The Chrysler Town & Country is just about the finest minivan it has ever been, with class-leading performance and economy stats from its 3.6-liter V-6 paired to a six-speed automatic.
The exterior style of the new-for-2013 Town & Country S looks mean and lean wearing a black chrome grille and dark alloy wheels. Inside, the T&C is also better than ever, with standard leather seats and dual 9-inch overhead screens for the back seat’s built-in Blu-ray DVD player.
Rumors and speculation about the Town & Country’s future have been rampant in the Chrysler -Fiat era, with most bets on a big refresh for 2015 or 2016 that will bring crossover styling and perhaps a new name to the much-loved minivan king’s loyal buyers.
The core attributes of this year’s T&C are therefore extra special: flexible hauling space that can go from packing seven people, to 140-plus cubic-feet of stuff - and back - without unbolting or removing any seats.
Stow ‘n’ Go is still a masterful party trick for the Chrysler van twins, but the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna are firmly established as winning the back-seat comfort contest. Thicker padding is available on fixed second-row buckets as an option to replace the tumbling chairs, but other comfort and drive quality issues remain for minivan shoppers.
The T&C finally has enough power to move confidently while carrying a full load, but still suffers from some old-fashioned harshness in the suspension, and little handling confidence on twisty highways.
Of course, families are the prime market for minivans, meaning prioritizing comfort, safety and technology first.
Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Chrysler Town & Country, with special details on the cool new S model that is priced at just $32,000.
The Town & Country’s exterior seems to be a bit frozen in time, with headlights that have the same wide-eyed stare as was popular in the early 2000s on the Dodge Caliber. The chrome-heavy nose, wheels and window trims reinforce the suburban country club image that does not reflect all families.
Luckily, the Town & Country S dislikes chrome to the point of disgust – there is not a scrap of brightwork anywhere on this dark-themed sport package. Black chrome shows up on the grille and nicely matches the glossy black wheels and monochrome tones of the exterior in white, black, red and a handful of other solid shades.
The S still runs the same size 17-inch wheels but does have the sportiest suspension tune available. Despite the S model’s best effort, it lacks the up-level HID headlights and is a bland design with utilitarian surfaces to all its styling embellishments, like the window-line garnish and wheel flares. There is just no happiness or joy in the T&C’s work-a-day design.
Out back, the 2012 refresh brought new LED taillights and space for Chrysler ’s latest wing emblem on the hatch lid. Standard non-S Town & Country vans are still loaded with brightwork for the roof rails and window caps as well on the top Limited trim.
The Limited trim is nearly $8,000 more than the S trim, and it is not immediately clear where that extra cash goes. As for exterior tweaks, the Limited has HID lights, a softer suspension and standard rear air leveling, but no other meaningful mechanical upgrades. More details on the Limited package in the Interior section below.
2014 Chrysler Town & Country – Exterior Dimensions:
|Track - Front (in.)||65.6|
|Track - Rear (in.)||64.8|
2014 Chrysler Town & Country – Standard Exterior Features:
- Bright grille
- Power liftgate
- Chrome bodyside molding
- Power, folding, heated mirrors
- 17-inch aluminum wheels
2014 Chrysler Town & Country S – Optional Exterior Features:
- Trailer Tow Group ($995): Class II Receiver Hitch, Load Leveling and Height Control, Trailer Tow Wiring Harness
The Town & Country S shows real progress in the interior style and front-seat comfort levels. Leather seating is standard on all T&C trims but takes a big step upward in quality with the heated ’Lux’ buckets from the Limited.
The other options are relatively predictable and ensure that the family’s new van will have enough tech to satisfy its kid-size primary occupants. An upgraded Uconnect 430 system brings navigation and USB ports for just $895 extra, while mobile web is also on the table for $650 (plus monthly subscription rates.)
