Chrysler Pacifica (minivan)

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Chrysler Pacifica
2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited, front 12.21.19.jpg
Overview
ManufacturerFCA US LLC (2016–2021)
Stellantis (2021–present)
Also calledChrysler Voyager (2020–present)[1]
Chrysler Grand Caravan (2021–present)[2]
Production2016–present
Model years2017–present
AssemblyWindsor, Ontario, Canada (Windsor Assembly)
DesignerIrina Zavatski,[3] Winnie Cheung[4] (interior)
Body and chassis
ClassMinivan
Layout
PlatformCompact US Wide
RelatedChrysler 200 (UF)
Powertrain
Engine3.6 L Pentastar V6 (gasoline)
Transmission9-speed 948TE automatic
e-CVT automatic (PHEV)[5]
Electric range33 miles (53 km) (EPA rated)
Plug-in charging16-kWh lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery
Dimensions
Wheelbase121.6 in (3,089 mm)
Length203.6 in (5,171 mm)
Width79.6 in (2,022 mm)
Height69.9–70.7 in (1,775–1,796 mm)
Curb weight
  • 4,330 lb (1,964 kg)
  • 4,987 lb (2,262 kg) (hybrid)
Chronology
PredecessorChrysler minivans (RT)
Chrysler Town & Country
Chrysler Pacifica (model name)

The Chrysler Pacifica is a minivan being produced by the Chrysler division of Stellantis. Despite sharing its name with a discontinued crossover, it is an all-new design replacing the Chrysler Town & Country.

The minivan is produced with two powertrains, a 3.6-liter gasoline powered engine and a plug-in hybrid, marketed as Pacifica Hybrid. The plug-in hybrid version has a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery that can propel the car up to 33 mi (53 km) on electric power alone. The gasoline-only version of the Pacifica minivan went on sale in mid-2016, while the plug-in hybrid version became available in early 2017.[6]

History[edit]

Side view

In June 2013, it was reported that Chrysler was preparing to produce a new generation of its Town & Country minivan at the Windsor Assembly Plant, with production set to begin in 2015 and a release for the 2017 model year. An industry analyst reported that the new version would possibly be a crossover utility vehicle in the vein of the Pacifica.[7]

In 2015, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne announced that it would invest $2 billion in developing a new minivan, and overhauling the Windsor Assembly Plant to facilitate its production.[8] A company roadmap revealed that a new Town & Country would begin production in February 2016 for the 2017 model year, and that the final-generation Dodge Grand Caravan would be maintained in parallel with the new Town & Country as a lower-cost option during the 2017 model year, after which it will be discontinued. Marchionne has been against "duplicate[d] investments" in product development—a strategy reflected by his reduction of badge-engineering between FCA US's domestic marques.[9][10][11] On November 3, 2015, FCA filed to have its trademark registration on the Pacifica brand renewed; FCA's Head of Passenger Car Brands Timothy Kuniskis denied that this was related to any new products, and that it was standard industry practice to continue renewing its trademarks because "you don't want to lose names. Establishing new names is expensive."[11]

The new vehicle debuted on January 11, 2016, at the 2016 North American International Auto Show. Rather than being named as the Town & Country, the new vehicle was branded as the Pacifica. The decision to drop the Town & Country brand was made primarily to distinguish the new vehicle from previous iterations; Director of Chrysler brand product marketing Bruce Velisek explained that the Pacifica was meant to "change the entire paradigm of what people know about minivans in the segment". Among its differences from the previous Town & Country is a new platform, and a design carrying a sportier appearance inspired by crossovers—a market segment that had cannibalized minivan sales—in an effort to disassociate the vehicle from other minivans with a boxier build.[12][13] Chrysler is also changing the minivan's sliding doors: they will be aluminum and hands-free, opening automatically when the fob holder waves under them.[14]

The starting price of the 2017 Pacifica was US$28,595.[15] This was US$1,400 less than the starting price of the 2016 Town & Country. The base model plug-in hybrid, called "Premium", started at US$41,995 and the high-end "Platinum" model started at US$44,995. Because the Pacifica Hybrid has a 16 kWh battery pack, it qualifies in the US for the full US$7,500 federal tax credit and also to other incentives at the state and local level.[16] In June 2017, Chrysler recalled 1,600 Pacificas to fix the electronics.[17]

Waymo Pacifica driverless minivan

The production of a plug-in hybrid version, which will be the first of its class in the United States, was, according to chief engineer Kevin Mets, meant to create an electric vehicle that could feasibly be a family's "primary vehicle".[18]

On November 7, 2017, Waymo announced that it had begun testing driverless cars without a safety driver at the driver position using the Pacifica plug-in.[19]

Chrysler Voyager[edit]

Starting with the 2020 model year, the low-end "L" and "LX" models have been separated from the Pacifica nameplate and are now sold under the Voyager nameplate in the United States. This marked the return of the Voyager nameplate to the Chrysler model lineup, in which it was last used in 2016, and the North American market, in which it was last used in 2003 in the U.S. and 2007 in Mexico. In addition to the L and LX trim levels, an "LXi" model is available to fleet customers.[1] In the 2021 model year, Canadian models started being sold under the Chrysler Grand Caravan nameplate with the L trim simply known as "base" and the LX trim adopting the SXT designation from the outgoing Dodge Grand Caravan.[2] This marked the return of the "Chrysler Grand Caravan" nameplate which was last used in 2007, primarily in South American markets.

