- Supreme flexibility
- Good safety and visibility
- Loads of standard equipment
- Competitive gas mileage
- Better interior than Grand Caravan
- Higher pricetag than Grand Caravan
- Ride needs more damping
- No all-wheel-drive option
The 2015 Chrysler Town & Country has the most equipment available on any minivan to date, making it a great choice for anyone who wants the utility of a van with the amenities of a luxury car.
The Chrysler Town & Country is one of the best minivans you can buy, but it doesn't make perfect sense quite like its near-twin over at Chrysler's Dodge division. It's a luxury minivan, which runs counter to the idea that a minivan is a family workhorse, able to take a beating when loaded to the gills and also handle the spills associated with hauling little people. Leather seats are standard up and down the Town & Country lineup, which is nice for when adults are onboard, but we suspect they don't hold up to kids quite as well as cloth.
The Town & Country is mechanically identical to the Dodge Grand Caravan. (For more information on that top minivan pick, see TheCarConnection's 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan page.) The Town & Country is Chrysler's premium people hauler--so while the Dodge van has a special edition priced below $20,000, the Chrysler minivan starts at about $30,000, in the search for the same upscale buyers that regularly put their money down on higher trim levels of the competitive Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey family haulers. For 2015, the Town & Country gets two new models, one at the top that includes all of the otherwise-optional features and one at the bottom of the range that pares the list down to the essentials--plus leather, of course.
Redesigned in 2011 along with the Dodge, the Town & Country gets its own grille and interior, but shares its V-6 drivetrain, steering, suspension design, brakes, and safety cell with the Grand Caravan. Some Caravan options are standard on the Chrysler--must-haves like power sliding doors, a power liftgate, a rearview camera, and Stow 'N Go seating, which puts both minivans on a flexibility pedestal in the segment. Stow 'N Go is a Chrysler/Dodge-exclusive feature, allowing the two rearmost rows of seats to be folded flat into the floor, turning the seven-seater into a tall package van in a matter of seconds.
The Town & Country's drivetrain is a 283-horsepower V-6 coupled to a six-speed automatic and front-wheel drive, just like in the Dodge. (Although the Chrysler/Dodge twins used to offer all-wheel drive years ago, Toyota's Sienna is the only minivan still available with four driven wheels.) The powertrain is fine for toting a full family around from mall to mall, and the steering responds a bit more quickly than on previous models. Ride and handling are oriented around safety and security: it's softly tuned, and the suspension bounds more than the fairly responsive Odyssey and Sienna. The V-6 delivers good acceleration, while gas mileage (17 mpg in the city, 25 highway) remains near the top of the segment.
With the addition of two new trim levels for 2015, the The Town & Country is now offered in a total of six: LX, Touring, S, Touring-L, Limited, and Limited Platinum. The LX model is new at the low end, and includes leather-trimmed seats, a rearview camera, Stow 'N Go seats, 17-inch aluminum wheels, and powered sliding doors and liftgate. It does without chrome exterior moldings, automatic headlights, automatic climate control, front DVD capability, a power driver's seat, and the option to add the safety group, so it's more like a Dodge model masquerading as a Chrysler.
Most of the features offered as options on the Dodge are standard on the Chrysler, including power windows for all four doors; power locks and mirrors; power side doors and tailgate; garage door opener; a 115-volt outlet; Stow 'N Go; and leather seats. Bluetooth and a USB port are standard. A safety option package includes parking sensors, rearview camera, and blind-spot monitors. Options include a sunroof; a navigation system; in-car wireless internet; a DVD entertainment system; a power-folding third row, and pushbutton start. There's also a Blu-Ray DVD entertainment system with an HDMI input and twin USB ports for gaming and charging.
The other new model for 2015, the Town & Country Limited Platinum, takes just about every available option or package and makes it standard, adding Nappa leather seating, unique painted 17-inch wheels, radio memory, a nine-speaker stereo, a leather-and-wood steering wheel, and power-adjustable pedals. It's the most equipment we've ever seen on a minivan.
Both Chrysler minivans have earned a four-star rating from the NHTSA. The IIHS doesn't look so kindly on them, giving the T&C a Poor rating for small-overlap protection.