Used 1996 Plymouth Voyager Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1996

The Voyager is completely redesigned for 1996, and Chrysler's minivan designers and engineers have substantially improved upon the original formula: Interior comfort is top-notch, engines are more powerful and the available left-hand sliding door is an industry first.

Vehicle overview

In the past, Plymouth renderings of Chrysler Corporation's popular front-drive minivans have been virtual clones of the Dodge Caravan. In engineering and design, that's also true of this latest iteration, introduced in late spring as an early '96 model. In an assertive marketing move, however, Plymouth is pushing value pricing, aiming squarely at entry-level buyers who are shopping for their first minivans. Instead of the three-model lineup that Dodge shoppers face, Plymouth offers only two short-wheelbase Voyagers: the base model and a step-up SE.

Even a base-model Voyager is loaded with style and features, though antilock braking is an option here, unlike the other Chrysler minis. Sleek, lengthened, freshly-rounded bodies surround roomier-than-ever interiors, claiming more cargo space than the competition. Views to the ground and all around have improved, as a result of increasing the minivan's glass area by 30 percent and lowering the cowl. An "Easy Out" roller rear seat makes it easier to modify the passenger/cargo layout to suit specific needs.

Leading the list of appealing innovations is the optional driver-side sliding door--a boon to suburbanites who might want to load their minivans from either side. Two out of three buyers are expected to choose this option. Snowbelt-dwellers who've endured frosted windshields might also like the new optional electric windshield-wiper de-icer.

Anyone who appreciated the prior Voyager's car-like characteristics will be even more pleased by the latest edition, with its light steering response and super-smooth ride. This is an easy minivan to control, with a body that stays reasonably flat through curves--but threatens to lean just a little too much if pushed overly hard.

Base engine is a new 16-valve dual-cam four, whipping out 50 more horsepower than the prior four-cylinder. That's an impressive output hike, but many buyers are likely to choose the 3.0- or 3.3-liter V6 anyway. Sport-minded customers can select a Voyager Rallye.

Soft seats are amply supportive, and cupholders "ratchet down" to smaller size. Climate controls are a little too complex, and the column-mounted gearshift is oddly-shaped, but the dashboard exhibits an alluring curvature. Inside and out, the latest Voyager and Caravan look poised to retain their league-leading position in the minivan race.

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.