KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB Editors
- Updated Date: 5/26/2011
You'll Like This Car If...
As did Chrysler itself, the 2011 Town & Country
minivan has undergone a radical transformation, being remade anew with a little help from Fiat and the federal government. When it first appeared in 1989, the Town & Country minivan was unique in that it was the first luxury minivan ever produced. And, while the Town & Country name has always been synonymous with luxury and fine living, it was traditionally attached to a station
wagon with strong ties to Chrysler's luxury land yachts, the New Yorker and Imperial. Today's Town & Country holds the same job as its predecessor - namely, to shuttle the family comfortably wherever it needs to go – but it does so in a way no station wagon could ever mimic. From its Stow 'n Go seating, to its big rear-seat entertainment systems, to the appealing use of lighting throughout the vehicle, the Town & Country minivan remains in a class all by itself.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you're not willing to give up style and pampering for the sake of utility and necessity, the 2011 Chrysler Town & Country's impressive list of standard and available luxury features will likely put your mind at ease.
What's New for 2011
If long-term dependability and high resale value are first and foremost on your list of concerns, the Town & Country's somewhat spotty past may not do much to convince you this new model has mended its ways.
The 2011 Chrysler Town & Country receives a major makeover, touting revised front and rear fascias, a new engine, new suspension and a greatly improved interior.
Driven back-to-back, there is no comparison between the departed 2010 model and the 2011 Town & Country. The new suspension provides excellent road manners, with precise steering, minimal body roll and a velvety smooth ride. The new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 has power in reserve and can move a fully-loaded Limited model almost as if it were being pulled by a Hemi V8. The engine and transmission work seamlessly, always finding the right gear and never feeling strained or over burdened. Noise levels inside the Town & Country are so low it's easy to have a conversation between front and third-row passengers. About the only fault we found with the Town & Country was its rather wide turning radius, which makes it feel less nimble in parking lots, especially when compared with the exceptionally tight-turning Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.
In addition to the comprehensive Uconnect infotainment system up front, Chrysler's newest minivan offers dual, independent rear video screens that allow second- and third-row passengers to watch two different DVD movies, play video games or even watch the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network Mobile via Sirius 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.
The 2011 Chrysler Town & Country offers an elegant and rewarding interior ensconced in soft-touch panels, sophisticated electronics and soothing recessed lighting. The new dash displays large, legible gauges with blue and white backlighting and a large LCD display screen for the navigation and UConnect features (Bluetooth, audio, voice commands, etc.) Chrysler's Stow 'n Go seating allows the second-row seats to fold flush into the floor and provides additional storage bins when the seats are in place. The new seats are better padded for improved comfort and feature a one-touch lever that folds the headrest, unhinges the rear anchors and flips the backrest forward, allowing the seats to be quickly and easily folded into their bins. Another innovative idea is the third-row's tailgate feature, which allows the third-row seat to be flipped 180 degrees to face outward, creating a comfortable bench seat for tailgating or just enjoying the view.
Notable Standard Equipment
The 2011 Chrysler Town & Country has softened its boxy and bland design with more chrome, a more shapely front end and more usable features, such as the Stow 'n Place roof rack that folds into the side rails when not in use. Ample glass surrounds the Town & Country, most of which is dark tinted for improved privacy. First and second-row windows retract into the doors, while the third-row side glass opens out slightly to vent air. All models feature dual power-sliding side doors, plus a power-operated rear liftgate.
Notable Optional Equipment
The 2011 Chrysler Town & Country Touring comes nicely equipped and includes three-zone air conditioning, power windows/locks/mirrors, CD/DVD/HDD/MP3 sound system, power-sliding side doors, a power rear liftgate, rearview camera, ParkSense rear parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers, SmartBeam headlamps, Blind-spot Monitoring system, eight-way power driver's seat, steering wheel controls for audio and cruise control, 16-inch alloy wheels and a 3.6-liter V6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard safety equipment includes electronic stability and traction controls plus front side-impact and three-row side-curtain airbags, and a driver's-side knee-blocker airbag.
Under the Hood
The Touring L adds perforated leather seating, heated front seats, remote start, third-row window shades, 17-inch alloy wheels and an eight-way power passenger seat. The Limited adds nine-speaker audio with subwoofer, a heated steering wheel, heated second-row seats, dual DVD entertainment system, HID headlamps, Uconnect, Garmin navigation radio and Keyless Enter-N-Go. The Town & Country's most sophisticated option is a hard-drive-based Uconnect GPS system that offers Garmin navigation with real-time traffic information and features CD/DVD/HDD/MP3-compatible CD player plus music and JPEG image uploading, auxiliary audio input, voice-recognition, Bluetooth hands-free cell-phone connectivity and more. Other notable options include a power sunroof, remote start, heated steering wheel, power folding third-row seats, second-row luxury seating and a trailer tow package with automatic load leveling.
The 2011 Chrysler Town & Country has had its powertrain choices streamlined to a single unit: A 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Pentastar is Chrysler's best V6 to date and may even rank as one of the best V6 engines on the market. Smooth, powerful and fairly fuel-efficient, this engine's 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque have been a long overdue necessity for the Town & Country, allowing it to finally compete with the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Siena. In addition, the Pentastar is E85-compatible, meaning it can run on a combination of gasoline and ethanol.
283 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 (Gasoline), 12/18 (E85)
The 2011 Chrysler Town & Country Touring has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting a little over $31,000; the price will climb to about $42,000 for a fully-loaded Limited model. These prices might seem steep when compared with other minivans, but the Town & Country comes very well equipped and offers features not found on its competitors. We expect our Fair Purchase Price to reflect real-world transaction prices – before any available incentives – right around sticker price. Despite its relatively new design, the Town & Country does not retain resale value as well as other stalwarts like the
Honda Odyssey and