Since the mid-80s throughout the 90s and well into the 2000s, there is only one mode of transportation that is reliable when it calls for hauling the family, the minivan. These days though, the minivan market has a lot of competition; the SUVs and Crossovers are taking over the family vehicle market. However, one notable minivan is keeping up the fight, and still governing the market, the Chrysler Pacifica, an all-new minivan design to replace the ever-reliable Town & Country. It comes either in a gasoline version or a plug-in hybrid version. Overall, it's got a strong performance rating, an extensive list of tech and safety features, a new all-wheel-drive option, and amazing second and third-row seats that can be folded flat on the floor without difficulty to expand cargo space—making it especially handy during trips to the furniture store.
And who says a minivan can never look luxurious and sporty? With the Red S Appearance, an updated version of the 2019's S Appearance blacked-out look, the Limited trim gets upgraded with a 20-inch wheel, 19 for the hybrid, Advanced SafetyTec driver-assistance features, eight-passenger seating, and a 20-speaker audio system by Harman/Kardon with a Uconnect theater set up. No other minivan, SUV, or crossover in the market can match this style and comfort.
Engine and Performance
The standard Pacifica is powered by a 3.6 L Pentastar V6 engine, a revised version used on the 2019 model. It is offered in gasoline-only or a plug-in hybrid. The Pacifica Hybrid uses a 3.6 L Atkinson cycle V6 and two electric motors powered by a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery that can produce up to 260 hp. It is situated beneath the floor under the second-row seats, which unfortunately means that the hybrid version will not have the signature Stow ’n Go. Still, it has an all-electric range of 53 km or 33 mi, which will be great for fuel-conscious people, as it is expected to achieve 80 miles per gallon equivalent. The battery can be charged in two hours by plugging it to a standard 240-volt socket.
The Pentastar V6 isn't your regular minivan engine either; it produces 287 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque, and coupled with a 9-speed shiftable automatic transmission, it can go from 0 – 60 mile per hour in 7.3 seconds.
Interior and Comfort
The Pacifica can come as either a seven-seater or an eight-seater, and inside it is pretty comfortable, depending on the passenger size, that is. Looking at it from the front seats, this minivan seems huge, with spacious legroom and headroom, but it's a different story for the other rows of seats. However, adults, even those on the bigger side, can fit on the second-row seats, smaller adults can fit on the third-row seats, but it is better used by children. It is also easy to get in, thanks to the sliding rear passenger doors that open more than wide enough, which is also helpful and convenient when loading child seats. If you need more comfort on your seats these upgrades may come in handy, leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel, leather upholstery, power-adjustable passenger seats to match the standard power-adjust driver's seat, ventilated front seats, heated front seats, heated second-row seats, Stow ’n Go second and third-row seats.
The ride is comfortable enough, thanks to the amazing steering response. Bigger wheel sizes may tend to be a bit rougher, though. Visibility isn't an issue too, with clear lines of sight, big mirrors and massive windows, blind spots are virtually non-existent. If you still need more visibility, you can opt for the optional 360-degree surround-view camera to assist you with the standard rearview camera.
The Pacifica does not lack in tech either, it comes standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but you are hardly going to need those thanks to Chrysler's Uconnect, one of the most straightforward infotainment system out there, controls are easy enough to understand and use especially the lower portion of the screen where the main command are, plus they are position conveniently within arms reach of the driver, so managing it even without a navigator won't be a problem.
Besides Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, other standard features that come with the Pacifica is a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, and USB ports all connected to a six-speaker stereo audio system. If you want tech upgrades, you can opt for additional features like an 8.4-inch touch screen with a built-in GPS satellite navigation system, a WiFi hotspot, HD radio, an overhead DVD player, two 10-inch seatback touch screens for the rear rows, and for a more theaters feel, you can have all of these up to a 13-speaker Alpine or a 20-speaker Harman Kardon stereo audio system. Other optional features include a built-in vacuum that comes in handy, especially when you often have kids on board who loves to eat during trips, and also a dual or tri-plane sunroof for that added luxury feel.
Cargo and Storage
The standard 32.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third-row seats may not be class-leading, but it is not far from the leader, and it is actually a huge amount of space. And thanks to Chrysler's Stow ‘n Go feature that lets you stow the second row and third-row seats under the floor to maximize cargo space to give you 140.5 cubic feet, which is enough for about 50 carry-on suitcases. The cabin is also littered with cup holders, cubbies, magazine slots, small pockets and storage spaces for personal belongings like your smartphones, and the center console has enough storage space for some snacks and even large water bottles.
The Pacifica got a perfect five out of stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for overall safety rating. It got five stars for frontal crash tests and four stars for rollover tests. It also got the highest rating of Good in five of six crash tests from the insurance institute of Highway Safety. The sixth test was the passenger-side small overlap front crash test where it got a rating of Acceptable, the second-highest score possible. For the front crash prevention test, it got the top Superior rating, but that's when it was equipped with the Advanced SafetyTec package. Its headlights illumination capabilities got mixed ratings depending on the trim level, from Acceptable to poor.
