The Routan offers two different V6 engines, both strong enough to bring sprightly performance and adequate acceleration even when the van is fully loaded. Base S and better-equipped SE models come with a 197-horsepower, 3.8-liter V6, while luxurious SEL models get a more powerful 253-horsepower, 4.0-liter V6. All models get a 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. In addition to offering more power and torque, the larger, 4.0-liter engine is also more economical, with EPA fuel economy ratings of 17 mpg city, 25 highway--1 mpg better in the city and 2 mpg better on the highway than the 3.8-liter. The Routan promises to be more exciting to drive than the typical minivan, with a so-called "European tuned" MacPherson front suspension and twist-beam rear axle suspension with crisp rack-and-pinion steering. When properly optioned, the Routan is capable of towing up to 3,500 pounds. Inside, the Routan gets a clean, 2-tone appearance to the instrument panel, with materials and gauge faces that match the rest of VW's lineup and crisp white lighting on all gauges and dials. All models come with supportive bucket seats in front, but there are two possible configurations for the second row. The Routan S model has a reclining bench seat in the second row that can be removed when desired, while other models have two second-row captain's chairs. Both configurations feature a 60/40-split third-row bench that folds neatly into the floor to expand cargo space when it's not in use. No matter what the trim, the Routan comes with standard features and conveniences aimed at busy families and passenger comfort, including a total of 13 cupholders and plenty of storage cubbies throughout for everything from childrens' toys to parents' PDAs. The S model includes 3-zone air conditioning, cruise control, power windows and locks and a 6-speaker CD sound system. The SE adds a lot more of the luxuries most buyers will want, including heated front seats, power heated mirrors, power sliding doors, an alarm and a garage door opener, while the SEL brings a host of desirable features such as a power sunroof, power tailgate, heated front and second-row seats, and rear side-window sunshades. At the top of the range, a Premium package completely loads the Routan with features, including HID headlamps, fog lamps, remote start, rear parking assist, an optional rear entertainment system, a 506-watt sound system with CD/DVD changer and a 115-volt power outlet. A towing package is standard on SEL and Premium models. Top options include a touch-screen navigation system, which includes a 30-gigabyte hard drive and music storage and a rear DVD entertainment system with wireless headphones. Anti-lock braking, Electronic Stabilization, front active head restraints and a bevy of front and side airbags are standard across the Routan range.