Minivans are considered the ideal form of family transportation. Capable of hauling up to 7 people and/or hauling down tons of luggage, this vehicle is the choice for most families. As this is a very competitive segment, most companies unleash a lot on the table in order to be called the best. Does Chrysler have what it takes to compete in the minivan market in this current age? Their answer lies in its latest offering: the 2011 Chrysler Town and Country.
Exterior & Interior
In 2011 (just like most cars in the Chrysler lineup) the Town and Country received a thorough makeover. Many portions of this vehicle have been either revised or upgraded, in hopes of remaining competitive. While minivans arenâ€™t exactly the type of car that youâ€™ll expect to attract attention at auto shows, this van has styling that turns heads. Most of the trim, as the wheels have been redesigned, giving it a fresher, more elegant look. The changes are not limited to the exterior, though.
The interior has also been redesigned to be versatile and more family-friendly. This minivan is capable of providing seating for up to 7 people using its 3 rows of seats. The second and third row seats can be folded to provide maximum cargo space if needed. In addition, it has a comprehensive entertainment system. In addition, optional screens for the second and third rows, satellite radio, sockets, and a uConnect system (which allows for WiFi access inside the car) are additional features that are sure to make a great experience for all passengers.
As for cargo, it has ample luggage space. With all the seats in use, the storage space is tabbed at 33 cubic feet. However, with middle and rear rows folded, space is increased at 143 cubic feet. And if thatâ€™s not enough, there is a deep center console on the front, and some bins and cubbies located on the floor.
A few changes for the Town and Country have also been made to its engine. Both engine and transmission have been revised for 2011. Giving the push for this car is a 3.6 liter V6 engine that is capable of producing up to 283 horsepower. This allows this van to gain the best power-to-weight ratio in its class. This motor is matched with an all new 6 speed automatic gearbox that gives better performance than its previous iteration. The suspension has also been adjusted. And while this cannot turn quicker than other vans in its class, it is now sharper while maintaining that requisite comfort and composure when just cruising.
Other minivans available that may be compared to the Town & Country include the Nissan Quest (MSRP $27,750; 19 city / 24 hwy), Toyota Sienna (MSRP $25,060; 19 city / 24 hwy), Volkswagen Routan (MSRP $27,020; 17 city / 25 hwy), and the Honda Odyssey (MSRP $28,225; 18 city / 27 hwy).
Pros & Cons
Feedback for the new Town and Country are mixed, but most like the fact that it is an upgrade from the previous model. The changes made are surely appreciated in just about every department.
One, the exterior styling is cooler. Two, the interior is built with better quality and versatility, with a family friendly entertainment system to boot. And three, the driving experience, from the engineâ€™s strength to the suspensionâ€™s responsiveness, are now going to evoke better memories. On the downside, some people still observe that the mechanics still has the tendency to operate rather creakily, and that the optional second row captain seats has no foldaway function, which robs a lot from its versatility.
All in all, the 2011 Chrysler Town and Country is a great car. It may not be the best in some aspects, but it is a well rounded performer that is sure to give a full sized family a good ride.
What others say:
â€œChrysler is betting that a more refined look inside and out will help the T&C's luxury message reverberate with minivan shoppers faced with new vans from Honda, Toyota and Nissan.â€Car Connection
â€œThe steering is light on center but has a pleasantly substantial feel as it is turned farther to either direction.â€Consumer Guide
â€œThe ride is very comfortable and settled, and passengers will find a quiet, well-equipped cabin that offers considerable versatility. Fuel economy is unimpressive.â€MSN Auto-ConsumerReports
â€œThe Chrysler Town & Country gets a host of mechanical, styling and interior improvements for 2011, but it still trails the competition in terms of refinement.â€Edmunds
â€œIf you're not willing to give up style and pampering for the sake of utility and necessity, the 2011 Chrysler Town & Country's impressive list of standard and available luxury features will likely put your mind at ease.â€KBB
|Vehicle Type: Minvan||Base Price: $30,260.00|
|Fuel Tank Capacity: 20 gallons (75.7 liters)||MPG: 17 city / 25 hwy|
|Length: 202.8 in. (515 cm)||Width: 78.7 in. (199.9 cm)|
|Height: 67.9 in. (172 cm)||Wheel Base: 121.2 in. (307.8 cm)|
|Curb Weight: 4510 lbs (2045 kg)||Ground Clearance: 5.6 in. (14.2 cm)|
|Luggage Capacity: 33.0 cu ft||Maximum Seating: 7 people|
|Engine: 24-valve DOHC V6||Displacement: 3.6 liter|
|Horsepower: 283 HP||Max RPM: 6350 RPM|
|Torque: 260 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm||Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic|
|0-60 mph: NA||Max Towing Capacity: 3500 lbs (1587 kgs)|
|Option:T & C Touring L||MSRP: $32,660; MPG: 17 city / 25 hwy|
|Option:T & C Limited||MSRP: $39,825; MPG: 17 city / 25 hwy|