Used 2014 Volkswagen Routan For Sale

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Customer Review Summary for 2014 Volkswagen Routan

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(1 Reviews)

A Big Square Box Full of Compromises

2014 Volkswagen Routan NashCarGuy - , 12/29/2014

This is not my first minivan, but it is the first one I've had in about ten years. They have changed. Nothing "mini" about them any more. I drove the Honda, the Toyota, and the Chryslers before deciding on the VW, and it fit my desired compromise between a car enthusiast and a professional Grandpa better than any of them. First, it is NOT a Volkswagen - not in any sense of the word. It doesn't have the fit, finish, handling, drivetrain or feeling of solidity we have come to expect from modern VW's. It is however, very different from the Chrysler and Dodge half-brothers. Handling is better, the seats are more European in form and fit (firmer, more supportive, more ... German). The interior "flash" is toned down more tastefully, and the VW badge somehow makes you feel like you haven't completely thrown in the towel. The seats and driving position are infinitely comfortable. The seating arrangement is convenient, but would be enhanced by the "Stow-Away" seating - NOT an option on the VW - ONLY available with Chrysler siblings (??) - what you get instead is an in-floor storage area - not really sure what it is good for - but worked to hide wife's Christmas presents - she had no idea it was there. DVD option has TWO bonuses. Yes, one can play non-blue-ray DVD's for the kiddies sitting in the back - HOWEVER, my favorite benefit is to play HiDef (164k, 24bit) Audio DVDs in the top player when I need to listen to something better. Even on stock speakers, the audio quality is MUCH better. Entertainment / Nav controls get four stars. Drivetrain? This is where it gets weird. I have no idea why a minivan - even fully loaded - even towing something has a nearly-300-horsepower (286 h.p.) engine in it. I would have preferred a 2.0 litre turbo four in the 180 range and some fuel economy enhancement, but that's what you get. Trouble is, it is mated to (what has to be) the industry's worst automatic transmission. At first I thought mine was defective - took it to Carmax, they took it back to Volkswagen, reprogrammed and returned to me it was worse. Occasionally "clunks" mechanically back into low, occasionally hangs in lower gears far too long, I did not dare to tow with this vehicle due to concerns with this transmission. So concerned I rented a Chrysler minivan from Hertz to see if it behaved the same way. Exhibited some of the same traits, but not as severely as mine - so back to dealer we go - so if it can be repaired or replaced. Hoping mine is the exception. Fuel economy averages 18-20 combined city/highway, 26 hwy (on gasoline - subtract 4-6 mpg on E-85) got better with replacement of stock air filter with K&N unit - but still nothing to write home about. Overall, pretty good for a vehicle this size but could be better. Saddest part of this vehicle, it's a step-child. Neither VW nor Chrysler seems interested in issues with vehicle, or customer satisfaction in this model or brand. Carmax service has been excellent, but they are not getting any support from either manufacturer. If I had it to do over again, I would probably buy the Honda Odyssey as a keeper, or the Kia (just use it up and throw it away when done.)

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