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2008 ICOTY Winners' Buyer's Guide

Chrysler Town & Country - 2008 Minivan of the Year
by Martha Hindes


International Car of the Year
Honda Accord Sedan

International Truck of the Year
Chrysler Town & Country

Most Sex Appeal/Sports Car
Audi R8

Most Dependable/Sedan
Honda Accord

Most Spirited/Entry-Level
Volvo C30

Most Compatible/Minivan
Chrysler Town & Country

Most Versatile/Crossover
Buick Enclave

Most Respected/Luxury Car
Mercedes Benz CL63 AMG

Most Athletic/Pickup Truck
GMC Sierra Denali

Most Resourceful/SUV
Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid

Chrysler Touts Town & Country Minivan of the Year

Ask any parent how to best travel with kids, and you're likely to get a similar answer — keep them occupied. Creating this peace while on the road is a key factor for families and the evolution of the minivan. Throughout the years, minivans have offered an adaptability and resilience found in few other vehicles.

When a minivan can offer more to make travel pleasurable, it has to bode well for the future of family driving. And when one has more to offer than ever before, it must be the 2008 ICOTY winner. Those are reasons, ICOTY judges chose the next generation Chrysler Town & Country as the 2008 ICOTY Most Compatible Minivan of the Year.

2008 Chrysler Town & CountryThe T&C continues to offer a laundry list of features and amenities. However, tops is the new Swivel 'n Go seating system, one of three available versions that also include earlier Stow 'n Go fold-into-floor second row seats.

Swivel 'n Go has two second row bucket seats that swivel towards a removable table and third row. This creates a small family room on wheels. The system's independent "quad" seats make it easier to get in and out, or to secure a second row infant seat. The vehicle also offers an optional integrated child seat.

Seats are available in a stain and odor resistant cloth or leather, and both first and second row can have heated seats. The third row can be folded into four positions electronically including the popular tailgate party mode. Door width map pockets, a dual level glove box, second row seat mesh pockets, overhead bins and a driver's umbrella holder adds even more storage space. A dual DVD system can tap into a SIRIUS back seat TV that plays three cartoon channels for fidgety children. Second row riders can also plug games into a 115-volt inverter, skipping the need for a converter kit. The voice activated, touch screen MyGIG entertainment system has a 20-gig hard drive that can store about 1,200 songs.

Honorable Mention

2008 Dodge Grand CaravanDodge Grand Caravan
While the Chrysler Town & Country took top mininvan honors, its cousin, the Dodge Grand Caravan, is a close second. While minivans have almost always had the three main characteristics of sliding side doors, flat low load floor and front row pass through, Dodge parent Chrysler has figured out a way to add even more variety. There'a a choice of consoles between front seats holding four of the vehicle's 13 cupholders. Multiple storage areas and a 12-volt outlet are in the removable premium console that can slide back 21 inches in separate levels to serve smaller passengers in the second row. The standard center console has dishwasher safe cupholders and a storage bin.

Both vehicles have 4.0-liter (251-horsepower) or 3.8-liter (197-horsepower) V-6 engines with a minivan-first six-speed automatic, or 3.3-liter (175-horsepower) four-speed flex-fuel V-6. Prices begin at $20,000 for a basic bench seat model to nearly $40,000 for the well-loaded top models. Chrysler claims the 35 innovations in its minivans have put the "fun" back in function. We have to agree.