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2009 Volkswagen Routan Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2009 Volkswagen Routan was new.


Interior: 7.8

Volkswagen redressed the Routan's interior with mixed results. The Routan doesn't feature the trademark Stow-n-Go (second and third-row seats that fold flat into the floor) and Swivel-n-Go (second row seats that rotate to face the third row, with a removable table between the rows) seating that Chrysler is known for, but VW definitely dipped into their parts bin.

  • "VW established a signature look for the Routan's spacious cabin, retaining the Chrysler gauges, primary electrical components, supplemental switchgear, heating and ventilation elements and the various cupholders, bins and under-floor storage areas, but recasting everything else -- from the dash to the door panels to the carpet -- in a more upscale manner." -- Kelley Blue Book


Volkswagen decided to forgo the flexible Stow-n-Go and Swivel-n-Go seats that are available in the Grand Caravan and the Town & Country. Rather, they chose to focus on making the seats more comfortable and a better match for the Routan's firmer ride.

  • "No Stow-n-Go or Swivel-n-Go seats here, but the Routan's individual first- and second-row perches do offer plusher and more supportive bolstering, whether covered in cloth on S and SE versions or leather-bound in the primo SEL. While the flip/flop/foldaway third row is Chrysler carryover, even it gets a Teutonic retrim." -- Motor Trend
  • "While somewhat firmer than their Chrysler counterparts, Volkswagen upgraded both the first- and second-row individual seats in the Routan, adding more aggressive and supportive bolstering to complement the vehicle's sportier suspension tuning." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "We actually don't mind the absence of any of these things, mainly because we view them as dubious in value. Stow 'n' Go is handy, but the resulting seats are very thinly padded and uncomfortable. Swivel 'n' Go is nice if you like to get carsick, but if you ever have to remove them for extra cargo room, the seats weigh in at 90 pounds each." -- MyRide

Interior Features

The interior of the Routan is mix of Chrysler and Volkswagen. Reviewers appreciate the VW touches but lament the Chrysler influence.

  • "Certain embarrassing features, such as the T&C's wobbly front-row console and flimsy shift lever, carry over, but those touches are thankfully few and far between." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Inside, the Routan looks rich and feels solid but is clearly a Chrysler dressed up in prettier Volkswagen materials. Although the overall design is more thoughtful, the buttons and switches are all Chrysler, and the domestics' innovative but remarkably cheap-feeling center console remains, ready to be yanked out and tossed from the vehicle at a moment's notice. The shifter feels as though the odds of its finding drive or snapping off in your hand are dead even." -- Car and Driver
  • "There's no disguising the Routan's modern roots: a non-Germanic vehicle made for people comfortable living inside a box. If you can't see the problem, blinded as you are by the steering wheel's big-ass logo, you can feel it. The switchgear and cabinetry respond with Chrysler-esque imprecision." -- The Truth About Cars


Despite the absence of Stow-n-Go seating, the VW Routan is considered to be flexible vehicle with ample cargo room.

  • "The ... interior is pretty good and keeps what we did like about the Dodge Grand Caravan interior: flexibility and usefulness. There are lots of storage spaces, plenty of cargo space behind the third row, and all the seating positions are comfortable and easy to access." -- MyRide
  • "Also lacking: Chrysler's oh-so clever Stow-n-Go seating. Jumbo cargo schleppers will have to remove the Routan's mid seats and leave them somewhere. On the flip side (get it?), the Routan's second row seats are considerably more comfortable than Chrysler's origami ones. If you're going to be carting more humans than old armoires, the Routan is the way to go." -- The Truth About Cars

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