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Review (2/2)

2011 Volkswagen Routan Offers Enhanced Features and New 3.6L Engine

Source: Volkswagen | Published: Wed Feb 09, 2011

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For the 2011 model, Garmin Navigation is available for SE, while Sirius Travel Link and integrated iPod interface are added to Routan SEL w/Navigation. Detailed information for weather, skiing, fuel, movies, and sports is available with the Sirius Travel Link subscription. Additional functional features include a new fuel optimization switch allowing the driver to select an ECO mode which adjusts shift patterns to increase fuel economy.

As in previous models, the 2011 Routan includes dual power sliding doors with power windows, power fold third row seating for extra storage room or "tailgating" function, and no less than thirteen cup holders.

Remote keyless entry with an available remote vehicle start system provides an extra level of comfort on a cold or hot day.

Chassis and Suspension

To give the Routan its refined European driving composure and handling, Volkswagen uses a rack-and-pinion steering system that provides increased road feel and enhanced response to the driver. Working in concert with the steering setup is a front suspension that gives the Routan its precision-tuned ride when traversing neighborhood corners, or taking long runs on the highway.

The S and SE models feature heavy duty rear shocks and coil-over springs that remain firm under heavy loads while keeping occupants comfortable even through bumps in the road. With the SEL and SEL Premium packages, the rear suspension is upgraded to a Nivomat self-leveling, ZF Sachs rear air suspension that provides the Routan with even greater towing and hauling credentials (3,500 lbs. towing capacity versus the standard 2,000 lbs). Four wheel disc brakes (vented front and solid rear discs) combine with an advanced Anti-lock Braking System for added control and stopping superiority.


Keeping occupants entertained is an easy task for the Routan, starting with an in-dash, MP3-compatible CD player with an AM/FM stereo, an auxiliary input for connecting other audio devices, and six speakers on the S model. The SE includes a 6-disc DVD changer and Bluetooth connectivity, which can be complemented with a comprehensive package that includes a large touch screen display, rearview camera, 30GB hard drive, USB connectivity for multimedia devices and drives, music and photo storage and playback, a second DVD player for the rear seating area, auxiliary A/V inputs, six speakers, wireless headphones, a pair of ceiling-mounted, 9-inch LCD screens, and a remote control.


For 2011, the Routan comes standard with a host of new safety features. Front-row seats now include standard side airbags and Routan drivers are now protected with a standard knee-airbag.

All seating positions have a three-point safety belt, with a pre-tensioner and height adjustment for the driver and front passenger. Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) are also included for quick and simple child seat additions. All rows now have newly designed head restraints for optimized safety.

Beyond its Anti-lock Braking System, the Routan also features Engine Braking Control (EBC) to help reduce speed when called upon, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), and Electronic Stability Control (ESC), which monitors feedback from a number of different sensors to ensure the Routan stays on course through most any driving situation that may arise.

Volkswagen Routan: Photo Gallery, Review (1/2) and Specifications

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