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If what you really want is a luxury car, but family demands call for a minivan, then you've come to the right place. With comfortable seating (available in leather, of course) for up to seven people, power everything, a responsive engine, and a smooth ride, the Chrysler Town & Country makes you feel like you're driving an refined, upscale vehicle. Yet it offers practicality without the excessive weight and bulk of a sport-utility vehicle. Getting in and out is easy with a low, flat floor and chair-height seating, and you don't need to be a Houdini to climb into the third row. It even fits in the garage.
Chrysler completely redesigned the Town & Country for 2001. The result ranks among the best minivans on the market. The interior is versatile with seats that fold and remove. Powerful V6 engines deliver crisp performance. The ride is smooth and quiet. And it's wrapped in an attractive design.
New features available for 2002 include adjustable pedals, DVD video and remote audio for the rear seats complete with wireless headphones, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
Driving the Town & Country is pleasant and enjoyable. It rides smooth and feels very stable at highway speeds. It handles competently and seems surprisingly nimble for its size. Power-assisted steering is light, making it easy to maneuver and park in crowded lots, and the front air dam isn't so low to the ground that it scrapes on curbs. Careful suspension tuning, a new steering system and a rigid structure have raised the Town & Country's handling prowess to that of the leading minivans.
Our LX came with the base 3.3-liter V6. It delivered lively acceleration; we felt like we had plenty of motor to jackrabbit away from standstills or pull off that big pass. The engine is smooth and quiet when cruising and makes itself be known under full throttle.
Wind noise is minimal. Chrysler engineers worked hard to ensure carrying on a conversation inside the Town & Country is easy and pleasant. And they were successful. Special gaskets, re-engineered suspension attachments and other measures have resulted in a quiet cabin when cruising along at 70 mph.
Four-wheel disc brakes stop the Town & Country quickly and without drama. Heavier duty brake rotors and new brake calipers improve braking performance, durability, and enhance pedal feel over previous-generation models. Having ABS as standard equipment is good as it helps the driver maintain steering control in an emergency or panic stop.
An available traction control system ($175) on front-wheel-drive models reduces front wheelspin on slippery surfaces. Even better is the all-wheel-drive system, which redirects power to the tires with the best grip; all-wheel drive is a smart option for drivers who live in the Snowbelt or in the Pacific Northwest where it rains a lot. An automatic load-leveling system is available that automatically trims the Town & Country to a level ride height, nice when towing.
The Chrysler Town & Country is among the best minivans available. Chrysler wrote the book on minivans and the Chrysler Group has sold more than 9 million minivans since 1983; it continues to dominate the market, outselling GM and Ford by a two-to-one margin, and outselling Honda by nearly four-to-one.
This new Town & Country shows why. It's roomy, comfortable, practical, powerful and nimble. Order the Limited model and add the word luxurious to that list.