From the April 2008 issue of Entrepreneur

Service plans and warranties are particularly important to business owners who rely on vehicles to conduct their daily business. Checking out what's covered by the manufacturer and the services provided when repairs are needed is crucial when buying new cars and trucks. Every auto manufacturer provides warranty coverage delineated by the number of years and/or miles driven.

However, this year, there is one great exception. To emphasize the quality and reliability of its vehicles, Chrysler has set the industry on its head with a history-making powertrain warranty that covers the life of the vehicle. It applies to most Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles purchased as far back as July 26, 2007, and it covers the engine, transmission and drive system.

No other auto manufacturer has so far matched the program. Hyundai and Kia come close with their 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, Hummer, Pontiac and Saturn cover their powertrains on cars and light-duty trucks with a five-year/100,000-mile warranty.

Ford and Lincoln have boosted powertrain limited warranties and roadside assistance programs and added a new Diesel Care plan for currently owned trucks or new trucks. Ford's Extended Service Plans include roadside assistance and offer protection against unexpected breakdowns and repair expenses. Its Commercial Service Plus is a managed-maintenance program, and its Business Preferred Network plan moves you to the head of the line for service and prioritizes your needs.

Chrysler's Business Link program helps you manage your fleet 24/7 and gives you the benefit of priority service, allowing you to monitor any recalls and use loaner vehicles to keep your business on the road. Its Servicenet maintains fleets, bought or leased, with routine service and instant, single-source billing. The company's Service Contracts program extends and/or expands the warranties on your Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep vehicles beyond the three-year/36,000-mile warranty.

The warranty on the Toyota Prius hybrid is the company's basic coverage: three years or 36,000 miles. Its hybrid-related components, including the battery, are covered for eight years or 100,000 miles. The Prius' powertrain is covered for five years or 60,000 miles.

2008 vans

Make/
Model

Base Engine/
Key Standard Features

Max. Cargo Volume

Mpg
Ctity/Hwy

Seating

Price

Chevy Express Cargo Van

4.3-liter V-6 195-horsepower engine, 260 lb.-ft. torque, four-speed automatic, ABS, stability control

204 cu. ft.

14/18

2

$23,130

Chrysler Town & Country Passenger Van

3.3-liter V-6 175-horsepower gas/flex-fuel engine, ABS, brake assist, stow-away seats, sliding doors, front/rear outlets

143.8 cu. ft.

17/24

7

$23,190

Dodge Grand Caravan Passenger Van

3.3-liter V-6 175-horsepower engine, 205 lb.-ft. torque, ABS, traction/anti-skid control, brake assist, A/C

143.8 cu. ft.

17/24

7

$22,520

Ford E-150 XL Cargo Van

4.6-liter V-8 225-horsepower engine, 286 lb.-ft. torque, four-speed automatic, A/C, slide/swing-out doors, tilt wheel

236.5 cu. ft.

16/20

2

$25,920

Honda Odyssey LX Passenger Van

3.5-liter V-6 244-horsepower engine, 240 lb.-ft. torque, five-speed automatic, ABS, stability/traction control, A/C, 60/40 split third row, dual sliding doors

147.4 cu. ft.

16/23

7

$25,860

Toyota Sienna Passenger Van

3.5-liter V-6 266-horsepower engine, 245 lb.-ft. torque, five-speed automatic, sonar parking, split/stow rear seat

148.9 cu. ft.

17/23

8

$24,340