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2008 Chrysler Pacifica

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2008 Chrysler Pacifica Review

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On paper, the 2008 Chrysler Pacifica seems like a good idea, but even though it has been credited with starting the crossover utility vehicle segment, it has not become the sales leader for which the company had hoped. Perhaps the Pacifica's combination of a low interior ceiling and high sticker price has failed to lure customers away from more traditional family vehicles such as the minivan and the SUV. While the Pacifica's long list of standard features and optional all-wheel drive (a feature no longer available on Chrysler minivans) are attractive, those who don't require a third-row seat need only look to the Dodge Magnum, which offers the same roomy wagon-like interior but delivers better performance and more eye-catching styling.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you like the look of a sport wagon and prefer something more upscale than a minivan, you should investigate the 2008 Chrysler Pacifica. Individual captain's-chair seating is a blessing for siblings who don't like to sit next to each other, and the long list of optional accessories should be enough to please everyone in the family.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for V8 power or the tall ceiling and overall interior space of a SUV or minivan, you best look elsewhere.

What's New for 2008

The base model is renamed the LX and 19-inch chrome wheels are now available on Touring models.

Driving the Pacifica
Driving Impressions

Even when negotiating the tightest of turns, the 2008 Chrysler Pacifica remains composed and stable. Body roll is minimal, and the rear end can seem as if it's stitched to...

... the pavement, refusing to break loose under all but the most aggressive maneuvers. The steering feel is light and responsive, with a good amount of positive feedback from the road and, even though the Pacifica rides on tall 17-inch tires, the turn-in is very quick, allowing you to perform emergency maneuvers with complete confidence. We think you'll find that the driving experience is impressive in the front-wheel-drive Pacifica and even better with all-wheel drive. The AutoStick manual function has been greatly improved, delivering much quicker response time when changing gears.

Navigation Screen
The Pacifica's speedometer-mounted navigation screen is much easier to read while driving than those that are placed elsewhere on the dash. The screen also serves as the rearview monitor display.

Heated Second-Row
Second-row captain's chairs are available with optional heating and are separated by a powered center console.

2008 Chrysler Pacifica Details
Interior

The Pacifica's interior shows how good an interior can be with the right material and design. Plastic trim has been kept to a minimum, and what plastic there is has a rich, high-quality feel. The base model offers seating for five, while all other trim levels provide three rows of captain's-chair seating. Seating comfort is excellent in all three rows, and the front and middle rows are available with optional heated seats. Standard side-curtain airbags cover every row, and the optional navigation system has a screen in the center of the speedometer dial---which is great for the driver, but doesn't work so well for erstwhile, and frustrated, navigators in the co-pilot's seat.

Exterior
2008 Chrysler Pacifica photo

The Pacifica's design is surprisingly reserved. There are no retro themes here. Instead, the styling is fresh and contemporary. The long side glass is deeply tinted for better privacy and provides excellent outward visibility for the driver. Big rear doors aid entry, as does the low step-in height. In 2007, the Pacifica received new sheetmetal around the hood, fenders, grille and headlamps, which carries over onto the 2008 model. Other exterior changes include new chrome wheels and dual chrome exhaust tips.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The Pacifica LX comes with front-wheel drive, dual-zone manual air conditioning, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), three-row side-curtain airbags, five-passenger seating, remote keyless entry, power windows, dual heated power mirrors, AM/FM stereo with CD, eight-way power driver's seat, rear wiper/washer, AutoStick transmission, tilt-wheel with touch controls and cruise control. The Touring trim adds seating for six, automatic air conditioning, garage-door opener, 10-way power driver's seat and aluminum wheels. Limited models include a power liftgate, driver's seat and mirror memory, power moonroof, rear park assist, power adjustable pedals, six-disc in-dash DVD/MP3/CD changer, leather seats, leather and wood steering wheel and 19-inch chrome wheels.

Optional Equipment

Options include all-wheel drive, heated front and rear seats, navigation, power moonroof, HID headlamps, rear-seat DVD player, Infinity Intermezzo 385-watt sound system with 5.1 Digital Surround Sound, power rear liftgate and a ten-way power driver's seat.

Under the Hood

The Pacifica offers two V6 engines, both strong enough to move the vehicle at a good clip. While the 3.8-liter engine remains a bit coarse for our taste, the new 4.0-liter V6 feels just fine. Strong power and a willingness to move when asked are this engine's best attributes, and it is even rated for slightly better fuel economy than the smaller, standard engine. The six-speed automatic works seamlessly and contributes to the good fuel economy.

3.8-liter V6
200 horsepower @ 5000 rpm
235 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22

4.0-liter V6
253 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
262 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23 (FWD), 14/22 (AWD)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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