Has it been 25 years already? Two and a half decades and over 12 million copies later, Chrysler is celebrating the silver anniversary of its minivan with special 25th Anniversary Editions of the Chrysler Town & Country and the Dodge Grand Caravan, starting at $34,180 and $31,995 respectively and with $820 destination charge included.
"Since Chrysler began its minivan development more than 25 years ago, no competitor has innovated as many minivan-first features as Chrysler and Dodge minivans," said Mike Accavitti, Director of the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge Brands for Chrysler. "With numerous minivan segment-exclusive features like Stow `n Go seating and storage, dual-DVD entertainment system and an unsurpassed fuel economy rating, it is no surprise that 2009 Chrysler and Dodge minivans together command more than 40% of the U.S. minivan market."
To celebrate, Chrysler has come up with some new interior and exterior options and a special trim package for the 25th Anniversary vehicles. On the outside, both will have a new optional paint color, Mineral Gray, and new 17-in. wheels with the same color painted between the polished spokes. Each also gets a new, thin, chrome belt under the windows and some slightly restyled body cladding. Both also receive roof racks and the requisite 25th Anniversary badging. The Grand Caravan also gets fog lights.
Inside, the special editions pick up two new colors, Dark Slate Gray and Light Shale. In the Town & Country, the interior will be accented with Satin and Dark Maple Burl trim, while the Grand Caravan will get Satin and Blackwood trim. Both feature leather seats in the same colors as the interior with fancy French stitching. In the first and second rows, those seats will be heated and the back rows features Chrysler's Stow 'n Go seat storage system. The interior will be illuminated by LED ambient lighting and a halo ring light.
To keep the kiddies entertained, each will come with a bevy of high tech gadgets and features with Chrysler's Uconnect system. All three rows get nine-inch screens with a dual DVD player for watching movies, and the vans can be equipped with Sirius Backseat TV featuring the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. A 30GB in-dash hard drive is standard and can hold 6,700 songs, while Uconnect can play music from there, from the standard Sirius Satellite Radio, from a USB connection, from an auxiliary jack or from the iPod connection in the glove box. Uconnect can also be upgraded with a navigation system with real-time traffic monitoring.
Other options on the van twins include Chrysler's Blind Spot Monitoring System and their Rear Cross Path accident avoidance system. Front and full-length side-curtain airbags are standard. The Grand Caravan will come standard with a 4.0L V-6 with 251 hp and 259 lb-ft, while the Town & Country will get a 3.8L V-6 with 197 hp and 230 lb-ft and the option of upgrading to the 4.0L. Both receive a six-speed automatic transmission and with it, the 4.0L V-6 will return 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. The 3.8L is rated at 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.