2011 Chrysler Town & Country

SAN FRANCISCO — In 1983, Chrysler Corporation unveiled the minivan to the world. Soccer moms were created, the mobile family was born and “bringing your stuff with you” was the order of the day. Through various incarnations, Chrysler’s heralded minivans are still the best-selling vehicles in the segment.

Though never quite “100% there,” sales were brisk and because of its versatility, a lot faults were overlooked

However, a bankruptcy and total management change – not to mention new ownership – will work wonders towards product development. The 2011 Chrysler minivan is finally the launch pad the new company needs in proving its current offerings are worthy…and thereby gaining a position of strength to grow its market share.

For 2011, virtually every customer touch point was redesigned or re-engineered. Town & Country, the first luxury minivan, debuted in 1989. Since then there have been 75 minivan-first innovations and 13 million minivan sales. One of the more obvious changes for 2011 is the total lack of wind noise, long a complaint among drivers in this segment. Wind noise and its evil partner, road noise, are practically non-existent.

Power is more than adequate as well. For 2011 there’s only one powertrain available – an all-new 3.6L DOHC Pentastar V-6 mated to Chrysler’s 62TE six-speed automatic transmission, delivering 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. It’s very smooth and trying to detect the shifting of the transmission’s is akin to trying to listen to a CVT shift gears. Good luck!

The 2011 Chrysler Town & Country is also the safest minivan it has ever manufactured. It comes with more than 40 standard safety and technology features including our absolute favorite, Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detectors.

The interior is roomy, comfortable and well-laid out. Gauges are large and eligible, HVAC controls on the center stack are ergonomically positioned and extremely intuitive and passenger amenities in all three available trim levels – Touring ($30,995), Touring L ($32,995) and Limited ($39,945) are user-friendly and plentiful

Thought by many to be “out of the game,” quite the opposite is true. After driving the 2011 Town & Country it’s apparent the “New” Chrysler merits a “new” chance by car shoppers.  

— Al Vinikour