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2011 Chrysler minivan - refresh of 5th gen

tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
It appears Chrysler will be coming out with it's 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan/Town & Country minivans around Xmas this year.

The 3.3L, 3.8L and 4.0L V6 engines are all to be replaced with the 3.5L Pentastar V6 that gets 283hp. The motor will be coupled with the existing 6-speed automatic transmission.

The outside body panels appear to be the same, but there are updates to the grill, tailgate and hood. LED taillights.

The interior will have new guages, softer materials and a center console that connects with the dash. Premium models will get wood trim on the steering wheel.

Comments

  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    I already opened same discussion a while ago with no replies - apparently no one is getting too excited before seeing one in real life.. See here:

    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/WebX/.f212675/0!make=Chrysler&model=Town%20and%- 20Country&ed_makeindex=.f212675

    They just revealed today the photos of the 2011 Grand Caravan - the T&C's Twin. The interior design is still something not very elegant and not very appealing to me, maybe the Chrysler version will be more premium, but I believe that the quality is greatly improved.
  • Who can be excited with a the 2011 Chrysler Minivan if the Toyota Sienna 2011 is a 100% new minivan that has a better design and is a lot more reliable than the chrysler, also the honda odyssey 2011 is a lot better than the Chrysler minivan.

    If you buy now a Chrysler minivan 2011 in less than 2 years you will have an old minivan because Chrysler is going to release the 100% new minivan with a new design, new transmission and everything new.

    I have a 2008 town and country with only 15,000 miles and the transmission already broke, unfortunatly chrysler uses remanufactured transmissions that vibrate more and they fail in less milage. After only 2 weeks of use with my remanufactured trnasmission I am going another time to the dealer because there is oil spill above the transmission.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    edited November 2010
    You're correct.

    But still, there are many advantages for the Chrysler over the Toyota/Honda, Both of them has their shortcomings, Toyota recently slipped behind in terms of quality, especially with the Sienna (and Corolla) - (Consumer Reports just rated the new Jeep Grand Cherokee over the Toyota 4Runner, which tells me something! - The redesigned Sienna also did not get the most favorable review from CR).

    Anyway, in terms of entertainment no one beats Chrysler; flexibility of second row seats is also best in class - stow'n'go is just terrific for those who need it - and now with the most powerful engine in class (although I do consider that it weights more than the competitors) it will probably have the fastest 0-60 times, and a 6-speed tranny standard acroos the line, which the (UGLY!) 2011 Odyssey only provides on top model, and with refreshed interior styling and much improved quality, it may very well be on par with the rest of the minivans. And besides, the Chrysler will probably offer lower prices.

    Don't get me wrong, I had a 2008 T&C lease, I had my share of problems, I am more than happy that my lease is over now, but it is well known that the 2008 MY was a bad one, full of all kind of problems, probably due to the new design, (I wrote a long review here back then), but quality / reliability improved with the years, and 2010 was much better. Now we can only hope that the 2011 should be even better, and with all that, plus as they say they improved driving dynamics, it should be an excellent choice.

    I can't wait to see some more pictures and read some reviews.

    Anyone know when it arrives to the dealers?
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    Not all Chrysler vans are unreliable. I have a 2006 Caravan SE (base model). I paid about $16k brand new for it (incl. taxes, etc.). After 4 years and 63k miles, the only non-scheduled repairs are a couple of serpentine belts, a battery, and a belt tensioner. The front brakes have the original rotors; rear brakes still original. I run it with Mobil 1 synthetic and have gotten 32 MPG on the highway; around town, I get about 24 MPG. I plan to keep it to at least 175k miles. I paid cash for it and have no car payment. I have no reason to complain.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    The pre- 2008 models were much more reliable and trouble-free than the 2008 models. The new models always have problems. 2009 became better, and 2010 even better. Still not very good, but much better than 2008.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    edited November 2010
    Chrysler officially unveiled the pictures of the refreshed Town & Country on their site.

    Looks nice, nut interior elegance still lacks IMO (compared to Toyota/Honda), especially in center stack. But I will wait until I see one in person.

