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Current Caravan continues

by David Zatz on

2016 Chrysler Town & Country minivan

This week’s posting of a spy shot which turned out to be the Kia Sedona, not the upcoming Chrysler minivan, led to some discussion of what the next Town & Country would look like, and when it would appear.

Originally, based on CEO Sergio Marchionne’s statements and the factory closing schedule, it appeared that the van would show up early in the first quarter of 2015. It might still debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2015, but production is now believed to be starting in April or May 2015. The van would likely be sold as a 2016 model (the 1995 Neon started retail production in January 1994).

Based on statements from insiders, we expect the minivan to look something like our rendering above. There will, as stated many times, be no Dodge version of the “RU” minivan series; instead, Dodge Caravan will become a CUV at the end of model-year 2017 (expect something like the critically acclaimed but generally ignored Chrysler Pacifica).

The Dodge Caravan will, however, continue as a minivan until the crossover is ready: the RT version will reportedly continue to be made at Windsor for around two years, providing a lower-cost, more-traditional alternative to the new minivan, and deferring the Canadian conundrum (Caravan is not only the dominant minivan in Canada; it easily and dramatically outsells its Chrysler version). This will bring its own confusion, in that the Dodge minivan will likely be easily out-handled and out-raced by the Chrysler, even as the company is making Dodge into its performance divison.

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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