Chrysler Pacifica review and all you need to know about it

Hands on: Chrysler Pacifica review
Written by Autofot
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I’m looking forward to spending more time with a production model because Chrysler did a fantastic job modernizing the practical family workhorse with technology and features for both parents and kids.

Minivans are no longer hip. Crossover utility vehicles are now disregarded in favor of other modes of family transportation, but I don’t care. I’ll be honest: I adore minivans. I grew up in one, and I learned to drive in one.

I also purchased a minivan (a 2011 Volkswagen Routan) when I became a parent for the first time (2014 Mazda 6 6-speed). Consequently, I was enamored when Chrysler introduced the 2017 Pacifica at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) a few weeks ago in Detroit.

Chrysler trucked one of the launch vehicles to the 2017 Portland Auto Show, where I was able to get some hands-on time with it, even if I was unable to attend NAIAS. There is a nostalgic element to this car because it is practically the ultimate version of the Dodge Caravan my parents drove when I was a child.
You wouldn’t know the Pacifica is a minivan if you didn’t look at its folding doors. I’m reminded of the stylish Chrysler 200 sedan by the outside appearance, but in more usable wagon form. I enjoy how the sleek new style makes it appear more like a car.
informational system

You’ll understand why I’m so excited about the Pacifica once you step inside; it’s jam-packed with technology. A brand-new Chrysler Uconnect 8.4 system is in charge of handling entertainment tasks. This update to Uconnect Access 8.4 from many Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, RAM, and Maserati vehicles is a step up, but it falls short of the recently announced Uconnect with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support.

An improved user interface and a glossy, smooth capacitive touch screen are new to Uconnect for the Chrysler Pacifica. The quick-access icons at the bottom of the screen still have a 4:3 aspect ratio, but they are now customisable.

Any feature or shortcut that is listed under Apps can be added to the shortcut row by dragging and dropping it there. The Uconnect system’s performance is a little sluggish, but everything else is same.

My prior experience with Uconnect Access 8.4 in a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee indicated it was using a Texas Instruments (TI) OMAP-DM3730 – a single-core chip with 512MB of RAM. Although I was unable to establish the precise system-on-a-chip architecture used in the Pacifica’s Uconnect system. I’m thinking the TI chip is still in charge of this Pacifica because a Chrysler representative informed me that it employs the same hardware as Uconnect Access 8.4.

HD Radio, SiriusXM with time-shifting, and app support for Pandora, iHeartRadio, and other services are among the features of the Uconnect system in the Pacifica. The ability to use an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot is also supported. Chrysler still relies on Sprint’s network, which sadly has awful reception (in my experience).

Theater Uconnect

In order to keep kids entertained, rear seat entertainment (RSE) devices are falling behind tablets, portable game consoles, and smartphones. With two HD, 10-inch capacitive touch panels that pop up from the front seats, Chrysler is attempting to revamp the RSE. For those who have not yet switched to 100% digital distribution, the touch panels are powered by a Blu-ray player.
With built-in games and apps, Chrysler intends to increase the Uconnect Theater system’s parental appeal. Although the games aren’t as good as the most recent PC, Xbox One, or PS4 games, they do include some simple games like Sudoku, Bingo, Checkers, and – most crucially – Solitaire.

Each passenger can play what they wish on their own screen or compete against other passengers in multiplayer games thanks to the two screens’ autonomous operation. Chrysler offers an app to answer your children’s “Are we there yet?” query.

With a notification every 15 minutes, the Are We There Yet? app offers a kid-friendly animation that shows the amount of time left. Even if you don’t need turn-by-turn instructions, the front Uconnect 8.4 system requires that you select a location, but it is a tiny price to pay for peace and quiet.
I’m most thrilled that both screens have independent HDMI connections and USB charging connectors. Although it may sound incredibly nerdy, there are a ton of things you can do with the HDMI inputs. Intel Compute Stick, Chromecast, Raspberry Pi, and perhaps an old tablet or smartphone are some of the concepts that come to mind.

If it were up to me, I’d connect two Intel Compute Sticks to the Uconnect Theater system and, when my wife isn’t home, play kid-friendly ’90s games like Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon while my two kids compete for my attention over a few rounds of Unreal Tournament.

