Chrysler has significantly refreshed the Town & Country for the 2011 model year ... and the result is a major improvement. With its restyled exterior and vastly improved interior, as well as its new V6 engine and suspension recalibration, the 2011 Town And Country is a worthy contender in the family minivan segment.
In the face of stiff competition from the perennial class leading Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, along with the value-oriented Kia Sedona, Chrysler made a wise decision to differentiate the new Town & Country by combining traditional minivan practicality with more upscale and luxurious surroundings and amenities. Gone is the previous model's low-budget cabin in favor of a more modern and refined design constructed with significantly upgraded materials. The result is a noticeably more upscale overall look and feel.
And under the hood one finds an all-new 283-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine that is further supported by retuned suspension calibrations, making for a more capable and pleasurable driving experience. The net result is a good-looking family minivan likely to attract those who had previously found this kind of vehicle too bland and who will appreciate some of its more luxurious features.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
The 2011 Chrysler Town & Country is available in three trims: Touring, Touring-L and Limited.
Even the base Touring model is already well-equipped with standard features that include full power accessories (including second-row power windows, third-row power vents and power-adjustable pedals), a backup camera, cruise control, air-conditioning, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, a power driver seat, 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, a power tailgate, automatic wipers, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, foglights, a roof rack, rear parking sensors, Stow 'n Go second-row seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a conversation mirror, a 115-volt AC power outlet and a 6-speaker CD audio system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen display, satellite radio, digital music storage and an auxiliary audio jack.
Those optiing for the Touring-L model gain standard leather upholstery, heated front seats, remote ignition, 17-inch alloy wheels, auto-dimming side mirrors, a power-adjustable front passenger seat and window shades for the second and third rows.
Moving up to the Town And Country Limited adds navigation, upgraded leather upholstery, a rear DVD entertainment system, Sirius Backseat TV, Bluetooth, keyless entry/ignition, xenon headlights, a heated second row, a heated steering wheel and a 9-speaker premium stereo system.
Optional features include some of the standard features on the upper trims packaged for the lower trims. Other available options include the Sirius Backseat TV, the rear entertainment system, Sirius Travel Link satellite data service, a power-folding third-row seat, Bluetooth and the second- and third-row window shades.
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Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
Powering the front-wheel drive 2011 Town & Country is the all-new 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, making it more powerful than both the Odyssey and Sienna. It's paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission (the only one offered).
The EPA-estimated gas mileage for the new Town & Country comes in at a respectable 17 mpg city, 25 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg combined (just under the numbers of both the Odyssey and Sienna).
Standard safety features across all 2011 Chrysler Town & Country models include stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes (ABS), a blind-spot monitor, a rear cross-path detection system, front seat side-impact airbags, a driver knee airbag, active front head restraints and full-length side curtain airbags.
Government crash tests for the new Town & Country minivan had not yet been completed at the time of this writing.
The Chrysler Town & Country's makeover is most apparent once inside. Nearly every aspect of the cabin has undergone a change for the better resulting in a much more attractive and refined overall appearance. The cabin of the top-of-the-line Limited model can be considered at the luxury level.
The seating is comfortable and supportive in all rows. It should also be noted that Chrysler's Stow 'n Go second-row seats have been redesigned for improved comfort. These easy-operating middle seats fold flat into the floor when maximizing cargo capacity, as opposed to other minivans which require their actual removal.
That said, while the third-row seats are also comfortable, headroom can be on the tight side for taller passengers, although most families use these seats for their children. The third-row seat can be equipped with a useful power-folding option and can also be conveniently turned backward for tailgating or other outdoor activities. Cargo capacity for the Town & Country is a decent 33 cubic feet even when all rows are being used. This can be expanded to a generous 143.8 cubic feet by folding down the second- and third-row seats to create a flat load floor.
The Town & Country's overall performance and handling have been markedly improved thanks to the new V6 engine as well as its retuned suspension. While it may not quite match the overall driving experience of the Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna, the 2011's new suspension calibration keeps better control of the body motion while still delivering a comfort-oriented ride that will please most families. Acceleration is brisk and capable, the steering effort is light and it corners surprisingly well, which also carries over to pleasing road manners on winding roads.
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