It's either sink or swim in the competitive minivan segment and Chrysler began taking on water in 2008. After dropping a less-than-appealing interior and making some other sheet metal tweaks last model year, it appears Chrysler's minivan entrant has become buoyant once again. The Town & Country is considered to be the luxury version when compared with its Dodge Grand Caravan sibling.
The latest Chrysler minivan is in the thick of competition but still plays second fiddle to the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. Luckily for the three, most manufacturers have abandoned the minivan segment leaving it wide open for the big three minivan makers to battle it out. Only minor tweaks have been made to the 2012 Chrysler Town & Country but in this case less is more.
Engine: 3.6-liter V-6
Transmission: six-speed automatic transmission
Models: Touring, Touring L, Limited
After going through some changes and tweaks for the 2011 model year the latest Town & Country receives only modest changes for 2012. Some improvements made for the 2012 model year feature leather seating and a rear-seat DVD player standard on all models. Blue interior lighting and a steering wheel with wood and leather are available on the Limited model and three new exterior colors make its debut for 2012.
The 2012 Chrysler Town & Country is offered in three models, Touring, Touring L, and Limited, and each offer features that are adequate in the minivan class. The Stow 'n Place roof rack system can hold excess equipment that wouldn't fit in the cabin and can also be removed when not in use. After the refresh in 2011 the 2012 Town & Country didn't experience any sheet metal changes.
New for 2012 the Town & Country comes standard with leather seats and a rear-seat DVD player on all models. A heated steering wheel makes driving in cold weather slightly more bearable, and second-row Stow 'n Go seating enables a surplus of cabin space to become a reality with the flip of a lever. Materials featured in the Town & Country are soft to the touch, and incorporate features like the much-touted Uconnect Media center. Featuring a touch screen that controls all media in the vehicle the Uconnect Media center also offers up-to-the-minute traffic conditions and fuel pricing with Sirius Travel Link. Uconnect can also be transformed into a hotspot for Internet access, allowing occupants to surf the Web while traveling.
Performance & Handling
The new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine powers the 2012 Town & Country delivering 283 horsepower, a best-in-class figure. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the Town & Country gets competitive fuel economy numbers and are boosted with fuel economizer mode is engaged. Driving confidence was a focal point for engineers when piecing the 2012 Town & Country together and it rides along on low-rolling resistance tires.
The 2012 Town & Country has more than 40 available safety features such as a rear-view back-up camera, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross path detection. Front seat-mounted and side-curtain airbags come standard for protection on all three rows of seating. A driver-side knee airbag, electronic stability control and brake assist all come standard as well. Optional on the Touring and a standard feature on the Touring-L and Limited are rain-sensitive windshield wipers, Smartbeam headlights, and a rear parking assist system.
EPA Fuel Economy
Touring: 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway
Touring L: 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway
Limited: 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway
- Seating configuration
- Pentastar engine
- Overall refinement
You Won't Like
- Poor handling
- Fuel economy
Keeping up in a competitive segment
If You Like This Vehicle
- Toyota Sienna
- Honda Odyssey
- Dodge Grand Caravan
- Kia Sedona