The Chrysler Pacifica has been receiving quite a lot of attention at Car Nation Canada over the past few months. The reinvention of the minivan seems to have gone down well with those who want to haul the family around with a little style. Thankfully, Chrysler seems to have delivered exactly what buyers have been looking for if customer conversations with our staff are anything to go by.
The 2018 Chrysler Pacifica took what was a historically utilitarian vehicle and turned it into something great. It takes a lot to inject romance into what is essentially a van for people but that is exactly what has happened. The Pacifica isn’t just a vehicle for the school run. It is the opportunity to enjoy road trips, escapes to the country and the potential for taking your whole brood away on adventures in comfort.
Pacifica styling and practicality
The styling of the Pacifica is first class. There isn’t a great deal you can do with the shape while retaining the minivan practicality, but what has been done here has worked. The aero front, sloped hood, subtle lighting and flowing roof all combine with fluted panels to create a shape that looks as though it is moving while at rest. Handsome rather than awesome, but a triumph of form and function.
On the inside, there is enough room for eight in the three rows of seating. Rows two and three fold away to offer a cavernous space in back for hauling something other than people. For people, the seats are comfortable and supportive and would easily carry you through extended road trips or long journeys.
Nobody buys a minivan for its blistering performance off the lights but if you’re contemplating hauling a family of five across the country, you want to know that the vehicle is up to the job. The 2018 Chrysler Pacifica certainly is.
The newest 3.6-litre V6 engine delivers 287 hp through its nine speed automatic transmission. Good balance, relatively light weight and a well-designed platform ensures acceleration is smooth and the ride is comfortable without being harsh or too soft. I was initially surprised when I took a Pacifica out for a test. It was very comfortable and managed to smooth out rough roads without wallowing on the corners. A balance well struck I think.
Safety is of course a primary concern with new vehicle purchases. That is especially true when your entire family will be travelling in it. Chrysler have you covered there too. The U.S. NHTSA gave the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica five stars in safety and the IIHS gave it Top Safety Pick+.
All models come with disk brakes, reversing camera, blind sport monitoring and rear parking sensors. Optional extras include forward-collision alert with automatic braking, adaptive cruise control and surround-view cameras. You can also have park assist and lane departure warning should you require it.
The 2018 Chrysler Pacifica has raised the bar for minivans in a big way. It may seem a little overdramatic to say it has changed the minivan market forever but I genuinely think it has.