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By Rick Popely
December 1, 1999
Vehicle Overview Town & Country is the luxury model in the Chrysler family of minivans that includes the Dodge Caravan, Plymouth Voyager and a recent addition, the Chrysler Voyager.
The Plymouth brand is being phased out, so Voyager is moving over to the Chrysler line, slotting below the ritzy Town & Country in equipment and price levels. Chrysler previously used the Voyager name on minivans sold in Europe and other foreign markets.
Chryslers minivans will be redesigned for 2001, and new versions of the Town & Country, Caravan and Chrysler Voyager are due to arrive in the fall with evolutionary styling changes and several new convenience and safety features.
Exterior Caravan and Voyager come in standard and extended lengths, but Town & Country comes only in the extended length 200 inches long on a 119-inch wheelbase. All Town & Country models come with dual sliding side doors that open and close manually. Most rival minivans are available with power sliding doors for the passenger side or both sides (Chrysler will introduce dual power doors on its 2001 models.).
The Town & Countrys chief styling distinction from Caravan and Voyager is at the front, where a winged Chrysler emblem dominates the grille.
Interior All models have seats for seven, with built-in rollers on the middle and rear benches that allow them to be wheeled around instead of carried. The standard two-place middle bench can be replaced with a pair of optional buckets, and the one on the passenger side includes an integrated child-safety seat. All models have two front buckets and a three-place rear bench. Top-shelf Limited models come with leather and suede upholstery and heated front seats.
With all seats in place, Town & Country has 20 cubic feet of cargo space at the rear. Removing the middle and rear seats expands cargo room to 163 cubic feet.
Under the Hood Town & Country comes with front-wheel drive or permanently engaged all-wheel drive and two engine choices a 3.3-liter V-6 with 158 horsepower is standard on the front-drive LX and LXi. A 180-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6 is standard on the front-drive Limited and on all AWD models and optional on the LXi. Both engines team with a four-speed automatic transmission.
Safety Antilock brakes are standard across the board, and traction control is standard on the front-drive Limited and optional on the front-drive LXi. Side-impact airbags are not available for 2000 but will be standard for front-seat occupants on 2001 models.
Performance Town & Country doesnt offer any substantial options that arent also available on the Caravan and Voyager, so whether it is worth the extra money depends on how plush you want your minivan surroundings to be.