For about 5 months I had the pleasure of driving a brand new Chrysler Pacifica Limited about 17,000 miles. And by driving, I mean letting the Radar cruise control and the ultra smooth suspension do all the work a large portion of that time. Here are my thoughts on the big blue minivan.
(Disclaimer: I know this is an (off-topic) enthusiast blog, but I feel like sharing my opinion on a car I drove for a while. Hope you enjoy!)
I personally find the Pacifica to be a very attractive minivan. Not attractive for a minivan, just attractive in general. The limited has some nice details, with plenty of chrome, 20 inch wheels, and the aggressive LED running lamps. The van also has a partially blacked out d-pillar, giving the rear glass a wrap-around look and shrinking the size of the rear of the vehicle. The flared fenders also make the front seem wider and lower, giving it a somewhat aggressive stance. Chrysler lead designer Ralph Gilles actually has a Pacifica with a aggressive wheels and it truly looks fantastic.
This is one of the best interiors of any car short of a luxury brand. Beautiful brown leather (I know, there’s mixed opinions out there), big bright infotainment screen, and 3 roomy rows of seating. Of course, being an FCA minivan, it had stow-n-go, which is a life saver for someone who is used to having a sedan to throw stuff into and forget about. This model also had the optional rear entertainment system, but more on that shortly. The one thing I truly hate about this interior is that dang plastic ring on the steering wheel. I just feels awkward and uncomfortable, espcially when the heated wheel is on and the ring is cold. Normal stitching would have been better.
It’s a minivan, what do you expect? I have read, however, that this van has the same skidpad G forces as the original M3. It handles quite well, even while not being exciting. The ride is fantastic and makes this vehicle one of the best road trip cars around. The engine can be a little coarse, but makes a decent noise at higher RPM and has more than enough power. I have no complaints about the 9-speed, which I think is the best compliment you can give a transmission. I had a lifetime average of 24.73 MPG, with a best tank of 28 MPG.
The technology in this car is probably the best part. Power folding 3rd row, power stow-n-go front seats, making using the stow-n-go easier than ever, radar cruise control, rear entertainment system, 3 pane panoramic sunroof, 8.4 capacitive touch screen with nav, 360 camera system, uConnect access (able to remote start and unlock from smartphone), HID headlamps, auto high beams, a USB charging port for every passenger, and so much more. Oh, and I can’t forget the vacuum, which works as advertised. The highlight of all the tech has to be the radar cruise control. I do a lot of driving, so having the radar cruise control was a life saver. It worked best on the open highway, where it could adjust speed to the vehicle in front. It also worked great in stop and go traffic, only requiring a button press if the car sat more than 3 seconds. I couldn’t recommend this option enough for anybody who drives a lot.
I like minivans. I prefer an exciting car, but I appreciate the minivan. Power sliding doors are a magical innovation, as is all the other tech packed into this car. For anyone looking to move a family around or for someone who regularly hauls 4-7 passengers, I don’t know why anybody would consider anything other than this minivan. I happen to love the Durango as well, but for sheer practicality, this van can’t be beat.