12 Best Family Cars: 2019 Chrysler Pacifica
- Comfortable and easy to drive
- Flexible Stow ‘n Go seating
- Plug-in hybrid available
- Well-appointed interior
- Pricing starts at $28,390 (including $1,495 destination charge) | Price yours
- On sale now | See Pacifica models for sale near you
It’s been 35 years since Chrysler first introduced the minivan to the U.S. market and it hasn’t looked back since. Proof that the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica continues to look forward is evidenced not only by the name change from Town & Country to Pacifica, but also by offering class-leading technology in the form of the first, and only, plug-in hybrid for the segment.
The only old-school aspect of the Chrysler Pacifica is its adherence to the basic minivan mission of providing comfortable, safe and efficient transportation for the entire family. In fulfilling that role, Chrysler has brought a lot of resources to bear from the basic robustness of the mechanical package to the latest in infotainment and connectivity.
Fresh exterior, solid mechanicals
The styling on the Pacifica, which was introduced two years ago, remains fresh. Less boxy than the Town & Country it replaced, the Pacifica does a great job of blending form with function. The beltline is relatively low, which helps provide great visibility outside the vehicle, especially from the higher seating position that’s part and parcel of the minivan genre.
Power comes from Chrysler’s tried-and-true 3.6-liter V6, which makes 287 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, more than enough to make this people mover move along smartly. The front-drive Pacifica is also equipped with a 9-speed automatic that continues to get better with each passing model year when it comes to shift quality and responsiveness. Fuel economy is good for a vehicle that can accommodate up to 8 passengers, topping out at 28 mpg on the highway.
If fuel economy is a big concern, there’s the Pacifica Hybrid, which pairs two electric motors with the V6 engine to produce 260 horsepower of total system output. With silent, battery-only EV power for up to 33 miles, the Pacifica Hybrid is a breakthrough vehicle for the segment. It’s rated at 32 mpg with up to 84 MPGe. The only drawback is the lack of Stow n’ Go second row seating, but that’s compensated by the more comfortable padding on the removable captain’s chairs.
Behind the wheel
The higher seating position and large glass area gives a tremendous overview of the road ahead and traffic around you. The A-pillars are still a bit large and intrude somewhat on peripheral vision, but the standard SafetyTec package on all models includes both blind spot monitoring and parking sensors that makes driving and parking the Pacifica a breeze.
Whether you drive the standard van or the hybrid, there’s plenty of power from the powertrain. While the Hybrid isn’t quite as powerful as the standard V6 model, there’s ample instant torque from the electric motors to make up the difference when you mash down the pedal. Steering is direct, the suspension is well damped for a comfortable ride and there’s ample braking power for sure stops.
While some may struggle with the “mommymobile” perception of minivan ownership, it’s undisputed that the Pacifica's flexibility and capability makes it an ideal choice when it comes to transporting people and their things. The dual sliding doors provide easy access, the second-row bench or captain’s chairs slide forward to provide a direct path to rear bench. The Stow n’ Go seats fold into the floor providing a cavernous area that can accommodate up to 140.5 cubic feet of cargo.
On the infotainment front, Chrysler’s Uconnect touchscreen is simple and intuitive in operation and offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Other little touches that make this minivan ideal for family service are a hidden conversation mirror that allows the front passengers to keep tabs on those in the back and the optional on-board vacuum (pioneered by archrival Honda Odyssey) that takes some of the drudgery out of keeping the interior presentable.
Pricing, 5-year Cost to Own
The 2019 Chrysler Pacifica offers six trim levels priced from the base L at $26,985 up through the Limited at $44,445. The Hybrid models range from $39,995 to $45,545 for the fully loaded Limited. The Hybrid is also eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit.
The biggest expense in KBB’s 5-year Cost to Own calculation is depreciation at $17,148 over that 60 months. Overall, the per-mile cost for all expenses works out to 62 cents. It’s a bit higher than the Honda Odyssey, which benefits from higher resale value, but the new Pacifica is beginning to close the gap on its rival. With a lot of great content and a wide range of models at affordable price points, the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica has more than earned its spot on the list of Best Family Cars.
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