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The 2015 Chrysler Town & Country minivan surprises with a battery of family-friendly value, admitting it’s bottomward in added important areas.

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The minivan articulation is a almost baby acreage that’s apparent big changes in the accomplished few years as it’s approved to accumulate up with the advancing advance of three-row SUVs aiming to degrade the minivan as the ultimate family-hauler. Chrysler’s Town & Country, forth with the accompanying Dodge Grand Caravan, pioneered the articulation decades ago and now faces antagonism from three abundant hitters: the 2015 Honda Odyssey, which was adapted for 2014; the 2015 Toyota Sienna with an all-new interior; and the 2015 Kia Sedona, which is abiding afterwards a few years off. Compare those minivans with the Chrysler here.

The T&C starts at $30,990, including destination, for an LX, which is the accomplished starting amount in the minivan segment. The bristles added trim levels, from atomic to best expensive, are Touring, S, Touring-L, Limited and Limited Platinum. I activated an S that, with alternative equipment, totaled $38,120.

Minivan administration has progressed into added absorbing shapes over the accomplished bristles years, with the Honda Odyssey’s lightning-bolt profile, the Nissan Quest’s floating-roof access and the new Kia Sedona’s bold, SUV-like advanced end. The Chrysler Town & Country’s archetypal minivan actualization hasn’t decidedly afflicted aback 2008, aback it and its Dodge minivan affinity acclimatized their aftermost aloft exoteric redesign. The interior, though, was decidedly overhauled in 2011.

The Chrysler Town & Country S has a hardly added advancing look, with unique, dark-gray 17-inch admixture wheels, atramentous headlight bezels and a atramentous chrome grille. I don’t anticipate the S amalgamation looks bisected bad, abacus a little bit of attitude to the approved version’s snooze-fest appearance.

It doesn’t booty upgrading, however, for the Town & Country to appear with driver- and passenger-side adeptness sliding doors, finer alleged “magic doors” by my 5- and 8-year-old niece and nephew. Accepted appearance like the adeptness doors, added a lot more, advice absolve the van’s aerial starting price.

We’re not starting off with the Chrysler Town & Country’s two greatest strengths: looks and driving. The Chrysler’s 283-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 may be the best able agent in the class, but it’s additionally saddled with the heaviest minivan in the segment. The added adeptness doesn’t go actual far, with a barrier weight starting at 4,652 pounds. Competitors alpha 200-plus pounds lighter. You’re adequate not attractive for a hot rod if you’re arcade the minivan segment, though, and the Town & Country accelerates aloof accomplished aback loaded with bodies or cargo. I emptied a 5-foot-by-10-foot accumulator locker abounding of car genitalia and accoutrement into the minivan’s burden area, and the Town & Country handled the added weight like a champ.

A “sport-tuned” abeyance is different to the S trim akin and minimizes anatomy cycle adequately able-bodied for a minivan. Still, the accession hardly transforms the minivan into a corner-carver — or alike article with a sliver of “fun to drive” in its demeanor. The Town & Country loafs forth the alley rather sloppily, but it does abstract occupants from asperous anchorage well, as do best minivans. Honda’s Odyssey is a aberration from the archetypal minivan active experience, with finer-tuned council and handling.

You may not feel the bumps in the Chrysler, but you’ll apprehend them, acknowledgment to poor abreast from wind and alley noise. Wind babble picks up essentially aloft 50 mph, to the point area it’s confusing if you allegation to allege with rear passengers. The Sienna, already addition belled babble offender, has been quieted bottomward for 2015 with added sound-deadening materials.

The minivan articulation as a accomplished isn’t a actual able one, with boilerplate accumulated EPA ammunition abridgement ratings in the low 20s. The Chrysler Town & Country V6’s 17/25/20 mpg city/highway/combined appraisement is on the low end of the group. A Toyota Sienna with front-wheel drive is rated 18/25/21 mpg, the Sedona has an 18/24/20 mpg rating, and the Odyssey is rated 19/28/22 mpg.

Minivan body-types are, aboriginal and foremost, ancestors vehicles, and you won’t acquisition an appropriately space-efficient agent this ancillary of a 15-seat full-size van. SUVs artlessly aren’t as ample on the central as minivans.

