2005 Town & Country New Car Test Drive
This is a great time to be shopping for a new minivan. Ford, Toyota and Nissan launched all-new models for the 2004 model year and GM and Honda are introducing all-new models for 2005. To counter this, Chrysler has added more than a dozen new features to its Town & Country models, including an innovative new seating setup. And the price of entry has been dropped with the addition of two value-priced models.
Chrysler's new second- and third-row seats fold perfectly flat, flush with the floor, revealing more than 160 cubic feet of cargo space. That's substantially more than what's available in any sport-utility vehicle, including the behemoth Chevy Suburban. The Town & Country's seats are quickly and easily folded flat without having to remove the headrests. To accommodate the new seating system, Chrysler's engineers redesigned the Town & Country's underbody and designed a new fuel tank, exhaust system, parking brake cables, and rear climate control lines, and modified the rear suspension.
When the seats are in place, they provide comfortable perches for up to seven passengers. Storage bins and cargo nets assist with carrying groceries. Curtain air bags designed to provide full-length coverage for all three rows of seats are available, though they're not standard equipment.
The Town & Country offers a responsive engine, smooth, quiet ride. The luxurious Limited model comes with leather upholstery, upscale appointments, and dual power sliding doors and a power rear liftgate. GPS navigation, DVD entertainment, hands-free communication and other features are available for increased convenience. The Town & Country remains a solid choice in spite of new minivans from other manufacturers, and it makes a lot more sense for moving people around than an SUV.
The 2005 Chrysler Town & Country lineup includes several trim levels: base, LX, Touring, and Limited. Two V6 engines are available: A 3.3-liter V6 comes on base and LX models and produces 180 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque. A 3.8-liter V6 comes standard on Touring and Limited models and develops 215 horsepower and 245 pound-feet of torque. All models come with a four-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is not available.
The base Town & Country ($20,330) is a short-wheelbase model, an apparent replacement for the discontinued Voyager. It comes equipped with air conditioning, power windows, tilt steering column, remote keyless entry, AM/FM/cassette, and dual sliding doors. Standard upholstery is cloth. The new Stow 'n Go seats are not included, however, and the second row is a bench seat. Anti-lock brakes are optional; rear drum brakes are standard.
The LX ($24,770) is a base model built on the same long wheelbase used by the rest of the models. It's equipped similarly to the base model, but gets the Stow 'n Go seating system, a CD changer, heated power mirrors, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and upgraded interior and exterior trim.
The Touring model ($27,070) steps you up to traditional Town & Country convenience features with dual power sliding doors, power liftgate, three-zone temperature control, upgraded audio, upgraded interior trim, eight-way power driver's seat, improved interior lighting, overhead console with trip computer, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls and speed control, tire-pressure warning system, universal garage door opener, roof rack, 16-inch wheels and tires, and traction control.
The Limited ($35,070) is a luxury model that comes standard with leather-trimmed upholstery, upgraded interior trim, heated seats, GPS navigation, air filtering, removable center console, power door locks, upgraded exterior trim, fog lights, automatic headlamps, Park Assist, power adjustable pedals, 16-inch wheels and tires, and a memory function for the radio, driver's seat and mirrors. It also comes standard with curtain airbags.
Loads of options and packages should ensure buyers will be able to come up with the perfect combination of features on the model they want. Leather upholstery is optional for the Touring model and is packaged with three-zone temperature control, the deluxe overhead console, and power seats ($2,100).
Side-impact airbags, curtain airbags, and ABS are optional on several models.
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