The 2011 Chrysler Town & Country minivan returns with some of the same upgrades found on the best-selling Dodge Grand Caravan, but this year there's a notable change in the marketing tack taken with the more expensive minivan twin.
This time around, Chrysler and its new colleagues at Fiat have decided the Town & Country needs more breathing room in its price. As a result, the Town & Country stickers above $30,000, leaving the more economical versions to the Dodge brand.
To minivan-shopping families, the difference is mainly in the bottom line and in features. Both vans continue to offer the most flexible seating package in the segment, and safety is just as good as before--even if the major testing agencies haven't finished scoring the vans just yet. For all those reasons, the Chrysler Town & Country gets a high score of 9 from FamilyCarGuide, outdone only by a couple of competitors, including its own kin, the Grand Caravan.
Inside, the Chrysler minivans lead the pack in flexibility. The Town & Country has standard Stow 'N Go seats, which means the second and third rows of seats fold flat into the floor to maximize interior space or passenger space, depending on the need. The old Swivel 'N Go picnic table has been deleted, but whether they're in the adult-sized first- and second-row seats or the kid-sized third-row bench, up to eight passengers will be able to tuck into the T&C with ample head and leg room, and with good entry and exit thanks to wide-range, dual powered sliding side doors.
This year the interior's been dressed up nicely, too. The old, drab plastics are out, and the richness of the new finishes goes a long way to masking the same shapes we've seen since this generation of the Town & Country bowed in 2008. Some plastics surrounding the third-row seat aren't up to the same standard, but in the context of their kid- and cargo-carrying, it's fine.