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Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan 2005+

The company that invented the minivan category 20 years ago is working its magic again.

With more than 10 million minivans sold and a segment-leading 38 percent market share, the Chrysler Group today revealed Stow ’n Go and even more minivan-first features on its new 2005 Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Caravan, and Dodge Grand Caravan. The company’s new minivans will arrive in Chrysler and Dodge dealerships early next year.

Chrysler Group invested more than $400 million to create an all-new platform and bring its new 2005 Chrysler and Dodge minivans to market in just 18 months.

“Stow ‘n Go represents yet another leapfrog for the Chrysler Group in the minivan market segment,” said Dieter Zetsche, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chrysler Group. “Stow ’n Go offers unmatched convenience, versatility, and storage. It gives customers the ability to easily fold their second- and third-row seats into the floor and conveniently store items. Stow ‘n Go is one of more than 15 new features and safety enhancements to look for on our new 2005 Chrysler and Dodge minivans.”

With Stow ’n Go, owners of new 2005 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans will have the ability to fold their second- and third-row seats into the floor in as little as 30 seconds with a simple, one-hand operation. Stow ’n Go will be standard on the company’s highline long-wheelbase minivans which include the 2005 Chrysler Town & Country LX, Touring and Limited, and the 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT. Stow ’n Go will also be available on 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan SE.

“With 20 years of minivan experience and more than 10 million sold, we will continue to enhance the minivan formula in order to attract even more customers to the segment and keep minivan fans coming back for more,” said Zetsche. “At Chrysler Group, we take great pride in every single feature that we invent and every single minivan that we put on the road. Minivans are part of this company’s DNA and synonymous with the Chrysler Group.”

In addition to the segment’s only Stow ’n Go seating system, following is a complete list of available new features on the 2005 Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Caravan, and Dodge Grand Caravan:

SEATING AND STORAGE

256 Seating Configurations
New 2005 Chrysler and Dodge minivans offer up to 256 seating configurations

Minivan-First Stow ‘n Go Seating
Second-row bucket seats may be folded into the floor with virtually effortless one-hand operation. Third-row split bench (60/40) may be folded individually or in its entirety into the floor with same virtually effortless one-hand operation. With safe, smooth, integrated Stow ‘n Go seat operation, pinched fingers may be avoided. Headrests do not need to be removed before seats are folded into the floor

Secure, Covered Stow ‘n Go Storage
When second-row seats are in the upright position, two spacious storage bins are available. Second-row storage bins are equipped with integrated lids to keep items out of sight and securely tucked away. Both second- and third-row storage bins combined create an additional 12 cubic feet of space

Minivan-First Storage Bin Bags
Cargo net bags are standard and integrated into each storage bin, allowing for quick, easy removal of storage items

Minivan-First Super High Density (SHD) Foam Cushion Seating
Originally developed by NASA to improve seat comfort for astronauts, this foam cushion comfort technology is also used in high-end home and office furniture, aerospace, medical, and Tempur-Pedic® mattresses

Second-Row Seat Fore/Aft Adjusters and Reclining Seat Backs
Second-row seats move forward and back and offer 100 mm of seat travel. Second-row seat back reclines up to 40 degrees, offering 13 different positions from which to choose

Minivan-First Outboard Break-Away Cup Holders
If outboard second-row seat cup holders are left deployed as seats are folded into the floor, mechanism releases the cup holder and allows the seat to be folded into the floor, leaving the cup holder intact

Minivan-First Third-Row Easy Entry System
With a pull of a single strap, the second-row seat tumbles out of the way and allows for easy entry into the third row

Minivan-First Split-Bench Tailgate Seating
In split seconds, the third-row split bench (60/40) may be flipped, individually or in its entirety, completely rearward for convenient, comfortable tailgate seating complete with a weather shelter provided by the liftgate

Reclining Third-Row Seat
Third-row seat back reclines up to 39 degrees, offering 12 different positions from which to choose

SAFETY AND SECURITY

Three-Row Supplemental Side Curtain Air bags
Three-row, A-to-D pillar side curtain air bags provide full-length coverage for all rows of seats. The side curtain extends protection to all outboard passengers. Both side curtain air bags have impact sensors, which trigger the air bag on the side where impact occurs

Minivan-First Driver-side Inflatable Knee Blocker
The knee blocker inflates in conjunction with air bag deployment. It helps position the driver relative to the air bag and offers additional upper leg protection

Advanced Multi-stage Front Air Bags
Provides enhanced protection for a greater range of occupants at various deployment levels, based on the severity of an impact

Occupant Classification System (OCS)
Determines the conditions for activation or deactivation of the passenger-side front air bag, based on the weight of the occupant

BeltAlert
Chrysler Group’s new enhanced seat belt reminder system. If a vehicle is driven without the driver being properly belted, the system will periodically activate a chime and illuminate a light in the instrument cluster to remind the driver to buckle up

