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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
«13456728

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: 2,918
    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.
  • vmtsysvmtsys Posts: 9
    Any idea if the '05 models will have the sunroof along with movable/removable overhead rails?

    The new Grand Caravan preview photos do not show the sunroof - the rails run all the way up to the overhead console. I am wondering if the T & C and higher end GCs will have a different configuartion.

    Thanks in advance for any info.
  • vmtsysvmtsys Posts: 9
    Any idea if the '05 models will have the sunroof along with movable/removable overhead rails?

    The new Grand Caravan preview photos do not show the sunroof - the rails run all the way up to the overhead console. I am wondering if the T & C and higher end GCs will have a different configuartion.

    Thanks in advance for any info.
  • There is now information available on the 2005 T&C again at the Chrysler website. The information seems to be much more extensive as compared to what little was on the site a short time ago. My wife and I have a '99 T&C limited and have had it for 2.5 years. We really enjoy it and have had very few problems. I am very interested in the 2005 model specifically for the seats that fold into the floor. We always have the rear bench out just sitting in the garage covered with an old sheet. I have already contacted a chrysler sales person in my area and asked them to contact me when they have on the lot. We aren't planning on attending the NAIAS this year so we will have to wait to see the van until the annual auto show in our city at the end of March or when the dealers have one on the lot. Looks great though!
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    You might want to consider the GM vans, as there has been speculation over there about a $6K rebate on the vans. Offer $6K, and that'll make up more than the resale difference for me, it'll take care of the perception people have about American cars at the office, and it'll even let me pay down the mortgage faster!
  • theo2709theo2709 Posts: 476
    OK, let's not start any wild rumors here. There is absolutely no indication that GM will offer anything close to $6,000 in rebates on anything. They are trying to scale back their use of incentives, and smart initial pricing may help them avoid that. Besides, even the Cavalier only has $4,500 on it.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    look at the Freestar- months after launch, there's already $2,000 cash slapped on the hood of every single Freestar, and GM will have to "match" that, since the vans don't really offer anything more than just what Honda offered in 1999 with the Odyssey. (besides the rails on the ceiling and the plood)
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Note however that $4500 rebate on a 17K MSRP vehicle is a HUGE percentage - GMs saying (before negotiating down to invoice) "OK, this car sucks. So you pay 73%, and we'll foot the other 27%"

    ~alpha
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Yep. $3500 on an Aveo may not seem much, but in reality it is a lot. But $7500 on an H2 may seem like a lot, but it's just a small percentage of the MSRP.
  • Noticed in the talk about Edmunds review that they do not give the Dodge high marks for quality. They also say problems as recently as mid 1990's. Edmunds, that was 10 years ago. If that was the last time there were problems on the Dodge, shouldn't it be over by now? Seems as if Dodge has not had problems in 10 years, then saying that there were quality problems is rather beside the point.

    Other than that the only criticism is not having flat seats and middle seats don't slide back and forth. Can one say not a biggie on either?

    All I can say is that I could not be happier with my Dodge Grand Caravan. Excellent car, excellent value.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    when I went for a test drive, the two factors that took it off my list of three (01 Sienna, 01 Grand Caravan, 02 Odyssey) were the lower resale values and the absence of the fold flat third row. That also killed the Sienna on my list, and I ended up buying an Odyssey. The other factor that would have killed it had I known at the time would have been the Marginal Crash test scores compared to the Odyssey's Good rating and the Sienna's best pick from the IIHS.
  • How about a V8 engine ? I can already see the commercials with a husband and wife praising the virtues of their 300 HP minivan.
  • qleapqleap Posts: 2
    At the chrysler website it says that the new minivans will have parking aid, DRIVER KNEE AIRBAGS, DRIVER AND PASSENGER WEIGHT SENSING SRS, TURN SIGNAL MIRORS, ALL WHEEL DRIVE AND NEW UNDERBODY
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    It'll be better than the Freestar and the Relay/Terraza/Montana SV6/Uplander from day one. (especially with all those features)
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    The only tingI worry about with the 2005 T&C is the price. Right now it is already one of the most expensive minivans on the market. Will DC be able to keep the cost down or will they overprice them and then offer ridiculous rebates?
  • svevarsvevar Posts: 160
    I believe Chrysler announced that the new vans will actually be priced lower than the outgoing ones. Really, they have to be, since the top of the line Sienna has more "luxury" features than a Town & Country Limited yet costs a little less (before rebates, of course). They also announced that they would have the lowest priced minivan on the market, so I guess the low-end, SWB Dodges (sans Stow-n-Go) will be less than the Kia Sedona.
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    I will be disappointed if Chrysler stops offering this feature in their 2005 model. Our 97 GC LE had it, and it worked great. Try clearing snow and ice from Chevy Venture wipers that get burried at the bottom of the windshield.

    This cost cutting and chasing lower price suppliers from one model year to another( NEVER MSRP cutting though) will drive the so called "Big 3" to the ground. How do you feel about driving a vehicle 70 miles an hour on the highway if you knew it was built with lowest price components where the suppliers are picked off the internet????

    Last year, Honda built 187K Odysseys. Toyota built 120K Siennas in the US. All discontending does,is making Honda and Toyota stand out as better and better choices. I have no problem with Chrysler vans. I loved ours. Ours had 130K miles with no tranny problems ever when we sold it this week. We sold it because the kids are driving no and my wife no longer wanted to drive a van. We got a RX300 for now. Whenever I am ready to buy a van again, Chrysler will be my first choice. If I sense the cheap feel and look, that would be the end of Chrysler vans for me. I owe it to our old reliable van to look at Chrysler vans first.
     
    Winshield deicer and sliding door tracks right under rear panel glass were such a clever Chrysler designs. It is sad if the deicer is discontinued for Chrysler, and see that Toyota is offering it in 2004, 8 years after Chrysler first did.

    Joe
  • The only disappointment I have encountered with my 2004 DGC SXT is lack of illumination for the lighting and mirror switches to the left of the steering column and for the ignition switch. My 1990 PGV LE had night-time illumination for both these areas and my son's 2000 DGC Sport has a neat lighted ring around the ignition switch (plus illumination for switches to the left of steering column).

    I find it astonishing that DaimlerChrysler would drop such useful features after having them for 10+ years. If I had discovered this before purchase (I never thought about taking a test-drive at night), it probably would not have been a deal-breaker. But DaimlerChrysler saved pennies at the expense of my brand loyalty.

    Does the 2004 T&C have these two illumination features? What about 2005 Caravan and T&C?
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Two words: COST CUTTING.
  • carcom2carcom2 Posts: 212
    over 2 weeks ago I spoke to a Chrysler and Dodge dealer. They both told me they have ordered the 2005's with moonroof. So the moonroof is definitely available, but I'm not sure if the rail system was also included or available with the moonroof. I hope it is. I've had very good luck with my 1997 GCSport -88K. and think it's a great driving/handling vehicle.
  • vmtsysvmtsys Posts: 9
    Thanks for the info.

    I sure hope they will offer the moonroof/sunroof together with the overhead rail system.
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