Used 1998 Chrysler Town and Country Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1998

Chrysler's luxury minivans get a few improvements this year, with the addition of a new Chrysler-signature grille, more powerful 3.8-liter V6, high-performance headlights and three fancy new colors.

Vehicle overview

Elegance and expressiveness. Grace and grandeur. These are the words that describe Chrysler's posh rendition of the Dodge/Plymouth minivan.

Oh sure, you get the same fresh shape and interior space in a lower-priced Caravan or Voyager, the same car-like ride and handling qualities, the same practical virtues as a people and cargo hauler. What Chrysler adds to that mix is luxury: plenty of it, and that's enough to attract a fair share of extra customers to the Chrysler end of the minivan spectrum.

Town and Country customers have three distinct models to choose from: the LX model, an "ultimate" LXi that promises features ordinarily found only on luxury cars and the short-wheelbase (113.3-inch) SX version. The SX is Chrysler's sporty minivan. It offers cast aluminum wheels, touring tires, and a very inexpensive touring and handling package. Properly outfitted, the SX transforms into a quick, little sport van capable of embarrassing most sedan owners.

All-wheel drive is optional on the LX and LXi models of the TandC. Since these minivans only have five inches of ground clearance, they aren't meant for serious off-road adventure. They do, however, give drivers the security of knowing that their traction is improved when driving on slippery surfaces. They also make piloting the extended-length minivans a little more fun, by evening out the weight distribution and providing some rear-wheel motive power. Chrysler's AWD minivans also replace the standard rear drum brakes with discs.

All three minivans feature seven-passenger seating, with an "Easy-Out" rollaway back seat. A newly revised 3.8-liter V6 now offers 180 horsepower and 240 ft-lbs. of torque. This engine is standard in the LXi, and optional in its mates, which otherwise come with a 3.3-liter engine. Both engines drive a four-speed automatic transmission, which delivers neat and smooth gearchanges. Minivanners who do lots of highway cruising and Interstate hopping might be happier with the bigger engine, which lets the TandC pass and merge into traffic with greater confidence and briskness.

Extras in the LXi edition include dual-zone control heat/air conditioning, eight-way leather trimmed driver and passenger seats, plus a memory for both the seats and outside mirrors. A roof rack is standard on the LXi, and optional on the others. If you want luxury and spaciousness, but you just can't abide the thought of a boxy Volvo wagon, drop by your local Chrysler store and try the Town and Country on for size.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.