Saturday, November 29, 2014


The 2014 Chrysler Town & Country has lots of standard features and a versatile seating system, reviewers say, but higher-ranking minivans offer better fuel economy and more refined handling.

With a new model on its way, likely for 2016 the Town & Country is largely unchanged for 2015, save for a newly renamed Limited Platinum trim level replacing last year's Limited.Lots of standard luxuries; responsive steering and handling; handy 1-touch folding seats; good value relative to other fancy minivans.Less spacious than primary competitors; flat third-row seats; mechanically identical Dodge Grand Caravan is far cheaper; optional touchscreen is becoming dated.The Town & Country is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that's rated at 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. It's only available with front-wheel drive. 

Fuel economy is about average for the class at 17 miles per gallon in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.The 2015 Chrysler Town & Country is offered in four trim levels: Touring, S, Touring-L and Limited Platinum.Even the base Touring ($31,800) is chock-full of niceties, including 17-inch alloy wheels, a power driver's seat, power adjustable pedals, 3-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, first- and second-row leather upholstery (cloth is a no-cost option), fold-flat rear seats, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a 6-speaker audio system, and a 6.5-in touchscreen interface with a rearview camera, USB/Bluetooth connectivity and 30 gigabytes of digital music storage. Adding navigation for $895 also includes a backup camera.

The sporty Town & Country S ($33,900) features sporty body accents such as darkened head-lamp bezels, a black chrome grille, 17-in polished alloy wheels with painted pockets and more. The S model's interior is rendered in all black with Torino leather seats (with the letter S embroidered on the seat backs), as well as contrast stitching, piano-black trim and a black headliner. It comes with a performance suspension. It is also available only in black, white, dark red or dark silver for exterior colors.

The Touring-L ($35,400) receives standard rear parking sensors, automatic high-beam head lamps and a blind spot monitoring system. Rear cross-path detection, second- and third-row window shades and eligibility for a variety of upgrades are included as well, including extra-luxurious second-row captain's chairs, dual rear entertainment screens and a power-folding third-row seat with power recline.

The newly renamed Limited Platinum ($40,900) has polished wheels, HID headlamps, leather and suede upholstery, a Blu-ray DVD player with dual 9-in screens, and knickknacks such as keyless entry with push-button ignition, a leather and wood steering wheel, navigation, and an exclusive 9-speaker, 506-watt audio system.

In government crash-testing, the Town & Country received an overall rating of four stars out of five, including four stars for frontal impacts, five stars for side impacts and four stars in the rollover test. The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety deemed the Grand Caravan Good -- the highest possible rating -- in every category.

Furthermore, the Town & Country is available with the SafetyTec package (standard on Touring-L and Limited Platinum models), which includes rain-sensing wipers, parking sensors, SmartBeam headlamps, a blind spot monitoring system and rear cross-path detection.The Town & Country has plenty of power under the hood and delivers quick manual shifts with the automatic's shifter in AutoStick mode. We love the hushed, smooth highway ride, as well. Full loads rarely present a problem, though you may notice that the V6 is a bit soft at low engine speeds if you're a speed demon.

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