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December 15, 2011

2012 Chrysler Town & Country Minivan Road Test

2012 Chrysler Town & Country Minivan Road Test Review by Martha Hindes

by Martha Hindes

If you think of Dodge's Grand Caravan minivan as comparable to a jeans-clad, bike-riding adolescent, then its sibling -- the 2012 Chrysler Town & Country -- would have to be the new high school grad dressed for a senior prom. Sure they're related. But what a difference a few years -- or a few thousand dollars -- can make.

Upgrading is no stranger to the automotive world. Vehicles across the board have been moving from basic to brimming with amenities for decades now. So it's a natural transition to have a version loaded with features available for those who want to step up to premium. And having a different brand name solidifies the status.

Like its kin, the 2012 Chrysler Town & Country benefits from its makeover a model year earlier that introduced some heavyweight changes in powertrain, performance and handling. Replacing less powerful and less efficient engines is the new award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 in all models, that generates an ambitious 283-horsepower. All new suspension tuning and a new six-speed automatic trans with manual mode gives the T&C the kind of kick necessary to be seriously considered for its driving ability along with people and cargo capacities.

Safety gets high marks, with blind spot and cross traffic systems available to warn of traffic dangers. Fuel economy miser helps earn mileage ratings of 17/25. Fuel economy is boosted with "Stow 'n Place" roof rail bow storage that eliminates wind drag when those cross beams aren't needed. Full review

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