Chrysler ru minivan

dashboardThis is probably the biggest change in Chrysler minivans since their 1983 launch. The Pacifica has the first name Chrysler minivan name change, with:

  • 250 pounds of weight reduction, coupled with greater body strength, for better economy and acceleration
  • Better handling, ride, and noise reduction; improved sliding doors with no-touch openers
  • The new plug-in hybrid is estimated at 30 miles on a charge, 80 MPGe city
  • Plusher and better equipped, even the base model; much nicer trim; but still carries a 4x8 plywood sheet
  • Dual 10” screens for the middle row, big screens up front.
  • Some options, such as HID headlights, are only available in top trim levels

Let’s dive right in! See...

rear doors
The interior — better doors, more gadgets and features, conveniences, and such
The engine and transmission, for both gasoline and hybrid minivans, with comparisons to Honda and Toyota
Losing weight, gaining strength; suspension, brakes, wheels and tires
Pricing, what you get with each model, dimensions and such, safety gizmos; and the rumors — what we got right and wrong, and what we don’t know yet
Minivan owner Jim Choate’s impressions from the Chicago Auto Show

Styling

platinum tail and profileThe Pacifica’s wind-swept profile reflects underbody aero panels, aerodynamically tuned windshield wipers, and an optimized relationship between the front glass and the roof panel. The front uses the contemporary Chrysler face, with a flowing upper and lower grille that flow into the headlamps. A hood with character lines shingles over the upper grille for a clean appearance.

On the side, an A-line runs from front to rear, tracing downward into the rear fascia. A lower surface character line was designed to interact with ambient light. Once again, the sliding door tracks are hidden under the windows; the doors have a re-designed center hinge and shorter rail track (other door improvements aim at a longer and quieter life.)

The chrome greenhouse deliberately surround thins and thickens as it travels rearward. Sliding door track lines remain hidden. The roof blends into a rear spoiler, and liftgate glass is visually “tucked” into the D-pillars. Tail lamps on higher models use LED light pipes, for an even glow.

tailgateStitching is contrasting throughout the interior (higher models); extra-thin chrome surrounds are meant to be elegant. The glossy, high-contrast Uconnect touchscreen (five or 8.4 inches) is flush with the instrument panel. Upper trim levels get a stitched instrument panel. Backlighting is white for buttons and blue for the gauges; other control elements also use blue lighting.

In the rear, the HVAC controls are on the passenger side headliner after research showed that it was the optimal position if there is only one child in the second row.

Storage includes a large center console, with spaces designed to fit devices like an iPad. The bottom of the console bin is deeper than the floor for added space. There is also storage for an umbrella and sunglasses, and two bins in the rear cargo area that can each hold a gallon of milk. The backs of the front and rear seats have integrated grocery bag hooks.

cargo bagsThe Stow ‘n‘ Go floor bins provide storage when the seats are not stowed; the seats have been redesigned for added comfort and side support. Seats now fold smoothly forward into the tubs, a button on the B-pillar moves the front seat forward, out of the way, easing the process (it goes back automatically too). The tilting second-row seats ease access to the third row, even with an empty child seat installed in the second row.

The top of the line Limited has an integrated vacuum. Note: the Limited Platinum was announced early on, but was apparently subsumed into the Limited.

The Pacifica Hybrid has distinctive badging and a unique front grille pattern and wheel design, and can be purchased in exclusive Silver Teal paint. The black with “ice cave” accents and blue stitching / black piping interior is unique to it. The charging status light on the dash can be seen from outside.

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