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Long term: Chrysler Grand Voyager 2.8 CRD Limited XS


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Chrysler is, understandably, proud of its Stow ‘n Go system. It has fold-in-the-floor second and third-row seating, and provides 340 litres of extra storage space over its predecessor when the seats are upright, which goes up to maximum 4,690 litres when all the seats are folded flat.

It takes less than 30 seconds (once you know what you’re doing) to fold all the seats down. Even with all the seats in place, there is plenty of room in the boot.

But the Stow ‘n Go logo on the side doors is a shame. Our car came in black, with dark privacy glass at the rear, so the silver insignia looked tacky on what would have been the perfect, understated look.

Inside, Chrysler’s winged badge is everywhere you look, but this really works. The whole interior has a very American feel, what with the steering column shift and an impressive overall width of 1,997mm – but it is comfortable and has a high quality feel to it. And it is wonderfully quiet when on the move.

Chrysler Group spent $40m on making the 2005 Voyager the quietest ever. The result? More than 16% noise reduction.

Only annoyance is the control switch on the left of the steering column. As it performs all tasks – wipers, lights, indicators – you find yourself flashing lights when trying to spray the windscreen, and vice versa.

The 2.8-litre CRD engine is the largest diesel in the range, and it was first seen in the 2002 Jeep Cherokee. More than 60% of UK Voyagers are sold with diesel powerplants, so this makes a welcome addition to the range. That said, it’s no sprinter. It ambles to 62mph in 12sec, and doesn’t like being pushed. The 2.8 is only available with automatic transmission.

The Grand Voyager looks impressive and is well suited to people with very large, well-heeled families – or those who want plenty of room and plenty of privacy – but the driving experience doesn’t match up to the looks.

It will also be a desired motor on the used forecourts as its specification level is very high, and the depreciation makes it a lot more affordable.

Price: £32,365 (£34,415 as tested)
Engine: 2.8-litre diesel; 150bhp @ 3,800rpm; 265lb ft @ 2,100rpm
Performance: 0-62mph: 12sec; top speed: 112mph
Transmission: Four-speed automatic
Efficiency: 28.9mpg (combined); 225g/km CO2
CAP RV: 3yr/30k £12,175 (38%)

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