Volkswagen Routan

We can't even begin to explain how big a mess Chrysler was before Fiat came into the picture.

In 2009, it had just finished a disastrous partnership with Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler and was well on its way to bankruptcy. What better time to sneak in an ill-advised partnership with yet another German automaker just to bring some fresh misery down on everyone's heads?

If you bought a Routan within the past four years, you bought a Dodge Caravan or Chrysler Town & Country with an accent. That's just fine when you're looking for a durable soccer shuttle, but VW owners aren't paying a premium price just to have their seat backs covered in crayon doodles. In its first year, the Routan sold a disappointing 14,000 vehicles in the U.S.

By contrast, Jeep sells more Grand Cherokee models than that in a month. The Routan was slated to be produced for the U.S. market until 2014, but the average carbuyer hasn't been able to get their hands on one since 2012. They're only being sold as corporate vehicles, and only to get rid of the remnants of that Chrysler deal.

Volkswagen has made big strides in recent years, but its partnership with Chrysler wasn't among them. The Routan is just the leftover stuff accumulated from a bad breakup. It's time to toss it and move on.

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