The Chrysler Pacifica is the most anticipated minivan for a while, with futuristic styling and an abundant of features the Pacifica is sure to stand out from the rest. Back in 1984, Chrysler brought the minivan market to North America with the Caravan and a lot has changed since then. No more is the simple people mover, the Pacifica with its new name comes with a lot of points to make it more VIP lounge than soccer mom transportation.
Starting with the looks, the Pacifica is downright handsome. This amazingly good looking box is wider than the previous Town & Country. Styling is subjective but we believe it’s one of the best minivans in the market. The lines on the van just flow, from the corporate grille it flows to the sleek headlights flowing down the side arches into the base of the windows and whipping up at the end of the van. A strong shoulder line defines the side profile and incorporates the door handles within its styling. Out back is a pair of beautifully styled taillights that blends in nicely with the rear window. Comparing to the Odyssey or Sienna the Pacifica stands out with out being overly complicated.
Behind the wheel, the Pacifica is soft and plush. An excellent cruiser that’s great for any trips, short or long. Parking is made easy via around view cameras and to aid those that have a hard time parking, it also features park assist which allows the Pacifica to park in parallel or perpendicular spots by itself. While no one really looks at the minivan and asks for performance the Pacifica packs a healthy 3.6L Pentastar V6 pushing out 287 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. These figures are higher than its competitors and with the 9-speed auto controlled via rotary dial it’s easy to find a gear that will help the van cruise silently. And it does, interior noise is kept to a minimum giving the passengers a luxurious feel. However, it might sound up-scale it certainly does not feel that way. Some of the interior panels are made from lower quality plastics and they have a rough texture to them. In fact, most interior panels, including the rear sliding doors has some low-end touches. It seems like Chrysler put a lot of money into design and features of the vehicle and didn’t provide a sufficient budget for the interior materials department. Sitting inside the Pacifica is beautiful, the dash has a dual-tone leather surface with visible stitching. It’s a nicely crafted interior with our tester we got the mocha brown leather option which isn’t for everyone but it’s a nice change from the usual black leather on black dash we see. The steering wheel is beefy with 23 dedicated buttons to change anything from radio station to ending a call and to add to comfort it’s also heated, perfect for those Vancouver winters. Looking over the centre stack is slightly angled towards the driver to make reaching the touch screen a bit easier. The display is nice and responsive, the Uconnect hasn’t changed too much and the menus are easy to navigate however voice recognition is still not a strong suit. Sadly the Pacifica does not feature Apple’s Carplay or Android Auto, but throughout the vehicle, there are 5 USB ports to charge your devices.
Comfort is a key here, the front buckets feature heated and cooled seats and as for the passengers, there are some great features for them as well. The 2nd row incorporates the Stow-N-Go system with one handle the seat can fold flat into the floor. Because of this, the 2nd row does not have any fore and aft movement which can cause reaching the screens that are mounted behind the front row a little difficult. But to keep them happy the 2nd row is heated and all three rows have access to the sky with a panoramic sunroof that stretches over all three rows with only a small break between the 2nd and 3rd row. As for the 3rd-row passengers they have powered backrest. If the 3rd row is not needed on the of the cargo area there’s a control panel where with a press of a button the 3rd row can neatly be stowed.
Overall we believe the Pacifica is a winner, it has a lot of features that are just not available in other minivans. A strong powertrain and an able to tow up to 3500lbs so bringing the camper or boat is totally possible on your next adventure. While it’s good looks will distinguish you from the rest the Pacifica will surely get you there safely and comfortably.
Words and photos by: Jimmy Mak
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