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I own the LX version of this people mover with optional leather upholstry, tinted windows & power sliding doors
All in all, a hefty price tag of almost £25,000 back in August 2003
I'm apporaching 40,000 miles which is a bit higher than average mileage
Firstly I must say that I am pleased with this vehicle on the whole, in general it is a great MPV which drives like a saloon car and is only let down by a number of nagging little issues
It took me some time to get used to driving it, the driving position is a good commanding one but to a newbie MPV driver it felt like I was in a Millitary Hummer
The perceived WIDTH of the darned thing took some getting used to, so I drove it very gingerly for the first couple of months
Living in London I encounter many narrow streets and plenty of wide streets that have been deliberately narrowed by car hating do-gooders with Steel width barriers, Bus lanes and pinch-gates etc
I have to admit that I have knocked both wing mirrors many a time, PARTICULARLY ON WIDTH BARRIERS, I wasn't impressed by how far they stick out but have been totally impressed by their refusal to brake under repeated, often extreme impacts
I did have one powered retracting mirror motor replaced under warranty which seemed to die NOT as a result of mirror bashing impacts but of natural causes
For a family theres a lot of space providing the rear bench seat is only occupied by kids under 9 years old, teenagers and adults would be really cramped if occupying the 3 seater bench in the rear
The rear bench seat only has adequate leg room if it isn't rolled forwards which would mean there is only room for about 2 suitcases in the back !!!
The "Grand Voyager" is almost a foot longer at the back making it very hard to park in the UK, it still struggles for adequate baggage space if all 7 passengers have a small suitcase each
Taking this "Easy OUT" ( hahahahahahahaaaar ) roller seat out of the vehicle is a proper ordeal, getting it back in is even WORSE
The thing weighs an absolute TON and even 2 large muscular men struggle with its awkward shape and weight
Finding a safe place to store it can also prove tricky
The tracks that it rolls on whilst in position, coupled with the large removal handles take up much needed floor space in the boot which again limits luggage carrying capacity
Removing one middle row "Captains chair" makes it a 6 seater with a decent amount of baggage space, but again, even the single chair is heavy and cumbersome enough to give a fit young fellah a hernia ! BE CAREFUL !
The newest version now comes with "stow and go" seating which simply folds down into the floor, it looks skinny and wimpy in comparison but must make the whole thing a much more flexible, user friendly alternative
The 2 captains chairs in the middle row are very comfortable, the arm rests and seat back reclines like a business class airline seat but the position on the floor is fixed so you can't get any more legroom, not too much of an issue as long thigh bones can move sideways around the front seats
On the whole, passenger comfort is good provinding not too many are crammed in and luggage is light
The dash is quite sexy with white faced dials that glow green at night but the green LED's and diode lighting inside gives it a dated 1980's feel
Power sliding doors have not malfunctioned yet which suprises me as they have had some abuse, kids LOVE playing with these "Magic" doors and I hear that they are very costly to fix when they do brake
Reversing this beast certainly isn't easy, especially in the dark with the tinted rear window, visibility is very poor behind you and distance till impact difficult to judge, get one with parking sensors fitted if poss !
The length of the bonnet is also difficult for the driver to judge as it cannot be seen from the drivers seat
The 2.5 liter common rail deisel engine seems to be very reliable, it has tremendous pulling power, very torquie at low revs and can propel the vehicle along a lot quicker than you'd imagine an MPV going
It is however very NOISY !
I cringe when I have an early start because my neighbours certainly hear the thing warming up in the morning, noise inside isn't as bad but still noticeable, even on motorway runs at lower revs, the petrol engine is far smoother but far too thirsty for UK petrol prices to sustain
I've been getting an average of 32MPG out of the deisel which is probably fairly respectable for a car that weighs nearly 2 Tons
The deisel pump has a noise problem which is accentuated in colder weather, an annoying clunk clunk clunk noise is heared for a good half hour on a cold day
The AC unit has also developed its own annoying hissing noise and part of the internal illumination has failed, the exact same happened on my friends Grand Voyager Ltd XS and the dealers told him the only cure was a complete new AC unit !!!
One really annoying thing about this Chrysler is the short life of the front brake discs, ( rotors ) after 10 months and just 15,000 miles I was told they needed replacing, Fine I thought, still under warranty but NO ! Whitehouse Chrysler Jeep would not do this as a warranty item so a few hundred pounds were needed !
This single issue would prevent me buying another one, I have never had a vehicle that needed complete new discs after so few miles before and would expect such an issue to be warranty covered at the very least, brake pads fine wear and tear of course but discs ? NOPE !
Everyone I know with this car has the same issue too so I'm not the owner of a one-off lemon here
The cost of servicing at this Chrysler Jeep dealership is also sky high
The headlamp bulbs die quickly too and the dealer wants something like £20 each for fitting replacements !!!
It must be said that I have been very pleased with the car on the whole despite all these gripes, in its class I still believe it to be the best looking and most prestigious option, it is fun to drive providing you don't try and throw it into left handers like a sports car
Having said that, I probably won't buy another one in a hurry