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Chrysler Voyager

Carpedia  ·  January 28, 2020

Chrysler Voyager

The Chrysler Voyager is a 3- or 4-door minivan, classed as an M-segment vehicle, which Chrysler produced from 1988 to 2016. The marque reappears as the new nameplate for the Canadian-built Chrysler Pacifica’s low-end trim models for the 2020 model year.

It has been called several names depending on the market where it appeared – the Grand Voyager, Caravan, Grand Caravan, Ram Van, and Lancia Voyager. The Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager are its siblings, while the Chrysler Town & Country and Volkswagen Routan are close kins. 

The Voyager is among Chrysler’s family of minivans, which includes the Town & Country and Pacifica.

First Generation: S (1988–1990)

Chrysler built the first generation of Chrysler S-platform unibody minivans in 1983 as Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager. As an alternative to full-size estates, the minivan was designed with a 2,845-mm wheelbase and a 2,134-mm cargo floor. They could seat five passengers with the third-row seats folded and seven or eight when unfolded. Several seat configurations were developed, including a convert-a-bed option that had a fold-flat rear seat. These minivans were marketed in North America. 

In 1987, Chrysler updated the S series with refreshed fascia and taillights and introduced the 3,023-mm LWB vans as Dodge Grand Caravan and Plymouth Grand Voyager variants. In 1988, Chrysler began exporting these minivans to Europe but rebranded them as Chrysler Voyager. 

The Chrysler Voyager shared the same engines with its North American siblings, including 2.2-litre and 2.5-litre Chrysler K SOHC inline-four and 3.0-litre Mitsubishi 6G72 SOHC V6 engines. A 5-speed manual gearbox and 3- and 4-speed automatic transmissions were available. This 3-door minivan had a transverse front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout. 

Second Generation: AS (1991-1995)

The AS-platform Voyagers retained the front-transverse mounting of the engine but made all-wheel drive available in addition to the existing front-wheel-drive offering. A long-wheelbase (LWB) variant was called the Chrysler Grand Voyager, with the short-wheelbase (SWB) retaining the Chrysler Voyager name.

A 2.5-litre VM425 turbocharged diesel and a 3.3-litre EGA V6 petrol engine were added to the range with the same transmission choices. With expanding export markets for the AS-platform minivans, production now included Chrysler facilities in Fenton, Missouri and Graz, Austria, in addition to the main production in Ontario, Canada.  

The second-generation retained the unibody construction of the preceding generation. It used a MacPherson strut for the front suspension and coil springs for the rear, except for the AWD versions, which utilised a 4-wheel independent suspension with leaf springs and rear beam axle. The modification entailed a major exterior redesign, which improved the drag coefficient from 0.43 to 0.39.

Third Generation: NS (1996-2000)

For the first time, the Chrysler Voyager was manufactured in right-hand-drive configuration, and thus was finally marketed in Australia. The NS-underpinned minivan was significantly redesigned from the ground up. It departed from its boxy styling and shifted to a cab-over-engine design, moving forward the dashboard and windshield. The SWB version increased its wheelbase length to 2,878 mm, with the LWB gaining only a 7.0-mm increment. 

This generation grew taller by approximately 76 mm. With a more streamlined shape and all-new body panels, its drag coefficient has further improved to 0.35. 

Several engines were offered for the export market, but the two trim models that were released in Australia (LE and SE trims) both had the 3.3L EGA OHV V6 engine mated to a 4-speed 41TE automatic transmission. This powertrain could generate up to 116 kW of power and 275 Nm of torque. 

The LE trim is a 7-seat people mover equipped with the following standard features:

Dual front airbags, ABS, air conditioning, tilt & telescopic adjustable steering wheel, alloy wheels, cruise control, remote-controlled central locking, front fog lights, engine immobiliser, leather steering wheel and upholstery, power driver’s seat, power mirrors, power steering, power front windows, radio cassette with ten speakers, roof racks, trip computer, and third-row seats. 

The SE trim differed from the LE with its lower overall height (by 49 mm) and featured cloth trim instead of leather and radio cassette with four speakers instead of ten. 

A limited trim (LE Ltd) added leather trim, power front seat for the passenger, and CD with a 6-CD stacker to what the LE trim offered.

An LX trim model introduced in the final year of this generation added rear air conditioning, remote anti-theft alarm system, CD with a 6-CD stacker, and automatic/self-levelling suspension.

Fourth Generation: RS (2001–2007)

The RS-based minivans went on sale in August 2000, featuring larger dimensions and redesigned headlights and taillights. Only the Dodge Caravan was sold in LWB, and thus, went to the market as the Grand Caravan.

The Voyager, previously sold as the Chrysler Grand Voyager in Australia with its 3,030-mm wheelbase, was now marketed as the Chrysler Voyager (without the 'Grand') with 2,878-mm wheelbase. Also, the only available model was the base trim, which offered side front airbags and dual-zone air conditioning in addition to the previous base package. Optional features included satellite navigation and DVD-based entertainment for the rear seats. 

Only the SE trim was sold in Australia for the RS series, which would also be the last generation of the Voyager in the country. This 7-seat model had a 3.3-litre EGA V6 petrol engine (128 kW, 278 Nm) under its bonnet, which worked in tandem with a 4-speed 41TE automatic transmission. This model came with similar features as the previous generations but added side front airbags and power windows for all windows as standard equipment. 

An upscale LX trim came up in 2004 featuring power sliding doors, power-adjustable accelerator and brake pedals.  

The Voyager was discontinued in most markets, including Australia, where sales lasted until 2008. In other markets, its other siblings continued to serve the market, while in Europe, it continued to sell as the Lancia Voyager.

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