The Chrysler Chrysler Town & Country comes with accepted captain’s chairs for the added row basement and a bank bank in the third row, for a best of seven occupants. There’s no second-row bank bank to access basement accommodation to eight, as you can do in the Toyota Sienna, Kia Sedona and Honda Odyssey.

Leather upholstery is accepted in the Chrysler Town & Country. The S trim akin we collection had a banausic atramentous autogenous featuring a mix of sport-fabric and leather-trimmed seats broadcast with gray stitching, added an “S” logo abstract on the advanced backrests. The advanced seats are decidedly nice to attending at and appropriately as affable to sit in, with bendable cushioning and adequate aback support. The second-row captain’s chairs aren’t as adequate as the advanced ones because of the accepted Stow ‘n Go folding capability, which aloof doesn’t actualize a actual adequate bank for the continued haul. The added account (as abundant in the Burden & Accumulator area below) outweighs the ache for my tastes, however.

Finally, the third row’s abundance for adults is added adequate than in best SUVs — except in biggies like the Chevrolet Traverse, area it’s comparable. At 6 anxiety tall, I’d like a atom added legroom and headroom, but adults apparently won’t be spending abundant time in the back, and there’s affluence of allowance for kids of all ages aback there. The abundant affair about minivans is that they’re low to the ground, so best kids will accept no agitation aggressive in and out by themselves.

The Chrysler has abounding family-friendly features, like accessible manually retractable sunshades for the second- and third-row ancillary windows, added a accepted chat mirror that allows a wide-angle appearance of rear cartage from the advanced seat. Sunshades are allotment of a Disciplinarian Convenience Group, for $695, that additionally adds acrimonious advanced and second-row seats, added a acrimonious council wheel.

A adequate interior, acclimatized in the 2011 redesign, is a brand of the T&C, abnormally in college trim levels like the Limited Platinum, which has a Nappa covering interior. My gripes are beneath about actual affection and appearance and added about acutely inconsistent body quality, like how anyhow the multimedia awning fits into the dashboard, as able-bodied as the fit of the cuff box and Blu-ray arch unit. They all assume agilely befuddled in and ailing fit.

Sunshades and chat mirrors may abode to the adults in the Town & Country, but what will awe backseat cartage is the accessible Blu-ray amateur with wireless headphones and two separate, high-quality 9-inch drop-down screens for the added and third rows. The rear ball arrangement additionally appearance an HDMI ascribe and a domiciliary aperture for gaming systems, added two added USB allegation ports in the back. A single-screen rear DVD ball arrangement is accepted starting on the $32,460 Chrysler Town & Country Touring, while the higher-definition Blu-ray arrangement with bifold screens is accepted on the S.

Up front, the multimedia arrangement isn’t as noteworthy, application one of Chrysler’s anachronous media systems with chapped graphics, a baby awning and a needlessly complicated Bluetooth bond process. It’s the adverse of the well-orchestrated 8.4-inch Uconnect arrangement we’ve developed acclimatized to seeing in added Chrysler vehicles. The USB anchorage hidden abutting to the awning isn’t meant for music players like an iPod, but rather a USB drive loaded with music to comedy or alteration to the system’s congenital adamantine drive. The USB anchorage for your smartphone is agonizingly amid in the cuff box.

In one way, the arrangement excels: The Garmin-based aeronautics system, allotment of a $1,095 package, is uncharacteristically fast for an anachronous arrangement as far as entering addresses and alphanumeric inputs, but acutely apathetic aback it comes to the screen’s map already advice is started.

The Chrysler Town & Country maximizes its autogenous amplitude with one of the best able appearance of the avant-garde auto era: the best-in-class Stow ‘n Go added row. The accepted Stow ‘n Go captain’s chairs are an engineering marvel, with the adeptness to bend into the attic in one accessible dive while application sliding and collapsed functions aback erect. My ancestors has endemic assorted ancestors of minivans over the years, and removing beefy second- and third-row seats is not a anamnesis I anamnesis affectionately afterwards years of almost alienated accident a feel aback installing abundant bank seats and their appendage-eating, spring-loaded attic latches. Kids these canicule accept it easy.

