The Chrysler Corporation launched the first modern minivans in 1984, which effectively replaced the wagon as the family people mover of choice. Today, the minivan is superseded by crossover utility vehicles, but the segment soldiers on. The Chrysler Pacifica is the newest model in this versatile body style and is the only one with an available hybrid variant.
What’s New With the Chrysler Pacifica
Now in its third year, the 2019 Pacifica gains a special 35th Anniversary Edition, featuring an all-black interior, special wheels and trim, and standard eight-passenger seating. Other changes include content shuffling and package upgrades.
Chrysler offers the Pacifica in nine configurations, ranging from $28,730 for the L to $46,885 for the 35th Anniversary Limited edition. The Pacifica Hybrid comes in five trims with prices ranging from $41,740 to $47,985. Because it is a plug-in hybrid, most buyers may claim a $7,500 federal tax credit.
The Pacifica counts the Kia Sedona, Honda Odyssey, and the Toyota Sienna as its competitors.
Exterior & Interior Highlights
How do you differentiate minivan styles? Clearly, you don’t have a lot to work with. Minivans have a common layout with four doors, including a pair of rear sliding doors. A liftgate brings up the rear. For Chrysler, attractive styling elements, including LED lighting, chrome embellishments, and unique wheel designs offer distinction.
It’s inside where the Pacifica enjoys some important differences, especially with the seating. Gas models have two rows of “stow and go” seating, which are seats that fold flat into the floor. The second-row seat in the hybrid doesn’t fold flat as the floor underneath is where the battery pack resides. Only Chrysler can boast true foldaway seating, which comes in quite handy when taking your child to college or bringing home your yard sale finds.
The Pacifica’s seats are firm, but comfortable. If you can sacrifice one seating placement, choose the second-row captain’s chairs instead of the bench seat. The first two rows are ideal for adults; the third-row is more comfortable for children.
The dashboard is layered and comes covered in soft-touch materials with superior fit and finish. Chrysler paid a lot of attention to the details ranging from the stitching to piping and from the vents to the gauge layout. Cup holders, door pockets, and numerous storage compartments abound, which make this a truly family-friendly model.
Technology & Safety
Chrysler doesn’t disappoint in all things technology as the Pacifica comes with a six-speaker audio system, smartphone connectivity, USB ports for all three rows, Bluetooth, and a 7-inch touch-screen display. The list of upgrades includes 13-and 20-speaker premium audio systems, an 8.4-inch color display, and a DVD entertainment system.
Key safety features include rear parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring. Lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and emergency braking are bundled within an advanced safety package.
On the Road
Choose either the gas model or the hybrid and both come with a 3.6-liter V6. The hybrid adds a battery pack, which is replenished by plugging in. When fully charged, the Pacifica Hybrid delivers approximately 33 miles of electric range.
Regardless of configuration, the Pacifica supplies ample off-the-mark acceleration and passing power. The eight-speed transmission never hunts for gears and finds the right cog for the moment. Steering is weighted, this minivan’s handling offers decent feedback, but body roll is noticeable when pulling out of corners or when making a sharp turn. Credit Chrysler with supplying a comfortable ride and a quiet interior.
This model can also handle towing when properly equipped. Its 3,600-pound tow rating means pulling a camper or an off-road vehicle is possible.
If versatility is important to you, then the Chrysler Pacifica is worth considering. It checks all the marks on comfort, convenience, safety, and storage. The available hybrid adds a layer of efficiency, but it’ll cost you at least $40,000 to get one.
Photos copyright Stumpwater Media Group, LLC. All rights reserved.