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First look: Titivated Voyager treks in

Update for a popular people-mover: More than 8300 Voyager variants have been sold locally since 1997.

A new nose, more refinement and smarter seating highlight Chrysler’s MPV makeover

28 Apr 2004

CHRYSLER will release its facelifted Voyager range in Australia around October.

Unveiled at the Detroit motor show in January, the latest Voyager has undergone cosmetic, packaging, refinement and safety surgery, and has just been launched in the right-hand drive UK market.

Visually, the most obvious change is around the nose, with a deeper grille flanked by new headlights and a redesigned bumper bar. Revised wheels and body side mouldings complete the exterior makeover.

There is a decrease in noise, vibration and harshness, claimed to be up to 16 per cent over the current car. This is due to better aerodynamics and soundproofing, "quieter" steel technology, a revised and stiffened under-floor structure and improved drivetrain mounts and bushes.

Drivers’ knees are now safer thanks to a new dedicated airbag while three-row, A-to-D pillar side curtain airbags have also been introduced.

Occupants’ backsides benefit from new, NASA-developed seat cushions, but it’s their backs (in the long wheelbase models only) that should be best off, with a new second and third row seat folding operation called "Stow ‘n Go".

11 center image DaimlerChrysler claims that it’s now a single-hand action that can be accomplished in 30 seconds - headrests do not need to be removed, each seat can be folded individually and up to 256 configurations are possible.

Other related bonuses are more storage bins, new cargo net bags, a less-intrusive placement of child restraint anchor points and improved cupholders.

Aspects of the floorpan had to be redesigned and recessed to accommodate the folding seat and accoutrements, which has brought on increased rigidity properties.

Also new are the availability of tram-like signal lights that alert others of entering/exiting passengers when the sliding side doors are operated, Bluetooth communications capabilities and an overhead console siting storage bins, rear temperature controls and an optional DVD screen.

This is the first facelift of the fourth generation RG Voyager released in May 2001.

Australian Voyager sales started four years earlier (in Mk3 GS guise) but the series started the dedicated people-mover segment in America in late 1983.

Since then more than 10 million units have been produced with all 8337 Voyagers sold here to the end of February emanating from DaimlerChrysler’s plant in Graz, Austria.

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