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2010 Chrysler Town & Country

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Chrysler Town & Country Review: After a trip like this, I ought to be exhausted. It's 9:40 p.m. on a Sunday, and I just got home from a marathon three-day jaunt to central Texas with my wife, three kids, including an 8-month-old baby, and two grandparents, with all of us packed into one car. That's a formula for disaster that comes straight from the recipe box of National Lampoon.

If you're ever in the mood to be stressed-out, frazzled and just plain annoyed, you'll want to lock yourself in a box with your family and launch it at 70 mph down the Interstate. Only this time, even with a good excuse, I'm not frazzled at all. I'm relaxed, calm and happy. Why? Our family box happened to be a Chrysler Town & Country minivan.

Now I've driven a lot of great road-trip cars in the past, ranging from giant Lexus barges to soothing highway beasts like the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator, but I've never driven another car that's so perfect for a filled-to-the-gills trip as this particular Chrysler.

It helped that this minivan came with all the bling that Chrysler could cram into it, including two DVD screens in the back, a navigation system, satellite radio, rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights, wireless headphones to distract cranky kids, and a Thai masseuse packed in back by the spare tire.

OK, it didn't come with a masseuse, but only because labor laws wouldn't let Chrysler really do it.

All this gadgetry brought the van's total cost to over $40,000, which is an awful lot considering the base Town & Country van starts just under $26,000, and can do 90 percent of what the pricey, luxed-up version can do. But all the techno-lux certainly helped create some great highway heaven.

Why was it so perfect? Simple, it could fit all our stuff, for starters. It easily held the luggage for seven people, a big cooler, and the mountain of gear that tiny babies require, like a portable playpen and stroller.

The much-touted Stow n' Go storage system, which I once thought was a gimmick, actually proved extremely useful when we discovered we could pack two full backpacks and a picnic lunch underneath our feet. It's really is a brilliant idea.

This minivan was also great for keeping the kids entertained. While Mommy and Daddy alternated between Willy Nelson and opera music on the radio, the kids could watch DVD movies in the back with wireless headphones. When they got tired of that, they could watch the Disney Channel, Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon on the satellite TV. And when they got tired of that, they could easily fall asleep.

Getting in and out was easy too, even for the adults, thanks to dual power sliding doors and the rear power liftgate. Plus it could be started by remote control to get the entire van cooled off in the hot Texas sun.

And even what I thought was the biggest gimmick of them all, a rechargeable flashlight that's mounted in the van's cargo area, actually came in handy. Our 7-year-old had two splinters in her heel, and we couldn't have fixed the problem without the bright light from that silly device. So much for my gimmick argument, that flashlight turned out to be a lifesaver.

If there's a downside to this van, it's got to be how cheap some of the parts feel. Whereas you sit in a Honda Odyssey and get the feeling it could survive a tactical nuclear strike, the Chrysler has some parts that feel flimsy, like a center console that doesn't feel securely mounted in it’s place, and bits of plastic that seem to be held on with wet Scotch tape.

On the flip side, no other minivan offers something as smart as Stow n' Go. It's the kind of feature that makes daddies drool and mommies squeal.

What was tested? The 2010 Chrysler Town & Country Limited with a base price of $35,060. Options on the test car: Navigation system at $1,300, the dual-screen entertainment system for $2,020, power sunroof at $895, power folding third-row seat for $595 and the safety sphere group for $515. The total MSRP price as tested including the $820 destination charge: $41,205.

Why avoid it? Some parts don't feel like the highest quality, particularly a removable center console that never seems securely mounted in place.

Why buy it? It's a brilliant design for big families, with plenty of storage space, and a smart layout that makes it perfect for comfortably carting lots of passengers and their gear.

It's even enough to make a car nut change his habits. The last car I shopped for was a two-seater Alfa Romeo convertible. My next one? Probably a minivan, and I can't wait.

By Derek Price © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco

The Bottom Line:  The 2010 Chrysler Town & Country still looks like a minivan, but now it functions beautifully. It has plenty of interior space and smart features like Stow n' Go storage under the floor, and a long list of luxurious options that you'll wonder how you ever lived without. Now it's gone a step further with separate middle-row seats that can swivel to face backward that, when an optional table is installed, looks like the cabin in a private jet.

Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net

“Tony the Car Guy” is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to or visit AutoWire.Net at

And remember: “ You Are what you Drive ”

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Column Name: Chrysler Town & Country is family-friendly

Topic: The 2010 Chrysler Town & Country minivan

Word Count: 997

Photo Caption: The 2010 Chrysler Town & Country minivan

Photo Credits: Chrysler Town & Country Internet Media

Series #:  2010 - 23

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