The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

All Aboard the All-New 2008 Chrysler Flex-Fuel Minivans

September 2007, by Grace Lauron

Pioneers of the first modern minivan back in 1983 and responsible for more than 60 firsts in the minivan segment, Chrysler Corporation continues on the leading edge with the new flex-fuel capable 2008 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan. Now fleets can stay environmentally conscious while taking care of business.

Seeing Green
Available on the Grand Caravan and Town & Country Touring and LX models, the 3.3L V-6 flex-fuel engines accept E-85 gasoline, an environmentally friendly blend of 85-percent ethanol and 15-percent unleaded gasoline that boosts performance and reduces emissions. The alternative fuel conserves nonrenewable energy sources and provides up to 30-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. EPA fuel economy estimates city / highway mpg for Town & Country and Grand Caravan flex-fuel models at 16 / 23 when running on E-85 and 19 / 23 on gasoline.

These Chrysler minivans can operate on E-85, regular unleaded gasoline, or any combination of the two fuels. The engine control system constantly monitors the fuel mix to maintain peak operating efficiency.

Maintaining 175 hp and 205 lb.-ft. of torque, the reduced amount of gasoline doesn’t mean lack of performance. Acceleration, power, payload, and cruise speed are similar to gasoline-powered models. Maintenance is also just as readily available and is similar to the gas-powered vehicles.
Winner of five accolades at the 2007 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), the 2008 Grand Caravan upholds its reputation.

Chrysler’s FFV lineup also includes the Chrysler Aspen, Dodge Durango, Jeep Commander, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Dakota, Dodge Ram 1500 pickup with a 4.7L Magnum V-8 flex-fuel engine, Chrysler Sebring, and Dodge Avenger sedan with 2.7L V-6 flex-fuel engine.

Other Chrysler environmentally friendly solutions run on biodiesel, a clean-burning alternative fuel that can be produced from domestic, renewable sources, such as soybean oil.

Chrysler is working with industry stakeholders to ensure that properly specified biodiesel can be used in diesel engines with no major engine or fuel system modifications. The company is also working with fuel providers and other automakers to develop a national standard for B-20 fuel (20-percent biodiesel, 80-percent diesel).

Global Electric Motorcar electric vehicles are still another eco-friendly option offered by Chrysler.

Features Prioritize Safety
Standard safety/security features on the Town & Country include advanced multistage driver and front-passenger airbags, all-row side-curtain airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, tire pressure monitoring systems, and the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) for better maneuvering capability. Also available are the ParkView rear backup camera and ParkSense rear park assist system.

Fleet-only options on both models include daytime running lamps, heavy-duty engine cooling, Power Equipment Group, AM/FM stereo radio with CD player and MP3 navigation, manual drive lumbar support, eight-way power driver seat, security alarm, speed control, load leveling and height control, and the Bluetooth-compatible UConnect hands-free communication system so drivers can keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road.

Interiors Offer Space All Around
With a maximum 143.8 cubic feet of cargo capacity, the redesigned interiors provide ample room for sales, service, and delivery applications.

The industry-exclusive Stow ’n Go seating and storage system lets passengers fold down the second- and third-row seats into the floor to create a completely flat load surface, great for storing valuable goods best hidden from public view. With the one-touch powerfolding 60/40 third row, a simple tap of the touch-and-release-button folds the third-row seat down or into one of four positions, leaving hands free for loading.
These second- and third-row folding seats provide plenty of space for equipment and cargo.

Roomy floor storage bins provide each second-row seat with 12 cubic feet to stow away even more cargo. A generous amount of other useful compartments and cargo nets are also conveniently located throughout these minivans.

Work on the Go
The second-row Swivel ’n Go bucket seats make it easier to get in and out and can also swivel 180 degrees to face third-row passengers, ideal for conversation. A multipurpose removable table adds an office touch.

Using the available personal, targeted LED lights, work can still be done after sunlight fades. The interior halo lighting provides just the right amount of glow so the driver doesn’t get distracted.

Survive the Seasons
In warm weather, second-row occupants can now control their own air supply with power up-and-down windows on dual sliding side doors. Retractable window sunshades keep the brightness out of the eyes of second- and third-row passengers even with the windows rolled down.

In cooler weather, drivers can fill vehicles with warm heat from 30 feet away using the optional remote start system. The YES Essentials stain- and odor-resistant, antistatic fabric seats in the front- and second-rows are also heated for added warmth.

With better overall handling and ride comfort, engineers have made it possible for fleets to drive a vehicle that performs well without compromising style.

Twitter Facebook Google+

Fleet Incentives

Determine the actual cost of owning and running a vehicle in your fleet. Compare vehicles by class and model.

Sponsored by

Lamb was the first AF Professional Fleet Manager of the Year winner in 1985. He was formerly a fleet manager for the Houston-based Exxon Company USA.

Read more

Accident Costs Calculator

Use this calculator to see how much extra sales revenue your company needs to generate to make up for the profits lost as a result of fleet accidents.
Launch Accident Cost Calculator 

Up Next

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher