Volkswagen Routan

A cousin of the Dodge Grand Caravan, the Volkswagen Routan minivan is jam-packed with clever storage solutions and convenient amenities.

Seating: As many as seven can ride in comfort. What makes Routan a natural for this list is its third-row seat that not only folds flat but that flips around to face rearward for maximum comfort for tailgating. The second-row captain’s seats recline and also fold flat, but when upright generous storage bins are available under the floor.

Cargo: With all seats in place there is 32.7 cubic feet of cargo room. Folding down both rear rows of seats expands cargo space to a whopping 144 cubic feet.

Convenience: There are 12-volt auxiliary power outlets throughout the vehicle.

Features: Regardless of trim level, the audio system has six speakers, a CD player and an auxiliary input jack. The S and SE are armed with a 197-horsepower 3.8-liter V-8. The top-of-the-line SEL uses a 253-horsepower 4-liter V-8. The SEL Premium Package ($5,200) increases the speaker count to nine, and adds power folding third-row seat, rear park assist and a 115-volt household outlet among other upgrades.

Price: From $25,200 for the Routan S to $39,250 for a fully loaded SEL.