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For some people, luxury means a deserted beach, a bottle of sunscreen, a new mystery novel, leaving everything behind. For others, luxury means traveling with all the comforts of home. If you fit in the latter category, if you're certain that luxury means never having to say, "I'm sorry, but there isn't enough room to take that with us," then Chrysler built the Town & Country for you.
With its responsive engine, smooth, quiet ride, upscale appointments and power accessories, the Chrysler Town & Country drives like a refined luxury vehicle. But it also offers seating for seven (available in leather, of course) and cavernous cargo space, so nothing (and no one) will ever have to be left behind. You can even order Town & Country with all-wheel-drive. How much more luxury can you stand?
Okay, some upmarket SUVs make similar claims. But the Town & Country does it without the excess weight and bulk. It even fits in your garage. You enjoy the same chair-height seating as your SUV-driving neighbors, but with a low, flat floor, so you don't need a ladder to climb in. And you don't need to be a Houdini to squeeze into the third-row seats, either. Once in, the Town & Country delivers better handling than most of those truck-based SUVs. And it costs less than most of them.
Chrysler last redesigned the Town & Country for 2001, and it remains 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.
For 2003, Chrysler has added standard equipment at most trim levels, an optional power sunroof, and three new option packages for the Town & Country LX. Power adjustable pedals are expected to be available late in 2003.
Driving the Chrysler Town & Country is pleasant and enjoyable. It rides smoothly and feels very stable at highway speeds. It handles competently and seems surprisingly nimble for its size. Its 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, although it makes itself known under full-throttle acceleration.
Wind noise is minimal. Chrysler engineers worked hard on this, and as a result, carrying on a conversation inside the Town & Country is easy and pleasant. Special gaskets, re-engineered suspension attachments and other measures have resulted in a quiet cabin, even when cruising at 70 mph.
Four-wheel disc brakes stop the Town & Country quickly and without drama. Heavy-duty brake rotors and new calipers ensure strong braking performance, durability, and improved pedal feel compared to previous-generation models. ABS helps the driver maintain steering control in an emergency or panic stop.
Traction control (standard on front-drive eX and Limited, available on LXi) reduces front wheelspin on slippery surfaces. Even better is the available 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 or anywhere it rains a lot. An automatic load-leveling system is available that automatically trims the Town & Country to a level ride height. That's nice when towing.
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.