Driving Aids

For the Pacifica, Chrysler doesn’t skimp on driver aids either; you can get everything. Full-speed adaptive cruise control (ACC), lane keep assist (LKAS), park assist, a 360-degree Surround View camera, and forward collision warning are among the driver aids that are readily available. I was unable to try out the features because the car was on a platform on the show floor.

But I’ve tried some of these technologies out in a Chrysler 200 and they’ve shown to be reliable. Full-speed ACC from Chrysler seamlessly accelerates, brakes, and pauses the vehicle at a stop when required.
The LKAS system is an intervention system that, unlike the Mercedes-Benz S550, can only move the car back and forth between the two lane markers by applying a little amount of steering power. For the expected price point, it works as expected.

Both parallel and perpendicular parking are possible with Chrysler’s park assist. While I prefer to self-park smaller vehicles employing a 360-degree camera system, park help on such a large vehicle can be useful, particularly when parallel parking.

The drawback of most park assist systems is that you have to manually activate it by pressing a button, switch on your turn signal, then travel at or below 25 mph for it to control your gas and brakes and look for a parking spot.

Everyday usefulness

The practicality of minivans is one of its selling points. In order to provide the most cargo capacity possible without requiring any heavy lifting, Chrysler developed the Stow’n Go seating system in 2005. The Pacifica further improves the system.

The floor-mounted storage bins were still present in my Volkswagen Routan even though it was missing the fold-flat Stow’n Go seats. The fact that I couldn’t fully open the storage bins without manually sliding the front seats forward was my main gripe with them.
That was fixed by Chrysler for the Pacifica. Now, there are buttons on either side that can be pushed to fold the middle row into the floor or to move the front seat all the way forward for easy access to the storage bins. The seat is also returned to its original position with a second press of the button.

Additionally, the middle row’s redesigned outboard chairs have a neat new feature that allows you to lean them forward while maintaining your seat position. By eliminating the need to crawl through the car’s middle tunnel, this makes it simpler to access the third row.

For parents, this means that instead of making it impossible to access the third row with large car seats, you can still move the middle row seats out of the way with a car seat installed.

The standard hands-free trunk feature, which enables you to open the tailgate by waving your foot beneath the rear bumper while holding the keyfob in your pocket, is not all that Chrysler offers. With a swift sweep of your foot beneath the sliding doors, the hands-free sliding doors of the Pacifica open.
The hands-free trunk is a wonderful feature that saves you the hassle of fumbling for keys as a parent who has had to lug out an infant car seat with groceries.

Early decision

I have a soft spot in my heart for Chrysler minivans, but excitement for the new Pacifica has nothing to do with sentiment or nostalgia. The new hybrid powertrain is the reason I’m enthusiastic, even if I didn’t have a chance to drive it.

Chrysler estimates that the plug-in electric hybrid will have a range of up to 30 miles on pure electric power, with a 3.6-liter V6 providing backup for an 80 mpg rating when the battery runs low. This is a game-changer for big family haulers.

Despite the fact that my Volkswagen Routan’s fuel economy was in the teens and petrol costs were $4 per gallon, I loved it for its utility. The 2017 Pacifica’s 30 miles of electric range are sufficient for doing errands within the city, and its roomy gas engine makes it the ideal road trip vehicle.

Then there are the available driver aids and the entertainment system for the backseat. I’ve traveled through California on numerous occasions in both ACC-equipped and non-ACC vehicles. I’ve had to manually drive myself a few times and I’ve vowed never to do it again. I once made the trip in a car with ACC, and I found it to be enjoyable, less upsetting, and I actually wanted to do the trip again.

The Pacifica is a capable everyday driver and the ideal vehicle for road trips because to its ACC, LKAS, great fuel economy, and ample capacity. I’m eager to spend more time behind the wheel of the new Pacifica so I can host an in-car, traditional LAN party.

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Autofot is a website that blogs on the importance of taking good care of our automobiles. Little things that are ignored matter the most, hence we try to educate car owners and other different auto owners on how to go about taking care of their cars with little or no cost.

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