When you think people movers, the Chrysler Grand Voyager isn’t often front of mind for buyers.
Cars like the Toyota Tarago, Kia Grand Carnival and Honda Odyssey are the biggest sellers in this segment and represent the buyer’s choice.
The new Chrysler Voyager is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor, which was clumsy, thirsty and unreliable. On looks alone, the new Grand Voyager picks up full marks. The smart exterior design is the product of a model renaissance at Chrysler.
Despite the exterior’s stylish design, the interior could do with a style revival. The bland interior features a lot of plastic and doesn’t offer a great deal of inspiration in terms of build quality or longevity.
With room for seven people, the Grand Voyager offers a heap of space for passengers. The trademarked Stow ‘n Go system allows owners to fold all five rear passenger seats into the floor seamlessly and easily. With all rear passenger seats folded away, owners are spoilt with a huge 3,296 litre cargo capacity.
The second row of seats can also rotate 180 degrees, essentially turning the Grand Voyager into a conference room – ideal for those looking to jam the most work into their day, regardless of where they are.
Behind the wheel, it becomes quickly clear that the 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine is gasping for air at the best of times. Producing 120kW and 360Nm of torque, the Grand Voyager moves from 0-100km/h in a staggering 12.8 seconds and sends power through the front wheels. This is reduced even further when the car is loaded with passengers and luggage.
The six-speed automatic gearbox is the only option across the two model range. It is fairly smooth and seamless, but could do with a bit more speed during manual shifting. On test, the Grand Voyager also consumed a great deal more than its claimed 8.4L/100km due to the extra throttle required to simply keep up with traffic.
The Grand Voyager is a great long distance cruiser, but begins feeling boat-like when it is thrown at a few bends. The lifeless steering offers no communication with the road and the body roll and soft suspension make it feel unpleasant during cornering.
Six airbags, traction control and Dynamic Stability Control is standard across the range, but the Grand Voyager loses marks due to its dismal EuroNCAP crash rating – just two stars out of five.
Starting at $57,000, the Grand Voyager is available in two trims, LX and Limited. Opt for the Limited and the price jumps a whopping $20,000 to $77,000. Admittedly, you do get more kit with the Limited.
The Limited features heated front and rear seats, satellite navigation, a cracking stereo, power windows, power doors, tri-zone climate control, front and rear DVD player, xenon headlights, auto levelling suspension and electric seats.
Priced around the top end of the Toyota Tarago range, the Grand Voyager attempts to offer American flair in a sea of European, Korean and Japanese people movers. Its shortcomings don’t really make up for the high asking price and poor safety rating. There are better options out there for people wanting to haul the family each day of the week.