The Chrysler Pacifica is a minivan, a multipurpose vehicle with room for as many as eight. Introduced in 2017, the Pacifica is available in gas and hybrid versions. Although the segment is a fraction of its previous self, Chrysler continues to dominate with a model that is stylish, very roomy, versatile, and comfortable.
Chrysler Pacifica Overview
Now in its seventh year, the Chrysler Pacifica is a clear departure from the previous Chrysler Town & Country. From the onset, the Pacifica has been available in gas and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle versions.
In 2020, its fourth year, the Pacifica gained an all-wheel-drive option for the gas model. For 2021, the Pacifica earned updated interior and exterior styling. A new infotainment system was rolled out and the list of standard driver-assist safety features expanded.
This Chrysler has three direct competitors — Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, and the Kia Carnival. Moreover, any three-row utility vehicle is also a competitor and includes such models as the Ford Explorer, Nissan Pathfinder, and the Volkswagen Atlas.
Four Trim Levels
Chrysler offers the Pacifica in four grade levels. These are the Touring ($37,095), Touring L ($41,098), Limited ($49,172), and Pinnacle ($54,167). Except for the first grade, the Pacifica is available in all-wheel drive, a $2,750 upgrade. Add $1,595 for the destination charge.
Choose the Chrysler Pacifica e-Hybrid, and this model comes in three grade levels. These are the Touring L ($48,478), Limited ($54,422), and Pinnacle ($58,172). Eligible shoppers will find a $7,500 federal tax credit, funds that do not lower the out-the-door cost but may defray their tax burden.
Chrysler lent us a 2022 Pacifica Hybrid Limited S Appearance model for one week in October. Even without the Pinnacle grade, the cost came to $59,407. That’s the most we’ve seen for any minivan model by far.
Among the upgrades was an S Appearance Package ($995). This one brings in customized 18-inch wheels, exterior upgrades and badging, and front Nappa leather bucket seats with the “S” logo. However, the most significant upgrade – at least from a cost perspective – is the $2,395 Uconnect Theater family group. This bundle combines two seatback video screens, Amazon Fire TV, a 115-volt outlet, and rear window sunshades.
Two Powertrain Choices
As before, the 2023 Chrysler Pacifica comes with two powertrain combinations.
First, we have a 3.6-liter V6 engine paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission. This engine makes 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is available.
The gas model makes an EPA-estimated 19/28/22 mpg city/highway/combined with front-wheel drive. Choose all-wheel drive and this one earns 17/25/29 mpg
Second, Chrysler offers the same 3.6-liter V6 engine along with a continuously variable transmission and a hybrid battery system. With standard front-wheel drive, this model delivers 260 horsepower. It also boasts an all-electric range of 32 miles.
The hybrid earns a combined 30 mpg. This number combined gas, electric, or some combination of the two to reach this number. Connections to a Level 2 public charging port result in a full charge in about 2.5 hours.
There are features common to every Pacifica, while certain amenities are grade or package-specific. To that end, we’ll examine what each one offers.
The standard Touring grade comes well-equipped. It has LED headlamps and fog lamps, LED tail lamps, a power liftgate, power sliding doors, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Inside, this model seats seven. It comes with second-row Stow ‘n Go bucket seats and a third-row Stow ‘n Go split-bench seat. The seats are wrapped in cloth and include manually adjusted front seats. Other interior highlights include heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, three-zone automatic climate control, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and numerous storage compartments.
On the tech front, Chrysler equips this model with a 6-speaker audio system. The package includes a trial satellite radio subscription, multiple USB ports, Bluetooth, and smartphone integration. A 10.1-inch touchscreen display is included.
Chrysler offers a generous standard package of driver assist technologies. These features include automatic high-beam LED lights, automatic emergency braking, and full-speed forward collision warning. Adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross path detection is also standard. Rain-sensing windshield wipers and rear park assist with full stop are included.
The Touring L has the distinction of being the first Pacifica grade where all-wheel drive is available. It is also the inaugural grade for the hybrid.
