I drove the Honda Odyssey, the Toyota Sienna, and the Chrysler Town & Country within days of each other and, although the Odyssey is superior to both, the Town & Country is a strong second. It lacks the solidity and superb driving dynamics of the Odyssey, but its steering, powertrain, and interior quality and style are on par with or better than its Japanese rivals. And to my eye, the T&C’s styling is the most attractive of the trio.
As others have mentioned, the cabin is where the Town & Country makes the most significant improvements when compared with the previous generation. It’s clean, and nicely laid out, with fit and finish that put the Toyota Sienna to shame. One hopes that this is a sign of interiors to come from Chrysler/Dodge. I’m most pleased with Chrysler’s solution to the issue of where to place the shifter. The idea to relocate the shifter from the floor to the dash is a good one, but it has also created some space/ergonomic issues on the already overcrowded dashes of many minivans. In both the Honda and Toyota minivans, it’s both too long and mounted too close to controls on the central dash. In the Chrysler, it’s much shorter and is placed higher on the dash, which puts it up and out of the way but still within easy to reach.
Jennifer Misaros, Managing Editor