An automatic ’box comes as standard on every model, but the Grand Voyager is a heavy car. So, even with 161bhp and 265lb ft of pulling muscle, the diesel-engined model is sluggish and the gearbox will have to change down for anything other than cruising.
Some MPVs are now almost as good to drive as conventional hatchbacks, but the Grand Voyager isn't one of them. Numb steering and significant body sway make it feel cumbersome in bends, yet the ride isn't particularly comfortable, either.
The gearbox's frequent downchanges hurt refinement because the diesel engine becomes raucous at higher revs. On the upside, road noise is kept down to an acceptable level and this big car cuts through the air surprisingly quietly.
The Grand Voyager is far from cheap to buy, but its classy image means it retains its value better than most rivals. Unfortunately, running costs will be high. The big Chrysler is expensive to service and insure, and despite having a diesel engine, it gets through quite a lot of fuel.
The cabin should prove hard-wearing, but most of the plastics look and feel distinctly functional. Chrysler has a poor record in the JD Power customer satisfaction survey, and owners of the previous Grand Voyager reported a high number of engine, transmission and ventilation problems.
Safety kit includes six airbags and stability control, but it's disappointing that the car only scored four out of five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests. On the security front, deadlocks, an alarm and an engine immobiliser are all standard.
The driver gets a commanding view of the road ahead and most people will find it easy enough to get comfortable, although two-way steering wheel adjustment would make life better still. The controls are simple, but many of them are sited low on the centre console, so are a bit of a stretch to reach.
The Grand Voyager has plenty of space for seven, and its clever Stow 'n Go rear seats can be folded flat into the floor to create a vast load area. As a bonus, the wells that the seats fold into double as extra cargo space when the seats are in use. The range-topping Limited model can be specified with an alternative system called Swivel 'n Go. This lets you rotate the two chairs in the middle row so they face the rearmost seats.
Even the entry LX model has tri-zone climate control, all-round electric windows and powered sliding rear doors, but you have to upgrade to the Touring to get alloy wheels and steering wheel-mounted stereo controls. The Touring also brings electric driver’s seat adjustment and overhead storage bins, while top-spec Limited cars get rain-sensitive wipers, a parking camera, leather upholstery, sat-nav and DVD screens in the rear.
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It may cost a bit more than the basic LX, but we think the added equipment that extra cash brings is money well spent. As a result, this is our favourite model in the range.