Posted: 11/16/07 11:41 AM
2008 Motor Trend COTY Contender: Chrysler Town and Country
Posted November 10 2007 05:00 AM by Mark Williams
Although the Dodge and Chrysler minivan models share 98 percent of their parts and features, the Chrysler Town & Country does offer a few unique differences. Only offered in front drive, the T&C comes in three trim levels (LX, Touring, and Limited): Each line comes with a different engine-LX gets the entry 175-horsepower, 3.3-liter V-6; the Touring gets the 197-horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6, and the top-level Limited gets the 251-horsepower, 4.0-liter V-6. As you might expect, the topline Limited gets slightly softer shock valving and smoother steering feel.
With a relatively stable number of sales (just over a million), competition is fierce. With Stow-n-Go getting a lot of attention during the last remodel, the New Chrysler is hoping to recreate some of that magic with its new Swivel-n-Go seating, where the second row seats swivel to face third-row passengers, with a small table popping out of the floor to create the segment's only factory-offered dinette. Functionally, the setup is awkward to configure (practically impossible to do while driving) and felt flimsy to some of our more burley testers, but much of the value of a feature like this is that no one else offers it.
Additionally, T&C buyers will be able to purchase two independently operable viewing screens to keep every child in the vehicle visually sedated. T&Cs can be bought with second row captain's chairs, with hideable Stow-n-Go, or with the new Swivel-n-Go setup. Among some of the more subtle details our judges liked were the electro-luminescent lighting, unique grille and body details, and the third-row seat that flops backward to act as a couch, perfect for lounging out of the back of the vehicle for tailgate parties.
In the end, this maxi mini is a good player, but it'll take a strong push at the finish to see this at the top of the list. But stranger things have happened.