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1994 Plymouth Voyager Van

3dr Base 112' WB

Starting at | Starting at 0 MPG City - 0 MPG Highway

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  • $15,520 original MSRP

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Printable Version

1994 Plymouth Voyager Van

Printable Version

1994 Plymouth Voyager Van

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1994 Plymouth Voyager

Source: New Car Test Drive

Overview

The Plymouth Voyager is more than one of America's best-selling minivans. Like the Dodge Caravan, the Voyager is a true original-a model that created an entirely new category in the automobile market during fall 1983. The Voyager offered itself as a scaled-down version of the van, with more modern conveniences and greater fuel efficiency. And after a few months of warming up to these newcomers significant numbers of people began buying the Voyager and Caravan.

Well, you know the rest. The minivan is now the top mode of family transportation in the industry, and Chrysler has sold more than 4 million of them. Success certainly hasn't changed the Voyager: Except for a slightly bigger engine, some structural reinforcement and interior improvements, the 1994 base model bears a strong resemblance to its groundbreaking ancestor.

On our test Voyager, we added an optional 3.0-liter V6 with an automatic three-speed transmission, a seven-passenger seating group, a luggage rack, air conditioning, a rear defroster and other amenities. That bumped the MSRP from almost $16,000 to $18,581, still a reasonable price for a vehicle that offers both significant roominess and car-like features.

Walkaround

The Plymouth Voyager, as we saidTearlier, has not strayed far from its original boxy design. Not the most radical of looks, but a sloping hood and tinted windows give it some sense of character.

Our vehicle was Light Driftwood in color, and though not excessively decorative, it did include bodyside moldings as an optional feature. The front and rear fascias were body-colored - some folks may favor contrasting fascias, but we liked the uniformity of this look. One thing that didn't particularly excite us, though, was the front grille-the chrome strips and metal screen combined to make too busy a design for a vehicle with a pretty basic look.

The headlight assembly was the same as on all Chrysler minivans: single halogen lamps, parking lights that wrapped slightly around the sides and amber turn indicators positioned directly below. Again, not a revolutionary design, but functional. The brake-light design was even more simple-there was no wraparound, and the lights were housed in red, rectangular plastic casings that sat above small white reverse-light strips.

We were very happy with the sliding door on our Voyager. It moved smoothly on its track and shut with authority. The liftgate also opened easily, thanks to an optional power release we chose for our vehicle.

Interior Features

Our Voyager featured the seven-passenger seating package that is optional on the base models. The front bucket seats were very comfortable, while the center and rear bench seats offered firm support. All were cloth with vinyl trim, but only the front seats offered headrests.

Head- and legroom were very generous in this Voyager. We had six people in the van at one time, and there were no complaints about anyone feeling cramped. People in the back two rows didn't get a lot of niceties - there were neither map lights, air-conditioning/heater controls nor the power vent windows that are available on other Voyager models. But the comfort level, although not luxurious, was good.

Up front, the clean-looking instrument panel featured analog gauges for fuel, speedometer and engine temperature, as well as the trip odometer. An information center - a thin, carved out section of the dashboard-sat just above the panel and housed warning lights and turn indicator lights. Because the lights were at eye level, we never forgot to click the signal off after switching lanes or after not completing a full turn.

The fine luxury steering wheel, as Chrysler calls it, gave us clear visibility of the instrument panel and was home to the standard air bag. The standard passenger-side air bag was enclosed in the dashboard - just above the glove box. After reading the brochure, we felt better knowing Chrysler included a diagnostic module that monitored the bags' status at all times.

The convenience group package we added to our test vehicle, which gave us power mirrors and locks, made us temporarily forget some of the things that were lacking in our base Voyager. After a while, however, we began to wonder why we didn't get a cassette player for our $18,000-plus, or why, when on the bi-level setting, the heater would only blow lukewarm air through the dash vents.

Those complaints aside, we did appreciate the room that this short-wheelbased (I 12.3 inches) Voyager packed in. Even with the seven-seat package, we still had 13.3 cubic feet of room in back-enough to store several bags of groceries and a gym bag, for example.

Driving Impressions

Once on the road, we were happy with our choice of the optional 3.0-liter multi-point injected V6. It showed great responsiveness: With six people in the vehicle, we went from 0 to 60 mph in a little more than 10 seconds. Later, with no passengers in the vehicle, we shaved a second off that time. For the minivan category, those were pretty solid performance numbers.

The engine worked well with the accompanying three-speed automatic transmission, exhibiting smooth passing power on the freeway. When hitting an open stretch, the optional speed control kept us at a steady 72 mph.

The Voyager, with its front-wheel drive and short wheelbase, was one of the first vans to incorporate a car-like ride in a utility vehicle. Our model certainly lived up to that reputation: We thought the Voyager handled just as well as smaller minivans we've tested, such as the Mazda MPV Power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering allowed us to handle sharp curves agilely and pull into tight parking spots.

The power-assisted brakes were adequate on a variety of slippery surfaces, but we wished Chrysler would make anti-lock brakes available on the base Voyager, even as part of an option package. The suspension was firm, with position-sensitive struts and coil springs in the front and gas-charged shocks and leaf springs in the rear. In fact, the only rattle we heard when traveling over broken-up roads came from our stopwatch on top of the dashboard.

Summary

The Plymouth Voyager has been at the top of the minivan mountain for a decade now, thanks to its efficient design, solid construction and good performance at a reasonable price. Our base Voyager may not have started out as the most dynamic vehicle around, but the addition of several option packages made it a responsive, slightly luxurious vehicle. There are some upgrades we'd like to see, but with Chrysler's all-new minivans on the horizon (about a year or so away), our expectations aren't too high.

Nonetheless, what the Voyager can currently offer buyers is the most value for the dollar of any minivan. The Voyager and Caravan are the standards in this segment; it's up to the competition to change that situation.

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Printable Version

1994 Plymouth Voyager Van

Passenger Restraint

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Road Visibility

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Printable Version

1994 Plymouth Voyager Van

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