2008 Chrysler Town & Country
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Read more of Dave & Carolyn’s comments on the 2008 Chrysler Town & Country:
Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4

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By Dave and Carolyn;
edited by Paul Williams

Of all the minivans driven by Dave and Carolyn during our Minivan Challenge, the 2008 Chrysler Town & Country sees them the farthest apart in their opinions. Dave, while positive about many attributes of this vehicle, can’t seem to find an enthusiasm for it; Carolyn, while critical of certain features and characteristics of the Town & Country, gives it her highest rating of any minivan she’s driven.

We’ll leave it up to Dave and Carolyn to explain it below, but when analyzing their comments over the past month, and their final comments, certain observations are consistent. Both Dave and Carolyn like the look of the interior, which seems to them, a nice place to be. They both comment favourably and repeatedly on the plush ride of this vehicle. “It feels like a luxury car,” sums it up. They both love the DVD entertainment system, and single it out for praise. And they appreciate Chrysler’s “Stow ‘n Go” seating, where the second and third row seat fold completely into the floor. “I can’t imagine the typical family ever requiring more space for their stuff,” said Dave.

On the other hand, Carolyn really likes the Yes Essentials fabric seat covering, but Dave not so much; Carolyn was very impressed with the interior lighting and overall ambience, but Dave was just “okay” with it. Both Dave and Carolyn found the Town & Country comfortable to drive, but Dave didn’t find it handled as well as Carolyn. Carolyn liked the exterior design, and Dave didn’t warm up to it. In the end, part of their conclusions may have to do with intangibles. We don’t have a specific category for that (what are “intangibles,” anyway?), but it’s likely that for Carolyn, the Town & Country Touring “intangibles” work in its favour, but Dave doesn’t see it the same way.

One thing they did agree on, is that the Town & Country’s fuel consumption was more than they expected. At the combined 13.7 L/100km they experienced, this considerably exceeds Chrysler’s own estimation of 11.2 L/100 km. However, driving style can impact fuel consumption, and, as they say, your mileage may vary.

2008 Chrysler Town & Country – Dave’s Final Comments & Ratings

The Chrysler Town & Country minivan has served us well during the past four weeks. This vehicle is easy to drive, easy to operate, and its interior and exterior are aesthetically pleasing.

As mentioned by me several times – and it’s worth emphasizing – the Town & Country ride is very smooth and quiet. Our vehicle was packed with many options, including a great entertainment system, and a power lift-gate, which is a particularly welcomed feature.

2008 Chrysler Town & Country
2008 Chrysler Town & Country; photo courtesy Chrysler Canada. Click image to enlarge

A climate control system would be nice to have in this “Touring” version van (I know it’s standard on the “Limited”). Carolyn and I could not seem to find a comfortable setting in this regard. Within a few minutes of turning the heat on (once the van has warmed up) you become very warm and you want to turn it off quickly (too quickly). Surprisingly, the van also becomes chilly fairly quickly, once the heater is turned off, but this may be a function of the large amount of space in any van (now that it’s cold, we’ll watch for this in our next test vehicle).

With an infant in tow, I think it is essential to have a flat folding front seat; something this van lacks. Moreover, the plastic storage containers on the back of the front sets are not very useful. Interestingly, since we took possession of this van we have noticed that our dog does not seem comfortable riding in it (she squats against the back of the van, looking dismayed). I realize this sounds odd, which is why I have never mentioned this before. But now I have figured it out. The stain resistant carpets in this vehicle are actually slippery. I have noticed that our groceries slide around the back of the van (more than is typical) when we are driving/braking. As for Laila, she slides around too! (I noticed this the other day), and she cannot sit comfortably in this van because her front paws slide forward (not unlike when she tries to sit on our hardwood floors at home). To compensate for this, she plants herself against the back of the van.

Surprisingly, this vehicle ended up being one of the least fuel efficient vehicles we have tested so far (13.7 litres/100 km combined). When I mentioned this to Carolyn she did not seem so surprised; she said she had to fill the tank frequently. I realize that the Montana, for instance, was not particularly fuel efficient either, but the Montana was a quick, powerful vehicle, whereas our Town and Country could use a bit more power.

All and all, however, I think this van will please many people. It’s modern, stylish, versatile, and feels solid and well built.

2008 Chrysler Town & Country – Carolyn’s Final Comments & Ratings

2008 Chrysler Town & Country
2008 Chrysler Town & Country; photo courtesy Chrysler Canada. Click image to enlarge

The Chrysler Town & Country minivan continues to impress me positively. It has so many family friendly features and offers a luxurious and smooth ride.