    The controls for the HAVC still looks very complicated (with a sea of buttons instead of knobs) and placed too low for easy reach. The stereo/radio system looks the same as the old, nothing new, although they are way overdue for a refresh, but again, I must wait until Chrysler will release some more info.

    The interior colors seems to be more on the blue-ish side, a good move away from the greenish color of its predecessor. Bluetooth controls on the steering wheel is also much better than the old design.

    The front grille, I think the older design was much more rich, but the new one is not very bad, much better than Odyssey for sure...

    Now waiting for some reviews of drivers, to see how the driving dynamics are improved..
  • Ditto. I have a 1997 T&C that I bought new and it has been the best vechicle that I have owned, period. Just regular maintenance. Has original tranny, and A/C..... 151, 000 miles.
  • Well your one of the lucky ones then, they must have made yours on the day they weren't smoking dope! The rest of us (from what I read) have had nothing but problems with the T&C all year models. My 2005 has been in the shop so much I'm on a first name basis with most service reps.

    #9 of 9 Re: 2011 Chrysler minivan - [jpf] by greggie990
    Jan 05, 2011 (12:28 pm)
    Replying to: jpf (Nov 08, 2010 11:55 pm)
    Ditto. I have a 1997 T&C that I bought new and it has been the best vechicle that I have owned, period. Just regular maintenance. Has original tranny, and A/C..... 151, 000 miles.

    * facebook connect
  • As a side note, one of the Honda owners in the office had the tranny go out on his 2000 MDX and went to 2 different transmissin shops (about 50 miles apart), looking for the best price. Both shops said something like 80% of their work was Honda transmissions in the MDX and Odessy..... so much for Honda reliability.

    Disclaimer.... my son works for Honda.
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    We're on our 4th Chryco minivan in 21 years. Had a transmission fail on our second one when the garage I used put in the wrong tranny fluid. Chrysler replaced under warranty and it ran fine thereafter. Our latest, a '10 T&C Limited, had an engine wiring harness issue at 2k miles, but has been flawless ever since, including a 3k mile trip to the Colorado Rockies and Plateau regions. Just routine maintenance.

    Maybe one of the reasons you hear so much about them is simply due to the sheer numbers of them that have been produced over the decades.
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    Yes, there's a thread here in the Townhall about Oddy trannies:
    Mass Oddy Tranny Failures
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    edited December 2011
    So I recently rented a 2012 MY minivan, and I am fairly impressed, but still not completely satisfied. The "new" engine sound is not very refined, steering is on the heavy side and not very natural, and the interior, while really beautiful, puts beauty over function: (1) the gauges for fuel/temp are too small, (2) the buttons for the radio AND temperature controls are way too small with very small markings, and especially the climate controls are extremely complicated, low and uncomfortable, (3) the information center between the 2 main gauges (speedometer & tachometer) is informative, but such a ultra-low resolution LCD would suite on a 1995 model year, not in this era where HD and retina displays are becoming the new standard.

    The interior lighting is nice, blueish with some white markings, but the glove box is still not lighted, and no illuminated ignition key ring either. But the cup-holders are nicely illuminated. I love the interior door handles, which are big and comfortable.

    The steering wheel is better than my 2008, and I think it's a bit smaller than the truck-suited over-sized wheel on the 2008. I didn't measure it, but it feels smaller and easier to maneuver. It is leather wrapped with a much better leather quality than its predecessor. The middle "stow-n-go" seats are a bit better and softer, but the 3rd row seat is rather uncomfortable, seats low, angled up. It's due for a change. Stereo sounds pretty good, and the center console with 2 storage bins are nicely done and pretty intuitive designed, with the front one has 2 power points.

    It seems to me that Chrysler is back on the right track, and while the Odyssey still drives better, the gap is closing... Keep it up!
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    One other point I wanted to add -- the signal lever is unfortunately not of high quality. After driving many Toyota's & Honda's, one of my favorite things to do is to ....signal! Usually smaller lever, and great, rubberized, feel when activated up or down, it's a pleasure to use. But this minivans lever is just ugly and unrefined.
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