Car Test   R0249
 
June 2002
  Chrysler Voyager
Printer Friendly Page Featured Model: 2.4SE
No, The Renault Espace wasnít the original MPV - Chrysler launched the Voyager two years before it, in 1983. And itís now sold nine million of them.
  
   This fourth generation model (available in long- or this short- wheelbase form) boasts more space and greater refinement. It also promises improved crashworthiness, and sensibly so, because the previous models fared poorly in Euro-NCAP tests.
  
   This latest version has yet to be ďNCAPedĒ, but we can vouch for the Voyagerís refinement, particularly in the engine department. The ďbig fourĒ up front is certainly no ball of fire (be prepared to make plenty of use of the sometimes obstinate gearchange when overtaking or hill climbing), but Chrysler has done an excellent job in quelling noise, vibration and harshness. Motorway cruising is quietly relaxed.
  
   The same goes for the ride. Itís only on broken-topped roads that the suspension becomes somewhat agitated. The Voyager handles well enough, too, with decent grip and not excessive cornering roll. Thereís a lifeless feeling to the light steering, though, and the deftness of touch of the Chryslerís close European counterparts is lacking.
  
   Access to the airy, walk-through interior is made easy by a pair of smoothly sliding side doors. This SE version is the poor relation of the wide Voyager range, however, and lacks a lot of the equipment and surprise and delight features that enhance the costlier LX and V6.
  
   Thereís no height adjustment to the steering or the front captainís chairs, for example, so you could be unhappy with the driving position. Otherwise, the seat is comfortable, the dials are clearly calibrated and all round vision is excellent, provided you remove all the head restraints when driving solo.
  
   Think Voyager and youíre thinking big. This shorter-wheelbase model is the same length as a Renault Grand Espace. Itís surprising, therefore, that rear occupants arenít exactly spoilt for space. Kneeroom in the center-row armchairs, which are removable but donít slide, is only adequate, while the reclining, three-seater rear bench has only just sufficient leg and kneeroom for adults. It slides, but only to the benefit of luggage space which, with seven up, is poor.
  
   This removable, hernia-inducing settee is mounted on wheels so that it can be rolled away into storage once taken out. With all the seats removed, load space is enormous.
  
  
AT A GLANCE
  considering size, price and rivals
Controls/displays
Handling/steering
Comfort
Overtaking Ability
Fuel Economy
Space/practicality
Security, theft of
theft from
LIKES ...
  • dual-zone (L/R) front heat supply
  • plenty of bright interior lighting
  • no sills ease access (and brushing out)
  • 13 bag hooks, 11 cup holders
  • lockable underseat drawer
  • "see-you-home" headlamps
and GRIPES
  • the shopping bag hooks are too low
  • unwiped strip by driver's screen pillar
  • no load cover
  • some seat controls heavy/clumsy
  • temporary spare-underslung/mucky
  • no space/footrest alongside clutch
VERDICT
This 2.4 Voyager is built for cruising comfort rather than the sort of performance and road manners that typify its European rivals. It canít match them for seating versatility, either, and in SE form there are some glaring equipment omissions, too. Not a lot to frighten the opposition, then, yet, despite its shortcomings, itís difficult not to be beguiled by the Voyager's airy roominess and affable, easy-going nature.


SPECIFICATION
engine 2429cc, 4-cylinder petrol; 145bhp at 5200rpm, 167 lb ft at 4000rpm; belt-driven double overhead camshafts, 16 valves   transmission 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive; 24.6mph/1000rpm in 5th, 19.8 in 4th
suspension front: independent coil/spring/damper struts, lower control arms, anti-roll bar; rear: tubular beam axle with single leaf springs and Panhard rod, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar   steering hydraulic power assistance; 3.2 turns lock-to-lock; 11.6m diameter turning circle between kerbs (18.0m for one turn of the wheel)
brakes ventilated discs front, solid discs rear with standard anti-lock (ABS) control   wheels/tyres 6.5in steel with 215/65R16H tyres (Goodyear Eagle NCT 5 on test car); temporary spare

THE VOYAGER RANGE
size and type Voyager: large (mid-priced), MPV - 7 seats. Grand Voyager: extra large/luxury (premium-priced) MPV - 7 seats   trim levels Voyager: SE, LX (2.4 and 2.5CRD diesel). Grand Voyager: LX, Limited (2.5CRD and 3.3 V6)
engines petrol: 4 cyl/2.4 litre/145bhp, V6/3.3/172; diesel: V4/2.5CRD/140 diesel: 4/2.5CRD/140   drive front-wheel drive. 2.4 and 2.5CRD: 5-speed manual; 3.3 V6: 4-speed stepped automatic only


