Wednesday, May 11, 2016

New Chrysler Pacifica

Chrysler has been one of the forefathers of the minivan category since the 20th century and with today's economic climate, as well as the rise of the crossovers, it seems that Chrysler is the only American car company in history to offer a minivan in the USA and now, they're redefining the nearly-extinct category with their brand new Pacifica.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

The Pacifica name is nothing new to Chrysler. Back in the mid-2000's, the Pacifica name was once used for their lackluster crossover. Now, Chrysler brought back the Pacifica name in an all-new minivan served as a replacement to the Town and Country. Seems that Chrysler really knows how they brought the Pacifica name back very well, knowing that minivans will soon uprise against the pointless crossovers.

Speaking of which, the new Pacifica is nothing more of a punishment for men who ended up marrying a woman, having kids, and stuck at the suburbs for the rest of their lives. Of course, since this is a minivan fit for all the nevers in life, life of being a workaholic dad is a bit of a harsh reality because being a dad means the cars you will be driving are nothing more than multipurposes. Sucks being a married man having kids and living in a suburbs, eh? Anyway, what's what about the Pacifica?

2017 Chrysler Pacifica interior
2017 Chrysler Pacifica interior

Even though the design is a major improvement from the lackluster but legendary Town & Country, the new Pacifica feels like if the Chrysler 200 has been enlarged, perhaps it's gone obese by fate. Inside, thanks to its all-new platform, getting in and out from the Pacifica gets even more generous than most minivans with difficult ways to get through the third-row seats. As a matter of fact, the third-row seating is much more rewarding than most minivans as long as someone ask you to seat in the back and hopefully you don't get stuck in the middle.

By surprise, the Pacifica has concessions of comfort and convenience that will keep you entertained during a long road trip. It even comes with a rear-seat entertainment system with built-in games, apps, USB video & HDMI inputs, and DVD/Blu-Ray player. As for sound, the Pacifica is available with a 20-speaker Harman Kardon Premium Sound System to deliver the best sound quality as you expect from a first-class flight. With so much stuff like these, the Pacifica makes passengers feel like they're on a first class flight. If you didn't consider this to be a family car, the Pacifica makes a perfect chauffeur-driven vehicle similar to Toyota's Alphard, Nissan's Elgrand, and Honda's Odyssey.

One feature that will surprise owners is the new Pacifica stole a certain idea from Ford and that is the one where the rear door can be opened hands-free with the lift of your foot, which is great if your hands are full. However, that hands-free opening isn't limited to the rear door because even sliding doors can join the ease of access bandwagon as well.

Because the Pacifica vows to be the most technologically-advanced minivan in the market, it's been festooned with numerous features available such as the 360-degree surround view camera, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, and so much more. That's a lot of thought goes into that.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

What about driving? Well, at launch, the Pacifica comes exclusively with a 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine which produces 287 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, while mated with the 948TE nine-speed automatic transmission, and it has an EPA-estimated fuel consumption of 28 MPG highway. Of course, that doesn't stop here because later on, there will be a PHEV variant called the Pacifica Hybrid, which promises up to 80 MPGe of fuel economy. Anyway, as for the dynamics, the new Pacifica feels as nice and cozy to drive as a family car and despite being a minivan, it handles and feels like a midsize saloon. Not too shabby huh, but don't think this is an enjoyable car to drive because being a family mover, the Pacifica is not made to thrash around for fun. This is as serious as a salaryman at work, even with the most clever suspension setup ever made for an American minivan.

Should you buy one? The Chrysler Pacifica starts at $28,595 and if I can think of a proper rival for this car, it would be a Kia Carnival, which starts at $26,400, so it's almost two thousand two hundred dollars more expensive to own but don't mind the pricing because the Pacifica is the first and the last of the American-made minivans to own and don't expect seeing one landing in other countries soon because unlike the old Town and Country, the new Pacifica will be exclusive to North America. So, if you ended up being married, had kids, and stuck in the suburbs, perhaps you may consider this minivan your eternal punishment...minus the eternal part.

Available colors: Velvet Red Pearl Coat, Granite Crystal Metallic Clear Coat, Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl Coat, Bright White Clear Coat, Molten Silver, Jazz Blue Pearl, Billet Silver Metallic Pearl Clear Coat, Tusk White Pearl Coat, and Dark Cordovan.

Photo: Chrysler Group, LLC

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