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The Routan Survives

July 11, 2009

I sure didn’t see this coming.

The Volkswagen Routan is about as cynical a vehicle as they come. Beneath the massaged sheetmetal, it’s basically a rebadged Chrysler Town & Country. Same platform, same crappy engine.

Psst...its just a Town & Country's just a Town & Country

I wrote about the Routan a year ago, and my opinion still stands. Volkswagen had a chance to really shake things up with their Microbus concept, and instead they took the lazy way out and foisted this warmed over, uninspired box on the buying public.

And the buying public smelled a rat. Despite a Brooke Shields-heavy ad campaign, the Routan never lit up the sales charts, never posed a serious threat to the Honda Odyssey or even the Kia Sedona.

So when Chrysler entered bankruptcy, I figured the Routan was a goner.

Imagine my surprise, then, at the announcement that the cow in sheep’s clothing would live on.

Volkswagen must be pulling in some hefty margins. That’s the only explanation that springs to mind.

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