2014 Chrysler Town & Country

One of the longest-running models in the minivan segment, Chrysler's Town & Country offers a long list of standard luxury features in addition to a capacious, versatile and innovative interior. Though a dated platform means its driving manners aren't as refined as those of some competitors, the Town & Country does feature class-leading power courtesy of a gutsy "Pentastar" V6.

Recent Changes
For the latest model year, the Town & Country gains a new 30th Anniversary Edition with a range of extras inside and out.

Overview
The current Town & Country has been on the market since 2007, but a comprehensive refresh introduced three years back keeps the minivan from looking its age. Outside, a streamlined front fascia with elegant chrome trim imparts a touch of class, while the changes Chrysler applied to the interior - including a simpler dashboard design and strategically placed soft-touch materials - create an upscale feel.

The versatile cabin continues to be highlighted by Chrysler's clever Stow 'n Go feature. Standard on the second row seats and available as an option for the third row, Stow 'n Go allows the seats to be easily folded into the floor, creating a flat loading space for cargo. Also standard are third-row "tailgate seats," which flip backwards to create a rear-facing bench.

Seven passenger seating is the default configuration, while the second-row captain's chairs can be swapped out for a bench seat to create room for eight.

Cargo space is rated at 33 cubic inches behind the third row seats; with the second and third rows folded, a substantial 143.8 cubic feet of cargo room becomes available.

Best-In-Class Power
The Town & Country is available exclusively with Chrysler's 3.6-liter "Pentastar" V6, which boasts a healthy 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The engine sends power to the front wheels via six-speed automatic transmission and returns EPA-estimated fuel economy of 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

Although an option in years past, all-wheel-drive is no longer available on the Town & Country.

Trim Level Breakdown
The Town & Country is available in three trim levels (Touring, Touring L and Limited), each offering a large amount of standard luxury features.

The Touring is fitted as standard with leather upholstery, a rear-seat DVD player, triple-zone automatic climate control, power sliding doors and liftgate, power front seats, a Uconnect Media center with six speakers and a USB input jack, Sirius Satellite Radio, a rear backup camera and 17-inch aluminum wheels.

To those features, the Touring L adds remote start, chrome exterior mirrors with supplemental signals, automatic headlamps, second and third row window sun shades, a security alarm, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and the SafetyTec package, which is highlighted by Rear Cross Path and Blind-spot Monitoring systems.

The top-spec Limited trim brings a navigation system with real-time traffic updates, heated 1st and 2nd row seats, a heated steering wheel, a premium 506-watt sound system, luxury Nappa leather-trimmed seats, HID headlamps, dual rear DVD screens, a keyless enter 'n go system and a Super Console storage system.

Chrysler recently added an industry-exclusive Blu-Ray dual-screen DVD system as an option.

"S" model
Looking to add some attitude to the Town & Country minivan, Chrysler recently extended its blacked-out "S" treatment to the people hauler.

Similar to Chrysler's existing S-badged 200 and 300 sedans, the Town and Country S is characterized by boatloads of sinister black trim. The grille, badges and headlights surrounds are all rendered in black, and black-trimmed 17-inch wheels fill the dark voids of the wheel wells.

While the van can also be had in Deep Cherry Red, Stone White or Billet Silver, Brilliant Black seems like the most appropriate hue for the exterior.

There are no color choices inside - Black Torino leather seats with Ballistic Black cloth inserts, Piano Black trim and a black headliner are all standard. "S" logos adorn the seatbacks and gauge cluster, and dark grey stitching completes the treatment.

In addition to the style-focused upgrades, there's a "performance" suspension setup similar to that of the Dodge Grand Caravan R/T "Man Van." Chrysler's new Blu-Ray dual-screen DVD system, which is optional on other T & C trims, is standard on the S.

30th Anniversary Edition
Chrysler is celebrating the Town & Country's latest milestone by launching a new 30th Anniversary Edition of the minivan.

Based on the Touring-L model, the 30th Anniversary edition gains 17-inch aluminum wheels with polished faces, model-specific "30th Anniversary" badges all around and an available Granite Crystal Pearl Coat paint job.

Inside, the 30th Anniversary edition offers Alcantara seat inserts, piano black trim on the steering wheel and the dashboard and bespoke badges in the instrument cluster and on the key fob. All 30th Anniversary models come standard with the Driver's Convenience Package which bundles heated first- and second-row seats, power adjustable pedals, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless entry and start and bright door handles.

Occupant Safety
Standard safety features on the Town & Country include dual front and side airbags, 1st, 2nd and 3rd row head airbags, traction and stability control systems and electronic brake-force distribution.

Key Competitors
Looking for a full-size minivan (if you'll pardon the oxymoron)? Alternatives to the Town & Country include the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna and Nissan Quest.