An unexpected return.
The Chrysler Voyager is officially back
Just the other day we reported that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was considering adding an entry level vehicle to its minivan portfolio, perhaps reviving the Voyager nameplate that had been used when Plymouth was still alive. Some analysts predicted that the new model would replace the aging, last generation Dodge Grand Caravan as a cost conscious alternative to the Pacifica.
Well, FCA has now unveiled the 2020 Chrysler Voyager and it’s neither an all-new model nor is it replacing the Grand Caravan. The new Voyager is essentially a rebranded Pacifica, positioned to replace the lower-tier Pacifica L and LX trim levels, and the Grand Caravan will continue to soldier on.
Consumers on a budget aren’t the only potential minivan customers looking for a bargain. Chrysler will also offer the fleet-only LXi version of the Voyager, presumably for car rental, taxi, and medical transportation companies.
If FCA’s strategy confuses you, remember that Chrysler, having pretty much invented the minivan, knows a thing or two about that market segment. Over the past 35 years, the company has sold over 14.6 million of the people movers.
As a value alternative, the Voyager comes fairly well-equipped, with room for seven passengers. It shares the Pacifica’s 287-horsepower, 262 lb-ft, V-6 Pentastar engine and nine-speed automatic transmission. Standard equipment includes Apple and Android smartphone connectivity, a six speaker sound system, and active noise cancellation (though I don’t think that works with noisy children). A 3.5-inch digital display is standard while the latest version of FCA’s Uconnect infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen is optional.
Other available options for the L and LX feature the SafetyTec Group with rear park assist, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross path detection, a cold weather package, and a Stow ‘n Place roof rack. Satellite radio, quad seats for the second row, and in-floor storage bins are standard on the LX, with an available overhead DVD player.
Fleet customers buying the LXi can get UltraTec leatherette upholstery, second-row Stow ‘n Go seats, remote start, a burglar alarm, Stow ‘n Place roof rack, universal garage door opener, retractable sunshades for second row passengers, and an auto-dim rearview mirror.
Both fleet and individual customers can order BraunAbility rear and side entry conversions that can accommodate the largest wheelchairs and mobility scooters currently in use.
The new Voyager will be built alongside the Pacifica and Grand Caravan at FCA’s Windsor, Ontario assembly plant. As a 2020 model, the new Voyager will likely arrive at dealers with model changeover in the fall.