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Let's take a stroll down memory lane for a second. The name Voyageur might ring a bell (and not because you're a Star Trek fan). Chrysler phased this van out 15 years ago, but before that, it had been the Plymouth Voyageur. Chrysler initially manufactured it from 1988 to 1998, when it was taken over by Daimler Chrysler, then Chrysler LLC, Chrysler Group LLC, and FCA US LLC. State-side, it has been known as the Plymouth Voyageur, then the Dodge Grand Caravan. It was succeeded by the Town & Country. At least, it was until now.
In 2020, Chrysler decided to rip the two lower trim levels off of the Pacifica mini-van's line-up and revive the long-defunct Voyageur. The results? Buyers offered some pretty positive reviews, although auto gurus seem to view it as more of a mixed bag. Minivans are something of a dying breed as the consumer demand for spacious and fuel efficient third-row SUVs is being met. Chrysler has a pretty solid line of those vehicles, but they have not given up on what they were once renowned for - their minivans.
This year's Voyageur should be similar to the 2020 models. This vehicle has a great max towing capacity of 3,600 pounds, which is not something you will find on any old minivan. You also get a fair amount of passenger space, enough cargo space, and those amazing Stow 'n Go third row seats that boost the cargo area's volume and overall versatility.
Drivers should enjoy the standard V6 engine's powerful performance. It is the only engine you can get on this line-up, but it is a solid one. It creates 287 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque and is paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission. Power gets delivered to the front wheels, and the transmission seems to provide some smooth gear shifting capabilities that help the Voyageur accelerate with ease. A minivan that can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds is rather impressive; this is clearly not the sluggish monstrosity you might recall from the 90's.
There are some issues that buyers might take with the 2021 Chrysler Voyageur though. Its rivals tend to offer more plushly padded second- and third-row seats. The ones in the Voyageur are somewhat flat and lack lateral support. The seats just aren't up-to-par with what you can get in other minivans. There are also times when the 9-speed might feel clunky, but that is reportedly an infrequent issue. The seats are the real problem here. Chrysler should consider reformulating the padding.
That being said, if you are looking to buy a minivan this year, the Voyageur warrants a test drive. But you need to know what to expect from each trim level. Read through this trim level comparison to find out which specs and features come on which trim level. Stick around until the end, which is where we will announce which trim level we think gives buyers the best deal.
Compare the 2021 Chrysler Voyageur L vs LX - What is the Difference?
Advertised by Chrysler as America's most affordable minivan, the 2021 Chrysler Voyageur offers a base trim that is packed with standard features. The line-topping LX trim level offers even more. Sure, you only get two trim level options, but both of them are actually quite attractive choices. So, how are you supposed to pick between them?
Let's start by going over their individual features. First up is, of course, the L trim level. As we already mentioned above, the L and LX are powered by the same powertrain: a 3.6-L V6 engine that generates 287 hp paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. Fuel economy on this engine is a respectably EPA estimate of 23 mpg combined (with 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway) from a 19-gallon fuel tank that takes regular unleaded gasoline. The L's gross curb weight is 6,055 pounds, and its towing capacity is a better-than-average 3,600 pounds. The L trim level can seat up to 7 people and has a passenger volume of 165 cubic feet. That is slightly lower than average for this segment, meaning the cabin can be a bit of a tight squeeze if you are stuck sitting in the second or third row.
The max interior cargo volume you can get is 140.5 cubic feet, which can be achieved by easily maneuvering the Stow 'n Go seats. (And, let's be honest here, these seats are one of Chrysler's most noteworthy features, period.)
The entertainment set-up includes an AM/FM radio and 6-speaker sound system. There is no CD player available, as those have essentially been phased out on many new vehicles. Voice activated control and external digital memory control are standard features for the L. Speed sensitive volume and wireless smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come equipped, but there is no built-in navigation system on this trim.
Interior features go beyond just that. You also get a cabin packed full of things like a manual air conditioning system with an air filter, power door locks with 2 stage unlock, variable intermittent windshield wipers, a fixed interval rear wiper, auto-up/down on the power driver window, deep tinted power windows, tie-downs in the cargo area, and a locking glove box. The sun shades up front both have illuminated vanity mirrors, and the steering wheel is manually tilting and telescoping.
