Senior photographer Brian Vance, who spends a lot of time in a photo locker, er, minivan, when one is in our long-term fleet, isn't impressed with the VW's brakes. "We went through a set of front discs on the Town & Country, and I won't be surprised to see that happen here with the T&C-based Routan. Minivans carry a lot of weight when loaded with passengers, and their front brakes need to be heavy duty; these don't seem to be." Binders not withstanding, Vance mostly likes the powertrain and overall packaging. "The 4.0-liter engine, though not refined (too thrashy), is plenty powerful, and the six-speed offers class-leading smoothness in its WOT shifts. It's a shame Chrysler wouldn't let VW use the Stow 'n Go, but at least the Routan retained the cavernous underfloor storage in front of the second-row seats."


2010 Volkswagen Routan
Months/miles in service 3/5734
Avg econ/CO2 17.6 mpg/1.10 lb/mi
Unresolved problems None
Maintenance cost $0
Normal-wear cost $0