2002 Town & Country New Car Test Drive
If what you really want is a luxury car, but family demands call for a minivan, then you've come to the right place. With comfortable seating (available in leather, of course) for up to seven people, power everything, a responsive engine, and a smooth ride, the Chrysler Town & Country makes you feel like you're driving an refined, upscale vehicle. Yet it offers practicality without the excessive weight and bulk of a sport-utility vehicle. Getting in and out is easy with a low, flat floor and chair-height seating, and you don't need to be a Houdini to climb into the third row. It even fits in the garage.
Chrysler completely redesigned the Town & Country for 2001. The result ranks among the best minivans on the market. The interior is versatile with seats that fold and remove. Powerful V6 engines deliver crisp performance. The ride is smooth and quiet. And it's wrapped in an attractive design.
New features available for 2002 include adjustable pedals, DVD video and remote audio for the rear seats complete with wireless headphones, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
For 2002, the Town & Country line has been expanded to four trim levels: LX, a new EX, LXi, and Limited. It also comes with a choice of front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive. Chrysler positions them as seven distinct models.
All are built on a long wheelbase, making the Town & Country among the biggest minivans on the market.
With one exception, they all come with a 215-horsepower 3.8-liter overhead-valve V6. The base LX front-wheel-drive model comes with a 3.3-liter overhead-valve V6 that produces 180 horsepower. They all come with four-wheel antilock disc brakes.
Retail prices range from $24,880 for the LX FWD to $37,660 for the Limited AWD, loaded with leather, all-wheel drive and other features. Chrysler's Town & Country Limited feels like a luxury vehicle that happens to be a minivan. In between is a broad range of models to fill varying needs and price ranges.
A new EX ($26,175) comes with popular convenience features, such as a power-up and power-down rear liftgate, a passenger-side power-sliding door, a removable power center console, AM/FM/CD/cassette stereo with six speakers, split 50/50 roller seats, second-row bucket seats, a power eight-way driver's seat, and three-zone temperature control. It also adds traction control and 16-inch tires and aluminum wheels.
LXi ($29,175) adds automatic temperature control, an air filtration system, dual power sliding doors, a universal garage door opener, an electroluminescent instrument panel, and other features. Color-keyed lower bodyside cladding distinguishes it as an uplevel model.
Side-impact airbags are standard on the Limited, optional on other models ($390).
In addition to the Town & Country line, Chrysler also markets the Voyager, which is built on a standard wheelbase minivan and offers a strong value. (See separate NewCarTestDrive.com review of the Voyager line.).