In a year of widespread changes for the Chrysler Group, the automaker's 2011 Chrysler Town & Country minivan is the beneficiary of a mid-life remake that melds exterior styling enhancements plus suspension and powertrain revamps with an even plusher and more passenger-indulging interior treatment. Making its first public appearance in Los Angeles, this primo people mover sports more refined fascia treatments that add a touch of understated class. Up front, a recontoured hood presides over a lower-profile grille while the rear gets recast and LED-infused taillamps linked together by a chrome accent strip that spans the liftgate.

Like its mechanical cousin, the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan, the 2011 Chrysler Town and Country brooms its previous 3.3/3.8/4.0-liter V6 engines for its single variation on the new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 theme. Despite boasting a class-leading 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, this high-efficiency motivator still returns an impressive 17/25 mpg on the EPA city/highway cycles when linked to the T&C's standard six-speed automatic transmission that now offers an electronic "Fuel Economizer Mode" that revises shift mapping at the touch of a button. Although its basic suspension formula carries forward, the chassis team changed numerous detail elements to significantly improve the 2011 Town & Country's overall driving dynamics while netting better overall isolation and reducing interior noise levels.

Inside, the 2011 Chrysler Town & Country boasts upgraded fabric and leather treatments specific to each of its three trim levels as well as more prominent soft-touch surfaces to complement a new single-piece dash, multifunction steering wheel and instrument cluster, improved climate controls and more versatile center console. Recontoured front buckets offer greater comfort as do larger and better-padded second-row Stow-n-Go seats with a new one-touch fold-down feature that eases access to the third-row split bench. In addition to numerous comfort and convenience standards, all versions of the 2011 Chrysler Town & Country will come with the SafetyTec package, a comprehensive suite of safety and technology features that bolsters the traction/stability control, anti-lock disc brakes and six airbags with class-exclusive Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection systems.

Three increasingly luxurious variations of the 2011 Chrysler Town & Country lineup will in dealers later this fall. The Touring model will open at $30,995, the Touring L at $32,995 and the Limited at $39,495.

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