New & Used Chrysler Pacifica: In Depth
The Chrysler Pacifica is a minivan, with three rows of seating and V-6 and Hybrid variants. It’s being reintroduced as a nameplate for the 2017 model year, replacing the Town & Country badge on minivans.
Today it competes with other larger U.S.-market minivans such as the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Nissan Quest, and Kia Sedona.
The Pacifica nameplate was previously used for a mid-size crossover utility vehicle that was sold from the 2004 through 2008 model years; and prior to that Pacifica had been used as a trim level or appearance package on some Chrysler and Dodge vehicles.
MORE: Read our 2017 Chrysler Pacifica preview
As for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, which will arrive beginning in spring of 2016, it follows up on the Town & Country with a new emphasis on styling and design, more interior technology, some evolution in Chrysler’s always-segment-leading seating arrangements, and a newly available Hybrid model that’s actually a plug-in hybrid good for up to 30 miles of all-electric driving.
That Hybrid includes a 16-kWh battery, packaged under the floor, and a two-motor hybrid system capable of delivering up to 80 MPGe in city driving. Meanwhile, the rest of the lineup comes with a 287-hp version of the company’s Pentastar V-6, and a nine-speed automatic transmission.
The design of the Pacifica is a good deal more flamboyant than Chrysler minvans of the recent past—and for the most part that’s due to some heavy sculpting of the surface sheetmetal, which is no longer flat and slab-sided but quite expressive.
Packaging highlights of the new Pacifica includea new Stow ‘n’ Go Assist feature that allows seat folding with the press of a single button, shimmying the front seat forward to allow it and back in place when complete. The second row also features an Easy Tilt feature to get to the third row easily—even when there’s a child seat in the second row.
The new Pacifica includes a new Uconnect Theater rear-seat entertainment system, an 8.4-inch Uconnect touch-screen system, including navigation, voice command, and Uconnect Access information streams, and an available integrated vacuum system.
The 2004-2008 Chrysler Pacifica
The previous Pacifica, the one from the last decade, was conceived to go up against the likes of the Lexus RX, but with seating for up to six it delivered a more useful, versatile interior than most other models with which you might compare it. The Pacifica established a strong reputation for interior space and safety—and it had probably the nicest interior appointments of any Chrysler vehicle from the past decade—but never failed to satisfy in refinement or fuel economy. It was also subject to some mismanaged marketing, a price that critics said was too high.
Early model years of the Pacifica had a 200-hp, 3.8-liter V-6, while a 253-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 was subbed in for 2007. Both were paired to a four-speed automatic, and fuel economy ratings were just 14/22 mpg with the bigger engine and all-wheel drive. Front- and all-wheel-drive versions were offered, and for the most part the Pacifica had a great combination of all-weather traction. a comfortable ride, and responsive handling.
Top trims of the later model years included a rearview camera system, and the Pacifica offered a rear entertainment system, Infinity premium sound, and Bluetooth connectivity.