Minivans offer roominess, convenience, versatility and fuel efficiency. There is no more sensible choice for a family with more than a couple of children. Chrysler was the first into this market and, long after other manufacturers have left it, Chrysler remains, with the Chrysler Town & Country and the Dodge Caravan. Of the two, the Town & Country is generally more upscale, and Chrysler bills the Town & Country as the ultimate family friendly vehicle.
The 2010 Chrysler Town & Country is offered with three V6 engines. The base engine, a 3.3-liter V6 or 175 horsepower, doesn't offer much in the way of either power or fuel efficiency. The 3.8-liter V6, with 197 horsepower, is adequate for around-town duty, but the best choice is the available 4.0-liter V6 and its 251 horsepower. This engine is more competitive with the V6 offerings from other manufacturers, and it moves the T&C nicely.
The Chrysler Town & Country offers a smooth ride and an SUV-like view of the road. But it's a big vehicle, however, and is not nimble. There will be noticeable body lean in the turns and the ride can feel floaty at highway speeds. The Honda Odyssey and Nissan Quest are more car-like and sportier to drive.
On the other hand, the Town & Country's entertainment and seating options are the best in the class, matched only by the Dodge Grand Caravan. The standard Stow 'n Go seating tucks the second-row seats nicely into the floor, and when those seats are up, the floor bins offer storage space. The rear seats fold into the floor on all models, allowing a perfectly flat, voluminous rear storage area. In addition, there is a handy well behind the third row that offers lots of storage space even with the seats up. The Swivel 'n Go option is great for family trips; the second row turns to face the third row with a table in between, making it an activity center for the kids. There are also many entertainment choices.
For 2010 there are only minimal changes: The driver and front passenger seats have active head restraints, a rear obstacle detection display is in the Vehicle Information Center, and the 4.0-liter V6 has a revised final-drive ratio which improves fuel economy.
The Town & Country is a great vehicle for families that need to haul kids and cargo on a regular basis. It's also easier to drive and maneuver than a full-size SUV, will fit in the garage, and is reasonably fuel-efficient.