Now, let's get into the seats, which are the Voyageur's problem area. The L comes with a manually 6-way adjustable driver seat and 4-way manually adjustable front passenger seat. Heating is not available for the front seats. There are no memory functions for the seats or side mirrors, and the second-row is a bench. The third row is 60/40-split folding. All seats are done in standard cloth upholstery. The steering wheel is done in urethane, and the headliner is cloth.
There are some lighting and instrument panel features worth mentioning. The L has a fading dome light, illuminated entry, reading lights for the front seats, an engine temperature gauge, voltometer, and a tachometer. The clock can be found in the radio display, and you get a standard compass.
Safety features are fairly par-for-the-course on minivans here. The L comes with an engine immobilizer, manual child safety locks, electronic stability control, 4-wheel ABS, and traction control for ABS and driveline. Blind spot monitoring does not come as even an option.
What will you find on the L trim level's exterior? Expect to see halogen headlights, auto on/off exterior lighting, delay-off headlights, and daytime running lights. Take note that there are no LED lights on the exterior, and the side mirrors do not have integrated turn indicators. The body is made from galvanized steel/aluminum, and there is a black grille on the front fascia. The rear has a power liftgate, and there is a rear lip spoiler. The antenna is integrated into the roof, and the front and rear bumpers are painted in the body color.
Let's switch it up and talk about what you can get on the line-topping LX trim level. On the LX, you get upgraded to fully automatic exterior lighting, and the side mirrors gain a standard heating function. As far as the exterior goes, those are really the only significant changes.
Inside, you will find some differences as well. The LX gains dual-zone automatic climate control instead of the basic air conditioning/heating system on the L. The rear HVAC system that has its own controls so that passengers can set the temperature to what feels most comfortable for them. External digital memory control comes equipped, as does remote keyless entry (via a keyfob that can lock and unlock all of the doors), auto-up/down on the front passenger window in addition to the driver window, and cruise control with settings mounted onto the steering wheel. Front and rear beverage holders come standard, and there are two 12-volt DC power outlets. Door bins get added to both front doors, and the mini overhead console has a storage area.
As far as the seats go, they do see some upgrades. The driver's seat becomes 8-way power adjustable with 4-way power lumbar support. The front passenger seat remains 4-way manually adjustable.
The infotainment set-up sees a few changes, including having audio and cruise control settings mounted onto the steering wheel. Still, you do not get access to a built-in navigation system. You also do not get too many more safety features. In fact, you cannot get a standard blind spot monitoring system or parking sensors for the front and rear. Unfortunately, this might make the Voyageur an unattractive option for families with young children who want more driver aids. If you want these features, you have to add the SafetyTec package, which is available for either trim level.
Other options include a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heating for the front seats, remote start, and a roof rack.
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Which Trim to Choose?
The 2021 Chrysler Voyageur's name might bring back memories of driving around in a clunky old 90's contraption, but the new Voyageur is significantly different from what you would get 20 to 30 years ago. The 2021 line-up might be small, but it is a decent enough precursor to what you get on the pricier Pacifica. If you want to go all-out with infotainment features and driver aids, then the Pacifica might be more up your alley. However, those who do not wish to deal with an abundance of tech features might like the Voyageur's relative simplicity. Powerful and capable of towing a hefty load, the Voyageur is surprisingly nimble.
Of course, if we had to pick one of the trim levels to buy, we would undoubtedly go for the LX. Why, you ask? The seats. The L's standard, manually adjustable seats lack support and are too firm for the liking. They will not hold up as well over long road trips. The LX's front seats are much, much cozier and offer additional support. The power lumbar support on the driver's seat enhances the comfort level.
The LX also offers second-row captains chairs that make it easier to access the third row, which is another reason why we would choose this trim. The cabin is somewhat narrow, so having that extra space is a bonus. Additionally, the dual-zone climate control system with rear HVAC controls adds another layer of comfort for everyone.
We also recommend adding the SafetyTec package if you do feel like you need blind spot monitoring and parking sensors. The vehicle has a commanding outward view, but knowing what is happening in your blind spots is a good thing. The price tag is at least somewhat justifiable, keeping on the lower end of the cost spectrum for this segment.
• Compare the 2020 Chrysler Voyageur Trim Levels