Tag Archives: minivan

Quick Spin: 2014 Chrysler Town & Country S

2014 Chrysler Town & Country 30th Anniversary Edition If you can believe it, we’re no strangers to the charms of the minivan here at Speed:Sport:Life. Sure, our interests might lean heavily toward the performance end of the automotive scale, but that’s not to say we can’t see the value presented by a wholly functional vehicle. The right tool for the job, you could say. And if hauling five or more humans in comfort is a challenge that’s regularly presented to you (and you’re unwilling to part with the $50k+ often required by a top-of-the-line 7-seat SUV) then there’s little reason to look elsewhere: a minivan is what you need. If Chrysler’s recently unveiled 5-year product plans are to be believed, fans of the current Dodge Caravan will need to snap one up quick, because it’s the Town & Country seen here that will solely carry the torch for Chrysler Group minivans moving forward. And though this platform has a good number of years under its belt, it still feels fresh enough. 2014 Chrysler Town & Country 30th Anniversary Edition We drove one of the ChryCo vans not so long ago - a Grand Caravan SXT Blacktop edition - and the equipment and driving characteristics are mirrored here almost exactly. Thanks to the installation of the 283-hp PentaStar V6 and six-speed automatic transmission a few years ago, it can still hang with the best in the class when it comes to power. It’ll also return 22.3 miles per gallon of regular for your troubles, even in mostly city conditions. Expect solid mid-20s on the highway. 2014 Chrysler Town & Country 30th Anniversary Edition 2014 Chrysler Town & Country 30th Anniversary Edition It’s neither glamorous nor sexy, but for the duty with which it’s tasked, it performs admirably every single time. A comfortable interstate cruiser with the passenger and cargo space of a Nimitz-class supercarrier, the Town & Country looks set to solider on happily for the company that invented the modern minivan, hopefully for model years to come. 2014 Chrysler Town & Country 30th Anniversary Edition 2014 Chrysler Town & Country S Base price: $33,390 Price as tested: $35,235 Options on test car: SafetyTec Group (blind spot monitoring, rear park assist, rain-sensing wipers) - $1,845 Powertrain: 3.6-liter V6 engine, six-speed automatic transmission, front-wheel drive – 283 horsepower, 260 lb-ft torque S:S:L-observed fuel economy: 22.3 mpg    

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2014 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT Blacktop

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2013 Dodge Grand Caravan Blacktop Edition

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The PentaStar 3.6-liter V6 and 6-speed auto pull double duty here, buy Nasonex from mexico, Purchase Nasonex online, smoothly wringing out 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft with nary a hint of torque steer. It’ll be interesting to see if one of the 8- or 9-speed automatics that Chrysler has started dropping into some of its models makes its way to the Caravan in the future, since the 6-speed, while capable of delivering a 25 mpg rating on the highway, can get tripped up from time to time and ends up delivering your gear change with an unceremonious clunk, Nasonex For Sale.

2013 Dodge Grand Caravan R/T

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2014 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT Blacktop

2014 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT

Base price: $27,690

Price as tested: $32,505

Options on test car: Blacktop Package ($595), UConnect Hands-Free Group ($540), Security Group ($395), Dual Rear Screen DVD/Blu-Ray Player ($2,490), UConnect 430N Navigation System ($795)

Powertrain: 3.6-liter V6 engine, 6-speed automatic transmission – 283 hp / 260 lb-ft torque

S:S:L-observed fuel economy: 22.0 mpg

Dodge provided the vehicle for testing purposes and one tank of gas. Photos by the manufacturer.


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Our range-topping LE tester was loaded to the gills, and judging by its feature content, is probably more likely to serve as an early-bird transport shuttle for social retirees than as a toddler hauler, Stromectol For Sale. The Quest serves its cruiser role quite well, Stromectol no prescription, Purchase Stromectol online no prescription, and it sports a cabin that is a relaxing place to pass the miles. Fit and finish are a cut above the Chrysler/Dodge twins and the Sienna, buy Stromectol from mexico, Stromectol for sale, and a bit more plush than the Odyssey. A three-zone automatic climate control system and cushy second row captain’s chairs that wouldn’t look out of place in a Prevost will keep Frank and Estelle from the bingo pool plenty comfy, where can i order Stromectol without prescription. Stromectol alternatives, Valuable dashboard real estate that serves as storage on lesser Quest models is taken up by the LE’s standard-fit navigation system and DVD drive for the rear seat monitor. Stromectol For Sale, Storage in general lags behind competitors, because although the second row seats can fold flat while remaining in place, the flat load floor that results is a good bit higher than it is in other vans – limiting total cargo volume.


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2013 Nissan Quest 3.5 LE

Base price: $43,465

Price as tested: $43,675

Options on test car: Carpeted front and rear floor mats ($210)

Powertrain: 3.5 Liter V6, Continuously Variable Transmission - 260 horsepower, 240 lb-ft torque

Nissan provided the vehicle for testing purposes and one tank of gas. Photos by the author.



