The floor beneath the second row has awesome storage bins where you can stash all of your kids' gear. However, the second row only has bottleholders in the door and cupholders at the back of the front row's center console. This isn't a good placement for kids because they won't be able to reach their drinks when they're buckled in. However, the front row has four cupholders within easy reach of the driver.
The third-row bench in my test Routan didn't have the power-folding feature, which meant I needed to flex some muscle to get the seats to fold into the floor. I had to tug on straps in the back of the third row to get the seats to collapse, and it wasn't easy. Leverage was key. Shorter people should be sure to try folding the third row before buying this minivan.
The available rear entertainment system ($2,000) was enough to make us forget about the cupholder problems. My kids didn't want to leave the minivan until they'd finished watching their movie, and it was hard for me to say no because they could watch it with their wireless headphones on while I listened to my new CD (yes, I still buy those) without interruption. Bliss. The Routan actually had two fold-down screens for the second and third rows, so we could decide who watched what where. The rear entertainment system was a little confusing at first, but it only took a little time to figure it out.
The seven-seater's storage was ample and flexible. However, the only thing I really missed in the Routan is the super-fancy center console I had in the Town & Country. The console had a sliding top that sent the cupholders back to the second row, making it easier for the kids to reach them.
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Galore
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Galore
The Routan has three sets of easy-to-access Latch anchors, with two sets in the second row and the third in the third row. Booster seats and forward-facing convertible seats fit great in the reclining seats in the second row. However, a rear-facing convertible and infant-safety seat could have fit problems because the second row doesn't slide forward and back.
All the seatbelts are easy to use, but you need to work with the third-row seat belts to get them to fit flush against your child's shoulder. You might need to employ the little seat belt clip that comes with your child's booster seat, which older kids will likely protest if they haven't been using that for a while.
The Routan has standard antilock brakes with brake assist, stability control, traction control, front-impact airbags and side curtain airbags for all three rows.
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