Chrysler has released the all new 2008 Grand Voyager in Australia with a starting price of $56,990. The 2008 model has improved significantly, with the entry price only increasing by $1,000.
The old 3.3-litre V6 engine has been replaced with a new 3.8-litre petrol V6 and, for the first time, a 2.8-litre turbo diesel is also available. Chrysler says there is more than 30 new improvements for the ‘original’ people mover. The new engines are now coupled to six-speed automatic transmissions which replace the aging four-speeds.
Other notable features include standard Reversing camera across the range, all-new Swivel ’n Go™ seating system, the availability of dual-DVD screens for second- and third-row entertainment and MyGIG™ Multimedia Infotainment System.
The most obvious change, however, is the all-new interior and exterior design which now resemble the rest of the Chrysler line-up. On first glance you might assume that the ‘all-new’ 2008 Grand Voyager is only a facelift. Not so.
The designers have managed to create better aerodynamics by using cleaner lines and a more smooth design. According to Chrysler, many of the car’s design cues, such as body-to-glass proportion, sleek pillars, chrome accents, simple wheel flares and detailed ornamentation come from the Chrysler 300C.
It has also gotten a little bigger inside, Chrysler has widened the roof by 152 millimetres, while the daylight opening drip line has been adjusted to create a body-to-glass proportion similar to the 300C.
The Grand Voyager still maintains its Stow ’n Go seating system that allows fold into the floor second- and third-row seats. Essentially the Grand Voyager can go from a seven-seater people mover to a two-seater cargo van in about 30 seconds.
“This is the ultimate vehicle for families and people on the go, it offers the flexibility of seven seats and room for heaps of gear without sacrificing fuel economy. It epitomises travel in style and comfort.” said Gerry Jenkins, managing director, Chrysler Australia. “
The biggest selling point for the new Grand Voyager might not be the engine or transmission, it’s more likely to be the new Swivel ’n Go™ seating system. It offers second-row seats that swivel 180 degrees to face the third row. There is also a removable table that can be installed between the two rows.
The Swivel ’n Go™ seating system makes the Grand Voyager the only people mover in Australia to offer this seating arrangement. It is available on all variants.
Coming back to the engines, the standard 3.8-litre V6 produces 142 kW (5,200 rpm) and 305 Nm of torque (4,000 rpm). Fuel economy is rated at 12.3L/100km for a combined cycle.
The optional 2.8-litre turbo diesel pumps out 120 kW (3,800 rpm) and 360 Nm of torque from a low 1800 rpm. It sips only 9.3L/100km of diesel for a combined cycle.
The reason for the diesel’s excellent low-range torque delivery is the Variable Geometry Turbocharger which spools up faster from idle, helping minimise turbo lag.
Chrysler is offering Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) across the range. The system is backed up by Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Traction Control. Other notable safety features include:
Driver and passenger air bag
Seat-mounted supplemental air bags
Side Air Bag Integrated Curtains (SABIC)
Knee blocker, driver and front passenger
enhanced Accident Response System (EARS)
ParkSense® Rear Back-up Sensor System
ParkView™ Rear Back-up Camera
Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
Perhaps the greatest addition to the new Grand Voyager is a people mover-first dual DVD system that has the ability to broadcast three different media simultaneously. The MyGIG Multimedia Infotainment System has already made it to other Chryslers, but no doubt it will see the most use in the Grand Voyager.
For example, you can have your PS3 running in the second row while others are watching a movie in the third row. A sure hit with the kids.
The system comes with five wireless, infrared headphones which allows passengers to pick between which ever media they want to tune in to. it is available with a USB port, dual A/V jacks, a 20-gigabyte hard drive that can store music files as well as video.
The entertainment system encompasses the ParkView rear backup camera and satellite navigation (optional).
Using the car’s inbuilt control system, owners can personalise their car to new levels. For example you now have the ability to determine if you want the lights to flash and horn to honk when locking and unlocking the vehicle using Remote Keyless Entry. The system also shows compass/outside temperature, average fuel economy, distance to empty, trip elapsed time and tyre-pressure.
There are too many improvements to go through, so here is a summary:
12-volt power outlet and dual A/V jacks in C-pillar
All-row supplemental side-curtain air bags with added rollover protection
Ambient halo lighting
B-pillar grab handles
Digital Signal Processing (DSP) 7.1 surround sound, 10-speaker audio system
Dual DVD entertainment system that can play different media at the same time
DVD-based navigation system with touch screen and voice-controlled operation
Eight-way power passenger seat
Faster, quieter power sliding doors and lift gate
First- and second-row heated seats (cloth or leather)
High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps
Improved front-door storage compartments
Improved overhead console with integrated storage compartments
Integrated mirror signal lights and puddle lamps (Limited models only)
Mesh storage pockets on second-row bucket and quad seats
More cup or bottle holders, including new bottle holders moulded into the sliding passenger doors
Movable LED pinpoint lights
MyGIG Multimedia Entertainment System
One-touch power third-row folding seat (with four seating positions) and power recline
ParkView® rear back-up camera (included with MyGIG)
Power lift gate switch located in rear quarter trim
Rear-view interior conversation mirror with sunglass holder
Removable, rechargeable LED flashlight
Second- and third-row retractable sunshades
Second-row power windows
Six-speed transmission standard with 3.8-litre V-6 engine and 2.8-litre turbo diesel