- Six-passenger seating
- Available features
- Five-star crash protection
- Poor city fuel economy
- Dated styling inside
- V-6 groan
The 2008 Chrysler Pacifica isn't long for this world, but still offers good interior seating and flexibility.
The Chrysler Pacifica pioneered the large crossover segment among American car companies -- but it's getting the axe after the 2008 model year.
A six-passenger vehicle derived from Chrysler's last-generation minivans, the 2008 Chrysler Pacifica still has its virtues. Mostly, they center on its roomy interior. Those six seats are comfortable and offer plenty of surrounding leg and head room. The driver seat has 10-way power adjustment; the second and third-row seats fold flat to create a huge cargo area.
Outside and in, the Chrysler Pacifica is a good-looking machine from many angles, but it's a little squat compared to the newest crossovers from Buick and Mazda. It has front-hinged doors, not the sliding doors of a minivan, so it's not quite as easy to clamber in and out as in, say, a Chrysler Town & Country. The interior has better finishes than the newest Chryslers, but it's beginning to look its age, too.
Chrysler's six-passenger crossover wagon received a new 4.0-liter V-6 rated at 253 horsepower last year; the base front-wheel-drive versions still get a smaller 3.8-liter, 200-horsepower V-6. The new 4.0-liter engine replaces the previous 3.5-liter engine and is teamed with a six-speed automatic. (Base V-6 versions get a four-speed automatic with AutoStick manual shift function.) We like the new transmission but both V-6s have a case of the groans. Fuel economy is 14/22 mpg with the bigger engine, while Buick's Enclave gets 16/22 mpg with a better-sounding engine and an extra seat inside.
Front- and all-wheel-drive versions are offered. The Pacifica's long, low, and wide package gives it a solid grip on the road with either. The suspension soaks up the road bumps, yet the driver maintains a clear sense of road feel.
Side air curtains and stability control are standard equipment on all models; a knee-blocker airbag is also standard, as is dual-zone air conditioning. Safety ratings for the 2008 Chrysler Pacifica are five stars for front and side impacts.
A rear back-up camera system is optional on Touring and Limited models, and a larger, eight-inch video screen has been incorporated into the available rear seat entertainment system. Heated seats, DVD navigation, and a premium Infinity Intermezzo surround sound with eight speakers and subwoofer are on the options list, along with Bluetooth.