Talk about creating a monster!

The 1993 Chrysler Town & Country all-wheel-drive mini-van offers not only abundant room and comfort but also luxury sedan-like ride and handling.

The vehicle is so limo-like that when No. 2 twin climbed into the shotgun seat while Dad nestled behind the wheel, she promptly remarked: "Home, James."

No. 2 twin, by the way, is recovering nicely at home, thank you.

As for the monster, that's what Chrysler has with the T&C. The ride is so smooth, the handling so crisp, the performance so lively, that consumers are going to expect this in all of the automaker's mini-vans, even those that don't send the heart into palpitations when they spot the sticker and contemplate the $28,239 jolt for the next 60 months.

Base price is $27,529 and the optional CD player and $540 in freight brought the final figure to $28,239.

For $28,239, the T&C offers just about everything Chrysler could put onto, into, over and under the vehicle. Consider that standard equipment includes all-wheel drive for sure-footedness in all seasons, driver-side air bag and four-wheel anti-lock brakes for protection, air conditioning and tinted glass,power brakes and steering, power seats and door locks, dual power mirrors, leather-wrapped steering wheel, 15-inch cast aluminum wheels, AM/FM stereo with cassette, stainless-steel exhaust, luggage rack, speed control, tilt wheel, leather/cloth seats, visor vanity mirrors, dual cupholders, power hatchlid release, rear window wiper and front gas-charged struts with anti-sway bar and rear multileaf springs with gas-charged shocks.

The wide supportive and well-padded seats and a suspension system designed to rule out road harshness without eliminating road feel, get special kudos. We've driven a host of full-size sedans that weren't half as pleasant on long distances. And a friend who tried the third seat in back reported it was as comfortable as those up front, which isn't always the case in a van. This would make an excellent cross-country or long-distance vacation hauler.

Stop and consider, however, that with tax, title and plates, you will top $30,000 in a vehicle designed to replace the station wagon. A lot of van, but a lot of money.

The one other set of numbers that caused some concern was the 17/22 on the window sticker, which denoted the city/highway mileage rating for the all-wheel-drive T&C with its standard 3.3-liter, 150-horsepower V-6 with 4-speed automatic transmission.

We should note the 4-speed didn't clunk, thunk, slip, dip or make distasteful sounds, noises or gyrations, for which the Chrysler transmission was criticized a couple of years ago. Of course, we admit that no one from NBCwas along for the test-drive, either.

For a vehicle that can haul up to seven people (2-2-3), 17/22 is more efficient than it appears. And it's difficult to fault any vehicle with the security of all-wheel drive, especially one designed to haul so many people, often very young ones. But we stopped at the pump far more often than a true 17/22 rating would have warranted.