Home & Leisure

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2012 Chrysler Town & Country

Eric Peters on

It's easier to shop minivans now than it was just a few years ago - because there are fewer minivans on the market. GM and Ford no longer sell them at all. And if you want a higher-end van, you've only got three models to dissect and compare: The Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna - and the Chrysler Town & Country, subject of this review.

The Chrysler's got several things going for it - including a lower price all dolled up than its main rivals - still under $40k vs. over $40k for a top-of-the-line Toyota Sienna (and well over $40k for a top-of-the-line Honda Odyssey).

The Honda Odyssey Touring Elite, for example, is nearly $44k vs. just a little over $39k for a top-of-the-line T&C Limited. Chrysler also gives you a standard 283 hp V-6 vs. a standard 250 hp V-6 in the Honda - and a less-than-200 hp standard four in the base model Toyota Sienna.

On the other hand, the T&C is no longer offered with AWD. The Toyota Sienna is - and the T&C's base price of almost $30k is a lot higher than the base price of a Sienna, which starts just over $25k. So there are distinct pros - and cons. Let's take a longer look at both.


The T&C is Chrysler's premium minivan, related to the Dodge Carvan but unlike its mass-market sister, the T&C comes decked to the nines with standard luxury features such as leather seats, music storage hard drive and rear seat entertainment system. That's the base Touring model, which starts at $29,995. Go all the way to the Limited and your T&C will come with the entire kitchen, not just the sink: multi-screen rear seat entertainment system, heated first and second row seats, heated steering wheel, xenon HID headlights, an even better stereo and, if you want 'em, power folding/stowing third row seats. (The second row seats can be folded, too.)

This version of the T&C starts at $39,300. The Limited I tested - with pretty much every option on the roster - stickered out at $42,595.

Of the other lux vans out there, only Honda's Odyssey (base price $28,375; $43,825 at the top) comes comparably equipped - and comparably priced. There's also the Toyota Sienna - though it spans a wider range, with the base $25,060 version of that van being closer to the Dodge Caravan than the T&C. Base model Siennas are also equipped with a four-cylinder engine while the T&C (and Sienna) both come standard with pretty powerful V-6 engines.

Higher-trimmed versions of the Toyota are comparable on features - and price - but still lack the more upscale brand image that Chrysler has in its corner.



swipe to next page


blog comments powered by Disqus

Social Connections


Cathy Dilbert Intelligent Life Hagar the Horrible Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee Rhymes with Orange