1995 CHRYSLER TOWN & COUNTRY BASE
Used Truck - 1995 Chrysler Town & Country Base in Chicago, Il
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1995 Chrysler Town & Country ReviewThis car review is specific to this model, not the actual vehicle for sale.
Luxury and comfort at a hefty price.
An icon of America's suburban sprawl of the 1950s and '60s, Chrysler's Town & Country station wagon carried Little League teams, Girl Scout troops and families trekking the country for the holidays and during summer vacations.
The Town & Country wagon is gone, but its old cargo-hauling responsibilities are in safe hands: The wood-sided wagon has been replaced by the Town & Country minivan.
Chrysler bills the Town & Country as the ultimate choice for minivan owners who want to step up to luxury, or luxury-car owners who want an equally stately minivan. Outfitted with leather seating, the Town & Country is packed with virtually every standard feature available - including that nostalgic woodgrain siding.
The Town & Country is attractive for a minivan, but compared with a Ford Wind-star or a Mercury Villager, it dates itself. Its straight-line edges have been rounded off over the years, the last time in 1991. Still, the Town & Country appears boxy in comparison with its new competitors, although that is about to change as Chrysler prepares to unveil its all-new minivans in spring '95.
Built on Chrysler's 119.3-in. wheelbase minivan platform, the Town & Country shares its wheelbase with the Dodge Grand Caravan and Plymouth Grand Voyager. The long-wheelbase models are identical to their shorter counterparts except for the 2 ft. of storage space behind the third row of seats. In other words, the Town & Country, like the Grand models, can carry seven passengers and all of their luggage.
As with its other minivan models, Chrysler keeps the momentum rolling until the new versions come along by realigning equipment packages and offering attractive discounts.
Leather is standard fare for the Town & Country, with front seats that are reclining buckets with adjustable headrests. The Town & Country offers as standard equipment a 6-way power driver's seat with a manual recliner, and a passenger seat with manual mechanisms for horizontal and recliner operations.
The buyer has two choices - at the same price - for seating throughout the rest of the cabin. The middle row of seats can either be a bench that holds two people or Chrysler's Quad Command reclining buckets. With the Quad Command, the right seat tilts and the third row contains a bench seat that holds three.
Seat belts for rear passengers are 3-point, lap-shoulder belts for outboard passengers with a lap belt for the third row's center passenger.
The rear seat folds forward to slide against the middle seat for increased cargo space, and all seats are removable for even more carrying capacity. The release mechanism on the seats works easily, but the seats - like the bench seats in all minivans except General Motors' front-drive models - are heavy and unwieldy to remove. Without the seats, however, cargo capacity is immense, amounting to 141.3 cu. ft.
The front seats of the model we tested were reasonably comfortable, though they could have used more lumbar support. The driver has a more closed-in feeling than in, say, the Ford Windstar, which has a couple more inches of width. Because of the proximity of the driver's seat to the door, the power-seat adjustment controls are located on the inboard edge of the lower seat cushion. Happily, leg- and headroom are adequate throughout the Town & Country.
The rear seats of our vehicle were too upright for adults on a long trip. Kids, however, would appreciate the height of the seats and the large side windows that offer them a panoramic view. A built-in child safety seat is available as an option, and the good news here is that the seat, introduced in the 1994 model year, is now more comfortable for toddlers, thanks to it being a tad reclined.
The passenger cabin is downright attractive. Like the exterior, the lines inside are straight and angular compared with the Windstar's curves. Nonetheless, controls are easy to operate and logically placed.
The Town & Country's dashboard is high and the forward view is clear. The stereo is mounted high with the vents and climate-control mechanisms below it. Dual cupholders pull out from the center console as does an ashtray and power outlet, and a storage drawer is located on the very bottom of the stack.
Other features we liked: Storage nooks are abundant throughout, map pockets are located in the door, the glove box under the passenger-side airbag is of respectable size and there's a cupholder for almost every passenger.
Though much of what the Town & Country offers is standard, available options include: all-wheel drive, tinted glass, amplified speakers, white sidewall tires and a couple of upgraded wheel choices, a heavy-duty trailer towing package and the integrated child safety seat. The exterior woodgrain trim is a delete option - mark the option box or you'll get it anyway.
A welcome change in the Town & Country's array of safety items for '95 is programmable automatic door locks. They're designed to lock themselves when vehicle speed reaches 15 mph, and they stay locked until you unlock them when you stop. The change for '95 allows you to defeat the system, which is helpful when you're running errands around town.
The rest of the safety inventory is carried over from '94, and it's extensive - dual air-bags, a child-protection lock on the sliding side door and side-impact beams on all three doors. It's worth noting that the Town & Country meets 1998 federal passenger car safety standards.
Since their introduction, Chrysler minivans have set the pace in carlike ride and driveability, and ride quality is a strong trait of the Grand editions.
Although we can't call it agile, our Town & Country was smooth over rough surfaces, and smoother still on good ones. The Windstar may be even smoother, but the distinction is almost academic.
Chrysler added a 3.8-liter V6 to its broad minivan power-train inventory last year, and it's standard equipment in the Town & Country, along with a flexible 4-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission that is refined for '95.
More power is always helpful for two-lane passing and freeway merges, and the Chrysler V6 does a good job in these areas. Its low-rpm power is helpful when you've got a van full of kids and camping gear, and it's quiet at most speeds.
We thought the Town & Country's power steering was over-assisted just a bit, which made it feel numb, although it took all the work out of maneuvers in confined areas. When we pushed hard on the throttle, there was a hint of torque steer - a tendency in some front-drive vehicles to pull the steering wheel to right or left under hard acceleration.
But in most driving situations, the Town & Country was quiet, mannerly and as easy to drive as a station wagon. That's the standard that Chrysler minivans established in 1984, and even though some competitors have caught up, Chrysler is still the overall leader.
With or without the woodgrain siding, the Town & Country is a luxurious minivan. But luxury does have its price, and the price for this one can push the $30,000 mark.
So the big question you have to ask yourself is whether a more modestly equipped Dodge Grand Caravan or Plymouth Grand Voyager wouldn't serve you just as well, saving you some money in the process.
If the answer is no, well, go forth and indulge yourself. We think you'll be happy.