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 puffy on Monday, February 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Drives like a Brand New Car!!!"
Cons: "Needs NOTHING!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"If a person is LOOKING for a really LOW Mileage LOADED Minivan for a GREAT PRICE this is it! The Original sticker was $42,000!! We are the Original owners and this car has been meticolously maintained also!! Even has Disney TV through Sirius."
1 person out of 3 found this review helpful
By Rob on Sunday, February 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 76,329overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "kids like the rear video system"
Cons: "Poor quality"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Since I purchased the vehicle new in 2008, I have had to replace the brakes 4 times and the rotors 3 times during those repairs due to cheap materials that wear prematurely. The front hubs are also an issue with this vehicle. I have replaced the driver front hub twice and the passenger front hub once. Currently it sounds like the driver side hub is failing again. Only a couple of these repairs were covered in the first 36,000 miles. I have never owned a vehicle with this many mechanical issues in just over 5 years of ownership."
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Chuck D on Saturday, February 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "power, overall design and feel"
Cons: "no side door overide,touch screen radio"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"Overall design is nice. Has a classy look on inside. Automatic 3 zone heating and air conditioning works great. Power doors and lift gate are good as are the stow and go seats. Wish there was a total manual override for side doors. Engine has plenty of power and perhaps too much off the line. Would have preferred less power and better gas mileage (getting 15.5 in suburban driving). Wish there was more engine braking when lifting off gas. Touchscreen radio cannot be operated with gloves and the steering wheel controls for it are not intuitive. Chrysler's quality record concerns me but no problems yet."
By goaskal on Friday, February 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "reliable comfort"
Cons: "cheap details like floormats"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"No major problems in 52K miles. Needed brakes at about 44K miles and just scheduled service beyond that. Cheap floor mats make poor first impression but seats overcome that deficiency. Gas mileage equals or betters EPA sticker. Plan to drive it for at least another 100 - 200K miles and see no reason to doubt that I can. Engine is Very powerful."
2 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Kyle on Tuesday, February 11, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Going down hill FAST
Pros: "Cheap, lots of luxury features."
Cons: "A break down waiting to happen."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Let me start by saying that we fell in love with the car initially for all the creature comforts and extras it had for much cheaper than its competitors. The motor had lots of power, and the ride was smooth. The interior is well designed and very comfortable. About 70,000 miles in, it started burning oil very rapidly. The drivers side power sliding door failed along with the window, and the heated seat. While in drive, stopped, foot on the brake, the car would shake probably a lot more than it should at idle. Sometimes when we would go to start it, it would take a good five seconds of turning over before it would fire, usually followed by a grinding noise under the hood for a second. When we would crank the wheel all the way left or right it would always give a weird, loud chirping noise. Looking around I found that none of these problems are unique to the car, bad purchase, should have done more research. I likely won't be buying a (newer model) Dodge/Chrysler anytime again soon."
6 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By jj on Sunday, February 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "110,00 miles - no problems. Stow and go very handy"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is my 4th mini van. (all chryslers). Planning on buying a new one. The stow and go seating feature is so very handy on lots of occasions. Can handle 7 passengers/ or loads of lumber and full sheets of plywood/sheetrock."
6 people out of 8 found this review helpful