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regfootball

2015 Chrysler Town and Country

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On January 27, finally bit the bullet and traded off the Taurus X (which I would have loved to keep but didn't want to risk the chance of being stuck with a bad trans) and leased a 2015 Chrysler Town and Country.

 

Feel a little sick to my stomach getting a Chrysler and not a GM or Ford, but I pretty much had to go this route.  In any case, this is a great trip vehicle and is quite the beast.  Having a Chrysler should be interesting.  (Note, I went this route even though I had a 2,000 dollar GM card top off offer waiting for me to use, what does that tell you)

 

Was pretty picky about equipment so had to dealer trade, they had to go nearly 300 miles to find the configuration to get certain items I wanted.  

 

More in the next few posts but here are the photos of pick up night.  Wife and kids really wanted this compared to other options and are pretty giddy.  I like the vehicle too, but to be honest I would have preferred a different route.  Needless to say though this really ended up being our best option deal wise as much as just what was wanted function wise.

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Edited by regfootball

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None of the chrysler vans have AWD so that was part of the actual dilemma..give up AWD for the sliding doors, stown go seats, etc. Traverse, Acadia, Explorer......to be honest their MSRP's are too high for their equipment, and their leases weren't even that good (even factoring the difference for AWD). in the end a big part of it was getting the most for the payment dollar. Initially I started looking at year old caravans and then when I realized adding remote start and heated seats and video, the payment was getting more than just using part of my trade equity for a lease and pocketing the cash. Then I could get new with all the equipment from the factory. The way chrysler does it, the leases are crap on the caravans but they had really good residual and big lease incentive on the town and country.

I wanted the explorer most, but I was put off by tight second row leg room, and the dark interior was depressing. The straw there was even for the same msrp and a lot less 'stuff', I couldn't seem to get within 50 bucks of the van. So that and the fact my Taurus x was going rogue made me think, screw you ford, it's not worth it.

I never really wanted a traverse, and even though my wife liked the Acadia, I knew I wouldn't be happy with one because to me the explorer drives so much nicer. That, and the traverse has a minivan look, and I hate the cheap way the second row seats slide and stow. I decided that throwing away my gm card money would be a bad idea to subsidize a not great deal for something that was not my first choice.

Flex was probably ideal for us from a packaging and drive standpoint, but the look is dated and I wanted to mix it up, it's basically our Taurus x part 2.......wanted something new.

We had a grand caravan rental last fall and in the end that lasting impression played a huge role in purchase. That's the third car now technically we've gotten that we had as a prior rental. The interior on the van is in my opinion well done and very nice and that also played a big part in it, especially the gray and black mix.

MSRP on the van was 39k, has front and rear heated seats and steering Wheel....has power doors and hatch, twin screen video with HDMI input and with 2 drives, one blu Ray.....nav (didn't want but was only choice), BLIS/cross path, remote start, rain sense wipers, push button start, decided the goodies were of more benefit than something with AWD and a lot less 'stuff'.

I even did the unthinkable and considered a toyota van, the Kia and Honda too. Wish GM had a van.

Edited by regfootball

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Over all nice mental exercise to review all your needs and the best bang for the buck. It is a nice looking auto. I believe with kids and wife you will be very happy with the ride.  Way to go on moving onto a nice new ride. :D

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Thanks. I couldn't justify the prices of a used explorer or traverse even. Lots of them with over 50k miles still in the thirties on price. That probably drove me into perpetual leasing. I tried convince my wife we didn't need the third row and its big price difference. I wasn't able to do that and for example just today we went in the van and picked up a couple of my daughters friends. Van is perfect for that.

Edited by regfootball

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Shame on FIAT for doing away with the iconic Dodge Caravan.  Long live the Chrysler Town & Country!  Happy motoring, reg and famiry!

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the new ones are supposed to get it back i believe...........

 

ocn, me wonders what exactly FIAT is doing most of the time.....Renegade?  wth.........

Edited by regfootball

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We recently picked up a gently used 2013 Town & Country to replace our old 1994 Town * Country which had AWD.  It is my mother's vehicle and she loves it but has been missing the AWD this winter.  This generation of Chrysler vans never had AWD due to Sto n Go.  The next generation was rumored to have AWD return but that may not be the case now as that is space that will possibly used for batteries on the plug in models.

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OEM's need to find a better way to store batteries for the Hybrid models and keep AWD.

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i can't believe how much of a barge this thing is.  I get that that is the deal, why you can put say, plywood in it and shut the door.

 

I'd like to see them whack the WB down to about 116, and trim 400-500 pounds off this thing.  It feels like it is built like a tank.  I think it is because they make them stout for towing and handicap conversions.  I think Chrysler could literally have 2 van lines on two different platforms.  One would be more carlike, not sit up so damn high, etc.  I know lots of the Chrysler van folks want to tow with them but i bet the actual percentage is fairly small.  

