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Great article on how wonderful the Town & Country is while reflecting the "problem" facing minivans in the market!

From the article:

But my wife and I are no more likely to consider van than to shop for a Lamborghini. Why? It’s because we look for more in a vehicle than practical, comfortable load-carrying transportation. We want our cars to reflect who we are, or wish we were. And we aren’t alone. When friends ask what vehicles would best suit their growing families, they nearly always lead with, “Other than a minivan.”


From the Wall Street Journal - Original article here: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-dont-we-all-just-drive-minivans-2012-12-29?rss=1
 

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I hated them until I had one. I no longer need one but I would/will buy another one someday.
 

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Yes, living with a Compass right now it's far too small to go on any trips. While a great little get around set of wheels with great road view and decent fuel economy, it's not for taking trips or anymore than four people.

After looking, the minivan offers a heck of a lot of car for the price. It has more space and same efficiency as the Journey and the same price. Similar for the equinox, explorer, etc.
 

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The minivan that we had when I was an adolescent was handy for our hobbies, including riding ATVs. We'd tow three quads on a trailer with that Aerostar and have room for our gear. Granted, we didn't use the van for that job as often as we used the Isuzu Trooper, but it did tow better than the Trooper did. It was most practical when we went camping at an improved campground with the quads in tow, as it had room for the camping supplies, the riding gear, and was comfortable for the journey and handled the hills.

Minivans are not necessarily attractive vehicles, but they're quite useful. My wife and I have the RT platform on our list of possible next vehicles now. It's certainly not a sure thing as we have a lot of vehicles now and much of the functionality would be redundant to another vehicle, but we'll see.
 

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My wife had to laugh at all her friends who insisted that when our daughter was born, we would *need* a minivan. We only have one child, and we had a Camry. Everything we needed - stroller, car seat, changing bag, backpack, toys - all fit easily not only into the Camry, but my Daytona. The Camry even held 4 adults plus my daughter. We would have taken a 10 mpg hit by getting a minivan. Not for everyone.

And for hauling, we have my Dakota, which, with the club cab, held my daughter and all of her needs, plus a bed full of suitcases and gifts - used the truck to go to FL and back to see my in-laws. It also serves our occasional hauling needs.
 

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Last Summer we took a 5,890 mile trip across the Western US, to MN and back across the Northwest to the coast before heading back down to SoCal.
One of our vehicles was a brand new rented Town & Country. It carried 5 people and their luggage plus the obligatory tourist crap we picked up along the way.
I started posting the trip on Facebook and by the end I had hundreds of followers who nearly all marveled at the mpg the van was getting, nearly 40 mpg average. The trip took us up to over 12,000 ' elevation in Colorado, at speeds of 85 in Nebraska and Iowa and in the stop and go driving of Omaha and Saint Paul. The backroads of Yellowstone and Aspen.
I was filing up my Wrangler every 300 miles or so, the T&C at every 650-700 miles. One stretch was from Barstow CA to Kearney Nebraska, 1340 miles, the T&C filled up once. It was so ridiculous that I began marking the tires to make sure my brother in law wasn't sneaking out at night and filling up the tank.
Last night a friend called me, he had been reading and following our trip on Facebook, and today after the birth of their newest child, they are out looking at Chrysler minivans. ;)
 

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Automobiles are as much emotional choices as rational ones. People seem to follow one of two paths based on the cars their parents drove: reject or romanticise. I grew up in the era of the minivan, when people were rejecting station wagons.

Now my age group is romanticising station wagons and rejecting minivans, since they see it as being branded as a soccer mom/dad.

That's why crossovers are hot: 80% of the utility of a minivan, 20% of the stigma. Chrysler desperately needs to be in the game dominated by the GM Lambdas, Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander. Lexus and infiniti's breathtakingly ugly JX sell like proverbial hot cakes around Southern California and all Chrysler has in the game is Grand Cherokee.

I say evolve Town & Country into Buick Enclave competitor. If you insist on a Chrysler brand mini, resurrect Voyager, but only if sales tank the way some believe.
 

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Can the Enclave carry plywood in the morning, 6 adults to dinner in th evening all while getting near 30 mpg?
The beauty of the minivan is versatility.
IMO, most crossovers do nothing well, they are at best getting halfway there in cargo, passenger and versatility.
However some folks will go way out of their way to avoid some silly stigma.
When I'm inside of a vehicle, I can't see the outside of the vehicle and the color, shape, or stigma matters little, as long as it's comfortable, has the driving feel I want, the creature comforts I like and the NVH I expect.
 

