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2004 Minivan Buyer's Guide
by Steve Siler

Chrysler Voyager / Chrysler Town & Country / Dodge Caravan
Dodge Grand Caravan minivan

The Chrysler and Dodge minivans-the ones that started this whole minivan craze backing 1984 - still represent some of the best overall packages available. The nicest aspect of these offering is that they truly can be had your way, from basic or lavish, with a price range that starts at a few ticks under $21K and rises up to more than $40K for a well-optioned Town and Country Limited with all-wheel drive. Also, in true Chrysler tradition, the trio wraps its spacious 7-passenger interior with some of the handsomest sheetmetal in the segment.

Starting things out is the stark, base short-wheelbase Dodge Caravan and its Chrysler Voyager "Value" sister van. Don't look for a lot of features on the base models, but if you're willing to spend a little more, there is no shortage of trim levels between them and the top-shelf models (there are 14 total trim levels between the three vans). Cool options include a new moonroof, a power liftgate, dual power sliding doors, rear-seat entertainment systems, three-zone climate control, removable center consoles, soft leather seats and powerful Infinity sound systems. The Town and Country's gauge cluster is particularly nice, with script that resembles that of a grandfather clock.

There is a variety of powertrain options for the Chrysler vans, starting out with a weak little 150-hp four-cylinder (avoid this one, if possible), a better-but-not-quite-enthusiastic 3.3-liter 180-hp V-6 and our favorite, a smooth, 3.8-liter V-6 that puts out 215 hp. All-wheel drive is available with the big motor, as is a tire pressure monitor.