By on June 10, 2010

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26 Comments on “2011 VW Sharan: Can We Kill The Routan Now?...”

  • avatar

    Unfortunately no. The Chrysler made Routan is probably much more reliable.

  • avatar

    I would buy this in a heartbeat if it was offered for sale in the US. VW driving dynamics in a body style that would actually work for my family and bring some coolness back to the minivan sector. (Nevermind the need for overpriced SUVs.)

    VW needs to shoot the Chrysler clone and bring over something real.

    • 0 avatar

      Given the extaordinary high cost of maintaining a Sharon;  I think the Routan would be a lot cheaper over a 10-year life.  But what VW REALLY needs is a version of the upcoming “Caravan R/T Man Van”  DOHC+6-speed standard with almost 300 HP and gas mileage as good as a 4.0 Routan (which is better gas mileage than any minivan OTHER than a Chrysler).  There may even be an MDS V8 version with an independant suspension & shock damping that rivels the new re-tuned Challenger R/T.  (Std 392HEMI– not the 512 CID V10 HEMI Challenger)   Imagine a Routan with Chryslers new “soft-touch” interior and a Ferrari or Masarati sourced V8 — I mean,  since they’re all the same company now!   YEOW!

  • avatar

    Brand sullying as the Routan is, have you seen sales of small minivans in North America? They’re in the tank.

    I’d like the Mazda5 to sell better, too, but it isn’t going to happen. The Routan’s problem isn’t so much that it’s a rebadged Town & Country, it’s that it’s an expensive Town & Country with no reliability record to boast of.

    VW hasn’t figured out that minivan buyers are essentially conservative and not very ego-driven; they’re who you associated “appliance” with most in all autodom. They’ll buy cheap if there’s value (hence the Caravan’s sales) and they’ll pay money for reliability. They will not spend money on a badge, not in quantity.

    The base model comes with a middle bench straight out of the Caravan SE and costs more than a Sienna. That’s stupid product planning.

    • 0 avatar

      I think you’re right. Your minivan stereotype describes me.

      I recently bought my 4th minivan (a used 09 Sedona) based upon value and guestimated quality. I’ve already had two Chrysler products and a lemon Honda, and I’m done with them (long stories, each).
      Toyota was overpriced, leaving Kia as the only viable option. I wouldn’t even consider GM or Ford, and they’re out of production anyway, along with Nissan. Oh, and I need 7 seats as standard, not optional.

      The VW rebadge was never a contender for me, since I know what it is – an overpriced Dodge. While I am a great fan of the ancient but durable OHV Dodge engine, it’s funny that a 20-year-old motor is now for sale under the VW name in the Routan.

      A true VW van (Sharan) will not help much in their quest for world domination, or sales of 1 million vehicles in the US. They may as well try selling full-size pickup trucks to Texans.

    • 0 avatar

      My Mom C4C’d a Windstar (complete heap of crap with only 48K miles on it) for a Jetta, then decided the Jetta was too small. So since she had a very good dealer experience buying the Jetta at our local VW dealer, she went back and bought a Routan. So I have a few points:

      1. I too think it is a pointless rebadge
      2. VW is selling them with crazy discounts, she got a mid-trim (SEL, I think?) fully loaded with everything (sunroof, power front seats, power doors, etc) but leather and power rear seats for something like $14K off, and they gave her a great trade-in on the Jetta. My understanding is that even at MSRP, the Routan is cheaper than a T&C, and includes equipment you can’t get on the Caravan.
      3. It’s the nicest driving minivan I have ever driven, and that includes the Honda. I know, damning with faint praise. But I have had pretty much every one on the market as a rental. VW definitely retuned the suspension from the Chrysler versions.
      4. The Mazda5 is just too small to be taken seriously – we looked at that too.

  • avatar

    Does VW have any plans to import the Sharan in North America?

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    I only saw two rows of seats. The Routan has 3.

  • avatar

    Will they offer a Westfalia camper model? I miss those.

    • 0 avatar

      Campers only are derived from the VW Multivan or Bus or Transporter. The Sharan is one class below and never was/ will be offered as a camper from the plant.

  • avatar

    The vehicle is okay, but the building is really cool. Does anybody know anything about the building?

  • avatar

    It would be interesting to know whether the Routan has made any money for VW. On one hand, virtually all Routan sales would have gone to another brand – nobody’s gonna cross-shop the Routan against a Passat wagon or Touareg – so all sales are “found money”. Measure that against the relatively small development costs for unique sheet metal & such, plus unique platform expenses for parts, diagnostics, training, etc… All told, did VWoA really make anything on this little venture?

    As for the Sharan in the US – are you kidding?

  • avatar

    The Routan was probably a cynical move on VWs part but a rational one given the needs of the NA market. I wouldn’t make so much fun of them if they weren’t running all these ads talking about what a “real” VW it is. It’s like if Pontiac had run loads of ads about what a REAL Pontiac the Vibe was.

  • avatar

    So I’m supposed to like this more than the Routan because the videographer can’t hold his camera steady? Does anyone have any Dramamine?

  • avatar

    The Routan can carry 7 VW loving hairdressers in comfort, along with their tools. Try that with the Sharan!

  • avatar

    If this comes with a turbo diesel it’s golden!

  • avatar

    The Routan must be real cheap now, my local PD uses them as urban patrol vehicles instead of the Chevy (sorry, Chevrolet) Venture’s and Ford Windstar/Freestar’s they use to have.

  • avatar

    The Sharan probably wouldn’t sell any better than the Crouton since it’s smaller and probably pricier but at least the ads wouldn’t be lying out of their @$$ when they call it “German engineering”.

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks, SV. From now on I’ll be referring to it as the Crouton as well. I saw a Hydrogen Touran last year on display here in Maine. Of course we’ll never see that either (along with the Sharan).

  • avatar

    I wonder if BS will chime in. I can’t believe that VW would approve this ad footage. They get the most washed out landscape they can find and then put a bland grey minivan in front of it? What were they thinking?
    You’d think it’d be a nice burgundy or rich wine colour or nice deep blue to give it contrast. All it screams now is “Look! Here’s a nice bland minivan. No excitement. No fun. No interest. Buy now!”

    Yeah, right.

  • avatar

    I’ll take a T5 Multivan with the 84-hp TDI (32 mpg ?), manual tranny please.

    If only because I can’t afford this one:

  • avatar

    The interior shots remind me of the “V-Ger” scenes from the first Star Trek movie.

    The white buildings and sterility of the outdoor shots are interesting – in a Leni Riefenstahl kind of way.

    I’d buy one if they made it a two-door, with the sliding doors for the driver and passenger.

  • avatar
    St. John

    Love the Routan. Great family comfort with outstanding handling. VW cost free service has been an added benny. My wife can run a load of kids around in style. I like the giddy up of the 4.0 V6 and the highway mpg is 25. After we took a test drive we knew it was better than the competition and J D Powers ranked it #1.

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