Child Seat Anchor System
Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children(LATCH) help ease the installation of compatible aftermarket child seats. In addition to second-row seats, this feature is now available in the third-row seating of the new 2005 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Caravan

Rear Park Assist
Rear obstacle detection system with audible warning and rear overhead display

Minivan-First Standard Door Alert
Signal lights activate when power sliding doors or manual sliding doors are in operation, signaling occupants getting in or out of the vehicle. Feature is standard on all 2005 Chrysler and Dodge minivans (late availability)

EVEN MORE FEATURES

Minivan-First Factory-Installed UConnect™
Hands-Free Communication

Integrated into the vehicle’s electrical and audio system, wireless Bluetooth® technology links to the customer’s cell phone. Control buttons are intuitive and conveniently located on the rearview mirror

Minivan-First Movable/Removable Overhead Rail System
Includes overhead console with three movable/removable storage bins, rear temperature controls, and an optional DVD screen

Navigation System
Available as factory-installed or through Mopar®, this single DVD solution
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Comments

  • theo2709theo2709 Posts: 476
    Read the full press release here.
  • New design eliminates AWD option?
  • shuedshued Posts: 107
    I hope advices:
    1): Second row seats are NOT too low. Best is to provide a way of height adjustment. Second row of Ford's Freestar is too low.
    2): All maintenance items are easy to access.
    3): Try to remove rebate, thus the MSRP should be closed enough to the competitors.
    4): All short base use 3.3 engine, and All long base use 3.8 engine.
    Then it will perfect.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    Looks promising but if this is in line with the current T& C, then this van will cost about $40k fully equipped and about $35k nicely equipped which still puts it out of price range for me.

    I do like the bins under the 2nd row seats as wlel as the additional safety equipment. Of course they have to work the engine. I'm not refering to horsepower but fuel efficiency. The current 3.8L is a gas guzzler compared to the Toyota 3.3.

    But I must say nice job Chrysler! When will it be available?
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    the feature content sounds pretty good. At least they put some new features without losing 6 inches of vertical storage (Uplander/Relay/Terraza/Montana SV6) or without making the sticker price too high (let's hope) (Freestar)
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    costs $29K MSRP. Although after the $1,000 rebates that I think are being slapped on brings it to $28K MSRP, with cloth seats and manual slidng doors.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I have to wonder- the GM vans are going to get this system, and DaimerChrysler is getting them too. Who had the idea first? Who copied who?
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    up in cubicle and computer desk systems. Most likely designers from both companies saw it in the office and asked: why not use in the van?
  • To theo2709...Thanks for all the info and pics on the '05 redesign (even more than is on the Dodge web site). Can you say how you are so close to the company... and therefore how you know all this great stuff? Anyway, this question is for you, or anyone else who has factual info on this...

    I've been looking hard at ALL the vans out there right now, and at all their interesting features. Certain things are more important to me than others because of all the different ways that I use my vehicle.

    Regarding the redesign of the interior of these vans, which looks like it outshines everything else out there. I have two specific questions that I wonder if anyone knows an accurate answer to.
    1) Will AWD still be an option?
    2) Where does the spare tire go? Or will it be a run-flat like an AWD Sienna?
    With 3 big wells extending down below the floorboards,I suspect that there won't be room for a drive line and rear differential for the optional AWD. I mean they still have to fit a fuel tank down there. And IF there is a spare tire in some other nook or cranny then how could there be any room for AWD.
    If anyone knows anything factual about this please let me know.
    BTW something I'm less concerned about but still it looks curious to me in the pics... Is that 3rd row seat bottom really at the severe angle that it looks like? They will definitely take heat for that.
    Thanks, Greg
  • theo2709theo2709 Posts: 476
    Now don't quote me on this, but I am pretty sure that you can either get Stow 'n Go or AWD. The wells under the seat take up too much room. I have no idea about the spare tire, though.
  • shuedshued Posts: 107
    If Toyota can have third row hiding and AWD together, then Chryseler can do them too. The spare tie can be at the passenger side of the first row. My question is, new 2005 T&C have independent rear suspension?
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    how come you're so close to DCX and GM?
  • Remember the most critical factor, the vehicle is still a Chrysler product. Chrysler products tend to be all show and no substance, i.e. with every purchase you get free membership in the frequent flyer club at the service dept. of your local dealership.

    The service manager at my local Chrysler dealership (where I purchased my first and last Chrysler vehicle), offered a sound piece of advice: "Never purchase the first year of a new Chrysler model, too many problems, and Chrysler is using you as the guinea pig to help them iron out the bugs.

    BTW there's a 2004 Sienna sitting in my garage!
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    One feature always been missing from Chrysler minivans and very important to me is the rear parking aid sensor system. It's really welcome that they now added this feature to the otherwise very good equipped vehicle.
  • Can anyone tell me how much interior height is lost due to having these hidden seats?

