Well, this is certainly an improvement, although even the top-end Town & Country is still a little lacking on the long-promised soft-touch materials. Plastics on the top of the dash and door panels have a little more give but that’s about it. The center console, which is integrated into the instrument panel, is a big departure from prior van, but has more than enough storage cubbies tucked within.
Perhaps the biggest surprise lies under the hood. The 3.6-liter V-6 may be down on displacement compared to the previous top-spec 4.0-liter V-6, but you’d never notice when behind the wheel. The engine offers an admirable amount of low-end torque, is more than happy to rev, and as my colleagues point out, is much smoother than the old 4.0.
I was taken aback by the Town & Country’s new suspension tuning. The ride borders on firm, which is great for throwing the van into corners, I suppose, but over the ragged, frost-heaved back roads that span the distance between my home and office, it proved rather choppy. Maybe this setup will appeal to Europeans, when Fiat’s Lancia division is tasked with selling this van abroad. In North America, however, I think Chrysler could differentiate between the T&C and Dodge’s so-called man van by leaving the stiff, sport-like dynamics to the latter.
Evan McCausland, Associate Web Editor