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Though they weren't the first-ever minivans, per se, the Chrysler minivan twins - Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager - were the first to popularize the term. The Chrysler Town & Country joined the popular duo in 1990 as a more luxurious version of the Grand Caravan. Coming into the 2013 model year, the Town & Country only received minor updates.
The 2013 Town & Country pretty much carried over unchanged from the 2012 model year, sans the addition of updated rear-seat entertainment systems with higher-resolution screens, available Blu-Ray and HDMI inputs, and rear-seat USB ports. The Town & Country comes in a trio of trim levels: Touring, Touring L and Limited. All three trims come standard with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that produces 283 horsepower and 260 foot-pounds of torque. This engine mates to a base six-speed automatic transmission. This combination nets the Town & Country fuel economy ratings of 17 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.
AS a noted people hauler, the 2013 Town & Country can tote around a total of seven people inside its spacious cabin. If cargo hauling is more your thing, this minivan can haul a total of 143.8 cubic-feet of cargo with all of the seats folded. Light towing is also an option with this minivan, as it can haul up to 3,600 pounds with the optional Trailer-tow Prep Package.
With crossover vehicles gaining their foothold in the industry, the minivan market is slowly shrinking, but there is still some good competition. First up is the 2013 Honda Odyssey, which comes standard with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine with 248 horsepower, seven-person cloth seating and a seven-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system. Next up is the 2013 Nissan Quest, which comes standard 3.5-liter V-6 engine that puts down 260 horsepower, a continuously variable transmission and four-speaker AM/FM/MP3 audio system. Lastly, you have the 2013 Toyota Sienna, which comes standard with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that puts out 266 horsepower, cloth seating for seven (eight people is an available option) and a four-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system.
The Limited trim level is the peak level for the Town & Country, as it takes the Touring L’s basic features and builds on top of them. On the outside the Limited trim level adds in extra class with its chrome-colored door handles and 17-inch polished-aluminum wheels, and HID headlights offer up better nighttime vision. Inside the cabin, the luxury continues with features like a nine-speaker audio system with GPS navigation, 6.5-inch LCD screen, 30 GB hard drive, Bluetooth streaming audio and voice command, third-row LCD screens, Blu-Ray player, Nappa leather-and-suede seating, heated first- and second-row seating and a super console.
The Touring trim level acts as the base level for the 2013 Chrysler Town & Country, but it still features an array of standard amenities. On the outside it includes body-color door handles, chrome-look grille and chrome body-side moldings to add a touch of style to it, a power liftgate so you’re not struggling to open and close the cargo area, automatic headlights for added safety, and 17-inch aluminum wheels to add a bit of sportiness to this minivan. Inside the cabin, the Limited trim level includes three-zone climate control, a six-speaker AM/FM/CD/DVD radio with 6.5-inch touchscreen and 9-inch LCD screens to keep the kiddos in the rear entertained, and leather interior.
The Touring L trim level takes the trimmings from the Touring trim and adds in a little more luxury. On the outside, chrome-colored power heated mirrors with turn-signal indicator add extra style and safety and SmartBeam headlights automatically dim the headlights for oncoming traffic. On the inside, the Touring L carries over all of the Touring’s standard features, but does allow you to add in optional features, like: HDMI input, second- and third-row LCD screens, heated second-row seats, and super console.
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Great base price, good mpg and Honda's notorious quality, but lacks standard rear-seat entertainment and underpowered
Very low base MSRP, good city mpg and Nissan build quality, but lacks cargo capacity, underpowered engine and odd-looking front fascia
Up to eight-person seating, excellent base price and great cargo capacity, but lacks horsepower and poor base audio
Significantly lower base price, high safety ratings and decent cargo capacity, but lacks refinement and an aging body style