What's New for 2007
The Chrysler Town & Country is unchanged for 2007.
The Chrysler Town & Country minivan began life with keys to the kingdom. It was immediately a class leader when it was first introduced in 1990, offering numerous features that were ahead of the curve. Seventeen years later, the picture is a lot less rosy. The 2007 Chrysler Town & Country still offers a wealth of useful amenities, but is hobbled by its aging design.
On the positive side, the van has the Stow 'n Go seating and storage system, which allows the second- and third-row seats to be quickly and easily folded into the floor. These in-floor compartments serve double duty, functioning as storage areas when the seats are in use, with 6 cubic feet available in the second row and 6 in the third. However, the Stow 'n' Go compartments are best used for gear that will be accessed infrequently, since getting to them is somewhat inconvenient. Another caveat: As a result of the Stow 'n' Go system, the van's second-row seats are smaller and less comfortable than those of its peers. There's also very little toe room for third-row occupants, since the second-row seats don't allow feet to slide underneath.
The Town & Country won't win any trophies for handling and performance either. Its ride is soft and wallowy, and no matter which V6 you choose, the T&C feels underpowered relative to others in its class. Its four-speed transmission also tends to hunt when faced with highway inclines. Finally, braking distances are long compared to its peers, which is a problem in a class where safety takes precedence.
One advantage the 2007 Chrysler Town & Country has is that it tends to be less expensive than top-ranked vans like the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. But if price is your main factor, we'd recommend you opt for the excellent Kia Sedona or Hyundai Entourage, which are thousands cheaper than the Town & Country and offer much better driving dynamics. Although the Town & Country was first to market with a number of useful minivan features, it needs a full redesign to compete in this class. Fortunately, a ground-up makeover is on the way for 2008.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The seven-passenger 2007 Chrysler Town & Country minivan is available in four trim levels: base, LX, Touring and Limited. The base model is the only short-wheelbase T&C; the other three are the larger extended-wheelbase size. Base models are equipped with a second-row bench seat, air-conditioning, power locks and windows, cruise control, tilt steering, remote keyless entry, and a four-speaker CD stereo, but cannot be equipped with fold-flat seating. Moving up to the LX model adds Stow 'n Go fold-flat seating and a storage system in the second and third rows, second-row captain's chairs and heated power mirrors. The T&C Touring adds dual power-sliding doors, a power liftgate, alloy wheels, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat, three-zone manual air-conditioning and a six-speaker sound system. The top-of-the-line Limited model is further upgraded with chrome wheels, three-zone automatic climate control, a navigation system, power-adjustable pedals, driver-seat memory and an upgraded Infinity sound system with a six-disc, in-dash CD/DVD changer. Sirius Satellite Radio, Bluetooth connectivity (known as UConnect) and a rear DVD entertainment system are optional on all Town & Country minivans. Second-row captain's chairs are optional on the base T&C.
Powertrains and Performance
A 3.3-liter, 170-horsepower V6 comes standard on base and LX versions of the 2007 Chrysler Town & Country. Standard on Touring and Limited models is a 200-hp, 3.8-liter V6. A four-speed automatic transmission routes power to the front wheels of all T&Cs. Towing capacity maxes out at 3,800 pounds on vans with the 3.8-liter V6 and the optional towing package.
Antilock disc brakes are standard on all except the base model, which comes with front discs/rear drums and has ABS as an option. Full-length side curtain airbags are optional on base, LX and Touring models, and standard on the Limited. All Chrysler Town & Country models include a driver knee airbag. Traction control is standard on the Touring and Limited only, and stability control is not available at all. Adjustable pedals are standard on the Limited and optional on all other models. The T&C Limited also comes with rear parking sensors, and they're an option on the Touring. Built-in child booster seats are available in the base short-wheelbase T&C only. Note that the center position of the third row in every Town & Country is equipped with a lap belt only.
The long-wheelbase Chrysler Town & Country earned a full five stars in NHTSA frontal- and side-impact crash tests. The short-wheelbase model posted perfect scores in all categories, except for a four-star rating for side impacts involving front occupants. Frontal-offset crash testing produced an overall "Acceptable" rating (the second highest on a scale of four). When equipped with side curtain airbags, the Town & Country also rated "Acceptable" in IIHS side-impact testing.
Interior Design and Special Features
The Town & Country's cabin has a decidedly dated feel with dull plastics, fussy controls, and in Limited models, an undersized navigation system screen. The star of the show is definitely the Stow 'n Go fold-flat seating and storage system, which provides a perfectly flat load floor when the seats are stowed, along with numerous storage compartments. There's also a movable center console equipped with power points. The front seats are generally comfortable, and drivers will find most controls within easy reach. The rear seats in Stow 'n Go-equipped vans are smaller than normal (which is why they stow so easily); they're fine for children but uncomfortable for adults. Extended-wheelbase Chrysler T&Cs have 26 cubic feet of cargo capacity with the third-row seats in use, and a maximum of 168 cubes with all second- and third-row seats folded into the floor.
Compared to the newer minivans, the 2007 Chrysler Town & Country falls short in acceleration, handling and braking. Neither of the V6s offers the kind of passing power or smoothness now expected in this class, and the four-speed automatic transmission doesn't help matters, as it hunts between gears on highway grades. Ride quality is on the soft side, but it often feels too bouncy over bumps and ruts, especially when the T&C is carrying a full load of passengers. The steering is fairly responsive, at least, but there's considerable body roll around corners. Additionally, during instrumented testing at our track, the Town & Country turned in a much longer 60-mph-to-0 braking distance than its higher-ranked rivals.