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Chrysler Grand Voyager

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Chrysler Grand Voyager 2.8 CRD Luxury Car Review | November 7, 2007

Driven December 2007

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It was more the way Chrysler's marketing lady said it, than the actual words she used when she was talking about the new Grand Voyager.

"We invented this market", sounds innocent enough, but there was just a hint of bitterness in her voice, a sense of exasperation that Chrysler invented the MPV, but has since seen Ford, Renault et al steal the vast majority of the sales.

Things should improve with this latest car. The 2.8-litre diesel engine is carried over but improved, and the 3.8-litre V6 petrol also remains.

But it's the diesel that's important, and is the one tested here. It is much quieter than the old one, but don't confuse that with class-leading. Above 3,000rpm there's still a lot of rattle, but in truth you don't need to take it over that point as there's no extra grunt up there.

The Voyager produces 161bhp and 266lb ft, but in a car that weighs 2,100kg that's scarcely adequate. Better to leave 20 minutes extra and not rush, because for that, the Voyager's fine. It's refined at motorway speeds and the ride now feels more controlled so you don't get all the awful suspension movement that used to afflict the last car. The handling and steering are still nothing to be proud of, but do the job adequately.

But this car is all about the interior, and for flexibility the Grand Voyager is as good as any. The clever Stow 'n' Go system is retained here, so all the rear seats fold easily into the floor.

A new system also appears called Swivel 'n' Go, where the two middle chairs swivel round and you can fit a table for the kids to play on. You can also spec twin DVD screens which can play separate DVDs. But at £1,750 (inc satnav), you might be better off just buying portable DVD players.

In terms of ease of access, the Grand Voyager has the Galaxy trumped because all models come with electric-opening sliding doors and boot.

But elsewhere it still can't quite match the Galaxy in terms of interior quality or diesel refinement. The Voyager feels more of a purpose-built MPV than the Ford, and its superior interior room means it will still attract followers, but I have a feeling that the Chrysler marketing lady will still be bitter about market share.

Piers Ward

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