At 20,986 miles, our long-term 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited still has the scent of a winner.
To be honest, it has an odor. The new-car smell has gone, replaced by much-loved used-car musk.
You know what we mean: the Chick Fil-A fry found under a seat, the carpet deodorizer left behind by a rush job at the car wash.
We've had our shiny-blue Pacifica since we named it our Best Car to Buy 2017, and we're not a little upset that its time with us is almost over. The timer on our year-long review runs out in February.
Can someone hit game reset?
Problem rate: zero (rounded down)
No major problems have surfaced since we took the keys and headed south. We've clocked just a minor foible or two as it prepares to make the one-way journey to Florida, just like a lot of people in its target demographic (this editor included).
No shade: Chrysler sells a lot of Pacificas to empty-nesters who're done with the ludicrous winters that blanket the North. It's their multi-purpose luxury car that's not too ostentatious, not too difficult to clamber into, not too difficult to reconfigure for any weekend activity they have in mind.
For the past few months, our Pacifica's tackled exactly that duty. It's moved our home, it's toted pets and sports gear. It's shuttled from Atlanta to New York, to Minneapolis and Denver, before what should have been a relaxing few months in Atlanta's usually mild winters.
Yes, about that. Four snowstorms in one season proved that the Pacifica's all-season tires and traction control are almost, but not quite, enough to handle what Atlanta's municipal road crews can't scrape away. If we thought we lived in Hakkapeliitta country, we'd have shod it properly.
Our Pacifica's also far from clean, at the moment. There's sidewalk salt in the passenger floor mat. The car wash hasn't even been open in a week. The wiper fluid is low, and so are the tire pressures. So is our patience with the cold, tbh.
We've had exactly one moment of concern during our temporary ownership. One night, as temperatures sank into the teens, the Pacifica's passenger window opened about six inches. It took an hour the next morning for the car to warm sufficiently, and to keep its front and rear glass clear. We suspected an electrical bug, but have not been able to repeat it since.
The Pacifica endured the winter, but its surround-view cameras really wanted a bath. Chrysler doesn't fit any self-cleaning hardware to the hemispherical and rearview cameras that generate the 360-degree view. Sometimes the camera system got cloaked in road grit, and proved useless.
On the scale of usefulness, we'd rate the in-car vacuum system pretty low. It's a great idea, but the vacuum doesn't have the power to draw out anything but smaller, looser particles from the tightly woven carpet. A huge spool of duct tape would be more useful, especially if you have pets.
Our gas mileage still hovers in the low 20-mpg range, the satellite radio still parks on Yacht Rock as it should, and the Pacifica's seat and steering wheel heaters still get toasty more quickly than any other winter test vehicles we sampled. We've learned to love the whole idea of remote start, and now laugh at German cars that refuse to adopt this lifesaving technology. (Lifesaving? If you're part reptile like we are, absolutely.)
And we're just not ready to let the Pacifica go. We'll check in a couple more times before we head to Miami. Maybe the weather will be great by then. The Pacifica deserves the sun, after all.