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Chrysler Grand Voyager

RT Grand Voyager

Chrysler logo1 Apr 2008

By LUCIANO PAOLINO

CHRYSLER released its fifth-generation Grand Voyager in Australia in early 2008.

The RT series seven-seater wagon ditched the short-wheelbase ‘Voyager’ version that its RG predecessor offered from 2001 to 2004, as well as the all-wheel drives option available from 2002 to 2006.

The seven-seater Dodge Journey – a compact SUV dubbed a CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) and based on Chrysler’s JS platform that also underpins the Chrysler Sebring – is the company’s lower-priced people mover combatant instead.

For the RT Grand Voyager, Chrysler has rationalised the range into a premium-priced long wheelbase front-wheel drive two-box wagon offering all-new styling inside and out, a completely redesigned rear suspension and the availability of a diesel as well as a petrol engine.

New seating configurations, significantly uprated safety features, and upgraded audio and media functionality should also add a new gloss to a range that arrived in Australia in 1997.

Three versions are available – LX, Touring and Limited – with ESP stability and traction control, ABS anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist, 10 airbags and a reversing camera fitted to each model.

More space is an RT priority, with a 2+2+3 seating arrangement continuing inside as before.

However, the Stow ‘n Go seating system introduced in the RG in 2004 – which sees the second and third row seats fold neatly flush into special floor cavities in under 30 seconds to turn the seven-seater MPV into a two-seater panel van – can now be overlooked for a second seating set-up called ‘Swivel ‘n Go’ that boasts swivelling captain’s chairs and a removable table.

New to the Chrysler people mover is a VM Motori-supplied 2.8-litre twin-cam 16-valve four-cylinder CRD turbo-diesel engine.

Using a Variable Geometry Turbo-charger with responsive cold-launch performance and reduced turbo lag, it delivers 120kW of power at 3800rpm and 360Nm of torque at 1800rpm.

The CRD’s Urban, Extra Urban and Combined cycles are 12.8, 7.3 and 9.3 litres per 100km respectively, with a carbon dioxide emissions rating of 247 grams per kilometre.

This contrasts with the 3.8-litre V6 petrol’s corresponding fuel consumption figures of 18.8, 9.1 and 12.3L/100km, while its carbon dioxide output is 302g/km.

But with 142kW at 5200rpm and 305Nm at 4000rpm, the overhead valve V6 offers more power and torque. The previous RG Voyager used a 128kW/278Nm 3.3-litre V6 petrol mated to a four-speed automatic gearbox.

Both petrol and diesel engines are mated to a Chrysler-designed six-speed automatic transmission, with two different fourth-gear ratios depending on whether it is up or down shifting for optimal performance and economy efficiency.

All models include ABS, ESP, traction control, dual front, dual front-side, and side-curtain airbags, as well as three-zone air-conditioning with automatic temperature control, cruise control, power windows, remote central locking, rear parking radar, reverse camera, power mirrors, Bluetooth as part of Chrysler’s MyGIG multimedia screen and interface that includes CD, radio, MP3, USB connectivity and steering wheel mounted audio controls, roof racks, front seatback trays, and a trip computer.

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