While Chrysler is frequently credited with inventing the minivan, that honor actually goes to a company called Stout, which offered its Scarab minivan way back in 1936. Quite progressive, that vehicle offered a feature considered innovative even today; the Scarab featured a removable table and second row seats capable of rotating 180 degrees to face the rear – a feature currently marketed by Chrysler as “Swivel 'n Go”.
Additionally, the first year Chrysler offered a minivan, Toyota’s Previa came to market too. So while Chrysler didn’t invent the minivan per se, they are well renowned for the genre. The first modern American manufacturer to rejuvenate the offering, Chrysler arguably deserves considerable recognition for the overall advancement of the segment.
The first Town & Country was offered in 1989, as a 1990 model — which ironically was the last year of the first generation of Chrysler’s minivans. Conceived as a luxurious version of the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager, the Chrysler Town & Country introduced such niceties as gathered leather seating, front and rear air conditioning, power windows, power locks, and an Infinity sound system as standard equipment, in addition to every available option of its lesser-priced Dodge siblings. Thankfully though, the faux wood paneling decals it wore so proudly are gone.
Five generations of the Town & Country have been offered to date. This article focuses on the third, fourth and fifth generations of the minivan.