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2015 Chrysler Town & Country Windy City Review By Larry Nutson

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2015 Chrysler Town & Country

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

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1990 Chrysler T&C

The Chrysler Group invented the modern minivan in 1983 with the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager. (Some have debated this with Volkswagen’s Bus having been around since the ‘50s… but the word “modern” does define things.) The first luxury minivan, the Chrysler Town & Country, debuted in 1989. Seventy-eight minivan-first innovations and more than 13 million minivan sales later, the company still leads the way with an innovative vehicle to move people and things.

My parents-in-law drive a minivan. Mr. and Mrs. S., as I’ll refer to them, are both in their mid-80s. They’ve owned a minivan for about twenty years now, and are now on their fifth one. It happens to be a 2011 Chrysler Town & Country.

I like to say they consider it as a really large suitcase or mobile closet. For most of the year it gets one or both of them around suitably to carry out what they need to do. The front and middle row seats get used when friends or family join them. The third row seat is folded flat and that area is all for moving their stuff.

Each winter they head south to Florida from their Midwest home. A suspended bar across the rear is used for clothes on hangers needed for three months of being away. Various storage containers get loaded in. They hold books to read, unique cooking utensil and supplies they couldn’t do without for all those months, and various other personal items. The collection of bins and boxes easily fit in the large rear cargo area.

Mr. & Mrs. S. drive Chrysler’s Town & Country because it’s the only minivan on the market today made by a U.S.-headquartered automaker, that is, a domestic. The minivan offerings on the U.S. market today are not what they were back in the pre-SUV craze minivan heyday.

GM and Ford are not in the minivan business, although Ford’s Transit Connect might be called a mini-minivan. Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Nissan, and Toyota each have minivan offerings.

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) US LLC, the company formerly known as Chrysler Corporation, had its minivans come out on top in 2014, with the Chrysler Town & Country and the Dodge Grand Caravan ranked as the two highest-selling minivans for the year. Their combined sales of 272,192 units accounted for nearly one-half of all minivans sold in the Unites States.

For 2015, six different Chrysler minivan models (find specs and comparisons for all below my review) are offered: the Chrysler Town & Country LX, Town & Country Touring, Town & Country S, Town & Country Touring-L, Town & Country Limited and Town & Country Limited Platinum.

The Town & Country LX offers a high level of standard content at a starting price of $29,995. Prices climb through the model range and top out at $40,295 for the Limited Platinum.

My driver for a week was the Town & Country S with a base price of $33,295. With a number of fitted option packages and shipping the total price hit $38,120.

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The 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine is a two-time “Ward’s 10 Best Engine” winner and produces 283 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. The V-6 is mated to the 62TE six-speed automatic transmission. A fuel economizer mode helps the driver maximize fuel efficiency and premium,lower-rolling resistance tires and low-drag brake calipers and rear bearings help make for better fuel economy. Town & Country is EPA test rated at 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.

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I did a weekend road trip with the T&C covering about 260 miles broken up into three highway legs. The Town & Country performs well on the highway. The high seating position makes for good sight lines down the road. Ride and handling is comfortable and evokes a confident feeling. The power train does a fine job in acceleration, highway merging and passing.

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I wasn’t aiming for any fuel economy records on my drive. I was, like most drivers on the road, wanting to get from one place to another quickly and safely.

It was fairly easy to get 25 mpg even when driving along with the prevailing flow of interstate traffic. On one leg of my trip I did have some extra time so I cruised right at the posted speed limit and was able to achieve a couple MPG better than the EPA test rating.

Seating is a 2/2/3 configuration. Behind the third row there is 33 cuft of cargo capacity. Fold the third row seat flat and that grows to over 83 cuft. With the second row folded there’s a voluminous 143+ cuft and lots of load floor space.

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My father-in-law raves about his heated seats and power sliding doors and power rear hatch. I came to really appreciate the convenience of the power sliders. A quick hit of the remote and either door slides open allowing convenient loading of parcels or luggage. Likewise the power rear hatch makes life easy.

Chrysler says the Town & Country appeals to both Generation X professionals with two or more children in their household and baby boomers who have no children in the household. Safety and value are two of the primary reasons for purchase, though this customer also needs the functionality and space to ease the challenges of family life.

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If my in-laws are any example, the retired-set, no matter what their age or generation, also will find that minivans can and will provide fairly comfortable and versatile transportation. Ingress and egress is certainly easier than climbing up into an SUV and the low rear floor makes for easy lifting of parcels and so on.

If you would like to compare the 2015 Chrysler Town & Country to other minivans, you can do that right here on More information and detailed specifications and a complete list of standard features as well as options on the entire 2014 Chrysler Town & Country model line they can be found a mouse click away at

An updated new minivan is in the works from FCA US LLC. Some rumors say it will only appear as a Chrysler, and others say a Dodge version will also appear. We’ll have to just wait and see.

2015 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy

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