Full 2013 Chrysler Town and Country Review
What's New for 2013
For 2013, the Chrysler Town & Country receives an upgraded rear seat entertainment system. The base entertainment system includes a higher-resolution screen, while the premium system now includes a Blu-ray player and an HDMI input. Rear-seat USB ports (for charging electronic devices), trailer sway control and the stylish S model are also new this year.
Many vehicle model names past and present tend to be nonsensical. Consider the Sprinter, a huge van that's anything but an acceleration champ, or the Aspire, a tiny, cheap economy car. But the 2013 Chrysler Town & Country minivan is no such automotive oxymoron. This plush people mover is equally suited to shuttling a group of businessmen to the Ritz-Carlton across town as it is to taking the family across the country to the Grand Canyon.
Essentially a twin to the Dodge Caravan, the Chrysler Town & Country features unique styling tweaks and a more upscale interior to bolster its premium position. This year brings a new style-focused Town & Country S model, along with a few more upgrades. Chief among these is the industry's only Blu-ray-compatible DVD player and a pair of USB ports for rear seat passengers who might otherwise despair about their phones' low battery charge. Befitting its uptown status, the Town & Country offers other niceties including keyless ignition/entry and heated front and second-row seats, even a heated steering wheel.
A powerful V6 and confident handling make the Town & Country an alert minivan, yet it still doesn't feel as dynamic or responsive as the class leaders. The engine can also get loud and abrasive when pushed hard, and over broken pavement, the T&C's ride isn't as compliant as its rivals.
The 2013 Chrysler Town & Country isn't the only choice if you want the trimmings of a touring sedan with the greater passenger and cargo capacities of a minivan. Top trim levels of the 2013 Honda Odyssey, 2013 Nissan Quest and 2013 Toyota Sienna are all pretty posh and offer superior refinement in some areas. We still suggest putting it on your test-drive list, as its price is competitive, but you may find the Town & Country outclassed by more polished efforts.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2013 Chrysler Town & Country minivan is offered in four trim levels: Touring, S, Touring-L and Limited.
The entry-level Touring model comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, automatic wipers, a roof rack, power sliding doors and a power tailgate. Inside you'll find triple-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a power driver seat, power-adjustable pedals, Stow 'n Go second-row seats, cruise control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, full power accessories (including second-row power windows and third-row power vents), a conversation mirror, a back-up camera, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a 115-volt AC power outlet. Electronic features include a rear-seat DVD entertainment center (with a second-row screen), Bluetooth, rear-seat USB charging ports and a six-speaker CD sound system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, a USB/iPod interface, an auxiliary audio jack and digital music storage.
The S adds to the Touring equipment special black-accented 17-inch alloy wheels, a darkened grille, a performance-tuned suspension, additional interior storage, black leather upholstery with gray contrast stitching, and a rear seat entertainment system with an HDMI input, a DVD/Blu-Ray player and screens for the second and third rows.
The Touring-L also starts with the regular Touring equipment, but instead augments it with different 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, auto-dimming outside mirrors, remote ignition, a power-adjustable front passenger seat, heated front seats and second- and third-row window shades.
The top-of-the-line Limited model adds to the Touring-L xenon headlights, power-folding sideview mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, upgraded leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, heated second-row seats, Bluetooth audio, a navigation system, a nine-speaker premium audio system and the S model's extra storage and entertainment system.
Some of the standard features found on the upper Town & Country trim levels can be added to the lower trims via optional packages. Other major options include a sunroof, a towing package (with trailer sway control) and a power-folding third-row seat.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2013 Chrysler Town & Country is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that puts out 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The engine drives the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined.
In Edmunds testing, the Town & Country accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds, about a half-second slower than the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.
The 2013 Chrysler Town & Country comes with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, active front head restraints, full-length side curtain airbags, front seat side-impact airbags and a driver knee airbag. A back-up camera, blind-spot monitor and a rear cross-path detection system are also standard. In Edmunds brake testing, the Town & Country came to a stop from 60 mph in 128 feet, an average distance for a minivan.
In government crash tests, the T&C received four out of five stars for overall protection, with four stars awarded for overall frontal impact protection and five stars for overall side impact protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing, the Town & Country earned the highest score of "Good" in frontal offset, side impact and roof strength tests.
Interior Design and Special Features
Within the two lower trims of the Town & Country, you'll find a cabin nicely trimmed with quality materials and a classic design. Springing for the Limited brings an interior that is downright posh.
Unlike other minivans that require the awkward removal of the middle-row seats to achieve maximum cargo capacity, the Chrysler's Stow 'n Go seats fold flat into the floor. Operating these surprisingly comfortable seats is fairly simple; only a quick tug of a strap and a few gentle yanks make them disappear into the floor.
The third-row seats are also comfortable, but taller passengers might find headroom a bit tight. Shorter riders, on the other hand, may find the aggressive tilt of the seat cushion akin to sitting in a dentist's chair. The 60/40-split third-row seat offers a slick power-folding option and can also be flipped backwards to create comfortable seating for tailgate parties and the kids' soccer games. Several Edmunds editors of different heights noticed that the pedals are mounted close to the seat, limiting legroom for taller drivers even when the power-adjustable pedals are moved as far forward as possible.
With all three rows of seats in use, the Town & Country offers a healthy 33 cubic feet of cargo room. Folding down the second- and third-row seats creates a flat load floor with a competitive 143.8 cubic feet of space.
The muscular engine and confident handling on winding roads make the 2013 Chrysler Town & Country a contender. But segment leaders like the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna still offer more refinement. The Chrysler's V6 engine, while powerful and fairly smooth, can get noisy under hard acceleration. The six-speed automatic transmission does an admirable job of keeping power on tap, but gearchanges can be abrupt. Finally, some drivers may find the steering effort slightly heavier than other minivans.