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3/4 Front Glamour 2009 Chrysler Town & Country

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Introduction

Chrysler redesigned the Town & Country minivan for 2008 and adds new safety technologies for 2009. In addition, the popular Stow 'n Go seating arrangement, which has second-row seats that fold into the floor, becomes standard on the base model. The Town & Country also offers Swivel 'n Go, which includes second-row seats that rotate 180 degrees to face a removable table that stores in the floor. With these seating arrangements, Chrysler bills the Town & Country as the ultimate family friendly vehicle, and we agree. The 2009 Chrysler Town & Country is offered with three V6 engines. The base engine, a 3.3-liter V6, lacks power and isn't very fuel efficient. The 3.8-liter V6 is adequate for around-town duty, but the best choice is the available 4.0-liter V6. This engine is more competitive with the V6 offerings from other manufacturers, and it moves the T&C nicely. On the road, the 2009 Chrysler Town & Country offers a smooth ride and an SUV-like view of the road. The Town & Country is a big vehicle, however, and it is not nimble. It is prone to body lean in turns and the ride can feel floaty at highway speeds. The Honda Odyssey and Nissan Quest are more car-like and sportier. On the other hand, the Town & Country's entertainment and seating options are the best in the class, matched only by the Dodge Grand Caravan. The standard Stow 'n Go seating tucks the second-row seats nicely into the floor, and when those seats are up, the floor bins offer storage space. The rear seats fold into the floor on all models, allowing a perfectly flat, voluminous rear storage area that can accommodate items such as couches, 4x8-foot sheets of plywood, and most any other item you might need to transport. In addition, there is a handy well behind the third row that offers lots of storage space even with the seats up. The Swivel 'n Go option is great for family trips. The second row turns to face the third row with a table in between. It helps keep the kids entertained with games of checkers, a place to draw, or any number of other possibilities. And if that's not enough, the Town & Country offers single and dual screen rear DVD entertainment systems, plus Sirius Backseat TV with three kid-friendly channels. The dual screens allow different viewing options for kids that can't agree on what to watch. And for the adults up front, Chrysler's UConnect hard-drive radio stores hundreds of songs. In addition to the new safety options, Chrysler has updated the brake system for 2009 to reduce noise, vibration and harshness. New SmartBeam headlights that dim automatically are available, and Chrysler has added more equipment to the base model. The equipment shuffling has increased the base price considerably (almost $4000), so the Town & Country is no longer an inexpensive choice. Overall, however, the 2009 Town & Country does what a minivan should. It is a great vehicle for families that need to haul kids and cargo on a regular basis. And the seating and entertainment options will prevent a lot of the fights that inevitably accompany road trips. Pricing can exceed $40,000 with all the options, so carefully consider which you'll need and use before you buy.

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