Chrysler Voyager is First Produced
The Chrysler Voyager is a minivan marketed by Chrysler in the United States from 2000-2007 exclusively as a short wheelbase (SWB) model, replacing the Plymouth Voyager after DaimlerChrysler dropped the Plymouth brand — and offered only in Generation III and IV of Chrysler's five generation minivan series. All models are exclusively equipped with automatic transmissions.
Though no longer available in North America, Chrysler continues to use Chrysler Voyager nameplate in global markets, e.g., Mexico, Europe.
Together with its nameplate variants, the Dodge Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country, Plymouth Voyager and Volkswagen Routan, the Chrysler minivans have ranked as the 13th bestselling automotive nameplate worldwide, with over 12 million sold.
The European Chrysler Voyager was first released in 1988, nearly identical to its American counterpart, the Plymouth Voyager; the only visual differences between the two were the head/taillights and grille. Besides the slightly different appearance, European Voyagers were sold with different engines, including diesel engines, which are popular in Europe; and the trim was different. They are also available with manual transmission & a foot operated emergency brake.
The current European Voyagers are very similar to the 2008 Chrysler Town & Country cars. Although produced in Ontario now, they are still available with diesel engines. They are sold as Chrysler Grand Voyagers in Europe, since 2008 only in the long wheelbase version (as in North America).
1996-1999 models in Mexico are rebadged Dodge Caravans, although the Caravan was sold alongside the Voyager. For 2000, the Chrysler Voyager was identical to the Plymouth Voyager except that the 3.8 L V6 was not available for the Chrysler Voyager. Base models of the Voyager were offered in most states with either a 2.4 L four-cylinder or a 3.0 L Mitsubishi V6 engine, except in California and several northeastern states, where the Mitsubishi V6 didn't meet emissions standards. In those locales, the 3.3 L engine was offered instead.
From 2001 to 2003, the Voyager was offered in the SWB model only, replacing the SWB Plymouth Voyager. It resembled the Town and Country more than the previous generation, the only major cosmetic difference besides the trim (where the Town and Country's is fancier) was the placement of the Chrysler emblem on the grille. After the 2003 model year, the Voyager was discontinued and replaced by the Chrysler Town and Country, SWB model.
Chrysler began offering the Voyager with Generation I, followed by a Generation II model marketed as the Town and Country in 2001 with a new engine range — including larger, more economical diesel engines and more fuel-efficient petrol engines.
The 2009 Grand Voyager uses a 2,768 cc (2.768 L; 168.9 cu in) CRD 163 hp (120 kW) diesel motor that gets a combined fuel economy of 9.3 L/100 km (30 mpg-imp; 25 mpg-US).
In 1996, Chrysler had introduced a system of seats to simplify installation, removal, and re-positioning— marketed as Easy-Out Roller Seats. The system remained in use throughout the life of the Chrysler Voyager.
When installed, the seats are latched to floor-mounted strikers. When unlatched, eight rollers lift each seat, allowing it to be rolled fore and aft. Tracks have locator depressions for rollers, thus enabling simple installation. Ergonomic levers at the seatbacks release the floor latches single handedly without tools and raise the seats onto the rollers in a single motion. Additionally, seatbacks were designed to fold forward. Seat roller tracks are permanently attached to the floor and seat stanchions are aligned, facilitating the longitiudinal rolling of the seats. Bench seat stanchions were moved inboard to reduce bending stress in the seat frames, allowing them to be lighter.
When configured as two and three person benches, the Easy Out Roller Seats could be unwieldy. Beginning in 2001, second and third row seats became available in a 'quad' configuration — bucket or captain chairs in the second row and a third row three-person 50/50 split "bench" — with each section weighing under 50 lbs.
According to EuroNCAP crash test results, the 1996 model Chrysler Voyager 'did so badly in the frontal impact that it earned no points, making it the worst of the group. The body structure became unstable and the steering column was driven back into the driver's chest and head'. The 2006 model Chrysler Voyager fared little better, achieving just 19% in the frontal impact test, with an overall score of 2 stars out of a possible 5. However, chest compression measurements on the test dummy 'indicated an unacceptably high risk of serious or fatal injury. As a result, the final star in the adult occupant rating is struck-through'.
Not only did the introduction of the Plymouth Voyager (and its Dodge Caravan sibling) profoundly change the American automotive landscape, it changed the language: Before the fall of 1983 the word minivan was unknown. From that moment on, the rest of the auto industry has been scrambling to catch up. DaimlerChrysler has always been one step ahead with such features as all-wheel drive, an extended-length trim, an optional driver's-side sliding door, and seats with rollers for easier removal. The previous-generation Voyager was introduced in 1996, and along with the Dodge Caravan it featured the industry's first sliding passenger door on the driver's side. With the announcement of DaimlerChrysler dropping the Plymouth name, the Voyager was moved to the Chrysler brand for 2000. Voyager was completely redesigned for the 2001 model year.