Miles driven: 289
Fuel used: 15.0 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 19.3 mpg
Driving mix: 45% city, 55% highway
|CG Report Card|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Room and Comfort||A|
|Power and Performance||A-|
|Fit and Finish||B+|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 19/28/22 (city/highway/combined)
Base price: $43,695 (not including $1095 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Customer Preferred Package 27P ($2690), Tire and Wheel Group ($995), Advanced Safety Tec Group ($995), KeySense ($195)
Price as tested: $49,665
The great: Outstanding passenger and cargo versatility of Stow ‘n Go seats, satisfying acceleration
The good: Lengthy list of coddling comfort and convenience features
The not so good: Transmission behavior sometimes feels clunky
It’s got a name that sounds like it might have come from one of the great cross-country passenger trains of the last century, and, frankly, you might think the only thing the Chrysler Pacifica Limited minivan is missing is a sleeper berth.
Available with gas or hybrid gas/electric power, the well-equipped Limited sits at the top of the expanded 2018 Pacifica pecking order. Versatile passenger seating and cargo management (particularly the Stow ‘n Go seats), ride and handling balance, cabin quiet, and stylish looks have made Pacifica the Consumer Guide® Automotive “Best Buy” selection in the class.
The Limited checks in at a base price of $43,695. (Add another $1300 for the hybrid.) Standard equipment starts with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic high-intensity-discharge headlamps, LED fog lamps and taillights, heated power exterior mirrors, hands-free power liftgate and sliding doors, leather seats (heated and ventilated in front; heated in the second row), heated steering wheel, trizone climate control, panoramic sunroof, active noise control, built-in vacuum, and power-folding third-row seats, Uconnect infotainment system with navigation, 13-speaker Alpine audio system, satellite radio, voice control, Bluetooth connectivity, and a USB hub. The SafetyTec Group, now standard on all Pacificas, includes rear parking sensors with automatic stop, blind-spot alert, and rear cross-traffic alert. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are newly built in as well.
Consumer Guide®’s test van went a bit further with extra-cost 20-inch wheels; a KeySense fob that enables setting limits on speed, audio volume, and other features; Advanced SafetyTec with the addition of front parking sensors, surround-view camera, parallel and perpendicular parking assist, adaptive cruise control, and more; and a Customer Preferred Package consisting of a Blu-ray/DVD player, video screens on the seat backs, 20 Harmon Kardon speakers, touchpad remote control, wireless headphones, USB and HDMI jacks for each screen, and other electronic-entertainment conveniences. (For ’18, the rear-seat entertainment system can stream from Android devices.) Outfitted this way, it was priced up to $49,665 with delivery.
Pacifica’s forte is the carrying of people and stuff. There’s plenty of leg- and headroom in the front and middle rows. Front seats provide a pleasing level of comfort. Stow ‘n Go second-row seats—twin individual seats are standard, with a removable center seat available—aren’t as plush, due to their need to fold flat into the floor. At least they do that quite easily. The Limited has “Stow ‘n Assist” buttons to power both front seats forward enough to permit the second-row seats to fold into their floor bins, then return the front seats to their original positions. When the middle seats are up, an “Easy Tilt” feature facilitates access to the third row, where the seats are legitimately adult friendly. With the middle and rear seats folded, the cavernous, flat-floored cargo area offers 140.5 cubic feet of load space.
Storage for personal items is handled up front by a good-size glove box, a tray that pulls out from the center stack, a wide “purse porch” on the floor, a covered bin and a pair of open cup holders on the consolette between the front seats, and two rows of pockets in the front doors. The longer lower ones incorporate bottle holders. Middle-row occupants are presented with a pouch on the back of each front seat that’s handy for holding the entertainment-system headphones. (A smaller pouch-upon-a-pouch is the receptacle for a system remote controller.) There’s a floor-level bottle holder in each sliding door. Cup holders and small open bins are molded into the sidewalls to serve third-row passengers.
Interior surfaces in the Limited have a premium look and feel to them. Speedometer and tachometer dials are ringed in distinctive blue “mood lighting,” but the gauge faces can be a little difficult to read. The central screen handles all audio settings. Climate selections can be input via the screen or manually set with a bank of controls below the screen. Windows are big for good driver vision to nearly any angle. However, if third-row headrests are in the up position, they are large enough to block the corners in the view through the rearview mirror.
The 3.6-liter V6 that powers all gas-engine Pacificas makes 287 horsepower, enough to move the van from a standing start with more than enough quiet confidence. Highway cruising is unlabored. A rotating dial on an angled platform protruding from the dash enables easy drive-gear selection of the 9-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission. The EPA rates the 2018 Pacifica at 19 mpg in city driving, 28 mpg on the highway, and 22 combined. This driver averaged just 16.9 mpg from a 170-mile stint divided evenly between city and expressway operation, but he fared better at 19.1 mpg in a slightly longer trip with more city driving when wheeling a 2017 Pacifica. The van steers easily, rides smoothly on most surfaces—even with the larger wheels—and stops promptly.
Abundant room for people and cargo, plus a high level of safety and convenience features are the things that draw in buyers of family vehicles. The ability to get those attributes and still come sliding in for less than $50,000 is what makes Chrysler’s minivan so worthwhile. All aboard!