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 was recently updated with new exterior styling, much higher-quality interior materials and a Pentastar V6 with class-leading power.
For the latest refresh, Chrysler managed to impart a heightened look of elegance to the Town & Country's exterior not by changing the overall shape, which stays the same, but instead by focusing on minor details like a more streamlined lower fascia and a new grille with more subtle chrome trim. Bigger changes take place inside, where the cheap plastics and uninspired design of the old model give way to a new cabin with an upscale look and feel thanks to a simpler dashboard design and strategically placed soft-touch materials.
What hasn't changed for the latest model is the Town & Country's interior flexibility, which is largely due to Chrysler's clever Stow Â‘n Go feature. Standard on the second row seats and available as an option for the third row, Stow Â‘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 comes standard, 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.
Chrysler recently replaced the Town & Country's multiple engine options with a single motor. The new mill is the automaker's ubiquitous 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 Â‘n go system and a Super Console storage system.
A new option for the latest model is an industry-exclusive Blu-Ray dual-screen DVD system.
New "S" model
Looking to add some attitude to the Town & Country minivan, Chrysler is extending its blacked-out "S" treatment to the people hauler for the latest model year.
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.
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.
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.