Following the styled-up Chrysler 200S and 300S sedans, the brand is back from the lab with its latest "S" model: the Town & Country S minivan. That's right, it's a minivan, so you can be sure it'll carry you and six more of your homies--or children--as you go from your 'hood--or neighborhood--to soccer practice and other phat activities like that.
The minivan hasn't been cool since Chrysler got rid of its optional "wood" paneling on its minivans in 1996. It's a transportation device for your ganga-gangsta family, for vacations and whatnot. Yet, Chrysler sees a niche of customers who aren't ready to move to more expensive, less fuel-efficient crossovers and still want a minivan, but hate the stigma. With a lineup of daringly styled vehicles, we shouldn't be surprised about Chrysler's attempt to rid itself of the minivan's dowdy stigma.
Who It's For
Who buys minivans? Families in their 40s and 50s, with a few kids and a need for hauling lots of stuff. Minivans used to be a staple of American life as much as wagons were before them and crossovers are now. Ye, minivans still sell in the hundreds of thousands every year, with Chrysler leading in the market between the Town & Country and the Dodge Grand Caravan.
With leather, a dual-screen Blu-Ray DVD system, and blacked-out accents throughout the Town & Country S, it's directed towards the upper end of the minivan segment. Chrysler didn't forget about Dre.
Much the same as all the rest of the Chrysler minivans made today, power comes from a 3.6-liter V-6 engine with 283 horsepower routed to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. Other features include:
- A revised, sportier suspension.
- Standard trailer sway control that's new for 2013.
- Piano black interior accents with leather and cloth combination seats.
- Four color choices: Brilliant Black, Deep Cherry Red, Stone White and Billet Silver.
What We Think
We're not sure it's possible to make a minivan cool. After a long list of "man vans" and "swagger wagons," this may be as close to that impossible goal as it gets.
Despite a declining market share, we doubt minivans will ever leave the auto market; sliding doors are functional. The boxy shape is practical. Minivans are still lighter and more aerodynamic than crossovers, and most still get better fuel economy than their nearest alternatives.
What Chrysler has done with the 2013 Town & Country S is take a decent, yet unloved, vehicle and inject some personality into it. Rather than think of the Duggars of the world, we'll keep to thinking that this minivan might just be for the Doggs, Snoop Doggs. There are worse ways for your family to roll than this van.
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