2009 Volkswagen Routan

After a multiyear hiatus, Volkswagen is back in the van game with its all-new Routan seven-passenger minivan -- a vehicle the value-conscious German automaker has based around European standards in design, handling, and build-quality.

The result is all very German Town & Country, which shouldn't be surprising, considering the Routan also is based on Chrysler's premier people-mover. In fact, the VW Routan will even be built at the same Windsor, Ontario, plant as its Chrysler cousins. Not to say, of course, that Volkswagen hasn't done its best to add some Wolfsburgesque touches to the quintessential American minivan. The front end of the Routan is unmistakably VW, with a grille and front fascia that could come from no other automotive family. Other distinctly Volkswagen elements include the headlamps, taillamps, and side mirrors. Mask up the front and remove a few lights, however, and what you're left with -- at least on the outside -- is pure T&C.