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plymouth1 said:
I hated them until I had one. I no longer need one but I would/will buy another one someday.
+1
Handy for hauling peeps and cargo, but a Charger suits my driving style much better.
 

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MoparNorm said:
Can the Enclave carry plywood in the morning, 6 adults to dinner in th evening all while getting near 30 mpg?
The beauty of the minivan is versatility.
IMO, most crossovers do nothing well, they are at best getting halfway there in cargo, passenger and versatility.
However some folks will go way out of their way to avoid some silly stigma.
When I'm inside of a vehicle, I can't see the outside of the vehicle and the color, shape, or stigma matters little, as long as it's comfortable, has the driving feel I want, the creature comforts I like and the NVH I expect.
Yeah, 80% of the capability of a minivan my rear end. I'd say your estimate of getting halfway there is more accurate. They have half the function, cost more comparably equiped. There is only one single thing they hold over the Chrysler minivan, and that is awd. Outside of that, is it all image. I would go on a rant, but I won't bother.
 

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Sellers said:
After looking, the minivan offers a heck of a lot of car for the price. It has more space and same efficiency as the Journey and the same price. Similar for the equinox, explorer, etc.
Which is one of the reasons I traded the Journey for the Van. So far we love it, stigma? Don't care! Also mpg is better then our Journey was.
 

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MoparNorm said:
Can the Enclave carry plywood in the morning, 6 adults to dinner in th evening all while getting near 30 mpg?
The beauty of the minivan is versatility.
IMO, most crossovers do nothing well, they are at best getting halfway there in cargo, passenger and versatility.
However some folks will go way out of their way to avoid some silly stigma.
When I'm inside of a vehicle, I can't see the outside of the vehicle and the color, shape, or stigma matters little, as long as it's comfortable, has the driving feel I want, the creature comforts I like and the NVH I expect.
Silly stigma = your opinion. To the buying public - which is all that matters in the long run - it's quite real. It's disingenuous to dismiss it in favor of a minivan's capability, as most people don't need space for 6 or 7 all the time. Besides, it's irrelevant how capable any car is if you can't get the potential owner to even try it. For reference, see Fiat 500.

The target audience for the Enclave has no interest in loading a full sheet of plywood.
 

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abgwin said:
Silly stigma = your opinion. To the buying public - which is all that matters in the long run - it's quite real. It's disingenuous to dismiss it in favor of a minivan's capability, as most people don't need space for 6 or 7 all the time. Besides, it's irrelevant how capable any car is if you can't get the potential owner to even try it. For reference, see Fiat 500.

The target audience for the Enclave has no interest in loading a full sheet of plywood.
Yes which is why I stated it was my opinion. The word stigma was yours, as is the opinion you stated. It may be wrong, it may be right, but it's no more relevant than anyone else's. ;)

That said, just what is the target audience of the Enclave and what are their sales numbers compared to say, the 104,000 to date Town & Country buyers, or the 127,000 to date Caravan buyers?

This discussion may be better served to be placed in the other thread about killing the minivan than in this thread about why we don't, or do, buy the minivans.
I'm sure you are right and a large portion of CUV buyers aren't comfortable enough in their own skin to make their own decisions and actually are shallow enough to be stigmatized over the minivan looks, but apparently there are still 230,000+ grown ups who find good value in the Chrysler mini's.
I'm not saying that Chrysler shouldn't offer something for them, I'm just saying you don't kill off your best seller over superficial issues.
 
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Most folks aren't skipping minivans in favor of crossovers because of the uncoolness of the minivan.
Many folks are stepping down from a larger SUV to a crossover.
Many folks don't need the sheer size of most modern minivans.
Many folks are turned off by the minvan's styling trademarks.
Essentially what folks are purchasing in a crossover or wagon is the minivan in a smaller footprint.
 