When not active by the bankrupt seats, the ample alcove beneath the attic is adequate for assorted burden — or alike a 1/10-scale remote-control car that would contrarily accept been larboard home during a alley cruise because the blow of the van was arranged to the aspect (a contempo Stow ‘n Go success adventure aggregate by a accessory who busy a Dodge Grand Caravan). The check of Stow ‘n Go, of course, is that the seats aren’t the best comfortable, with annealed cushioning and a attenuated seat, admitting their adeptness to accelerate and recline provides much-needed adaptability to get as adequate as possible.

The folding third row is bargain via a multistep, chiral strap-pulling process; it’s powered on college trim levels. Afterwards folding the third row by duke a few times on our Chrysler Town & Country S, I’d actively accede advance to a archetypal with a adeptness third row: either the Touring-L, area it’s optional, or a Limited or Platinum, area it’s standard. Not accepting a adeptness third row as an advantage on the S is a affliction because how value-packed the trim is otherwise; a adeptness rear liftgate is accepted on all trims.

Behind the third row is 33 cubic anxiety of burden space, which dwarfs what’s accessible in SUVs like the Dodge Durango (17.2 cubic feet), Chevrolet Traverse (24.4 cubic feet) and 2015 Honda Pilot (18.0 cubic feet). The Chrysler Town & Country is on the abate ancillary amid minivans, as the Odyssey has 38.4 cubic feet, the Sienna 39.1 cubic anxiety and the Sedona 33.9 cubic feet. The Chrysler’s best burden aggregate is 143.8 cubic feet, which is afresh in the middle: the Sienna has 150 cubic feet, the Odyssey 148.5 cubic anxiety and the Sedona 142 cubic feet.

The Town & Country is abaft the ambit in crash-test ratings. In Insurance Institute for Highway Assurance tests, the Town & Country ante adequate (from a accessible good, acceptable, bordering or poor) in abstinent advanced overlap, side, roof backbone and arch abstemiousness tests, but it’s rated poor in baby overlap advanced tests advised to simulate a blow with a ablaze pole, a timberline or the advanced bend of a vehicle. In this test, the Sienna ante adequate and the Odyssey and Sedona amount good.

The National Highway Traffic Assurance Administration additionally dings the Town & Country slightly, with an all-embracing account of four out of bristles stars; the Odyssey, Sienna and Sedona all acquire the top, best all-embracing rating.

Standard assurance appearance on the Town & Country accommodate a advancement camera, ancillary dark airbags for all three rows and a knee airbag for the driver. Accessible appearance accommodate a SafetyTec amalgamation that includes dark atom ecology and rear cross-traffic alert, added rear parking abetment and rain-sensing wipers, for $1,945. Despite accepting those assurance assists, the Town & Country does not accept advanced blow warning, which is accessible on higher-end trims of the Odyssey, Sienna and Sedona.

Review all the Town & Country’s assurance appearance here. See how able-bodied child-safety seats fit in the Town & Country here.

Our Chrysler Town & Country’s as-tested amount of $38,120 included a ton of blatant minivan features, like the dual-screen ball arrangement and aeronautics for those ancestors alley trips, added the accepted Stow ‘n Go seats and adeptness liftgate. Spending beneath than $40,000 for the S trim level’s agreeable is actual reasonable, because a analogously able Honda Odyssey will calmly aperture $40,000. The Odyssey is a added aesthetic and able vehicle, however, which is reflected in the added cost.

Hot on the Town & Country’s heels in agreement of amount is the Kia Sedona. I’m abiding automakers beef aback Kia or Hyundai acquaint — or arouse in this case — a new competitor, because how they acutely consistently action added for the money. The Sedona matches that description, with adorable appearance like a rear ball arrangement accessible as a stand-alone option, and additionally looks ahead, with accessible book holders in abode of a congenital system.

Rumor has it this may be one of the aftermost years for the current Chrysler Town & Country afore a aloft redesign, and it couldn’t appear anon abundant to abode added added ambitious blast tests, as able-bodied as addition disciplinarian multimedia offerings and quality.

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