By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.1
Like the Chrysler Corporation itself, the Town & Country underwent a substantial transformation in 2011, with new front and rear styling, a new engine and suspension, and a vastly improved interior. One of the oldest nameplates in production, the Town & Country name has long evoked fine living, from the jaunty convertibles with real wood body trim in the 1940s and 1950s to the yacht-sized wagons last seen in 1977 to the woody-effect K-car wagons and convertibles of the 1980s. Reborn as a luxury minivan in the 1990s, this is the status the Town & Country holds today, and it retains the class to itself. From its big rear-seat entertainment system to its innovative cabin amenities, the 2012 Chrysler Town & Country remains a standout choice for fine family living on the go.
If you refuse to accept life's necessities like family transportation and versatile utility without a generous helping of luxury and style, the 2012 Chrysler Town & Country's impressive standard and available features will likely satisfy your needs as well as your desires.
If maximum resale value and an untarnished reputation for bulletproof reliability are your top priorities, you should probably forgo the frills and head to your Honda or Toyota dealer. Only time will tell if Chrysler has mended its ways as much as this minivan's initial impressions suggest.
Heavily revised for 2011 with new styling and the class-leading horsepower of Chrysler's new Pentastar V6, the Town & Country edges higher in refinement for 2012. Leather seating and rear-seat DVD entertainment are now standard on all trim levels.
Driving Impressions If you haven't driven a Town & Country since its transformation in 2011, it's worth some time behind the wheel. The revamped suspension provides excellent road manners, with precise steering,...minimal body roll and a velvety ride. Chrysler's new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 has power in reserve and can move a fully loaded Limited model without making you wish for a HEMI V8. The engine and transmission work fairly seamlessly, never feeling overburdened or indecisive, and the dash-mounted gear selector is easy to master. Noise levels inside the Town & Country are quiet enough to make conversation easy among all three rows. Faults are hard to find in the Town & Country, but it's something of a reach to use its touch-screen audio system, and a somewhat wide turning radius makes it feel less nimble in parking lots, especially when compared to the exceptionally tight-turning Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.
In addition to the comprehensive Uconnect infotainment system up front, Chrysler's flagship minivan offers dual, independent rear video screens that allow second- and third-row passengers to watch two different DVD movies, play different video games or even watch the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network Mobile via SiriusXM Backseat TV.
Heated Steering Wheel
A feature offered on no other minivan, this small convenience is greatly appreciated on mornings when the thermometer dips into single digits.
Chrysler minivans have long been a showcase of innovation, and now the Town & Country offers the refined appearance to match. Soft-touch trim and chrome-trimmed instruments' elegant LED lighting complement standard leather on the first two rows of seats as well as the manually tilt/telescoping steering wheel. Standard power front seats are supportive yet supple, and Chrysler's Stow 'n Go second-row bench remains the industry benchmark, with easy folding and under-floor storage when the seats are in use. The third row can be flipped 90 degrees for tailgate-party seating. It's easy to lose count of the many bins, cubbies and power ports, though a 115-volt household-style outlet is a standout.Exterior
Sparkling chrome with sparks of innovation continue to make the Town & Country shine. Its 2011 makeover added the new wave-form chrome grille and jeweled headlights, and 17-inch alloy wheels are standard across the board. All six side windows, the liftgate and both sliding doors are power-operated, with the slider rails concealed between the rear side windows and chrome trim, a styling lesson Honda should learn. The standard roof rack features clever Stow 'n Place crossbars that fold into the side rails when not in use.
Chrysler's entry-level 2012 Town & Country Touring comes well-furnished, with 8-way power front seats, power-adjustable pedals, and 3-zone air conditioning. Power windows are featured in all three rows, the rearmost being flip-open vents. The CD/DVD/MP3/SiriusXM audio features a large touch screen, a hard drive and steering-wheel controls, and there is a rear DVD system with a 9-inch screen in the second row. The smooth 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Standard safety systems include 3-row side-curtain airbags, front side-impact airbags, a driver's knee airbag, electronic stability control, Brake Assist and a rearview camera.
Navigation, proximity keyless entry, a heated steering wheel and a SafetyTec package including Rear Park Assist and Rear Cross Path Detection are among the few options available on the Touring model. Stepping up to the Touring-L adds chrome mirrors and the SafetyTec package as standard, while option choices expand as well, including second-row bucket seats, a third-row DVD screen and a power sunroof. The top-line Limited adds power first- and second-row seats with fancier leather, a power-folding third-row seat, the third-row DVD, xenon headlights, a heated leather-and-wood steering wheel, and the UConnect media system with Bluetooth phone and audio, iPod connectivity and navigation.
The Chrysler Town & Country offers a single drivetrain configuration: the new-for-2011 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 teamed with a 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. The Pentastar is easily Chrysler's most enjoyable V6 to date and may even rank as one of the best V6 engines on the market. Smooth, powerful and fairly fuel-efficient, its 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque are a welcome improvement for the Town & Country, allowing it to finally compete with the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. In addition, the Pentastar is Flex Fuel compatible, meaning it can run on a combination of gasoline and E85 ethanol.
283 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 (gasoline), 12/18 (E85)
By Jerry on Tuesday, July 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Solid comfortable transportation. Great MPG."
Cons: "Too much chrome on the dash."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is a fun to drive, comfortable, and reliable van. I have gotten 32 mpg at 70 mph all highway driving. The many safety features are great, like cross traffic and blind spot warnings, back up camera, and Blue Tooth phone. It has plenty of power to pull my 3600 Lb boat. This is my sixth T&C van. All others have gone 100,000 to 200,000 mi. with no engine or transmission problems. Take care of them and they will last forever."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By monkey on Monday, July 07, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Piece of Junk
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Worst van I have ever owned. Had major engine problems at 75,000 miles. Can't use an after market oil filter on this van only a Chrysler oil filter. Cam shaft position sensor kept going out every 30,000 miles with no answer as to why. Also had to have left head fixed. Van was biggest piece of junk I every owned and will never own another one. My sister also had one and it was very unreliable."
7 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By DEK on Wednesday, June 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,219overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Handling, appearance, utility, fuel mileage"
Cons: "Exhaust noise, road noise, transmission"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I love the "Stow N Go" seats. While the second row seats are not as plush as Honda or Toyota, the utility value is unbeatable. The car is excellent on the road. Most of the mileage is between Texas and Illinois. I get over 26 mpg highway. Engine has excellent power for accelerating or passing. The exhaust is too noisy. The vehicle allows more road noise in than I like. The radio does not have speed sensing volume control unlike my 2005 truck. The transmission shifts too often and frequently has trouble finding which gear it wants. With a very little bit of tweaking, this vehicle would easily be a "10" in all categories."
8 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Mamamaz on Sunday, June 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,500overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good as a car, fine for cargo."
Cons: "No cons."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"We have had this van for 5 years. It drives like a regular car. We just don't need such a large vehicle any more. We have all its paper work. A treasure."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Deb on Tuesday, June 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 170,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Some issues w transmission had to be repaired am a home care nurse plus babysit my grandchildren, great for trips, lots of storage, good for multiple car seats, handles winter roads well"
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Dana on Friday, June 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "comfortable seats"
Cons: "to many to list"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"So many problems AC, driver power seat, lights, brakes, oil leaks, and key gets stuck in the ignition. Repair shop says these are all common problems with Town and Country. Wish I would have bought anything but this money pit."
3 people out of 9 found this review helpful