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Chrysler to be above Dodge in minivans

by David Zatz on

Chrysler is eliminating overlap in its minivan not only by having more styling differences, but also by having Chrysler take over where Dodge ends, according to dealership documents.

The base minivan will be the Dodge Caravan Express; it will come with the 3.6 liter V6 and six-speed automatic, “Super Stow N Go” with one-touch fold-down, steering wheel audio control, stability control, power heated mirrors, tri-zone climate control, seat-mounted side airbags, six speaker stereo, and tinted glass.

The Dodge Caravan Mainstreet adds body-color mirrors, power second row windows, one-touch power down front windows, and aluminum wheels, for around $1,300 more.

Stepping up to the Crew costs nearly $3,000, but includes 17-inch aluminum wheels, the Media Center 430 with backup camera, trip computer, satellite radio, roofrack, fog lamps, adjustable pedals, power doors, leather-wrapped wheel and shifter, eight-way power driver’s seat, and Super Console.

The top Dodge will be the “Man Van,” the Dodge Caravan R/T, adding an all-black interior, body-color grille, unique wheels, red stitched seats, performance suspension, and roof-rack delete. It’s to be priced above the Crew.

Chrysler starts after Dodge ends; the base Touring model, once home of the “ex-Plymouth” stripper van, will come with all the equipment of the 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. That adds over a thousand dollars to the priciest Dodge.

Above even this exalted Chrysler is the Touring L, with leather seats, heated in the first row; second and third row window shades; remote start; and eight-way power passenger seat. Dual DVD is optional at this level. Expect to spend $2,000 more for this.

Finally, the Chrysler Town & Country Limited adds nearly $6,000, for 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.

Changes over 2010 include 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.

A cargo van will also be available with a two-speaker stereo, two-zone climate control, and other “feature drops” for lower cost; rear seats are not included with the cargo van.

Details and more photos

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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