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2005 Chrysler Town & Country

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San Francisco: Chrysler invented the mini-van and they still sell more than anyone else but the competition has been creeping closer recently. So Chrysler needed something to stand out, something to crow about. Maybe you've seen the ads on TV for the Stow ‘n Go seats.

Chrysler claims you can fold the second and third row seats flat into the floor in 30 seconds. Sure you say, but it's true. At a recent demonstration a Chrysler spokesperson did it in 26 seconds without breaking a sweat. The Stow ‘n Go seating is like magic. Now you see the seats and now you don’t.

OK, you ask, what's so special about Stow ‘n Go? Don't other carmakers have seats that fold away? Yes, but not as neatly and not as easily as these. Nor do they create huge storage compartments when the seats are upright. What you get with all the seats folded into the floor is a flat load area large enough to park a Harley.

You can turn your mini van into a cargo van in less than 30 seconds with a simple, one-handed operation. Imagine a bin large enough to store a seat, that's how large the storage bins are that the seats fold into, bins large enough to hold a 24-pack of … SODA! What were you thinking?

Quiet steel technology was utilized in the recessed floor. The steel has a visco-elastic treatment sandwiched between two steel layers that reduces vibration, road noise, and stone impingement.

Another neat feature of Stow ‘n Go is that 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. It makes a great place to sit by the ocean and watch the sun go down or watch your kids at the park or playground.

Stow ’n Go will be standard on Chrysler’s highline long-wheelbase minivans which include the 2005 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.

The Chrysler Town & Country is a very fine mini-van, perhaps one of the nicest equipped mini-vans out there. Chrysler has not had the greatest reliability over the years but surveys show they are getting better. More importantly, Chrysler employees feel they have turned the corner too. Why would I trust Chrysler employees? Because they want to have pride in their products and now they do.

It’s apparent from talking to the engineers and marketing people, you can see it in their eyes that they really are proud of what they are building and selling. Although they cannot quote company warranty figures openly, the ones I spoke with said that Chrysler's own internal audits show their products are good and getting better everyday.

The T&C I drove was pretty fully equipped. It had the optional 3.8-liter V6 (215 hp) and a four-speed automatic transmission. It also had about $3,000 in options including leather interior, a great sounding audio system and a DVD player. AWD is not available with the Stow-n-Go seating as the seat storage area takes the space where the driveshaft would be.

If mini-vans are your thing, an upscale mini-vans in particular, the Chrysler Town & Country may be for you. It is rated at 18-mpg city and 25-mpg highway, and the test version I drove listed for $31,750 MSRP.  By Bruce Hotchkiss AutoWire.Net - San Francisco

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Byline:  Syndicated content provided by Tony Leopardo AutoWire.Net
Column Name:  Stow ‘n Go seating is like magic
Topic:  The 2005 Chrysler Town & Country
Word Count:   648
Photo Caption:  The 2005 Chrysler Town & Country
Photo Credits:  Chrysler Internet Media
Series #:   2004 - 28

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