The Pacifica also comes with a list of safety tech features and driver-assistance technology. As standard, it comes with a rearview camera and rear parking sensors to assist you when backing up, a rear cross-traffic alert which monitors your rear left and right sides to alert you when there is an oncoming car on either side and blind-spot monitoring system.
As options, you can add extra safety features like adaptive cruise control, which monitors the distance between you and the car right in front and automatically adjusts your speed to maintain a safe distance. A forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking system which warns you if the distance between you and the car driving in front of you is becoming too small, and if no action is done, the car automatically applies the brakes to maintain the ideal speed. Automatic high-beam headlights and rain-sensing windshield wipers to make sure you have enough visibility and illumination. A 360-degree surround-view parking camera system with front and rear parking sensors during times you need to park in tight spaces, or you can even let the car do the heavy lifting for you with the automatic parallel and perpendicular park assist.
The Pacifica is offered in the following four trim levels; Touring, Touring L, Touring L Plus, and Limited. Previous models used to have an L and LX trims, but Chrysler decided to split those into a new model line called the Voyager.
Chrysler Pacifica Touring Trim – Starting at $33,495, it comes standard with the Uconnect infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, an Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, six-speaker audio system, rear parking sensors with rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring system and a rearview camera. Inside, it comes with an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat with cloth upholstery for all seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, and remote. Also standard is a remote start, heated mirrors, power liftgate, and passenger-side sliding doors, fog lamps, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The Uconnect Theater with Wireless Streaming package upgrades your touch screen to an 8.4-inch touch screen and adds HD Radio, three more USB ports, and two 10-inch seatback touch screens for the rear all for $2,395. You can also add an overhead DVD player to complement your entertainment system for another $995, but adding this will make the sunroof option unavailable.
In case you live in the colder parts of the world, you should opt for the $495 Cold Weather Group packages, which gives you a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, as well as heated front seats.
Chrysler Pacifica Touring L Trim – Starting at $36,745 adds the entire content of the Cold Weather group package as well as hooks for grocery bags on the third-row seat backs, and perforated leather seats. All the options from the base Touring trims are all available for this trim except for the Uconnect Theater package; instead it the Premium Audio Group for $895 is available, this package includes the 8.4-inch touch screen with a 13-speaker Alpine audio system, two charging ports each for the second and third-row seats and also a front passenger power-adjustable seat.
Chrysler Pacifica Touring L Plus Trim – Starting at $39,545, this trim comes standard with a 7-inch configurable driver information display beside the 8.4-inch touch screen with a built-in GPS satellite navigation system. Also standard is a WiFi hotspot, HD Radio, Alpine's 13-speaker audio system, heated second-row seats, and the entire contents of the Uconnect Theater with Wireless Streaming Package, which would be more impressive with the $695 20-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. For another $795, you can get a hands-free liftgate and power-sliding doors.
Chrysler Pacifica Limited Trim – At $44,445, the top of the line Pacifica trim comes with Nappa leather upholstery, a hands-free liftgate, and hands-free power-sliding door, ventilated front seats, a tri-plane sunroof and a handy built-in vacuum cleaner, convenient for cleaning those crumbs from your kid's snacks. Also standard for the Limited trim are, xenon headlights, LED fog lamps, power-folding and auto-dimming side mirrors, and 18-inch wheels.
Across all trim levels, a dual-pane panoramic sunroof for $1,295 is available, as well as the Advanced SafetyTec Package for $995 which include safety and driver assistance features to help you navigate parking easily like the 360-degree surround-view camera system, front and rear parking sensors and to let the car do most of the parking, the perpendicular and parallel parking assist system. And when driving, the following features keep you and your passengers safe on the road, an adaptive cruise control, a forward-collision warning system with automatic emergency braking, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and automatic high-beam headlights. For the two lower trims, Touring and Touring L, packages will also give you a 7-inch driver information display.
You can get the eight-passenger sitting on all trim levels for $595, but in the top-tier Limited trim, the eight-passenger sitting options come bundled with the dual-pane sunroof for $495.
To spice up the inside and outside of your Pacifica even more, the S Appearance package upgrades it with 18-inch (or an optional 20-inch) Black Noise Finish aluminum wheels, and the Red S Appearance package will give your Pacifica 20-inch black noise wheels, Rodeo black and red Nappa leather-trim seats, a unique badging with a red insert on the wing badge while the Red S badge on the rear, and the 35th Anniversary packages which include a wide array of exclusive features inside and out like McKinley and Nappa leather-trimmed seats with perforated inserts and Cranberry Wine accent stitching, Cranberry Wine accent stitching on the door trim panels and the steering wheel and the 35th Anniversary Logo embroidered on the front floor mats to name a few.