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MoparNorm said:
Last Summer we took a 5,890 mile trip across the Western US, to MN and back across the Northwest to the coast before heading back down to SoCal.
One of our vehicles was a brand new rented Town & Country. It carried 5 people and their luggage plus the obligatory tourist crap we picked up along the way.
I started posting the trip on Facebook and by the end I had hundreds of followers who nearly all marveled at the mpg the van was getting, nearly 40 mpg average. The trip took us up to over 12,000 ' elevation in Colorado, at speeds of 85 in Nebraska and Iowa and in the stop and go driving of Omaha and Saint Paul. The backroads of Yellowstone and Aspen.
I was filing up my Wrangler every 300 miles or so, the T&C at every 650-700 miles. One stretch was from Barstow CA to Kearney Nebraska, 1340 miles, the T&C filled up once. It was so ridiculous that I began marking the tires to make sure my brother in law wasn't sneaking out at night and filling up the tank.
??? Almost 40 mpg from a van that is over 1,000 lbs heavier than my Daytona, bigger motor, more people and luggage, and driving in the mountains at up to 20 mph faster than the speed limit that I drive here? I'm skeptical to say the least. What is the highway EPA number?
 

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Bob Lincoln said:
??? Almost 40 mpg from a van that is over 1,000 lbs heavier than my Daytona, bigger motor, more people and luggage, and driving in the mountains at up to 20 mph faster than the speed limit that I drive here? I'm skeptical to say the least. What is the highway EPA number?
25 highway, according to EPA website http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/31462.shtml

Of course, mileage varies with the driver, but with a rental T&C, 5 to 6 adults, my highway mileage was about 18, though plenty of stop and go during that week.
 

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abgwin said:
25 highway, according to EPA website http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/31462.shtml

Of course, mileage varies with the driver, but with a rental T&C, 5 to 6 adults, my highway mileage was about 18, though plenty of stop and go during that week.
I was driving our 2007 Caravan on the expressway a couple of days ago and reset the MPG meter on the trip computer while driving. It was indicating about 37 mpg for a while, but of course that was without any acceleration up to speed. Once I had to accelerate and decelerate MPG dropped a lot. In expressway-only driving at the speed limit, about 25 mpg is usual for my Caravan.

Regarding the magical T&C, was that route perhaps west to east over all and assisted by both gravity and the prevailing winds?
 

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One more thing you can count on with A Chrysler minivan is they are built with pride. We have been building them for over 25 years and our workforce is second to none. Initial quality on the minivan has gone up each year since we got rid of Daimler. A proud happy workforce can make the difference. Our plant slogan is "Windsor Assembly, A family of One" and you the customer are a major part of our family
 

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Bob Lincoln said:
My wife had to laugh at all her friends who insisted that when our daughter was born, we would *need* a minivan. We only have one child, and we had a Camry. Everything we needed - stroller, car seat, changing bag, backpack, toys - all fit easily not only into the Camry, but my Daytona. The Camry even held 4 adults plus my daughter. We would have taken a 10 mpg hit by getting a minivan. Not for everyone.

And for hauling, we have my Dakota, which, with the club cab, held my daughter and all of her needs, plus a bed full of suitcases and gifts - used the truck to go to FL and back to see my in-laws. It also serves our occasional hauling needs.
If you have only one child, yes, you may not *need* a minivan. Even a sedan or crossover will suffice for those with no more than two children. More than two children and the practicality of a minivan helps out a lot. We had three children before we finally purchased a minivan ('93 Aerostar). While the Aerostar was not perfect, it was far better in hauling the five of us (and was soon 6 shortly afterwards) than the Acclaim we had at the time. We had the Aerostar for 5-6 years and eventually traded up for a '00 T&C Ltd AWD which we kept for another 5 years before stepping down in size to a Journey. By that time we really only had two children at home ( the older two had moved on), but to this day I still miss the T&C. It's utilitarian uses just can't be beat. Not many vehicles can haul 4x8 plywood from Lowe's and then take the family in comfort to dinner/movies that same night.

As a former minivan owner, I never understood those who were all hung up on the stigma of being a *soccer mom* or *baseball dad* and came to abhor being seen in a minivan. I really don't care what others think about what I drive.

In regard to fuel mileage - we averaged 16 mpg in local driving and usually observed 25-26 mpg on long trips. Maybe Norm was going downhill with the wind to get nearly 40 mpg. The instantenous fuel mileage display (not the average) on my T&C would show 99 mpg when going down a long hill. :dunno: As I recall the EPA ratings for our T&C were 16/22.
 

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I seen a high of 32mpg while on the highway with our TC but most of the time it will average about 27-28mpg.

In city is about 17-19 in our TC
 
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