The start of the Chrysler minivan craze was heralded by the 1985 Dodge Caravan and the Plymouth Voyager. Following the entry of the latter vehicles, the only new model was the Town & Country hosting a wood-plastic paneled cabin. The Town & Country was Chyrsler's minivan luxury offering until the discontinuation of the Plymouth Voyager after 2001. Now the Town & Country is preferred over the Grand Caravan by empty-nesters/retirees dominating the minivan market as families began coveting crossover utes.
Competing with Toyota and Honda, Chrysler remains a lead in the minivan segment. Formerly, the car maker took the lead with novelties like Stow-N-Go seating, Swivel-N-Go sating, and flat/fold rear seats in the third row of minivan offerings. Another common amenity is the offering of entertainment like a DVD player.
The Town & Country really needs an upgrade for 2011, and refreshments are scheduled. Alterations will include improvements to the sheet metal body, improved dynamics, interior enhancements, and the add-on of a Pentastar V-6 motor option. It will be interesting to see what the future of the minivan segment holds.
Engines: 3.3L V-6, 3.5L V-6, 4.0L V-6.
Transmissions: 6-speed automatic, 4-speed automatic
Models: LX, Touring, Limited
Fiat management promises a sheetmetal refresh and better interior materials, fit and finish for the 2011 Town & Country. What was supposed to be a facelift could be as substantial as Ford's 2010 update of its Fusion midsize sedan.
There are no sheetmetal changes to distinguish the 2010 Town & Country model from the '09. Compared with the competition, the Chrysler minivan has a very creased look.
Buyers have a choice of Stow ‘N Go or Swivel ‘N Go seats, in which the second row flips around to face the third row, with a plastic table between them for family card games.
Performance & Handling
The Town & Country's three transverse-mounted V-6s are a 3.3-liter pushrod rated a four-cylinder-like 175 horsepower, a 3.8-liter pushrod rated 197 horsepower and an SOHC 4.0-liter rated 251 horsepower. Their replacement engine for '11 is the DOHC Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 which is rated 280 horsepower in the new Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Among the Town & Country's more than 40 safety features are advanced multi-stage airbags, supplemental side curtain airbags, blind-spot monitoring, a rear cross-path accident avoidance system, ParkSense rear park assist, ParkView back up camera and electronic stability control.
EPA Fuel Economy
LX: 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway
Touring: 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway
Limited: 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway
- Seating flexibility
- Optional Sirius live TV
- 4.0-liter's six-speed automatic
You Won't Like
- Clumsy handling
- Interior plastics
- Fit and finish
- Crude, outdated V-6s
Competent in a shrinking segment
If You Like This Vehicle
- Toyota Sienna
- Honda Odyssey
- Kia Sedona
- Volkswagen Routan