The T&C comes with a powerful tri-zone climate unit as standard but this can be optioned to a full second A/C and heater for the rear seats. An engine block warmer is available, but heated seats require the Touring-L or Limited trim, not the affordable S model.
There is a large variety of floor and roof consoles available, with the top Super Console in these photos showing handsome shutter-lid storage areas and cup holders, plus a roomy center armrest.
The rear-seat entertainment system is well-integrated as standard with a remote control and wireless headphones for parental sanity. The S trim’s standard touchscreen radio also provides 28 GB of built-in storage for music, movies and cute pet pics.
Gloss black accents throughout the S model’s cabin help create a premium environment, reinforced by the roll-down windows and standard power doors and tailgate.
The major options are grouped into a pricey bundle called SafetyTec. It is not quite cutting edge for active collision prevention, but does have blind-sport warnings and numerous parking aids to keep the bumpers scuff-free.
2014 Chrysler Town & Country – Interior Dimensions:
|Front Seating Capacity||2|
|Middle Seating Capacity||2|
|Rear Seating Capacity||3|
|Headroom - Front (in.)||39.8|
|Headroom - Middle (in.)||39.3|
|Headroom - Rear (in.)||37.9|
|Legroom - Front (in.)||40.7|
|Legroom - Middle (in.)||36.5|
|Legroom - Rear (in.)||32.7|
|Shoulder Room - Front (in.)||63.7|
|Shoulder Room - Middle (in.)||64.1|
|Shoulder Room - Rear (in.)||62|
|Hip Room - Front (in.)||58.4|
|Hip Room - Middle (in.)||65|
|Hip Room - Rear (in.)||48.7|
|EPA Cargo Volume - All Seats Up (cubic-feet)||33|
|EPA Cargo Volume - 3rd-Row Seat Folded (cubic-feet)||83.3|
|EPA Cargo Volume - All Rear Seats Down (cubic-feet)||143.8|
2014 Chrysler Town & Country – Standard Interior Features:
- Power 8-Way Driver Seat, Power 2-Way Driver Lumbar Adjust
- Black Leather-Trimmed Seats with Cloth Insert, Active Head Restraints
- Air Conditioning with 3-Zone Automatic Temp Control
- Second-Row Buckets with Fold-in-Floor Seats; 2nd/3rd-Row Stow ’n Go w/3rd-Row Tailgate Seats; Removable Center Front Seat Console
- Blu-Ray / DVD Player, Video Remote Control, Wireless Headphones (IR)
- Second-Row Overhead 9-Inch VGA Video Screen, Third-Row Overhead 9-Inch VGA Video Screen
- Steering Wheel Mounted Audio Controls
- Uconnect 430 CD/DVD/MP3/HDD: 6.5-Inch Touch Screen Display with High Definition Multimedia Interface; 40 GB Hard Drive with 28 GB Available; SiriusXM Satellite Radio w/ 1-Yr Radio Subscription; Bluetooth Streaming Audio; Uconnect Voice Command with Bluetooth; Audio Jack Input for Mobile Devices
- 12-Volt DC Front and Rear Power Outlets, Single 115-Volt Auxiliary Power Outlet
- Power Door Locks; Power Front One-Touch Windows, Second-Row Power Windows; Power Rear Quarter Vented Windows
2014 Chrysler Town & Country – Optional Interior Features:
- Uconnect 430 SATNAV ($895 ): 6.5-Inch Touch Screen Music Display; Steering Wheel Music Controls; SiriusXM Satellite Radio and Travel Link with 1 Year Trial Included; AM/FM radio with CD/DVD/MP3 format capability, Faceplate Audio Jack, and 40GB HDD (28GB available) with Faceplate USB Port
- Uconnect Web by MOPAR ($650): Subscription-based mobile internet
- Removable Second-Row Bucket Seats ($320): replaces stow ‘n’ go
- Luxury Group ($1,995): Load Leveling and Height Control Rear Air Suspension; Dual Rear Overhead Consoles, Mini Overhead Console; Power Folding Third-Row Seat; Power Sunroof SafetyTec Package ($1,695):
- Automatic High Beam Headlamp Control
- Blind Spot and Cross Path Detection
- ParkSense Rear Park Assist System
- Rain Sensitive Windshield Wipers
- Tire Pressure Monitoring Display Screen
Drivetrain, Suspension and Brakes
The Chrysler Town & Country runs the latest Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 developing 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. These numbers are good but not remarkable considering the T&C’s hefty 4,700-pound curb weight. The Ford Explorer Sport moves the same mass with an extra 80 horsepower and two turbochargers, for example.
