Today, minivans are commonplace on American roads. Their combination of space and utility makes them a popular choice of drivers with large families. Many vehicle manufacturing companies offer their own version of the minivan, but it was Chrysler who pioneered the minivan as it is known today.
Chrysler introduced its first minivan in 1984. It chose to offer the vehicle under its Plymouth brand and was called the Plymouth Voyager. The Plymouth Grand Voyager was added later in 1987 and featured a longer wheelbase. The Voyager utilized Chrysler’s S platform, based on the K platform that was featured on the Plymouth Reliant and Dodge Aries, and shared many other components with the K based cars, including the Reliant’s instrument cluster and dashboard controls.
The Voyager offered drivers a car-like feel that set it apart from traditional full sized vans with its front wheel drive layout and low floor. The new model was a hit and appeared on Car and Driver magazine’s ten best list the following year.
Plenty of Seating
The original Voyager was in three trim options, the base model, SE, and LE. It could also be equipped with a choice of five, six, seven, and eight passenger seating configurations. Five passenger seating was standard and consisted of two front bucket seats and a three passenger bench in the second row.
Buyers could opt to replace the front seats with a 40/60 split bench on the base and SE models to seat six. Seven passengers seating was available on the SE and LE model which added a three person third row bench seat. Rear bench seats could be removed to increase cargo capacity, adding to the vehicle’s versatility.
The Voyager was available with two engine options when it was introduced. Buyers had a choice of the base 2.2L inline four-cylinder engine or a higher performance 2.6L inline four-cylinder that produced 104 hp. Both engine options were replaced the following model year with more powerful selections, an indication of the automaker’s desire to keep offering the best to their drivers. Transmission options included a five speed manual and a three speed TorqueFlite automatic.
The Plymouth Voyager model was discontinued in the year 2000, when Chrysler decided to close down the Plymouth division. The Voyager was transferred to the Chrysler brand and was eventually renamed the Chrysler Town and Country, which is currently available at Crestview Chrysler.