HOW THE VOYAGER COMPARES engine (cyl/cc/bhp) revs at 70mph (rpm) 30-70 through gears (sec) 30-70mph in 4th/5th gears (sec) fuel (mpg/CO2) brakes from 50mph (kg/m) maximum legroom - front (cm) typical leg/kneeroom - rear (cm) steering turns/circle (m) overall length (cm)
Chrysler Voyager 2.4SE 4/2429/145 2850 13.0 25.6/37.1 27/282 18/27 105 100/74 3.2/11.6 480
Ford Galaxy 2.3 4/2295/145 3290 11.0 19.9/26.3 29/240 25/26 108 104/84 3.3/11.3 462
Honda Stream 1.7SE 4/1668/123 3795 10.8 19.3/25.4 34/183 14/26 108 104/74į 2.8/11.5 457
Kia Sedona 2.5 V6 V6/2497/162 3010 11.5 23.7/35.0 25/265 22/26 109 103/77 3.6/12.9 489
Mitsubishi S Wagon 2.4 GDi 4/2351/147 3000 11.7 19.1/28.6 31/222 14/25 107 102/80į 3.3/11.5 460
Peugeot 806 2.0GLX 4/1998/123 3210 13.4 23.4/35.1 30/221 25/27 102 97/78 3.0/11.8 445
  į mid row fully back
NB: all seven-seaters


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CONTROLS AND DISPLAYS
*
*
 
*
HANDLING AND STEERING
*
No seat or steering height adjustment, so some drivers lose out. Good vision without headrests. Clear dials and warning lights, but those in switches tiny. Handbrake low but other controls easy to reach
*
 
*
Reassuring road grip and not excessive roll when cornering briskly, but there's no feel to the light steering. Average sort of turning circle, easy parking, but rear proximity sensors would be a bonus
*
 
*
COMFORT
*
Ride rather fidgety on B-roads, but much calmer on the highway. Snug mid-row seats don't slide, so knee/legroom relatively modest. Rear bench seats three adults in confined comfort. Air con standard, no sunroof
*



OVERTAKING ABILITY
Impressively smooth, mellow motor, but needs to be revved to get this bulky two-tonner to shift itself. A double downshift often needed for overtaking. Mops up motorway miles effortlessly - watch the speedo!
  acceleration in seconds through gears 4th gear 5th gear
  20-40mph 3.8 12.7 17.4
  30-50mph 4.8 12.0 17.6
  40-60mph 6.2 12.6 17.6
  50-70mph 8.2 13.6 19.5
  30-70mp 13.0 25.6 37.1
  max speed in each gear* (* using 6000rpm for best acceleration)
     gear      1st*      2nd*      3rd*      4th      5th
     speed (mph)      34      59      88      109      108


FUEL ECONOMY
All gas and gearshifts to keep hefty Voyager lively do economy no favours, but 33mpg possible if you're gentle. Tank is an awkward filler (best to hold fuel dispenser upside down) but gives 400-mile range
    AA test results (mpg)  
    worst (hard/urban) 16  
    best (gentle/rural) 33  
*
    overall mpg 27  
*
    realistic tank capacity 68litres  
    realistic tank range 405miles  
    official figures (mpg)
    urban 20.8
    extra urban 34.9
*
    combined 28.0
*
    CO2 emissions 282g/km
    car tax band E


SAFETY  
Heavy handbrake not fully on when you think it is (needs an extra "click"). Lots of work on safety following dismal showing in earlier NCAP tests. Front side airbags, none in roof. Three-point belts for all
    EURO NCAP RATINGS
 
 
 
    BRAKES
 
  from 50mph (with ABS)
 
This model has not yet been
tested by EURO NCAP
pedal load     stopping distance
unhurried 10kg     41m
sudden 18kg     27m best stop
+4kg ie 22kg     30m
 
fade resistance/consistency    
Euro NCAP = European New Car Assessment Programme: independent crash safety tests evaluating protection for occupants and pedestrians in an offset frontal collision, side impacts and pedestrian strike conditions
click here for more NCAP details/test results etc.



SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
Adequate seven-seater with easy access to rear. Minimal boot space seven up, but back bench slides or, like folding centre pair, can be removed (it weighs a ton, though), so cargo space is hugely variable
  in centimetres (5-door MPV)
  outside
  length 480
  width - including mirrors 223
    - mirrors folded 198
  height (no roof bars) 175
  load sill height (inside/outside) 5/60
  steering
  turns lock-to-lock 3.2
  turning circle (metres) 11.6
   
  easy to park/garage?
  inside
  front - legroom 87-105
    - headroom 98+
  middle - legroom 100
    - kneeroom 74
    - headroom 97
    - hiproom 173
  rear - typical legroom 93
    - typical kneeroom 64
    - headroom 90
    - hiproom 125
  load area(7:4 seats in use)
  load space(litres/cu ft) 365:1010/12.9:35.7
  load length (7s/4/2) 46/127/200
  load length to facia 297
  load width 124
  load height(to window line/to top of aperture) 64 103
+ no sunroof


SECURITY  
Convenient if bulky handset is powerful, but autolock and deadlocks absent. If desired, first press unlocks only offside doors. Ignition key release and chime irritating. Starter dead until clutch depressed
FEATURES/CONVENIENCE
NCSR RATINGS
central locking  
remote control  
remote window closing  
deadlocks  
alarm (perimeter + interior)   
self locking
(static + drive off)
  
two-stage unlocking   
attack-resistant glass   
AA load area security rating
=standard    =option    =not available
NCSR - "theft of"
 
NCSR - "theft from"
 
NCSR = New Car Security Ratings: a 1 to 5 star system which rates anti-theft protection, both of the car itself and the theft of valuables from within the car
Visit www.thatcham.org for more details
© The Automobile Association Limited 2014