Chrysler essentially created the minivan and with its sleek and modern Pacifica, it’s set to continue dominating sales in this segment.
The new Pacifica has been on sale for more than a year and despite borrowing a nameplate from a discontinued three-row Chrysler crossover, it is packed with a lot of innovative features and even has a plug-in hybrid version.
The 2018 model brought a few changes to some trim levels and it recently won a comparison at against the 2018 Honda Odyssey. Make sure to check out our full review of the Pacifica, but here’s a quick look at the pros and cons of this very impressive minivan.
ALSO SEE: 2018 Honda Odyssey vs 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Comparison Test
2018 Chrysler Pacifica Pros and Cons
Exciting Powertrain Options: A 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 paired to nine-speed automatic is used in all trim levels and sounds surprisingly good for a 4,500-pound vehicle intended to carry up to seven passengers. The V6’s 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque should be able to make those early morning school runs a breeze. The plug-in hybrid with a CVT offers an option for those who value fuel efficiency and although it pumps out a reduced 260 horsepower from its V6, integrated Atkinson cycle technology and a big battery cuts down on fuel consumption by a significant amount and allows you to drive up to 33 miles on electric power alone.
Unique Storage Solutions: Available in past iterations of the Chrysler minivan, the unique Stow N’ Go system that comes as standard in the Pacifica makes light work of storing both the second and third row of seats when extra utility is needed. The Pacifica lets all second and third-row seats, which can electronically stow at the touch of a button, to be neatly stowed under the floor. Other competitors in the segment require seats to be physically taken out and stored outside of the vehicle, a labor-intensive undertaking in the best of times.
Quiet as a Whisper: The Pacifica takes sound deadening to a whole new level because it is remarkably hushed inside. Road, wind, and engine noise rarely make themselves known at any speed and the only time any noise comes into play is when you get enthusiastic with the go pedal and the engine responds with a throaty growl.
Great Infotainment System: The UConnect interface is the best in the business due to its simplicity, ultra quick responses, and vivid menus. Either a 5.0-inch or 8.4-inch screen is available. Back seat passengers can be better entertained when the UConnect Theater package option is chosen. Individual 10.1-inch seatback-mounted touchscreens on the back of both front seats come with games to make long journeys less monotonous. There is even a unique app within the system that uses the car’s navigation system to give a play by play of destination arrival times.
Unpredictable Automatic Transmission: Despite providing smooth shifts in most driving conditions, the Pacifica’s nine-speed ZF transmission has difficulty downshifting through gears when called upon. Sometimes it acts quickly and other times, it takes more than a few beats to get to your desired speed. Luckily, the plug-in hybrid employs the use of a CVT that doesn’t mimic the unpredictable nature of the nine-speed.
Poor Resale Values: A major Achilles heel of the Chrysler brand, the Pacifica is burdened with depreciating at a much faster rate than all its rivals. Investing long-term in this vehicle will net you lesser value for your money in the long run compared to a Honda Odyssey or a Toyota Sienna.
Questionable Reliability: The Pacifica showed a respectable improvement on its reliability score in last year’s Consumer Reports reliability score report. In spite of that, it comes up short compared to rivals such as the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, which are significantly more reliable. On average, the Pacifica experiences more transmission and engine woes than the rest of its peers and really dents an owner’s confidence in its long-term prospects.