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2011 Dodge Grand Caravan — “Brother, can you spare a double class upgrade?”

"I see we've got you booked for a minivan today- how many people will there be in your party?." As I thought about explaining to the attendant at the Alamo desk that I'd be the only one using the van, and that I'd basically be living out of it for the next 24 hours, better judgment prevailed: “Four. Thanks.” This whole crackpot scheme of assessing the livability of a rented minivan was born while perusing a travel site a few days earlier. A small ad offered a $45 a day minivan rental deal to usher in the end of summer in my tourist-centric city. Given the planet's current economic woes, the thought of living in one's car has probably crossed a few too many minds lately, especially those staring down the barrel of unemployment. After all, as wise car enthusiast code dictates, you can't drive a house. A quick crunch of the numbers revealed that, for a month, this rented van would run $1,350- a figure not out of line with the typical rent for a nice place in most US cities. Unlike with an apartment, your Alamo landlord will also throw in electricity gratis, courtesy of your van-abode's 12-volt charging system and multiple power outlets- what a perk! Water and sewer, well, that's up to you. We suggest looking outside the van for those facilities. With a 10% coupon available online applied to our daily rate, the weekly charge for our 2011 Dodge studio-apartment-on-wheels runs close to the average unemployment insurance payment of $295/week last year. Throw in a panhandling bonus for gas, food and Pabst Blue Ribbon tall boys, and the essentials are more or less covered. So how does a modern minivan fare as a house? We at S:S:L were determined to find out. One of the bonuses of Alamo/National's renting system is that you're free to choose whichever model strikes your fancy (within your reserved size class) on the lot when you arrive. For us that meant either a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan or a 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan. Newer obviously equals better, especially in this case, as the Caravan's 2011 refresh saw the installation of Chrysler's 3.6L Pentastar V6 paired to a 6-speed automatic as the standard powertrain. With 283 horsepower, highest among current minivan offerings, the choice was basically made for us. The acrid smell greeting us upon entry of our tester almost resulted in a last minute play change- turns out the previous renter saw fit to leave a rotting bottle of formula, a spilled full box of cheerios and a bottle of Motrin in the middle-row storage binnacle. Although all staples of parenthood, and a potential meal-on-the-go for cash-strapped van residents, the purely temporary nature of our poverty ensured all of this stuff was jettisoned at the first pit stop. As transportation, the Grand Caravan fares pretty well. That V6 rips through the rev range, at least in sound if not forward progress. In fairness, it's got more than two tons of chrome, 'soft-touch' plastics  and folding seats to haul around, so its stately pace can be somewhat forgiven. What can't be overlooked, though, is the symphony of creaks, groans and rattles this example with a mere 13,000 miles had already accumulated. The sheer space inside this rolling echo chamber only amplifies the cacophony. This doesn't bode especially well for the new fleet of Chryslers, especially given how much touting of improved build quality the company has done in recent years. Luckily, the standard sound system is loud enough to drown much of it out, perhaps engineered to help silence the screaming infants that typically occupy rearward rows. As a residence, however, the Grand Caravan excels. The Stow-N-Go system gives you the ability to fold the second- and third-row seats flat into the floor, and the spaces they occupy become valuable storage bins when the seats are in use. Think of each one as a built-in drawer, together encompassing a full wardrobe. Coat hooks abound, perfect for keeping those interview shirts wrinkle-free. 14 separate storage cubbies are placed scatter shot throughout the cabin, great for organizing dry goods like Top Ramen packages and unemployment checks. Another 14 cup holders wait ready for Steel Reserve and Schlitz cans. The rear privacy glass keeps out prying hobo eyes, and the low load floor makes for cavernous quarters. Comfortably sleeping two (three in a pinch), the 45 square feet under roof feature door-to-door carpeting at a price lower than a similarly sized Manhattan studio. Cats and small dogs are welcome, although you may want to situate Fido's quarters in the front passenger foot well for sanity's sake. Obviously, living in a van (down by the river) entails certain compromises. The lack of running water, for one. Operating any of the accessories draws electrical power that will eventually necessitate a fill-up to recharge, costly by any standards in a vehicle with a 20 gallon tank which got just 17 mpg in our hands. You'll also need to be very selective when it comes to choosing what possessions you want to bring aboard. Microwave or space heater? Shoes or belts? Significant other or air conditioner? The more well-heeled among this nation's unemployed might be able to spend their evenings in a Red Roof Inn or Candlewood Suites. But when they wake up in the morning to head off to that interview, they'll need to either hail a cab or thumb it to get there. Our Grand Caravan resident can simply wake up, find the nearest public park facilities and arrive in style in a new, shiny vehicle that screams middle-class prosperity. Better yet, you'll look like a family man. And who wouldn't give a family man a job?