Even so, the T&C’s gutsy unit is far superior to the previous top-level 3.5-liter V-6. That engine ran out of puff at about 40 mph, but the new engine’s early torque peak and six-speed automatic mean the T&C can squeal the tires for much longer than ever before.
This sweet standard engine and powertrain is the only choice – front-drive with stability control replaces the old, trouble-prone AWD system that has been gone for years now. Only the Sienna still offers AWD in this segment.
The only option that affects the handling is the tow prep pack, which also includes the rear air suspension for just under $1,000 extra. The air suspension is not adjustable but will compensate with firmer settings as more weight is loaded in the car. The option is worthwhile and softens the twist-beam rear axle’s tendency to buck over some road flaws.
The T&C also does pretty well on fuel, with its 25 mpg rating more than three extra miles better than the Explorer Sport mentioned above.
2014 Chrysler Town & Country – Mechanical Details:
|Engine Size and Type||3.6-liter 24-valve V-6 With DOHC|
|Peak power (Horsepower)||283 @ 6,400|
|Peak torque (Pound-feet)||260 @ 4,400|
|0-to-60 mph||7.7 seconds|
|Top Speed (mph)||117 mph|
|EPA Fuel Economy MPG (City/Combined/Highway)||17/NA/25|
The T&C is a five-star car from the NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS, with all the airbags and electronic aids needed for safe family travel.
2014 Chrysler Town & Country – Standard Safety Features:
- Electronic Stability Control
- Trailer Sway Damping
- Anti-Lock 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
- Advanced Multistage Front Airbags
- Child Seat Anchor System-LATCH Ready
- Driver Inflatable Knee-Bolster Airbag
- Supplemental Front Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
- Supplemental Side-Curtain Airbags in All Rows
The Town & Country S is the pick of the range, with a bold exterior and interior styling revamp that brings life to the T&C’s tired styling. The S trim starts from $31,995 for 2013, with a modest bump expected for 2014.
|Chrysler Town & Country||2013 MSRP|
|Town & Country Touring||$30,530|
|Town & Country S||$31,995|
|Town & Country Touring-L||$33,530|
|Town & Country Limited||$40,745|
Check out the gallery below for detailed competitive comparisons between the Odyssey, Sienna, Chrysler and revived 2014 Kia Sedona .
The images show all four models’ features, equipment and dimensions information in a handy table format.
The Odyssey now shares its six-speed automatic with the LX and EX trims that previously only had the five-speed transmission and worse economy stats. Other changes for 2014 include a new front bumper and fog-light design, plus an optional vacuum cleaner built into the trunk.
Gallery Honda Odyssey
The Sienna stands apart as the only van of this trio to offer AWD with its V-6 powertrain. It is also the only one to offer a low-powered four-cylinder engine. A six-passenger cabin option has thick padded buckets all around.
Pricing for the top Sienna’s is right up there with the Odyssey Touring Elite at $46,000.
Gallery Toyota Sienna
As Mark Twain (and the Chrysler Town & Country) once said after seeing their own obituaries in the newspaper, ‘Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.’
Despite consumers flocking to any seven-seat crossover that is not a minivan, the segment is a solid earner and helps the combined T&C and Grand Caravan to maintain the top sales spot by far.
