We, family of 7 (including one child with car seat) are renting a vehicle for 5 days. On rental site, I can see two options of 7 seater, Chrysler Town and Country or Ford Explorer. I really never gave much attention to last seats, how comfortable they are. I have a feeling, I may be wrong, Ford Explorer should be fun to drive, but I am concerned about those two people also, who will sit on last seats in 5 hour journey.
Can somebody suggest, which one will be more confortable ?
For comfort, the minivan hands down. The Explorer would have better handling, have not tested the 3rd seat, but having tested the 3rd row on a hand full of 3 row CUV’s, I know the 3rd seat is always an after thought and barely fits a 4 year old.
4 year old means, we will need to fit a car seat. Not sure, how comfortable other two will be.
Get the van for a comfortable drive.
I had a T&C as a rental for a week on a trip about a year ago. I wanted a van since we were working on a project where I thought we might have to move some servers and other equipment. (that need never materialized so I was just stuck with a van for a week)
The T&C was extremely comfy, had a ba-zillion options, a huge amount of hidden under floor storage, a touch-screen entertainment system that was in a word, perfection, even a built-in power inverter and USB charging ports for your stuff in several locations. (and of course a thousand cupholders) The A/C was pretty good, but not the best I’ve seen. (it was over 100 degrees where I was and the van was black with a lot of interior space to cool, so maybe I’m being a bit harsh on it) The ability to open both side doors and the liftgate by remote was nice too, though I’d expect this is pretty standard these days.
However, the base engine, even coupled with what I think was an 8-speed automatic, was pretty anemic, and the handling was pretty lousy, at least compared to most cars. The brakes were okay, but not outstanding as I recall. (I haven’t driven enough minivans to compare apples to apples though) It’s not like most minivans or large SUVs are really meant for the market segment that buys cars to be anything other than appliances. They are not really meant for ‘spirited’ driving.
I’m not a big Ford fan, but I would admit that the Explorer will probably handle a bit better and have more power, but since rental companies usually buy the smallest-engined versions of a vehicle, all bets are off. The base engine and chassis combination of any fairly large vehicle is rarely a great performer. Maybe the rental company would let you look over both vehicles and/or give you a quick ride in each to decide if you explained the situation?
Chrysler minivans have lots of room, are comfortable and versatile. The long term reliability is not an issue here. Take the Chrysler!
If you’re going off road or on rough roads, I would go for the Explorer.
The Explorer will not have much room for your bags when the 3rd row is up. The T&C will have a lot more room when all three rows are used for seating. I would get the T&C. We took a 14 day trip to Europe a few years ago and had a 9 passenger van for 7 people. It would have been impossible with a smaller vehicle.
Count me in the minivan crowd . Noth’n beats’m for safe comfortable transportation for the masses. A Ford Explorer is fun to drive, only when compared a truck.
I did recently read that the Honda Odessey is quite a good handler, the best among minivans. If a rental for one is nearby, give a look. Typically big chains don’t rent them. Some large local Honda dealerships may.
Thanks a lot for all your valuable suggestion.