Getting a new set of wings is fitting for Chrysler. Having just repaid the federal government in May (in full with interest) for the 2009 taxpayer bailout, emblazing a new winged-badge on its vehicles is part of an important statement about the new face of Chrysler: it is the “promise of great American design and engineering,” according to the folks at Chrysler.
Refreshed for 2011, this iconic of all premium minivans receives more elegant and sleeker exterior styling. The 2011 Town & Country is the very first of the Chrysler brand vehicles to wear the automaker’s newly designed winged-badge that is hoisted atop the center of the grille, as well as along the rear of the liftgate, and in the center of 17-inch wheel caps.
The new body styling elements on Chrysler’s 2011 minivan feature a new hood and projector-style foglamps, chrome trim that runs along the door molding, new LED taillights. In the rear, the 2011 liftgate has a curved back glass and a body-color rear spoiler.
The 2011 Chrysler Town & Country minivan offers buyers three well-equipped premium models: Touring ($30,260), Touring L ($32,660) and the Limited ($39,160).
Though most families tend to make hard use of the inside of a minivan — with strollers, child safety seats, toys, snacks, drinks, equipment and pets — the interior of the 2011 Chrysler is filled with high-quality, soft-touch materials and tech-savvy entertainment systems that parents will appreciate. And, as you’d expect from a minivan, Chrysler (which practically wrote the book on minivan firsts dating back to 1983), offers a people-mover that is highly flexible in seating options and smart storage features.
Ever inventive, the design team at Chrysler takes great pride with its Stow ‘n Go seating system — and now for 2011 expands on that ingenuity with the “Stow ‘n Place” roof rack system. When the roof rails are not in use for carrying luggage on long family vacation trips for example, Town & Country owners can stow the roof bows in the side rails. This results in a reduction of wind buffeting and aerodynamic drag on the minivan.
The 2011 Town & Country’s super convenient Stow n’ Go gets upgrades, too, with a new one-touch fold-down function and larger seats designed with better comfort for long trips. Up front for the driver, the entire on-piece instrument panel is sculpted with improved ergonomics and large redesigned gauges. The new steering wheel has redundant controls for the radio and navigation systems. For the first time on a minivan, Chrysler offers a heated steering wheel as an option.
Under the sleek sheet metal, Chrysler engineers bring a new level of drivability to the minivan segment. Calling it a “major suspension overhaul,” the changes resulted in improvements to the 4,562-pound Town & Country’s maneuverability. The proof is in the pudding here. Check out these numbers: curb-to-curb turning circle of 39.1 feet! That is absolutely fantastic in a minivan whose wheelbase is 121.2 inches and length is 202.8 inches.
One powertrain is offered for 2011. The 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 is an all-new design developed for quiet road refinement and fuel efficiency. The Chrysler V-6 delivers 283 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. Chrysler states it is 34 percent more efficient in power and fuel economy over the 3.8L V-6 it replaces. The V-6 is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Give this company its new wings. If there’s anyone leading the benchmarks in the minivan segment, it’s Chrysler. — Connie Keane, Motor Matters
Manufacturer photo: The Chrysler brand is named the “Top Popular Brand” in AutoPacific’s 15th annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. The new 2011 Chrysler Town & Country is named winner of the “Minivan” category. The 2011 Chrysler Town & Country minivan delivers great design, innovative technology, unparalleled functionality and all the standard safety features a family aspires to have in a vehicle. For 2011, virtually every customer touch point was redesigned or re-engineered.
2011 CHRYSLER TOWN & COUNTRY LIMITED
VEHICLE TYPE_________________ 7-passenger FWD minivan
BASE PRICE___________________ $38,660 (as tested: $40,090)
MOTOR TYPE___________________ 24-valve DOHC V-6 w/SMPFI
HORSEPOWER (net)_____________ 283 at 6400 rpm
TORQUE (lb.-ft.)_____________ 260 at 4400 rpm
TRANSMISSION_________________ 6-speed automatic
WHEELBASE____________________ 121.2 in.
OVERALL LENGTH_______________ 202.8 in.
TURNING CIRCLE (curb-to-curb) 39.1 ft.
FUEL CAPACITY________________ 20 gal.
EPA MILEAGE RATING___________ 17 mpg city, 25 mpg highway