When looked at individually, the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna both top the T&C’s sales performance. Despite the full feature set, cool S styling and good engine… it is pretty easy to understand why this Chrysler is no longer the ultimate luxury minivan.
The top of the minivan world is strange, because buyers can normally afford to buy all the optional toys once they’ve accepted the idea of buying a van. For these buyers, much more importance falls onto the van’s ability to feel modern and drive with confidence. Moving from a luxury BMW or Lexus to the Sienna or Odyssey is simply easier than to go to a T&C.
The Chrysler T&C simply feels less solid, composed and much less rigid than the opposition. Is this perception accurate? Does it really matter in this comfort, safety and tech segment?
Not really. The T&C will continue to be a reliable sales engine for Chrysler with its current looks and performance. One thing is sure in the car world: change.
Next year’s revamp will almost certainly equal higher purchase prices and more crossover attitude. For people who like their minivans to be totally family-focused, the 2014 T&C might be the last time to snap up this endangered species.
|Driving||C+||A Bit Noisy And Bumpy In Back|
|Performance||B||T&C Is Quickest Minivan Out There|
|Look||B||S Model Looks Sharp In Black But Especially In White|
|Value||A||Rare For The Cool Trim To Be Affordably Priced|
|Overall||B+||Chrysler’s Best V-6 Engine Revives T&C|
- S model’s monochrome exterior and dark-tinted lights look great
- Stow ’n’ Go still the benchmark seating solution with big floor cubbies when seats are up
- Good power and transmission help highway speed
- Stow ’n’ Go rear seats are narrow and thinly padded; optional fixed buckets the way to go for second-row comfort
- Styling of non-S models is very dull and tired
- S model could really use some 18-inch wheels for extra handling poise
Gallery Chrysler Town & Country
2013 Chrysler Town & Country Leads Minivan Segment in Initial Quality
- Chrysler Town & Country ranks highest for initial quality in minivan segment
The minivan with the most loyal owners, Chrysler Town & Country, receives another honor as the highest-ranking minivan in the J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Initial Quality StudySM (IQS).
IQS is based on responses from more than 83,000 owners of new 2013 model-year vehicles who were surveyed about issues with their vehicles after 90 days of ownership. The study asks customers to identify issues with the vehicle’s design, as well as defects.
“The Chrysler Town & Country is the highest-ranking minivan in two of the three most recent initial quality reports,” said Doug Betts, Senior Vice President – Quality, Chrysler Group. “The team at Windsor Assembly Plant has really embraced World Class Manufacturing and recognizes that every employee has a role in improving the quality of our vehicles.”
The Chrysler brand moved up 10 positions in this year’s study and the Chrysler 300 series ranked third for initial quality in the large car segment.
In releasing its revamped study, J.D. Power noted that nearly two-thirds of the problems reported by customers across the entire industry were related to the vehicle’s design, as opposed to components with a defect or malfunction.
“We don’t want our customers inconvenienced by any issue, regardless of whether it’s something that breaks or a design feature the customer doesn’t like,” Betts explained. “Quality means different things to different customers and we design and build vehicles to appeal to a diverse customer base. Chrysler Group has defined six different types of quality and we have teams working hard to make improvements across the board.”
2013 Chrysler Town & Country
Chrysler Town & Country has the highest owner loyalty in the segment according to R.L. Polk and provides the most innovative seating and storage system with Standard Stow ’n Go Seats. Town & Country’s award-winning powertrain delivers best-in-class horsepower without sacrificing fuel efficiency. The 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine is a two-time "Ward’s 10 Best Engine" winner and produces 283 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. The V-6 is mated to the 62TE six-speed automatic transmission.
A fuel economizer mode helps the driver maximize fuel efficiency, and premium, lower-rolling-resistance tires, and low-drag brake calipers and rear bearings make great fuel economy possible. Chrysler Town & Country achieves 17 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city, 25 on the highway.