Crucial cars for Chrysler

To turn around its falling sales numbers, these are the cars and trucks DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group must get right.

Chrysler Town & Country's Swivel-n-go seats
Right now, the Chrysler Group's product line-up has holes you could drive a Dodge Ram Megacab through. But one hole it has filled very nicely is in the minivan segment.

Along with Honda and Toyota, Chrysler's dominance of the minivan market has been so thorough that GM and Ford have simply given up. Of course, GM and Ford have dropped their minivans in favor of more crossover SUVs, which have been gaining in popularity. Seen in that light, their retreat is more of a strategic redeployment to where the customers actually are.

Chrysler, meanwhile, remains king of minivan island. And even though the minivan market is declining, it's not a position Chrysler can afford to lose.

Redesigned Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Caravan minivans are coming out soon. Changes are subtle on the outside. The lines are sharper but certainly won't surprise anyone.

Inside is where you'll find the new stuff. Chrysler has added a nifty feature it calls "Swivel-n-go" seating. The second row seats can be turned around to face toward the third row seats and a table, stored under the floor, can be set up.

Whether that, and more subtle changes, will be enough to continue competing against Toyota's vaunted reliability and Honda's famously sporty ride and handling remains to be seen. Meanwhile, Korean cousins Hyundai and Kia have also entered the market with lower-priced products.




Family car


Big truck

Sporty coupe
Acadia: Big, roomy, almost perfect General Motors' big crossover, but for one flaw, just about hits the bullseye. (more)
Best Cars 2007 Consumer Reports: To be a 'Top Pick', a vehicle must have at least average reliability and must perform well in crash tests. (more)
Iacocca: 'They're throwing us to the curb' Fortune's Alex Taylor interviews former Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca. (more)