In a recent auto-industry magic act, the minivan formerly known as the Plymouth Voyager turned into the Chrysler Voyager. DaimlerChrysler will phase out the Plymouth brand, so starting with mid-December production, Voyagers rolled off the assembly line will have the Chrysler badge. Otherwise, this is the same vehicle that started the model year under the Plymouth banner.
Not only will Voyager return in 2001 as a Chrysler, but it also will have a new design along with the similar Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country sporting evolutionary styling changes and several new safety and convenience features.
Like its Dodge Caravan sibling, Voyager comes in standard length (113-inch wheelbase and 186-inch overall length) and as the extended Grand Voyager (119-inch wheelbase and 197 inches overall). The base standard-length model has a single sliding door on the passenger side, and the others have dual sliding doors. Both sliding doors operate manually. Power sliding doors, a feature currently found on most rivals, will be available on the 2001 Voyager.
Seats for five are standard on the base Voyager, with two front buckets and a removable three-place bench. Other models seat seven with a pair of front buckets, a two-place middle bench and a three-place rear bench. The middle and rear bench seats have built-in rollers that allow them to be wheeled around inside and outside the vehicle.
Among seating options for seven-passenger models are two integral child-safety seats for the middle bench, two bucket seats for the middle row and an integrated child-safety seat for one for the middle buckets.
Maximum cargo volume with all seats except the front buckets removed is 143 cubic feet on the standard-length models and 168 cubic feet on the Grand Voyager.
Under the Hood
A 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 150 horsepower is standard on the base Voyager, and a 150-horsepower 3.0-liter V-6 is optional. Grand Voyagers come with a 158-horsepower 3.3-liter V-6. All engines come with automatic transmission; the four-cylinder comes as a three-speed automatic and the V-6s come as four-speeds.
All Voyagers have front-wheel drive. Permanently engaged all-wheel drive is available on the Town & Country and Caravan.
Antilock brakes are standard on SE models and optional on base Voyagers. Traction control is not available on Voyager but is on the Town & Country and Caravan. Side-impact airbags are not available on any Chrysler minivans for 2000 but will be available for front-seat occupants on 2001 models.
Only the badge has changed on the Voyager, so it remains the entry-level version of Chryslers minivan, with fewer standard or optional features than the Town & Country or Caravan. It is a good choice for buyers on a smaller budget.