This model includes a power driver’s seat with memory, second- and third-row window sunshades, leather-trimmed seats, and an expanded console compartment with illuminated coffee cups. Front and rear park assist with full stop along with parallel and perpendicular park assist with stop are standard.
The Limited grade pushes the Pacifica into premium territory. This model features brightwork body side trim, power-folding exterior mirrors, hands-free sliding doors, a hands-free liftgate, and a dual-pane panoramic sunroof.
Inside shoppers will find footwell lighting, heated second-row seats, ventilated front seats, a power-folding third-row seat, and Nappa leather-trimmed seats. Navigation and a 19-speaker (20 speakers in the hybrid) Harman Kardon audio system are included.
Unique 20-inch cast aluminum wheels and bright front-door sill scuff pads grace the Pacifica Pinnacle model. Platinum chrome bodyside molding and chrome side roof rails with integrated crossbars are included. This grade also includes the trailer tow group with its 3,600-pound towing capacity.
Inside, the Pinnacle includes second-row captain’s chairs with pillows, a suede headliner, and high-end floor mats. A rear-facing camera, a Uconnect Theater with Streaming, and built-in Amazon Fire TV complete the amenities list.
On the Road
We’ve driven the Pacifica in gas and hybrid configurations each. There are differences in the way that the two models perform with the gas version delivering more kick than the hybrid. Indeed, the hybrid is tuned for efficiency, tapping the battery pack as much as possible before the gas engine kicks in. Even under hard acceleration when the V6 and the electric motor are working jointly, the system is still slanted towards efficiency.
One of the more significant differences between the two models is the way that power is transmitted to the wheels. The gas version utilizes a 9-speed automatic transmission, while the hybrid relies on an electronic continuously variable transmission. The automatic serves up cogs rather evenly. The CVT, though, gets the job done and the transition from gas to electric and back again.
We applaud the Pacifica for delivering decent off-the-mark acceleration and robust passing power. Or at least the latter without a full contingent of passengers or something to pull. Note: we haven’t done so with either, but we can imagine that the engine works hard to get it done. The steering isn’t exciting – remember, this is a minivan – and the Pacifica tends to wallow on twisty roads. How about when cornering? Take it easy there – your passengers will be glad that they’re not being thrown about the cabin.
Although not technically a high-profile vehicle, the Pacifica offers commanding views of the road. The driver sits high, enjoys excellent forward vision, and provided the Pacifica isn’t packed, the side sight lines and the rear view are quite decent. Still, the judicious use of mirrors and the available surround-view camera system ensures an expanded view of the vehicle and its surroundings.
The Chrysler Pacifica does not come cheap, but it does come packed with amenities. The high starting price for the PHEV might dissuade some shoppers. But with a federal tax credit to bear the cost is more palatable. Furthermore, the electric-only range is appealing and will reduce trips to the pump considerably. We recommend the Touring L Hybrid for this model line.
2022 Chrysler Pacifica Specifications
|Segment||Minivan (Multi-Purpose Vehicle)|
|Price Range||$37,800 to $59,407|
|Engine No. 1||3.6-liter, V6|
|Horsepower||287 @ 6,400 rpm|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||262 @ 4,000 rpm|
|Engine No. 2||3.6-liter, V6 (PHEV)|
|Curb Weight (pounds)||4,521|
|Headroom (f,r…inches)||40.1, 39.6, 38.7|
|Legroom (f,r…inches)||41.1, 39.0, 36.5|
|Shoulder room (f,r…inches)||63.8, 63.0, 61.2|
|Hip room (f,r…inches)||59.0, 64.8, 49.5|
|Storage (bed length)||32.3/87.5/140.5|
|Gross vehicle weight (pounds)||6,055|
|Fuel Tank (gallons)||19|
|EPA Fuel MPG (city/highway/combined)||19/28/22 (FWD); 17/25/20 (AWD); 30 (Hybrid)|
|Manufacturing Plant||Ontario, Canada|
Specifications supplied by the manufacturer. Compiled by Tom Keegan.
See Also — Chrysler’s Versatile Pacifica Minivan
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