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Anniversary T&C cost, comparison

by David Zatz on

30th anniversary minivan

Allpar announced the 2014 Chrysler Town & Country 30th Anniversary Edition last week, but now has a price as well: $35,695.

The 2014 minivan includes suede-and-Nappa-leather seats in all rows, glossy black steering wheel bezels and interior trim, third-row power folding seats, power folding mirrors, “granite crystal” paint with polished black-pocket wheels, Super Center Console, and logos in the gauge cluster, radio splash screen, and key fob.  The Driver’s Convenience Group is also standard, bringing heated first- and second-row seating, a heated steering wheel, adjustable pedals, keyless entry/starter, and bright door handles. Finally, the 30th Anniversary minivans have third-row power folding seats, power mirrors (US only), and 30th-anniversary stereo splash screens, badges, and key fobs.

Chrysler claims a better deal than Toyota or Honda. The Toyota Sienna XLE with DVD runs $35,329, but Chrysler has remote start, stowing roof-rack cross-bars, rear heated seats, folding rear seats, “keyless go,” rear parking sensors, blind spot monitors, and a heated steering wheel. Toyota does have a sunroof and eight-person capacity Chrysler does not.

The Honda Odyssey EX-L is also comparable in price, — exactly matching Chrysler’s price. The Honda includes forward collision and lane departure warning, eight-seat capacity, and sunroof; the Chrysler adds the rear DVD player, and all the features it boasts over the equivalent Toyota. Chrysler also has standard fog lights and power third-row windows, which the Honda does not.

dashboard

According to Chrysler, while the Town & Country has a “major content advantage,” the company is doing poorly in sales of over-$33,000 minivans, where the biggest profits are. While Chrysler and Dodge tend to be in third and fourth place in sales most months, with one or the other sometimes hitting #1 or #2 (and the two combined topping the minivan charts), Chrysler has just a 20% share of the high-end minivan market. Honda sells literally twice as many, with a 43% share of that market, and even Toyota is doing better with a 34% share. Dodge Caravan has just 1% of that share; all other minivans combined account for another 2%.

Over half of all minivan sales are above $33,000 in price. If the math holds, Dodge is dominating the lower-end minivan market, with Chrysler getting a share of it as well, despite the Town & Country’s high-versus-Dodge starting price. Just 8% of the minivan market is for vehicles under $27,000.

The next generation of minivans is due in calendar-year 2015 or 2016, and reportedly does away with the company’s longstanding suspension architecture; it will also, according to Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, bring back all wheel drive.

Chrysler is just one of two minivan manufacturers to be able to boast a 30th anniversary edition in 2014 — the other is Renault, whose Espace minivan was developed with Matra, based on work done with Chrysler Europe in the early 1980s. Thanks, oh2o.

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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