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Also see 2017 minivans, the Volkswagen Routan, and repairs
For 2011-2016, Chrysler Town & Country took over where Dodge Caravan ended, in pricing and features; starting in 2017, the Caravan was alone, the Town & Country having been replaced by the totally new Pacifica.
All the 2011-2017 minivans came with the same 3.6 liter V6 engine, generating 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The six-speed automatic contributed to gas mileage ratings of 17 city, 25 highway.
The vans had substantial improvements in emergency handling and stopping power, compared with the 2010s, and a switch that changed the transmission shift schedule for better mileage. It maintained a 4x8 cargo space (with all seats down).
Suspension tuning came in Touring, Commercial (Ram Cargo Van only), Performance, and R/T versions, with height-control rear shocks on all but one grade of the Touring suspension.
On the Dodge, a 12 millimeter lower ride height, lower rolling resistance tires, a new spoiler, and reduced brake and rear bearing drag help gas mileage. Both models had LED taillamps, and a retuned suspension with different spring rates. Swivel ’n’ Go left, leaving more comfortable seats and captain’s chairs in the middle row. The new base Dodge matched the top of the line 2010 model in featuers, at a small increase in cost.
The “Man Van” was the Dodge Caravan R/T, with a black interior, body-color grille, unique wheels, red stitched seats, performance suspension, and roof-rack delete; it topped the Dodge range at $30,595, at launch. Ralph Gilles said he expected normal minivan buyers to dislike the all-black interior and chrome-free exterior, but that he was seeking a new market. It had a retuned suspension, around 20% stiffer.
Chrysler starts after Dodge ends; the base Touring model came with all the equipment of the Dodge Caravan Crew, as well as a power liftgate, automatic headlamps, and SafetyTec. The latter includes blind spot monitor, rear cross path detection, rain sensing wipers, parking assist, and “smart beam” headlights. This model started at $30,995, including destination.
The top-end Chrysler Town & Country Limited started at $39,495; in return, buyers got chrome-plated wheels, nine-speaker amplified audio, heated steering wheel, second row heated seats, upgraded leather, UConnect, seat/mirror/radio memory, HID headlamps, keyless driving, navigation system, and dual-DVD video. These prices were lower than competing Honda and Toyota models.
A new option was the Stow 'n' Place roof-rack system, whose lateral bars can be stored in the rails when not in use, slashing wind noise and drag.
Lancia Voyager minivans ran down the line with both left-hand and right-hand drive, in preparation for sale in the United Kingdom and other left-lane driving nations. A 2.8 liter diesel joined the 3.6 liter V6 for Europe, along with changes to protect pedestrians in an accident (hoods had charged actuators at the rear corners which sheer the hinge rivets, allowing the rear of the hood to raise in a pedestrian collision; hinges were spring assisted to cushion the blow, and an extended chin spoiler directed the body towards the hood.) Other features not found in domestic vans included headlight washers, power folding mirrors with auto return, and retractable cargo cover.
Changes over 2010 included a larger front sway bar; new rear sway bar; new rear suspension; increased rear roll center height; new spring rates; new steering gear; new front static camber setting; lowered ride height; extra sound insulation including acoustic glass; re-engineered seats; softer touch surfaces; new LED ambient lighting and center console; new fascios, fenders, hood, and deck lid; new tail lamps, fog lights, and halogen projector headlamps with LED accents, and grille.
Fleets could get the Cargo Van, with basic 16 inch steel wheels, cloth seats, the base radio with two speakers, two-zone climate control, manual tilt-telescope steering wheel, and no rear seats. (Not many did.)
Chrysler has set a new precedent by including SafetyTec™ on every Town & Country; SafetyTec is a package of 40 standard safety and technology features, including the class-unique Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path Detection.
Stow ‘n Go was (as predicted by Allpar) upgraded with more comfortable seats and a one-touch fold down feature for easier access to the third row, and a new ‘super’ center console. The exterior has been refreshed, replacing the “blocky” styling with luxury cues and replacing the “guppy” grille with more luxurious trim.
Electronics include the carry-over dual DVD system that can play different media at the same time, SIRIUS Backseat TV™ which offers three channels of children’s programming; and FLO TV featuring 20 channels of live programming – both of which are exclusive to Chrysler Group minivans; voice command functions for radio, iPod/mp3 players, phone, navigation, and information.
Updates included a new instrument panel and instrument cluster; new steering wheel with integrated controls that allow the driver to operate the radio, cruise control, hands-free phone and other vehicle functions while keeping their hands on the wheel; upgraded cloth and leather seating materials; new “soft touch” door trim and new heating and cooling control system.
The Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Caravan were all built at the Windsor Assembly Plant, Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Chrysler sold more than 13 million minivans worldwide from 1983 to 2010.
oh2o pegged the six-speed automatic and standard 3.6 liter engine, but horsepower is substantially above our expectations. He and other sources were correct about “significant interventions” to the interior, with better comfort and efficiency, including softer seats; an optional Garmin navigation system is expected as well.
JRS told us, “changes include bigger, much more comfortable middle seats, with a redesigned mechanism for stowing the seats in the floor, requiring just one latch and much easier to operate.” This was accurate.
We were told to expect a new padded dashboard top with stitched instrument panels and door panels; an impressive, integrated center floor console (like that of the Pacifica); a restyled center stack; and push button start/proximity fobs. A new steering wheel has more control buttons. This was all true except for the stitching.
We were told: “The exterior styling will be modified somewhat, including new tailgates with LED taillights are expected and new front fascias. The suspensions are expected to be retuned, and the Dodge may once again have a sportier suspension than the Chrysler (we do not know for certain).” We still do not know about the brand differences in suspension tuning, if there are any.
After 2011 (possibly as late as 2014), dual-clutch, automated-manual transmissions are anticipated, to increase performance and gas mileage.
We reported: “Safety systems will continue to include (standard on some models, optional on others) blind spot monitoring and rear cross path systems, active head restraints, rain-sensitive wipers, and rear-obstacle detection display.”
oh2o wrote: “The heated steering wheel can be programmed via the display center to activate with remote start and will only turn on within a certain temperature range. The new media radios will be available, with updated features and Garmin based nav. Side mirrors will have signals, front seats will have active head restraints, Forward Collision Warning and Side Blind Spot Detection may become available. Overall, the list of refinements and improvements is going to be extensive. ”
Blind spot monitoring sought to see passing or unseen vehicles in the “blind spots,” using ultra-wideband radar sensors, notifying dirvers through a yellow icon in the mirror and, if desired, a chime.
The Rear Cross Path (RCP) system was a Chrysler exclusive when launched, and warned drivers (typically backing out of parking spaces) of traffic moving toward their vehicle.
For 2013, trailer sway damping (using the antilock brakes) became standard, and:
For 2014, SXT Blacktop debuted and Crew was dropped; instead, new option packages were created for SXT. New 30th Anniversary editions were created to celebrate three decades of minivans. The biggest value may be the 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan American Value Package, at $19,995 plus destination. It has the same powertrain, air conditioning, anti-lock four-wheel disc brakes, stability control, seven airbags, tilt-and- telescoping steering column, cruise, and more. New for the 2014 Grand Caravan R/T are automatic headlamps with black bezels and the Security Group, along with new black wheels.
For 2016, Dodge Caravan gained new Plus packages for SE and SXT, and Blacktop on SE Plus and SXT. The 90th Anniversary Edition Town & Country added a power sunroof, added features, and logos to the Touring-L.
2017 cut two models from the lineup, so it’s now SE, SE Plus, SXT, and GT; all had a 6.5 inch touch-screen and backup camera. The price started at $24,995, $1,100 less than the 2016 base car. The SXT kept its price and added features from the 2016 SXT Plus, along with remote start, alarm, and 6.5 inch screen. The old R/T was converted to the GT by adding the Driver Convenience Group and navigation. The SE Plus now comes with the Blacktop package, which is optional on the SXT.
The 2014 Chrysler Town & Country 30th Anniversary Edition had black Alcantara seat inserts with Nappa leather seat bolsters, glossy black interior trim, power folding third-row seats and folding mirrors, a Super Center Console, and anniversary logos in various places. These minivans include the convenience group (heated first- and second-row seating, heated steering wheel, adjustable pedals, keyless starter, bright door handles).
The Chrysler Town & Country S (Sport) has a black interior with leather-and-cloth seats and glossy black trim, with a dual-screen Blu-Ray/HDMI video system, a 12-volt, USB, and 115v outlet, and a performance suspension.
The 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan 30th Anniversary Edition was available on both the SE and SXT, adding different 17-inch polished satin carbon aluminum wheels, body-color heated mirrors, and 30th Anniversary badging on the front fenders.
Inside, it has silver accent stitching and glossy black accents, black cloth seats, a black leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, black headliner and overhead console, chrome trim bezels, and anniversary logos in the gauge cluster and key fob. The SXT version adds bright chrome window trim moldings and roof rack, fog lamps, automatic headlamps, Black Torino Leatherette seats with suede inserts and silver accent stitching, and a 10-way power driver’s seat.
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