2021 facelift[edit]

A restyled 2021 Chrysler Pacifica was introduced at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show in Chicago, Illinois. The 2021 model year Pacifica features new exterior styling and is now available with All Wheel Drive (AWD) for gasoline-powered models in addition to Front Wheel Drive (FWD) (Pacifica Hybrid models will remain exclusively available with Front-Wheel Drive (FWD)). The new Pacifica is the first Fiat Chrysler Automobiles vehicle to feature the new Android-based Uconnect 5 infotainment system with a standard 10.1-inch high-resolution touchscreen display and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, as well as Amazon Alexa capabilities, as well as SiriusXM Satellite Radio and high-speed data connectivity. USB C high-speed data and charging ports are standard equipment, and TomTom-based GPS navigation will be optional. The "FamCam" rear camera system can display an image of rear passengers in place of a conversation mirror. A new Pinnacle trim level adds "Pinnacle" badging on the front doors, unique leather seat trim, quilted leather pillows for the second-row seats, and unique exterior styling cues.[20] The AWD option was made available in June 2020 for 2020 Touring-L models equipped with the AWD Launch Edition package.[21] The Pacifica is currently the only minivan in the North American market to feature a traditional AWD system as the fourth-generation Toyota Sienna has switched to the E-four system with the rear wheels driven electrically.[22]

Production[edit]

Production of the vehicle uses an all-new platform at the Windsor Plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.[23]

Powertrains[edit]

Charging port of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

The Pacifica uses a new revision of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, and will be produced with two powertrains, gasoline-only and plug-in hybrid, the latter marketed as Pacifica Hybrid. The plug-in hybrid version uses a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery, located under the floor under the second row of seats (the hybrid will not be available with the Stow'n'Go seating and vacuum), with an all-electric range of 33 mi (53 km)[24] before switching back to using the gasoline engine. The battery can be fully recharged in two hours using a 240-volt plug-in system.[citation needed] The gasoline-only version of the Pacifica minivan went on sale in mid-2016; the plug-in hybrid version, in 2017. Chrysler expected the plug-in hybrid model to achieve a fuel economy of at least 80 miles per gallon equivalent,[8][18][25] but on December 1, 2016, the EPA announced the minivan achieved 84 MPGe.[24]

Fuel economy[edit]

The Pacifica Hybrid operating in hybrid mode has the highest fuel economy of any minivan available in the American market as of December 2016.[26] The following table presents the official EPA fuel economy ratings for both powertrain variants of the Chrysler Pacifica.

Fuel economy as rated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency[27]
(Fuel economy as displayed in the Monroney label)
Vehicle Model
year
Operating
mode
(AER)
EPA fuel economy ratings Notes
Combined City Highway
Chrysler Pacifica 2017 Gasoline
only
22 mpg 18 mpg 28 mpg
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid 2017 Electricity only
(33 mi)
84 mpg-e(1)
(40 kWh/100 mi)
During the first 33 mi uses some gasoline.
The actual all-electric range is between 0 and 33 mi.[27]
Gasoline only 32 mpg
Notes: (1) Conversion 1 gallon of gasoline=33.7 kW-hr.

Safety[edit]

NHTSA 2017 Chrysler Pacifica VAN FWD:[28]
Overall: 5/5 stars
Frontal Driver: 5/5 stars
Frontal Passenger: 5/5 stars
Side Driver: 5/5 stars
Side Passenger: 5/5 stars
Side Pole Driver: 5/5 stars
Rollover: 4/5 stars / 11.6%
IIHS 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Top Safety Pick+:[29]
Small overlap front (driver): Good*
Small overlap front (passenger): Acceptable*
Moderate overlap front Good
Side Good
Roof strength (2017–present models) Good
Head restraints & seats Good
* rating applies to models built after August 2016

Awards[edit]

As of December 2020, the Pacifica has earned 140 honors and industry accolades.[30] Among them:

  • "Best Minivan of 2016" by Cars.com [31]
  • 2017 "Best New Large Utility Vehicle" by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) [32]
  • "2017 North American Utility of the Year" by a panel of automotive experts [33]
  • 2017 Family Vehicle of the Year by the Midwest Automotive Media Association [34]
  • "2017 Drivers’ Choice Award for Best Minivan" from MotorWeek [35]
  • "2017 Crossover-SUV of the Year" by the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press [36]
  • "Top Minivan of 2017" by New York Daily News Autos Team [37]
  • Best Minivan by Popular Mechanics as part of its 2017 Automotive Excellence Awards [38]
  • 2020 Pacifica Hybrid: Top Consumer Rated Van/Minivans of 2020 by Kelly Blue Book [39]
  • 2020 Best Family Car by Parents magazine as the "Best Eco Pick" [40]
  • 2021 Consumer Guide Best Buy award (for the fifth year in a row) [41]
  • 2021 Pacifica won the 2020 CarBuzz Family Fun award [30]
  • 2021 shortlisted for the 2021 Car of the Year by Motor Trend [42]

Marketing[edit]

In April 2016, Chrysler launched a television advertising campaign for the Pacifica entitled "Dad Brand", featuring comedian Jim Gaffigan and his children.[43] In October 2016, Chrysler launched a social media-oriented campaign known as "PacifiKids", featuring videos in which unsuspecting families shopped for the vehicle at a dealership staffed entirely by children.[44] The Pacifica has also been used in cross-promotional campaigns for the films The Secret Life of Pets and Incredibles 2.[45][46]

Total sales[edit]

Calendar Year United States Canada Mexico
2016 62,366[47] 2,560[48] 208[49]
2017 118,274[50] 6,185 634[51]
2018 118,322[52] 5,999[53] 505
2019 97,705[54] 3,731[55] 465[56]
Total 396,667 18,475 1,812 416,954

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b "FCA US Media – Family Famous: 2021 Chrysler Grand Caravan Available Exclusively for Canada". media.fcanorthamerica.com. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
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