Monday, July 10, 2017

Used Car Review - Chrysler Town and Country (2008-2017)

One of the remaining American minivans graces this page for today.

2008-2017 Chrysler Town and Country


American car manufacturers had long been abandoning minivans for personal usage ten years ago or so, with General Motors and Ford Motor Company leaving the minivan market citing poor sales, with Chrysler/Dodge the remaining American brand to compete in a shrinking market now being relegated to a Japanese and a lone Korean brand. Times weren't friendly to the soccer mom since crossovers and SUVs now dominate the sales charts.

Introduced in August 2007 as a 2008 model, the Chrysler Town and Country/Dodge Grand Caravan twins and the similar European Chrysler Voyager reached its fifth generation life span. It also gave birth to a North American exclusive Volkswagen Routan which wasn't a sales success. Numerous changes from its previous generation model occurred to this Canadian made minivan with an extensive one for the 2011 model year. Although the Caravan still lives on as a cheaper alternative, the Town and Country was replaced by the Pacifica (not related to a crossover sold in the mid-00s).

Apart from the Ford E-150, the Chrysler Town and Country were one of the remaining American minivans sold in the Philippine market during the late-00s, with the Chevrolet Venture - a Chinese branded Buick minivan - being removed. Two models were first launched with a sole diesel added in 2010 and in 2013, it was reduced to a single variant. It was silently discontinued with the pending introduction of the Pacifica later this year.

Value and Costs
American vehicles are notorious for their low resale prices which makes them a bargain for second hand buyers if you know how to look. Second hand Chrysler Town and Country minivans of this generation can cost between P600,000 to a million pesos in varying years. Before going for this van, you may want to reconsider other superior rivals which cost more and importantly, more reliable as we will explain further.

This van, alongside its siblings, aren't the most reliable minivans in the market especially in the US alone. Since this is a high end minivan, power options come standard and these must be checked if these still work. Other areas of concern include the transmission system, air-conditioning, and the interior plastics. Parts can be sourced from American car specialists, in which you must befriend them if you decide to own this one. Fuel consumption isn't a strength (except for the diesel), so if you are complaining of gas prices look elsewhere.

Exterior and Interior
Minivan qualities like a tall profile and dual sliding doors come standard, in which this vehicle is known for. Not much to be said on the outside, as the magic of this vehicle lies inside but Limited models of 2008 to 2012 distinguish themselves with a sun roof.

Since this van is aimed towards the upper scale of the market, it seats seven people just like several rivals (with the exemption of the USDM Honda Odyssey of the early 2010s) and comes with the famed Stow and Go but for the Limited, it gets a Swivel and Go seating configuration that gives you swiveling rear seats and an optional table. Since this van is fully loaded, depending on the year and variant, it comes with the following items: MyGig Hard drive with either 20GB or 40GB worth of storage, navigation system, power tailgate, power sliding doors, power pedals, cruise control, airbags on all sides, parking sensors, back-up camera, and a requisite among family oriented vehicles, a DVD player. Since this is a minivan, expect a roomy cabin for all types of people. Updated models gain a revised interior which bade farewell to cheap plastic materials.

There are two gasoline engines and a sole diesel burner which was offered. Let us first discuss the former as you'll be encountering this more often; 2008 to 2012 models utilize a 3.8 V6 with 193hp at 5,000rpm and 314Nm at 4,000rpm with 2013 to 2017 using a 3.6 V6 having 279hp at 6,600rpm and 344Nm at 4,400rpm. A rare (but our choice for this vehicle) diesel is offered in the form of a 2.8 4-cylinder with 163hp at 3,800rpm and 359Nm at 1,600rpm to play with. Both petrol engines are fast movers in both acceleration and fuel consumption while the diesel is the thriftier option.

Driving Impressions
The words sporty handling and minivan aren't mentioned in one paragraph, let alone a sentence, and this isn't applicable with the Town and Country especially that comfort rules here. Despite the abundance of power, we advise you to drive prudently especially with the vehicle being full.

Although an innovator, the Town and Country became outclassed by superior rivals from Japan throughout the years. Sure, its interior is very flexible and there's a diesel but its isn't that reliable, so check first before committing.

The Good:
  • Innovative interior flexibility
  • Versatility
  • Available diesel engine
The Bad:
  • Not fuel friendly gasoline engines
  • Feels older than rivals
  • Not known for quality
The Pick: Touring CRDI

Engine: 3,778cc V6 (2008-2012), 3,600cc V6 (2013-2017) gasoline  and 2,776 I4 diesel
Power: 193hp @ 5,000rpm (3.8), 279hp @ 6,600rpm (3.6), 163hp @ 3,800rpm (diesel)
Torque: 314Nm @ 4,000rpm (3.8), 344Nm @ 4,400rpm (3.6), 359Nm @ 1,600rpm (diesel)
Fuel Consumption: 5-10km/L (city), 7-13km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Suspension: Front double wishbone, rear rigid axle with torsion beam

Price (New): P2,200,000-P3,000,000
Price (Now): P600,000-P1,000,000
On Sale: 2012-2017
Rivals: Honda Odyssey, Toyota Alphard

CATS Pre-Owned - (02) 784-5000

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