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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
Chrysler's 4.0-liter V-6 is potent—the marketers ought to brand it Hemi Lite
Powerful 4.0-liter V6 engine
Transmission is quick to shift as needed but can change gears harshly at low speed
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.
For 2010, the same three V-6 engine options are available, 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." While the numbers reveal that none of the engines is really blistering (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"), the Cars.com reviewer is impressed by the 4.0-liter V-6 engine, stating that it "imbues the Town & Country with confidence at any speed, and it has a muscular snarl in situations where the 3.8-liter V-6 starts wheezing." 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 disagrees, reporting that the 3.8-liter engine boasts "sufficient power for around-town driving," although they concede that the 3.3-liter is "overwhelmed by the Town & Country's approximately 4300-pound curb weight." Kelley Blue Book agrees, advising that they would "look elsewhere in the segment before settling for the 175-horsepower base V6."
Two different transmissions are offered for the three trim levels, and all models except for the base Town & Country come with a six-speed automatic transmission. Additionally, all Town & Country vans come exclusively in front-wheel drive. 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." Although the four-speed is nothing special, ConsumerGuide is suitably impressed with the six-speed, finding it "is 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 2010 Chrysler Town & Country offers respectable fuel economy—especially in its range-topping variant that offers decent power and 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 compared to the previous generation of Town & Country models.
Out on the open road, reviewers are impressed with the composure and handling of the 2010 Chrysler Town & Country, although its soft suspension can make the drive seem a little isolated and distant. Cars.com reviewers praise the steering, noting that it "delivers a natural, well-weighted feel at higher speeds." Kelley Blue Book says "you might appreciate the Chrysler minivans' balance between highway comfort and around-town responsiveness." Stopping power is equally impressive, with Kelley Blue Book noting "much-improved...braking response" for the Chrysler Town & Country—although Forbes finds that "the annoyingly squishy pedal feel of Chrysler vans remains." The suspension also impresses ConsumerGuide, which remarks that the Chrysler Town & Country has "impressive road isolation, with even large bumps taken with poise."
The 2010 Chrysler Town & Country offers a good compromise between comfort and handling—just avoid the base V-6 and four-speed shifter.