2016 Chrysler Town & Country – the perfect year round family vehicle.
It always seems like the holidays turns me into one of those frantic people, running around from store to store gathering everything I need for the perfect gathering. Yet, I never stopped to think how having the right vehicle during such season could make such a big difference.
When do the holidays really start? For most it’s Thanksgiving, but as a mom of two, I feel like they really start right before Halloween. Depending on what kind of costumes your children choose to wear, you may have to start preparing a month in advance! Then comes shopping or making the costume, then the venue where you’ll trick-or-treat. When the Halloween craze is over, right away we get Thanksgiving dumped on us, which starts the hunt for the right turkey, delicious sides and table decorations. And guess what comes right after Thanksgiving lunch/dinner—Black Friday! Tired yet? This is the part where having the right vehicle comes in. See, for the longest time I’ve been a fan of coupes, and hatchbacks, as they are typically smaller, more efficient and lower to the ground, and I’ve always enjoyed the relatively sporty driving feel they offer. But a lot changed last month, when I decided to use my new and temporary sleigh to prepare for Christmas with plenty of time in advance.
Say hello to the 2016 Chrysler Town & Country
Yes, It’s a minivan, and I know that may be enough reason to stop reading right now, but all I can say is that this Town & Country isn’t only convenient in many ways, but in the Sport trim, it’s also a looker. I kid you not, people would actually turn and stare. And while I want to believe they did that for me, the metallic red paint, gunmetal wheels and blacked-out accents may have had something to do with that.
The convenience effect
Chrysler is the creator of the modern minivan as we know it, which right away explains why most things work so well in the Town & Country Sport. Remember what I was telling you about running around like crazy during the holidays? Well, I blame most of it on having to haul the kids along with me, while trying to get things done quickly and efficiently—those ingredients don’t go well together, right? Since I coud open both rear sliding doors of the Town & Country Sport at the touch of a button, my oldest could quickly hop out, while my 4-year old could start unbuckling her car seat, and she’d be ready by the time I was out of the van myself. Then I’d quickly grab her out without having to bend over or reach too far into the van, and we’d be on our way. The Town & Country Sport offers the perfect ride-height, which means I didn’t have to struggle or pull a muscle while reaching for my daughter. But the best part was, I didn’t have to flip the front seat forward like I do on my car. Just a simple fact like getting out effortlessly had already improved my holiday experience!
Once we got shopping out of the way, the Chrysler Town & Country Sport had plenty of room in the trunk to store a ton of stuff. In fact, I wish I bought as much as I could fit in the back, but that would most likely get me in trouble. The third-row folds fully flat by easily by pulling the straps which are conveniently labeled in the order they should be pulled. The second row captain chairs feature Stow ’n Go, so they also completely disappear as they stow into the floor.
Getting in gear
I found that the 6-speed automatic transmission was often confused; it constantly missed gears. The car often would jerk really hard while shifting, and when engaging reverse it would take a long time for the gear to kick in. This is not a normal experience with a new car and it probably required a tweaking by a mechanic, but it was frustrating while we drove.
Owning a minivan has only crossed my mind about once or twice, but each time I remind myself that we aren’t there yet as a family. But the Town & Country Sport and its many convenience factors made me sort of rethink that. Whether it was the easy to operate navigation system, the window shades in the second and third rows, or the fact that it still looks cool, the car definitely helped me redefine my opinion on minivans.
Regardless of what the holidays (when is Easter?) or life may throw at you, the Town & Country Sport can handle it without breaking a sweat!
What I loved
- Stow ’n Go seats
- Heated second-row seats
- Sporty looks
- Convenience and versatility
What you need to know
- No USB charging ports in the front or back seats. There is a cigarette style power plug in the front and back, plus a household plug in the back
- Fuel economy listed at 17 mpg in the city, 25 on the highway, with 20 mpg combined. The actual 13.4 mpg in the city that I got made me cringe
- Base price starts at $29,995; price for the model I drove, with Safety Tec package, driver convenience, navigation system and Sirius XM, $39,220.
Note: Chrysler provided the Town & Country for the test drive; opinions expressed are my own.