2009 Chrysler Town & Country Performance
This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.
Auto critics find the Town & Country performs according to its trim level, with the Limited offering the best acceleration and ride. Add to that its carlike ride and the Town & Country makes a solid choice -- though still not as good as the Honda Odyssey.
Acceleration and Power
While the Town & Country LX features a 3.3-liter V6 engine and a four-speed automatic transmission, the Touring and Limited trims come equipped with a 3.8-liter V6 and 4.0-liter V6 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, respectively. According to the EPA, the LX nets a city/highway fuel economy of 17/24 mpg (11/16 mpg with E85). Meanwhile, the Touring makes 16/23 mpg and the Limited boasts 17/25 mpg.
Test drivers, on balance, agree the Town & Country's Touring and Limited trims' performance are superior to that of the sluggish LX.
- "In two days of test-driving, I found the 3.3-liter engine a little underpowered, especially when climbing the hilly roads around San Diego. The other V-6 engines offered plenty of power with a smoother transmission. ... The smallest engine isn't enough for heavy loads." -- Detroit News
- "Both the Touring's 3.8 V6 and the Limited's 4.0-liter engines offer sufficient power for around-town driving, with the 4.0 providing much-needed extra boost for merging and highway passing. With both these V6s the transmission is quick to shift as needed but can change gears harshly at low speed." -- Consumer Guide
- "The T&C Limited goes from zero to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds, which is rather quick for a minivan...The interior remains quiet even at highway speed, and the 4.0-liter V6 makes the 2009 Chrysler Town & Country Limited one of the swiftest minivans available. The 3.8-liter V6 delivers adequate, if not spectacular, acceleration. The 3.3-liter engine is a slug and doesn't provide any significant fuel economy benefit." -- Edmunds
- "Chrysler's 4.0-liter V-6 is potent - the marketers ought to brand it Hemi Lite. It impresses me whenever I drive a car with it, and this is no exception. The engine imbues the Town & Country with confidence at any speed, and it has a muscular snarl in situations where the 3.8-liter V-6 starts wheezing. Lead-footed parents, consider yourselves tempted." -- Cars.com
- "[T]he shifts from the six-speed automatic transmission were smooth." -- Forbes
Handling and Braking
Test drivers report that the Town & Country isn't the best handler in its class, but it's carlike with comfortable road manners.
- "It handles nicely, with docile, carlike manners-fairly precise tracking, no wandering or floating." -- AutoWeek
- "The Town & Country drives the way you'd expect a high-end minivan to drive. Its ride is on the soft side, and steering and handling are in no way sporty." -- BusinessWeek
- "The new van handles well for its size, feeling more like a car than a truck " -- MSN
- "Even when topping 80 mph, the test vehicles rode well, remained quiet and felt sure-footed." -- Detroit News
- "Minivans are not intended to be sports cars, so the T&C's handling is about what you'd expect and midpack for the segment. This Chrysler is easy to drive and park, but the overall driving experience hardly matches the highly refined Honda Odyssey." -- Edmunds
- "Impressive road isolation, with even large bumps taken with poise. ... With the sport suspension, impacts are more readily felt and some body quiver is noticeable over broken surfaces. Despite their overall size, these big vans are quite tractable. Impressively tight turning radius is a boon to close-quarters maneuverability. However, body lean in corners is fairly pronounced." -- Consumer Guide
- "Brakes delivered decent stops, although the annoyingly squishy pedal feel of Chrysler vans remains." -- Forbes
- "Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes are standard. The pedal feels spongy and elicits plenty of forward suspension dive, which is typical for a minivan." -- Cars.com