The triumph of Chrysler’s Town & Country started with satisfying families and empty-nesters in search of a luxurious yet practical ride. With its wood-grain decals, leather seats, and V6 engine, the Town & Country or T&C was able to offer ground-breaking features over the years. However, the emergence of alternative minivans challenged T&C’s list of innovations, pushing it a step behind the competition.
First generation: 1989 – 1990
Introduced in 1989 for the 1990 model, the first generation Town & Country came in a long-wheelbase body similar to that of the Dodge Caravan’s and Grand Voyager’s. Some of the distinguishing characteristics of the first gen T&C include its chrome waterfall grille, crystal pentastar hood ornament, standard woodgrain applique, and 15” white lace-spoke aluminum wheels.
Available in two colors, Black Clearcoat and Bright White Clearcoat, the first gen T&C came with nearly every feature found on Plymouths and Dodge minivans, making it Chrysler’s most luxurious minivan. Some notable features include the unique leathered seating surfaces and door trim panels. Despite its remarkable attributes, the first gen was produced in less than 10,000 units only, making it the most obscure T&C model year of all the Chrysler minivans.
Second generation: 1991 – 1995
Like the first gen, the second gen T&C was available exclusively in the long-wheelbase (LWB) format. One of the updates in this generation was the Quad Command bucket seating, which was made standard on the 1992 T&C. Other changes included a completely redesigned and improved aerodynamics, less sharper corners, all-wheel-drive option, and several interior revisions. From the 3.0-liter Mitsubishi 6G72 V6 and 3.3-liter EGA V6 engines in the first gen, the second gen experienced improved power as a new 3.8-liter EGH V6 engine was added to the options.
Third generation: 1996 – 2000
The Easy Out Roller Seats, a seating management system, and driver’s side sliding door were markers of the third gen Town & Country’s new style. T&C’s customer base expanded as the third gen offered new designated trim levels, the LXi, LX, and SX. Aside from introducing the industry’s firsts with its new features, the third gen T&C was also the first to use the historic Chrysler blue ribbon emblem, which dates back from the 1930s.
The 3.0-liter Mitsubishi V6 engine came with base T&C models in most states, except in California and some Northeastern states, where the 3.0-liter Mitsubishi V6 engine didn’t meet emission standards. Instead, the 3.3-liter engine was offered in those states from 1997 to 2000. In Canada, however, the T&C came with the 3.8-liter V6 engine. One of the third gen’s notable achievements was getting into Car and Driver magazine’s Ten Best list for the years 1996 and 1997.
Fourth generation: 2001 – 2007
Using the Chrysler RS platform, the fourth gen Town & Country came completely redesigned for the 2001 model. The T&C was now available in both long-wheelbase and short-wheelbase models. The trim levels LX, LXi, and Limited were retained, while two additional models, eL and eX, had been added in 2002. In addition, an unnamed base was added in the form of a short-wheelbase model in 2004.
A notable feature in the fourth gen T&C is the Stow ‘n Go, a system that allows the 2nd and 3rd row seats to be folded completely into under-floor compartments. This resulted in redesigned 2nd and 3rd row seats, and the dismissal of the all-wheel-drive.
Fifth generation: 2008 – present
New features were added in the T&C’s 2008 model year when it was first introduced in the 2007 Detroit Auto Show. All fifth gen models were now available in long-wheelbase form only. Some of the added features include a 6-speed automatic transmission, a new 4.0-liter V6 engine on the Limited model, and the Swivel ‘n Go, a seating system which allowed swiveling of the 2nd row seats to face the 3rd row.
By 2011, the fifth gen T&C had undergone major changes, including a heavily retuned suspension, new spring rates, and a lowered ride height. The new Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 replaced all engines. And by 2012, leather seating and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system came standard with all Town & County models.