Where to start? Well, for all the hype given to SUV's in recent years, I think the critics should emphasize the truth about today's mini-vans. They have all the bells and whistles now. They might not be as stylish or "cool looking" on the exterior as many SUV's, but if you're older than 16, you can probably live with it. The critics should emphasize the truth about the T&C and Caravan; there is no other family vehicle with more versatility. The stow 'n' go feature is second to none! How nice is it to be able to go from a 7-passenger van to a large cargo van in just minutes? Guess! Ever heard of a van that's actually fun to drive and has a great ride? They make them now!
My wife and I just purchased a new 2013, and have under 1,000 miles on it. We compared the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, and the T&C. We loved the ride of the Honda, the 2nd row leg room of the Toyota, but the likes really stopped there for anything outside the T&C. Options on the T&C are more plentiful for less money (rear entertainment, nav, heated seats...). Of note, the T&C is the ONLY one to offer remote start. The DVD in the Sienna looked like a shotty 3rd-party install, while both the Odyssey and Sienna dashboards felt very poorly and/or cheaply designed. UPDATE 6/2016 So 40k miles in, still no real issues. Complaints are still road noise and rougher ride (could be OEM hard tires however). Fuel mileage isn't the best around town, but good power is a trade off. Have an issue where the nav won't update, paid (yes paid, no free map updates) $150 for an update and the unit would 't accept it, Garmin couldn't figure it out and actually said to have the head unit replaced so they can inspect. Still haven't had the time to do that so no word on how it worked out. Bought an inexpensive HDMI media player that I could plug into the rear 110V power and use an IR extender so I can load a bunch of our movies I put on an SD card, so we don't have to mess with changing DVD's and Disney super long menu intros - so we love the media connectivity! It'd be nice to be able to directly load movies to the HDD, but I'm sure that's to come. Transmission: haven't had problems other than when using Econ mode. Then the reverse to drive and vice versa are delayed and very hard. Coupled with the very low 3-4 (I think) gear shift RPM and no torque, we usually don't use Econ and it's fine - use it for road trips and we get 1.5-2 mpg higher and don't worry about the low speed shifting so win-win there! Stow-N-Go has been great, lots of extra storage on trips if the mid row is up, and rear seats can be configured for nice holding spots or jump seats, whatever way we want. All-in-all very happy!
Our 2013 Town & Country van is great in many ways but the transmission has a noise that is caused by a redesign in the square cut gears. Between 15-20 mph it makes an irritating noise that Chrysler has no fix for. They basically say it is driveable so I have to live with it. The dealership has found that this is common with other new vans on their lot. This noise is persistent and louder than when we first noticed it (7200 miles now). No repair, no replacement, nothing but a continual noise. I would have looked at other vehicles if I had known that this would be an ongoing nuisance.
If you buy a 2011 through 2013 tc you will be having the engine fixed. The engines have a flaw in them and right about 40 miles the left engine head will start failing. If you question me google problems with penta star engine heads or missfire on penta star engine. Even after they fixed it it still ran rough. The electric sliding doors are a pain in the rear. It's a good value but my wife and I usually keep a car 10 years but we took on another car payment just to get rid of it.
These are facts, not my opinions. When the car is new, the nav system (Garmin design) is super. It doesn't have voice command function, but otherwise is very good. Eventually, you'll want to update the maps and point-of-interest information with the latest. Chrysler does not sell the updates, you have to go to the source - Navteq (now known as "HERE") and purchase the update for $149 (there is no lifetime update option). That's the same for most nav system updates today, regardless of make and model of your car. For all other makes and models, you just order the update at the Navteq website and they send you a DVD or other media and you apply the update yourself. But, for the 2013 Town and Country equipped with the 430N radio with a code of RBZ (found on lower right hand corner of the radio faceplate), you are forced to go through a strange procedure where you insert a USB drive into the front of the radio, initiate some commands via the radio menu and then the radio is supposed to write info about the navigation package to the USB drive. You then plug that USB drive into your PC and the website analyzes the information (looking for what, is undocumented) and decides whether you need the update. The problem is, many of the radios do not write the info to the USB drive due to some quirk in the radio software. I had the dealer update the radio software to the latest level, but that made no difference at all. Many calls to Navteq and a Chrysler support line got me nowhere. Navteq says that the problem has been reported by many other owners and they sent reports to Chrysler, but with no response. When I raise the issue with Chrysler, they again tell me that they don't sell map updates. For the price of an update ($149), you can purchase a stand-alone unit from Garmin with lifetime free map and POI updates and not have to deal with Chrysler at all.