$57,500 – $77,500
Good: Lots of space on offer; Diesel’s impressive fuel economy; comfortable for 7 passengers – a super practical interior; we’re big fans of the Stow ‘n’ Go seating.
Not so Good: Van like styling; thirsty petrol V6 engine; high pricing.
Design and Engineering
Good : The current generation Grand Voyager arrived here in March 2008, taking on an all new design direction compared to the previous generation’s curvy styling. Chrysler focused heavily on improving interior space and usability; this is the first Voyager to feature side passenger sliding doors (electric powered on the Limited grade) on both sides. The Limited grade also comes with an electric power lift-gate.
Not so good : Externally this isn’t a striking beauty with more than a touch of the ‘big box on wheels’ look (in Chrysler’s defense it’s partly as a result of such a practical interior). Unfortunately the return to a prominent bonnet ensures the Grand Voyager look a little like a converted 70’s style commercial van (which of course it isn’t). The entry level LX grade looks even less imposing with it’s undersized 16 inch alloy wheels.
Interior and Styling
Good : The highlight here is the excellent seating system which go’s by the catchy name of Stow ‘n’ Go – enabling the second and third row seats to flip and fold fully into the floor. The conversion is quick and easy and with the seats up, there’s lots of under-floor storage. However even with all seats up and seven aboard the Grand Voyager still offers decent amounts of rear cargo space (however with a vehicle length of over 5.1metres long, we’re glad this is the case). Other highlights include the twin rear DVD screens (standard on the Limited grade) enabling a movie to be played on one, whilst a games console can be plugged into the other at the same time (or two different movies can be played at once).
All Grand Voyagers feature multi-function leather covered steering wheel, three zone climate control air-conditioning, and useful features such as seat back trays in the back of the front seats and electric windows in the second row sliding doors.
Not so good : Up front the interior should evoke a more premium feel considering the Voyager’s higher than average price. The interior plastic is nothing special; the green instrument backlighting looks boring and the large slabs of wood grain paneling inserts on the dash looks out of place against the lightly coloured plastic dash. The steering wheel adjusts for rake but not reach.
Good : The pick of the two engines is the 2.8L Turbo Diesel which generates 120kW of power and 360Nm of torque (it’s the decent torque figure which provides the biggest benefit). In isolation the 3.5L Petrol V6 (142kW and 305Nm) has sufficient ‘oomph’ to get the Voyager up to speed and keep it there.
Not so good : With a kerb weight over 2 tones, neither engine provides quick acceleration. The 2.8L Diesel engine is also a little noisy and a little slow, and we wish its optimum rev range went higher than 4,000rpm.
Ride and Handling
Good : Standard load leveling and height control helps keep the Voyager flat whether it’s just the driver in the Voyager or half the junior soccer team and their gear in crammed in the rear. Dynamics feel acceptable for such a big vehicle, with a lack of body roll. As a result the Grand Voyager is comfortable to drive and to be driven in.
Not so good : The steering feels a little vague at straight ahead.
Buying and Owning
Good : Ticks the safety box with standard dual front and knee airbags and full length curtain airbags for each of the three rows, Anti-lock brakes and Electronic Stability Control. Standard rear parking sensors as well as a tyre pressure monitoring system. The Diesel grade’s fuel economy (8.4 litre per 100kms) is impressive for a vehicle with such a large interior. The Voyager is fitted with more standard kit than the competing Toyota Tarago.
Not so good : We’d struggle to call this value buying. Yes, the Grand Voyager comes with a lot more features than say a Kia Grand Carnival, but you’re asked to pay a much, much higher price. The V6 petrol engine is disappointingly thirsty (12.3L per 100km), more so than the competing V6 powered Tarago, yet the Voyager is well behind in the power stakes (142 to 202kW).
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