Mathys Roets is still new to life in a wheelchair after a motorbike accident last year left his legs paralysed.
Andy Smith has been a C5 quad for over 30 years. He and Mathys love the outdoor life, and they are both avid travellers.
You won’t hear either of them complaining about what life has thrown at them and their positive energy is contagious. But they have something else in common too. They both drive a Chrysler Voyager!
Mathys has a brand new, untouched Chrysler Grand Voyager,with a full house of buttons to push and everything automatically opening and closing.
Andy has a second-hand fully-adapted Entervan – the Braun conversion of the Chrysler Voyager.
Mathys takes about 30 seconds to get into his car and load his wheelchair.
Andy takes about 10 seconds! He pushes a button and his ramps open automatically allowing him to wheel himself up the ramp into the docking station. He pushes the button to close the ramp and door, and off he goes!
After 30 years of transferring himself into and out of cars, Andy’s shoulders have given up and he is no longer able to transfer himself. The freedom that his adapted Voyager has given him is comparable to releasing a caged bird. The extra-light power-steering and the electronic brake and accelerator control are designed for a person with minimal strength giving him back his freedom and enabling him to drive safely.
The Chrysler Grand Voyager has always been a favourite amongst vehicle converters because of the amount of space inside and the power sliding side and rear doors, which open and close at the push of a button. The sliding doors on the sides open up a lovely wide entrance, making this central space very useable and accessible.
It is this versatile interior space, with the Stow-‘n-Go seating system, that really works for Mathys. With his diverse lifestyle: the father of two boys (with all their toys and sports gear), a popular musician (travelling the country with his team, their equipment and instruments), a wildlife photographer and a lover of fun and adventure, his vehicle needs to be extremely versatile to accommodate all of his needs.
Flattening the back row of seats is just a question of pushing another button. They automatically fold down or open up and within seconds, his 7-seater bus converts to a 4-seater super-sized hatch-back.
The spacious interior, with three rows of seats, gives plenty of room for Mathys to travel with his team of musicians and sound engineers. He often sits at the back and lets someone else drive and finds the rear seats just as comfortable as the ones in the front.
When he is driving, Mathys loves the electronically adjustable driver’s seat which so easily positions him. It has two stored memory settings, so at the push of a button he can move from his transfer position to his driving position.
The size of the door opening gives Mathys plenty of space for access from his wheelchair, and it has a useful ledge on the door where he can place his hand when transferring into the vehicle. It puts his shoulders into a comfortable position for lifting his body weight into the vehicle.
The two seats in the middle row can fold down completely flat into the in-floor storage bins, creating a space in the middle of the vehicle. Mathys sometimes uses this to stow his wheelchair, pulling it in behind the driver’s seat, to free up the front seat for passengers.
The tyre pressure monitor system constantly monitors pressure and alerts the driver if one of the tyres falls below the recommended pressure. Mathys regularly drives off the beaten track, putting his tyres at risk. During a recent trip to the Kruger Park, he thought he had a problem. Instead of unloading his wheelchair and going to see if he had a flat tyre, he just turned on the tyre pressure monitor and kept an eye on the pressure for the rest of the journey. It doesn’t change a flat tyre for you – but perhaps they will build that into the next model!
The Chrysler Grand Voyager comes in a choice of a 2.8L 4 cylinder turbo diesel engine CRD Diesel or a 3.8L V6 Petrol engine, priced from R359 900.
The standard six-speed automatic transmission provides seamless shifting and increased fuel efficiency.
It has the Electronic Stability Program to provide a safer driving experience and front and side curtain airbags.
Load levelling suspension distributes the weight evenly giving you a safer and more comfortable ride.
Grand Voyager Limited’s ParkView® Rear Back Up Camera gives you the ultimate in confidence by displaying a photo image of what’s behind you on the U-connect screen.
Providing a little extra help when parking, the Grand Voyager’s standard ParkSense® Rear Park Assist System uses sound waves to detect nearby obstacles while in reverse. Audio and visual indicators alert you to the proximity of the objects. This is an extremely helpful feature for someone with limited trunk rotation who is unable to turn their body to look behind them when reversing.
The versatility, drive comfort, luxury and safety features of the Chrysler Grand Voyager makes it easy to understand why Mathys and Andy have both chosen this vehicle to compliment their very different lifestyles. It is great to see how technology can give so much back!