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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
Powerful 4.0-liter V6 engine
Transmission is quick to shift as needed but can change gears harshly at low speed
A couple notable differences, such as an 8 percent increase in fuel economy" [versus 2007]
Minivans aren't exactly known for being road rockets, but reviews read by TheCarConnection.com list potent acceleration right alongside the comfortable ride when it comes to the Chrysler Town & Country's performance attributes.
The 2009 Chrysler Town & Country is available with three different engine types, which Edmunds lists as "a 3.3-liter V6 good for 175 horsepower and 205 pound-feet of torque," while more powerful options include "a 3.8-liter V6 that produces 197 hp and 230 lb-ft of torque" and "a more modern 4.0-liter V6 making 251 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque." None of the engines is blistering, but Edmunds says that the 4.0-liter can propel the 2009 Chrysler Town & Country "from zero to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds, which is rather quick for a minivan." Motor Trend adds that the biggest V-6 moves the Town & Country "with relative authority when the gas pedal is buried on the floor." ConsumerGuide reports that the 3.8-liter engine boasts "sufficient power for around-town driving," although the 3.3-liter is "overwhelmed by the Town & Country's approximately 4300-pound curb weight." Kelley Blue Book agrees, commenting that they would "look elsewhere in the segment before settling for the 175-horsepower base V6."
The transmission offerings on the 2009 Chrysler Town & Country are pretty straightforward—all Town & Country vans come exclusively in front-wheel drive, with transmissions specific to each engine. Cars.com reports that "both uplevel engines have six-speed automatics," while the base V-6 is stuck "with a four-speed automatic—a weak combination for a two-ton minivan." ConsumerGuide is suitably impressed with the six-speed, finding it "quick to shift as needed but can change gears harshly at low speed." Car and Driver simply calls the four-speed "regrettable."
For a heavy minivan, the 2009 Chrysler Town & Country offers respectable fuel economy. Official EPA estimates for the Town & Country are that the 3.3-liter V-6 will get 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway, while the 3.8-liter offering returns 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway, and the 4.0-liter gets an impressive 17 mpg city, 25 mpg highway. Overall, Motor Trend reports an "8 percent increase in fuel economy" for the Chrysler Town & Country lineup.
Out on the open road, reviewers are impressed with the composure and handling of the 2009 Chrysler Town & Country. Kelley Blue Book says that "you might appreciate the Chrysler minivans' balance between highway comfort and around-town responsiveness." The suspension is a superstar as well, according to ConsumerGuide, which remarks that the 2009 Chrysler Town & Country has "impressive road isolation, with even large bumps taken with poise." Cars.com reviewers praise the steering, noting that it "delivers a natural, well-weighted feel at higher speeds." Stopping power is equally impressive, with Kelley Blue Book observing "much-improved...braking response" for the Chrysler Town & Country.
Speed is relative, but for those used to the typical minivan sluggishness, the 2009 Chrysler Town & Country will provide significantly more driving excitement.