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Reader Test: Chrysler Voyager

2007-07-10 07:56

Karel Kotze, Leusden, The Netherlands

I read the test of the Renault Grand Scenic with interest. If our boys were still small, that would have been our choice too. Since our Opel Zafira was rapidly becoming too small for our four sons, (ages 11 - 18), we had to buy something bigger.

I was tempted by the Mitsubishi Grandis because of its aggressive looks and space, but buying a Grandis would only postpone buying something bigger.

It just so happened that the Chrysler dealer was in the same building as the Mitsubishi dealer. My wife took one look at the Voyager and was sold. I always thought she would settle for a VW Sharan or similar, but the big sliding doors and space convinced her otherwise.

No Grand, thanks

We specifically choose the Voyager and not the Grand Voyager. As the seating arrangement in the Grand does not differ from the smaller Voyager and luggage space was not an issue, we saw no point in spending extra for the Grand Voyager. (The "Stow and Go" version of the Grand Voyager was not yet available at that time, otherwise that would have been very tempting!) On holiday trips we use a Thule roof box - an awful-looking thing, I know, but very handy.

We decided on a 2.4 SE Luxe with six chairs, complete with navigation, climate control and CD changer. We did not order "park pilot", and unfortunately soon found out that the Voyager is a big car and European parking spaces are very cramped. The Voyager is well equipped with enough storage spaces and cup holders. Interior plastic is a bit hard, but quite durable. Nothing has broken off or cracked since we took ownership 30 months ago! Believe me, my boys will test that claim.

On long holiday drives the comfort and space are welcome features. The boys sit apart - a feature parents would appreciate. With the extra electrical jacks, the kids can use their game consoles or watch a movie. The Chrysler's sound system and climate control rates well, too.

Not bad for a big car

On the road it handles quite well for such a big car. It is stable and is very comfortable, even over poor road surfaces. We have some poor roads over here, but no "potholes".

I think the handling should improve as soon as I can replace the original Goodyear Eagle NCT 5s. During the harsh winter months, (November - March), I have special Vredestein Winter Tyres fitted, which provide superior handling, but with above average road noise over dry surfaces!

Performance, what performance? The 108 kW seems to disappear under the 1 900 kg load! Once you get past 3 000 r/min it will perform reasonably well. Fuel consumption at a steady 120 km/h averages a reasonable 9.3 l/100 km. Its stable mate, the 3.3l was not considered because of the higher fuel consumption and price. It's nearest, albeit more modern rival, the Renault Grand Espace 2.0T would have cost us at least 8000 Euro extra.


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