Here are some of the features that I especially like about the Chrysler Town & Country Touring:

  • Very nice looking exterior design – the tailgate is not too boxy – and the red colour is a hit among my family & friends.
  • This minivan’s interior design is very pleasant, with faux wood and chrome accents which add to the esthetics. The green dashboard lights AND the nighttime ambience lights are also very attractive. The inside design of this minivan has an art deco and very luxurious feel to it (it reminded me very much of the Honda Odyssey in this regard – I felt very “snazzy” driving both of these minivans!).
  • The interior functionality of this minivan is also exceptional in my opinion. All of the controls are located in easy to reach places and things are fairly easy to figure out including the DVD system, the radio system (which offers excellent sound), the heating and air conditioning system, the controls to activate the power liftgate, sliding side doors, front seats, and side mirrors.
  • The power sliding side doors & the power tailgate! These are “must haves” in my opinion, and the Town & Country has them!
  • The DVD entertainment system is extremely easy to use and includes three separate screens, which means I can also watch a DVD with my daughter when the vehicle is parked (I did get to use this feature and I really enjoyed it).
  • I find the seats comfortable and I especially like the fact that the “Yes Essentials” fabric offers an ethical and practical alternative to leather seats. The seats in this minivan are made of a more contemporary non-leather material which is designed to maximize comfort (moulding to your body shape) and to repel stains – features that are convenient to families with children and pets.
  • This minivan manoeuvres well and offers a very smooth ride.

    2008 Chrysler Town & Country
    2008 Chrysler Town & Country; photo courtesy Chrysler Canada. Click image to enlarge
  • This minivan comes with many attractive features including: two glove compartments, a conversation mirror, a really nice console in the front row seat, built-in sunshades, middle row windows which open for the passengers at the back, Stow & Go seats which fold into the floor and make it easier to haul big items, and satellite radio.
  • Getting my daughter in and out of this minivan is really easy because there is a lot of extra room in the due to the streamlined Stow and Go seats.
  • The customer service we received in picking up this minivan was exceptional. A Chrysler representative spent a considerable amount of time explaining all of the features offered in this minivan. We found this very useful. Also, we had a couple of questions during our time with this minivan and these were also answered promptly.

    Here are some of the features that I find less appealing about the Chrysler Town & Country Touring:

  • It would be really nice to have climate controlled heating and air conditioning in this minivan – I never realized how important this feature is to me.
  • This minivan needs a few more cup holders, especially for the second row passengers. Because of the Stow ‘N Go seating feature, the second row does not have its own console or cup holders and passengers are expected to share with the front row passengers by using the front console which can be shifted back slightly. However, this is not a great option because the front console does not slide back far enough and I found it useless as a cup holder when I was sitting in the second row seats with my daughter. Also, similar to the Pontiac Montana, the storage spaces in this minivan are made of hard plastic materials, and so again I found myself trying to stick things into places where they just would not fit; storage spaces seem to be most useful when they are made of malleable materials (e.g., soft leather or mesh).
  • Interestingly, the materials in this minivan do not seem to like the cold weather anymore than I do. In fact, when I get into this minivan first thing in the morning the front passenger dashboard seems to creek and make a lot of noise until the vehicle heats up. Also, on a couple of very cold mornings the “check tire pressure” sensor has come on; it then turns off when the vehicle heats up.
  • Again, I was surprised to note that this minivan does not have a locking gas gap – just like the Pontiac Montana. This might in fact be a feature of domestic vehicles.
  • Also, this minivan does not have the acceleration that the other minivans have – I suppose I will have to rate this minivan as having the poorest acceleration as compared with the other minivans we have tested to date.
  • I found this minivan’s fuel consumption to be excessive.

    Dave and Carolyn’s evaluation of the 2008 Chrysler Town & Country

    (Each item is rated on a scale of one to five. Maximum score: 100)

    Item Dave Carolyn
    Exterior Design 3.75 4.5
    Ease of Entry/Exit 3.5 4
    Ride 4 4.5
    Engine/Transmission 3 3
    Ease of Operation 4 4.5
    Visibility from Driver’s Seat 4 4.5
    Comfortable Driving Position 4 4
    Interior Ergonomics 3.5 4.5
    Quality of Materials 3.5 4.5
    Interior Design 3.25 5
    Interior Functionality 3.5 5
    Build Quality (rattles, etc.) 3.75 3.5
    Entertainment System 4.5 5
    Night Driving 4 5
    Braking 3.75 4.5
    Acceleration 3 3
    Cornering 3.5 4.5
    Stability 3.5 4
    Fuel Economy 3 4
    Overall Appeal 3.75 4.5
    Total 72.75 86

    Click here to read reviews of all the minivans in the Minivan Challenge.

    Read more of Dave & Carolyn’s comments on the 2008 Chrysler Town & Country:

    Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4
    Read all the articles in the Minivan Challenge

    Photo Gallery: 2008 Chrysler Town & Country

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