Chrysler Minivan Legacy: Then and Now
From a box on wheels to the masterful mobility machine that is available today, Chrysler’s minivans have successfully evolved over the last three decades. Here’s a look at Chrysler’s minivan evolution beginning with the Chrysler Town & Country to today’s new Chrysler Pacifica.
The first minivans to hit the streets were the Dodge Grand Caravan and the Plymouth Voyager and they were introduced in the ‘80s. Though they were made by Dodge and Plymouth, Chrysler can still take credit for them because Chrysler owned those brands. However, the first minivan to come out under the Chrysler brand was the Chrysler Town & Country in 1990.
The 1990 Chrysler Town & Country was fairly similar to the Grand Caravan and Voyager, however, Chrysler made the Town & Country into a more luxurious minivan that had more features. A far cry from the look of minivans today, the first Town & Country was very boxy and it had one sliding door and wood paneling on both sides. The original Town & Country was equipped with a 3.0-liter V6 engine or a 3.3-liter V6 engine, both of which were paired to a four-speed automatic transmission. The 3.0L engine produced 142 horsepower and the 3.3L engine produced 150 horsepower.
In 1996 the Town & Country was re-designed and its new design was a lot closer to the look of minivans today. The new 1996 Town & Country had the first ever driver’s sliding door and a new seating system, Easy Out Roller Seats, which is the origin of Chrysler’s revolutionary Stow ‘n Go seating system. The engine options had also changed and improved, so the Town & Country could max out at 180 horsepower.
In 2001, Chrysler re-designed the Town & Country again and this was the first time consumers were introduced to the Stow ‘n Go seating system. The new seating system made it possible for users to fold up the second- and third-row bench seats and store them into built-in floor storage compartments or use the floor storage compartments to store other objects. The new design also included a new engine that produced 215 horsepower.
The final generation of the Chrysler Town & Country was introduced in 2008 and it was produced through 2016, when Chrysler ended production on the minivan. The Town & Country was replaced by the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, which like the Town & Country once was, is revolutionary.
After many successful months, Chrysler then introduced the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, the world’s first plug-in hybrid electric minivan.
The engine in the Pacifica is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine that puts out 287 horsepower, which is more power than the Town & Country ever had. In the standard Pacifica the engine is paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is equipped with a modified version of the 3.6L Pentastar engine, a 16 kWh lithium-ion battery and dual electric motors that produces 260 horsepower.
In addition to the boost in power, the new Pacifica models are also a lot more fuel efficient. The Pacifica averages 28 mpg on the highway and the Pacifica Hybrid averages 84 MPGe when the battery and engine are working together — wow!
When it comes to technology, and unique features Chrysler truly outdid themselves with the Pacifica. Features like SiriusXM radio comes standard in every model above the base LX model and a 5.0 touchscreen with UConnect 5.0, a six-speaker audio system, active noise cancellation technology, and integrated voice command via bluetooth come standard on all models.
Those were just the standard features. The Pacifica is available with more features and options than any Chrysler van before. The award winning panoramic sunroof, the UConnect infotainment system with dual DVD players and bluetooth connection, UConnect 8.0, and a Harmon Kardon audio system with 20-speakers are just a few of the hundreds of options. The Chrysler Pacifica is truly the most advanced and good-looking van not just by Chrysler, but in the market now.
Check out the newest Chrysler minivan inventory, the Chrysler Pacifica at Hollywood Chrysler Jeep here.