1997 Chrysler Grand Voyager LE 3.3 petrol

Summary:

Excellent

Faults:

Very few problems.

Handbrake; replaced under warranty.

Steering clock spring on airbag; dealer missed replacing it at service, but it lasted until 2011; Chrysler still replaced it free of charge.

Otherwise no problems at all.

General Comments:

Comfortable, reliable, and still goes really well after 18 years.

Fuel consumption could be better, but more than the old Volvo 760.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th November, 2015

2007 Chrysler Grand Voyager Executive XS CRD 2.8 turbo diesel

Summary:

An American tank with sheer presence on the narrow UK roads

Faults:

Nothing that I knew of in the short time I owned it.

General Comments:

This is not my daily car; it was a rental for a few weeks whilst I was working out of my hometown. In the United Kingdom, a car like this is frowned upon for being of a sheer size to be suitable for manoeuvring.

Comfort: There is adequate to good space, even when seven people are in the car, and that can be seven fully mature adults or a mixture of adults and adolescents. The seats themselves (grey leather in this particular model) are extremely comfortable, especially the middle two which can recline to a considerable angle. The back seats, whilst not reclinable, are shaped well.

Performance: This was never going to be a sports car, and one shouldn't expect it to perform or handle like one. But for the dimensions it has an adequate (diesel) engine and pulls well even fully loaded. Along B-roads like the ones we had to take each day to work, there was some body roll if a corner was taken at too high a speed, but nothing major. Low range (marked as 'L' under the 'D' on the gearbox is useful for ascending and descending steep hills on country roads.

The gearbox itself is column-mounted, which can take some getting used to, but it frees considerable space in between the front seats.

Engine: A 2.8 diesel developing somewhere around 170 horsepower. There is a clatter sound on start-up which is not so prominent in other diesel cars, but maybe Chrysler use an older unit here. Acceleration is probably around 12 seconds to 60mph (100km/h) and top speed around 120-125mph (200km/h). The number of standard features on the car plus the size make it over two tonnes in weight, and nearly three when full.

Looks: If only for the looks I would choose this as my family car. The only other MPVs which come close in this department are the new Renault Espace/Grande Espace and the new Ford Galaxy. The larger rear window which is a feature only on the Grand Voyager stands out from a standard Voyager. The Grand Voyager has been around for ten years almost unchanged in looks with only minor face-lifts which says it all (although the Galaxy remained the same for a long time, and the Sharan/Alhambra are still being made to the same design)

Safety: The only real weak point of the Chrysler Grand Voyager. When the standard Voyager was NCAP crash-tested at the end of the '90s it scored very poorly indeed for such a large vehicle of a category whose safety is imperative for the protection of entire families. Ford's Galaxy and even Korean MPVs fared much better. Hopefully things have improved with the updated models.

Equipment: Being top of the range, there is not only the standard such as power-steering and air-con, but individual climate control, cruise control, electric driver's seat and even an electrically-operated sliding door and boot release, which can be operated both from the key fob and buttons positioned above the driver's seat. Cruise control is a great feature, especially returning along the motorway in the evening when there is hardly any traffic about. And to deactivate it you simply press on the accelerator or the brake, and the car acts perfectly normal once again.

Overall: Having not had much of an opinion for these cars before now, I was pleasantly surprised by the Grand Voyager. If it were my own car things may have been slightly different (i.e the heavy running costs would have hit me - don't forget we are talking £30,000 new!) but on the plus side, the tank-like dimensions mean that driving another car such as my daily driver (a Nissan Micra) is just that bit easier.

Try one. You might be taken away with it, or you might just love it for the 'wow' factor.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd January, 2008