Touch v2.0, everything else seems very primitive, including the Chrysler radios. Haven't used the latest Uconnect Touch 8.4N though, that looks really cool.

    8. 07-16-2012 11:19 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by tuanies View Post
      Not sure if we're talking about the same navigation system here...I have the Chrysler 430N (RHB) and its absolutely terrible. The visuals are pretty bland, there's no voice navigation input and the Bluetooth UConnect module is absolutely terrible. It takes about a minute to get the car into Bluetooth discovery mode (very annoying when you constantly flash phone roms) and the voice recognition is the worse I've ever used.

      After using SYNC with MyFord Touch v2.0, everything else seems very primitive, including the Chrysler radios. Haven't used the latest Uconnect Touch 8.4N though, that looks really cool.
      same as Ferrari.

      i had the newer "nice" VW Sat/Nav system in my Tiguan. replaced 3 times. locked up. junk.

      my 2007 Touareg has terrible Nav (old tech).

      the Routan has a nice Garmin system. Hard drive. Bluetooth. etc.

      ...sadly, i am going to buy a Garmin Nav to put in my $50,000+ Touareg WITH NAV!!!
      2007 VW Touareg V8 with Air Suspension
      2010 VW Routan

      http://chrisbilodeauphotography.com

    9. Member
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      07-17-2012 01:20 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by billydoo View Post
      same as Ferrari.

      i had the newer "nice" VW Sat/Nav system in my Tiguan. replaced 3 times. locked up. junk.

      my 2007 Touareg has terrible Nav (old tech).

      the Routan has a nice Garmin system. Hard drive. Bluetooth. etc.

      ...sadly, i am going to buy a Garmin Nav to put in my $50,000+ Touareg WITH NAV!!!
      The Navi on the early Routans (and Chryco branded vans) were not Garmin-based. That was a more recent MY upgrade. I thought it was introduced in MY 2011, but if you say 2010 I have no reason not to believe you. Not sure what software the earlier versions were based on, but it was one of the "drawbacks" listed in reviews and often complained about by owners.

      I agree with a lot of what has been said here, in terms of the Routan being functional and a better "value" compared to the Honda and Toyota for the features offered, etc. But I don't think people here are mad that's it's a Chrysler in the sense that they were duped or anything. I don't think mad is really the right word. But just complaining about it's un-Volkswagen-esque drivability. I think the "mad" comes in when Chrysler is used as an adjective. As in, those damn "Chrysler brakes" that cost $700 and are good for 6-12k miles. Or the "Chrysler transmission" that randomly (mostly when cold) clunks so hard it feels like you've been rear-ended. Or the "Chrysler 3.8L engine" that drinks more oil between oil changes than the entire oil capacity of the vehicle, which VW says is "normal" because it meets Chrysler's standards for normal. And as someone mentioned, the fit/finish is Chrysler quality and not VW.

      I think those lamenting the Chrysler Routan just wish VW had taken the time/effort of designing its own vehicle for the US market to replace the Eurovan, or chosen to build the Sharan or Touran (with a TDI) at one of VW's US plants to avoid chicken-tax issues so they could sell them here at competitive prices.

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      58 Ragtop Bug, 2005 Passat Wagon, 2010 Routan SEL
      07-17-2012 03:31 PM #10
      The 09-10 NAVi's are Harmon Becker (Harmon Kardon), 11+ are Garmin units. Unfortunately the Unofficial MyGig site is down and has been for a short while now. Reguardless of who programmed the GPS units ALL maps come from Navteq. Most like the 11+ Garmin units because of the qwerty keyboard, where as the older unis have a straight ABCDEF keyboard---that will tell you exactly what model you have. Some poeple hate the early nav's due to the input method, I'm mean that's really fickle over a stinking keypad whether its qwerty or not. I think the RER in our 2010 is the bomb, that's comparing it to a Garmin C340 or whatever the dashboard dingdong we had before that slid all over the place. Still that beat the iPad I saw hanging from some import kids Civic windshield, damn kid could barely see the road. I use my Samsung Galaxy S2 in my Passat--nothing holds a candle to that, free updates, can choose to use google maps or other NAV apps, and it goes with me everywhere.
      1958 VW Ragtop Bug
      2005 VW Passat Wagon
      2010 VW Routan SEL

      Be sure to check out the Original Routan Dead Pedal Click Here

    11. 07-19-2012 10:43 PM #11
      all i know is the NAV in my Touareg sucks!

      Chrysler, VW, Chrysler, VW. whatever. i have been doubting our purchase every so often and my bro-in-law just bought a $43K Honda Odyssey. i have 99% of what they have (minus xenons) and paid $13K less. that is a lot of money. so, in the end, what is the "better" van and who got the better deal? i think VW and me.
      2007 VW Touareg V8 with Air Suspension
      2010 VW Routan

      http://chrisbilodeauphotography.com

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