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i can't believe how much of a barge this thing is.  I get that that is the deal, why you can put say, plywood in it and shut the door.

 

I'd like to see them whack the WB down to about 116, and trim 400-500 pounds off this thing.  It feels like it is built like a tank.  I think it is because they make them stout for towing and handicap conversions.  I think Chrysler could literally have 2 van lines on two different platforms.  One would be more carlike, not sit up so damn high, etc.  I know lots of the Chrysler van folks want to tow with them but i bet the actual percentage is fairly small.  

Last thing I would want out of a Van is to be car like! Van like SUV's are popular for their High Seating position and ability to haul stuff. As such they need to be more stout than cars. If you want a car ride with more capacity, go to the CUV product line as most CUV's can out haul a car and yet have the car position.

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i have to admit, a trip to the auto show yesterday took away a lot of my inherent buyer's remorse here, and comparing a lot of things like styling and interiors under the same roof, I think the van is turning out a decent decision.  

 

One of the big things i noticed at the auto show is the weird dichotomy.....the continuing shrinkage in size and comfort of anything that is not an SUV/CUV or truck, and how small those sedans and coupes are getting to be.  Presumably for to meet the tighter FE regs, and yet hardly anyone was looking at sedans or coupes.  People are flocking to anything CUV SUV......

 

One example, the new Mustang is virtually uninhabitable.........

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and yet, plenty of cars have gotten so much larger.... look at the Sonata, Accord, and Legacy.... then think about how big they were 10 years ago.   Even the Sonic is much larger than an Aveo was. 

 

The Tempo was replaced by the Contour was replaced by the Fusion... and now the Fusion is as big as the first Taurus.

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This is the first time I've ever heard someone complain that their car was built like a tank.  Where I come from that term is used to praise a vehicle.  I'd much rather sacrifice some mileage and weight if it meant feeling like my vehicle was safer because it feels solid. The perception of feeling safe is actually a major factor in my mother wanting to get another Town & Country.  I'm sure any minivan would offer her a similar experience but my point is that she enjoys the size of her van and thats why she just bought another one after owning a 1994 model for nearly 20 years.

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the chrysler vans do not have good crash test ratings, so the bulk contributes nothing to that.  the next platform should be engineered much better so it uses whatever its weight is more efficiently.

 

 

http://money.cnn.com/2014/11/20/autos/iihs-crash-test-minivan/

Edited by regfootball

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the chrysler vans do not have good crash test ratings, so the bulk contributes nothing to that.  the next platform should be engineered much better so it uses whatever its weight is more efficiently.

 

 

http://money.cnn.com/2014/11/20/autos/iihs-crash-test-minivan/

Do not take it out of context. Up till this test, Chrysler mini vans did great, but now you add an off set quarter crash and of course they all fail. Sorry I DO NOT give Toyota a Pass, it was just as bad as the rest. So now they all have to re-engineer to cover this new test.

 

His mom is happy with her safe mini van plus I am sure she does not drive it like a Nascar is driven.  Every auto that has had high ratings on crash test seem to fail when a new test is performed that was not part of the original test set.

 

Keep it all in perspective. 

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On a side note, my Oldsmobile which is pictured in my sig was a 1978 model, my friends and I called it the boat.  Anyone who has driven old B, C and D bodies knows these things were built like tanks.  One night at around 4:30am I fell asleep driving home in my Ninety Eight.  I crashed through a steel fence and hit a tree.  Not only did I walk away unscathed, my car was able to drive away and function mechanically just fine.  Apart from scratches, some tears in the vinyl roof, a cracked passenger side marker lens and my rear bumper getting bent slightly on the right corner the only major damage was that the front passenger door no longer opened.  Knowing myself and the speeds I normally drove on this particular stretch of road I can safely estimate that I was going about 40MPH when I hit the fence, and probably still going around 30-35 MPH when I hit the tree.  In a real world accident my car kept me alive.  However if it was put in a modern crash test it would probably be laughed out of the building.  The point being even with the knowledge my car would never pass a crash test, I'd still drive it because it feels safe, its big, its solid, its heavy...and in my case I already know it saved my life once.

Edited by Delta Force79
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My GM retiree dad wound up leasing a 2012 Town & Country.  I think it was the first new Chrysler he had since a late 70's Plymouth Volare station wagon that was a pile.  He had The T&C for three years and the only problem I recall him having was the window switch recall that they were never able to replace the switch before he turned it in.  He absolutely LOVED it.  Living in Florida, he got robbed on the lease unfortunately.  If the buyout hadn't been so high, he would have bought it he liked it that much.  He drove it from south Florida to Michigan once and got 29.9 mpg!!!  He's not the fastest driver in the world but he is no hyper miler either and that same trip would have returned 34 mpg in the GMC Terrain 4 cyl he had before the van.  Based on their experience with the T&C, my Mom bought a Durango.  At that point, my Dad started feeling guilty about not having a GM product in the household so he wound up replacing the T&C with an Equinox. 

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Power hatch was being difficult last night. Almost kept us from our trip.

Second leg of our trip on fresh filled tank was 26mpg over about 100 miles. Not bad. Most of that was under 70mph though. First leg of trip at 70+ was around 23.5 mpg.

In town driving is hitting about 19-20 consistently.

Had another trip recently where I refilled the tank with E85 for a 1.23 a gallon. Got almost 20 mpg out of that tank and it was under 20 bucks to fill it.

Mpg early on and through cold temps was BAD. As it's breaking in, it's getting fairly good and at least in line with EPA ratings, which is all needs to do. For a huge barge with brick like aerodynamics, that is not bad.

Family members love it. I enjoy it too, but the ride and drive are not great. Trade off you get. There is road noise, the suspension isn't good, steering is alright though. Feels every bit it's size. My taurus x weighed the same but felt like a car. This is definitely more like a bus.

The standard touring L leather is about perfect for this type of vehicle. Heavy grain, won't show dirt , durable. The Napa leather on the limited is the soft shiny stuff that will be shot Ina few years.

Edited by regfootball

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just posting some recent mpg readings.

 

Did a trip a couple weekends ago.  Tank was about 85% empty...refilled with non ethanol, 91 octane.  I.e. pure gas.

 

Now more in a bit on how i think the fuel mileage or the odometer is off.  But anyways

 

Three separate sections of the tank I reset the mpg, and here were those readings

 

80 miles @ 28.7 mpg

163 miles @ 30.0 mpg

55 miles @ 32.6 mpg

 

Those sections were a mix of 2 lane rural roads at about 60-65 mph with some stop lights and towns mixed in.  But i would say at least half the distances were interstate at 70-80 mph.  There was some in town running mixed in there also.

 

When I refilled i had 309.4 miles on 10.75 gallons or 28.78 mpg.  NOT BAD for a 4500 pound brick with about 600 pounds of people in it as well.

 

I decided to keep the pure gas experiment going at that fill so I filled it to the brim again.  The next tank was mostly city driving in town here by my wife who can be hard on the throttle.  The display said 24.4 mpg.  But I refilled it, 302 miles on 13.33 gallons.....that is only 22.65 mpg.

 

Still quite good for a barge like that that drinks fuel if you run the tach up over 1700 rpm.  I have suspected that there is something up with the odometer or the accuracy of the fuel used.  All my other recent GMs and Fords have been virtually dead nuts on with fuel used on the computer vs when i filled the tank and did the math.  This is a Chrysler though, so I naturally don't trust it.  

 

If i add the two tanks though, that is 611.4 miles and 24.08 gallons.   That is 25.4 calculated mpg overall for a vehicle with EPA rating of 17/25.  That is with a lot of in town driving, and the remainder at high speeds.  That is pretty good.  But it also shows you the benefit of pure gas that is not ethanol tainted.

Edited by regfootball

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quick update

 

gas mileage still impresses.  19-23 in town.  highway runs usually 25-27 etc.  Average overall maybe around 21, 22.  Not bad for a tank.

 

It's been in the shop, sort of.  When i was getting an oil change, the place i go said to take it and get the cv boot checked.  Turns out it was torn and they said they would have to replace something, and that they would order an axle. They still haven't gotten back to me.  I called to check the status of the part order and they claim it was not ordered and already fixed.  So i am not sure wtf is going on with that.  Found my work order again so i will have to clear up tomorrow.  I am beginning to be less than impressed with the dealer.

 

the rear hatch (power hatch latch) has virtually never worked. this is a big pain in the rear.  Several times we have packed the back and the hatch would not latch so we literally could not drive.  At first we played with the latch part by trying to unstick it.  Now the interim solution seems to be to grab the hatch latch handle if it doesn't latch itself, then it will sometimes grab.

 

When you start the vehicle, it makes a large loud moan and whine for quite awhile.  No bad symptoms yet but it sure gives no confidence when it does that.

 

MPg readings are consistently 10% optimistic on the DIC.  My mpg above are calculated.  Makes me wonder why its so far off, I'm leasing, is it showing 10% more miles used too?

 

Tire took a nail and had a leak, DISCOUNT TIRE fixed it free.  I always get tires there.

 

No digital clock display unless radio is on. Just a blank screen.  Big fail.  Radio and connectivity needs to be simpler to use and needs to be updated.

 

Have to use too many buttons just to reset the mpg and tripmeters.  Cruise control is clunky to use.  Speed takes far too long to set or re-set.  I am talking seconds here.  Tapping up and down is a useless ordeal.

 

Engine and powertrain overall rate pretty good, and it winds out well, but really needs a turbo to give it a mid range burst.  THere's a lack of torque unless you really hammer the throttle and then your mpg goes way down.

 

The family likes it lot though.  It satsifies it intended basic function farely well so far.  Winter is coming and i only have FWD.  I may look into winter tires.

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