    The outside views don't make it seem that the minivan is any taller. Thus any increase in floor pan thickness (due to being able to hide the second row seating) must come out of the interior floor - ceiling height or am I wrong here?

    To me it seems that the floor pan area must be significantly "thicker" (deeper) with the hidden seat option.

    Thanks
    Don
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I think that these vans are going to be better than the upcoming GM vans, no doubt.
  • svevarsvevar Posts: 160
    I think the vans Chrysler has now are better than the upcoming GM vans will be. Aside from the lack of a fold flat rear seat, sub-5 star crash test ratings, and reliability issues (arguable), I think that the Chrysler vans are already among the best in the industry. At very least, they are leaps and bounds ahead of Ford and GM's offerings. The new fold flat seats and improved safety features should only help Chrysler to regain the "king of minivans" throne.
  • The 2005 Mopar vans are not "all new", the engines are the same.
  • Hoped there was a way for AWD to be an option along with 05's Stow ’n Go. Just saw on AUTOWEEK ONLINE that AWD won't be available. They almost had a new customer. Back to deciding between Sienna, SUV, or waiting for next Honda van.

    http://www.autoweek.com/cat_content.mv?port_code=autoweek&cat- _code=carnews&loc_code=index&content_code=07996049
  • I'm in the minority here in that I don't want a FWD van only.

    I live in Canada where we have significant amounts of snow and ice for many months a year.

    I've gotten stuck with my wife's 2001 Olds Alero which is FWD with low speed traction control yet have never gotten stuck in my 4WD Toyota 4Runner.

    As I'm likely to be giving up the 4Runner I would want AWD to have at least one "foul" weather vehicle in the garage.

    If a minivan is deemed appropriate then it's the Sienna AWD or possibly the new 2005 Honda Odyssey if it comes in an AWD version (although I prefer the Toyota 50/50 AWD system to the Honda's current 100/0 AWD system which varies the torque split and is basically FWD until slippage is detected {hopefully in time}).
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I don't really care about AWD, as I'll be moving to a warmer climate. But last winter my Odyssey drove up my icy driveway.
  • Are most-likely to have better crash tests scored. Chrysler stiffened the structure by 50% and added all those new safety features. I'd take this over the upcoming GM vans, especially with that warranty!!!
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    better be improved. The Freestar, Monterey, Quest, Sienna and Odyssey are all rated "Good" by the IIHS. The current Chrysler Town & Country/Voyager and Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan are a "marginal" and the GM vans (Pontiac Montana, Chevrolet Venture, Oldsmobile Silhouette) are rated "Poor" by the IIHS.
  • svevarsvevar Posts: 160
    The current long wheelbase Town & Country and Grand Caravan models are actually rated "Acceptable" by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. That is the second highest rating. The GM vans are all rated "Poor," however.

    http://www.iihs.org/vehicle_ratings/ce/html/summary_passvans.htm#- 0102_02
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    haven't been to the IIHS website in a long time. Must have forgotten the rating system. Anyways, the DCX vans are acceptable, but that's not something to brag about when the Freestar/Monterey, Sienna, Quest and Odyssey all are rated GOOD.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Almost every T&C or Caravan I see is FWD. Seems that Chrysler's thinking that fold flat seats will bring much more sales than AWD. I would also like to know if they will drop AWD from ALL models, included the base models with regular seats.

    At least they could offer a spare tire, unlike the Sienna AWD which offers no spare tire, but expensive and hard to find run-flat tires instead.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    The new minivan will offer much more safety features than the current model, but still no stability control.

    Also, Chrysler/Dodge minivans has the smallest mirrors than any minivan, and the biggest blind spot, since the mirrors are not close to the door. Just look on the new Toyota Sienna - X-large mirrors and very close to the door gives you an excellent view out. Who needs signal mirrors with tiny mirrors?
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    I hope they will return the 2 neat features they used to offer and for financial reasons eliminated from the 2003-2004 models:

    1. Windshield wiper de-icer (which is already copied by Toyota and Kia minivans);

    2. Illuminated controls for power door locks / windows.

    Can anybody confirm?
  • svevarsvevar Posts: 160
    I've read that the windshield wiper de-icer has been "decontented" from the `04 DC minivans, but if you build and price a Town & Country on Chrysler's website, this feature is in fact available (packaged with the rear window defroster). So unless Chrysler's website is mistaken, the wiper de-icers are still available. I don't see Chrysler discontinuing their use, especially when Toyota and Kia now have them.

    jchan2: I agree, even though the DC vans are rated "acceptable" by the IIHS, they should be getting "good" when all of the competition does. I am confident that the `05 models will garner "good" ratings from the IIHS and five stars from the NTSB/NHTSA.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    the de-icer used to be standard, I understand, but is now part of an option package.
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