New 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Van/Minivan New 2018
Chrysler Pacifica Van/Minivan

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

Much like the first Chrysler minivan, the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica has reinvented the family-hauling genre, giving us a sportier, more luxurious and technologically advanced minivan that anyone would be proud to own. From its sleek, low-slung exterior to its ultra-luxurious dash and interior design, the Pacifica banishes all memories of the old Town & Country, and even makes newer minivans like the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey look outdated. Still present are Chrysler’s brilliant Stow ‘n Go stowable 2nd-row seats, joined by myriad high-tech features such as adaptive cruise control, an around-view camera and even a built-in vacuum cleaner (yeah, they stole that one from Honda). The Pacifica even tops the segment in fuel economy thanks to its class-exclusive hybrid model.

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You'll Like This Van/Minivan If...

If you’re looking for a family van with the styling chops of a sleek SUV, the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica is your best bet. Technologically advanced and earning strong marks for acceleration, ride and handling, this is not your father’s minivan. An available hybrid version delivers up to 33 miles of pollution-free clean electric driving.

You May Not Like This Van/Minivan If...

If you need the added grip of all-wheel drive, you’ll have to look to the Toyota Sienna. Price-conscious buyers will find they get more bang for the buck from the Kia Sedona, while those needing maximum interior room should look to the Honda Odyssey.

What's New for 2018

For 2018, the hybrid model gains a new Touring Plus trim, while a new lower-priced L trim is added to the gasoline version. New standard equipment includes ParkSense rear-park assist, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard, and a host of new packages and equipment joins the option sheet.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

With its standard 3.6-liter V6 being one of the most powerful engines in its class, the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica delivers an extremely satisfying on-road performance. The V6 is attached to an improved 9-speed automatic transmission that has been reworked to deliver maximum performance and fuel economy. On the open road, the Pacifica’s handling isn’t sporty, but it is competent, with a very comfortable ride, firm steering and excellent brakes. In sharp curves, the Pacifica will lean a bit, but not so much that it feels like a Slinky creeping down a set of stairs. The interior is remarkably quiet, not only devoid of excessive road and wind noise, but those annoying squeaks and rattles that often accompany minivan interiors. In these areas and more, Chrysler’s new Pacifica and Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid are way ahead of rivals like the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey, with the hybrid offering similar acceleration and an easily achievable 33 miles of electric-only range. Unlike the Honda and Toyota, however, the Pacifica’s long-term reliability and resale have yet to be determined.

Favorite Features

STOW 'N GO
Unique to the minivan world are Chrysler’s Stow ‘n Go 2nd-row seats. Where other minivans require you to manually remove and store the seats, the Pacifica’s fold flush into the floor. And, unlike the seats in the old Town & Country, the Pacifica’s seats are actually now comfortable on long trips.

PLUG-IN HYBRID POWERTRAIN
Unique to the minivan world, the Pacifica Hybrid offers 7-passenger seating and excellent fuel economy thanks to an advanced plug-in hybrid powertrain that can run up to 33 miles solely on electric power. With a combined mpg city/highway rating of 84 MPGe (32 mpg on gasoline only), it’s the most fuel-efficient minivan on the market.

Vehicle Details

Interior

The 2018 Chrysler Pacifica's interior design speaks for itself, as a quick glance at the pictures shows. What you don't see is the practicality. The comfortable front, 2nd-row and even 3rd-row seats can all handle adult frames. The Stow 'n Go 2nd -row seats are finally comfortable, and a removable center seat means there's 8-passenger seating. The power hatch opens quickly to showcase an enormous cargo well. Options include a massive Uconnect infotainment screen in front, and a panoramic roof that looks cool, but eliminates the center position in the second row due to the lack of an upper-seatbelt anchor. Total cargo volume of 140.5 cubic feet is slightly less than the segment-leading Honda Odyssey’s 148.5.

Exterior

The 2018 Chrysler Pacifica successfully borrows design cues we've seen on the Chrysler 200 midsize sedan. The headlights, grille and entire front end present a distinct and handsome face to the minivan world. In a way it's a throwback to the Chrysler vans of the 1990s and early 2000s, which boasted sleek, smooth lines. The elegant styling continues to the sides, where you can order wheels up to 20 inches across for a more dramatic look. The Pacifica Hybrid offers a unique color palette and wheels, a different grille design and, of course, the charge port on the front-left fender.

Notable Standard Equipment

While the new L trim is inexpensive, we’d recommend the LX that features a rearview camera, active grille shutters to aid fuel economy, heated outside mirrors, 17-inch aluminum wheels, 3-zone air conditioning, blind-spot monitoring, parking sensors and rear cross-traffic alert. Also standard are Stow 'n Go seating in the second row, and surprisingly, active noise cancellation. There's also a 7-inch touch-screen version of Uconnect that includes USB, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. All new Pacifica models come standard with the 3.6-liter V6 engine, 9-speed automatic, an electric parking brake, and keyless entry with push-button. The Pacifica Hybrid models start at the Touring Plus level and feature much of the same equipment as their gasoline counterparts.

Notable Optional Equipment

Power sliding doors, automatic climate control, bigger and better Uconnect systems with Wi-Fi, leather seating -- Nappa leather on the Limited -- and chrome exterior trim are all available at higher trim levels on the Pacifica. Option packages include a 20-speaker harman/kardon audio system for Touring-L Plus and Limited models, an Advanced SafetyTec group that includes lane-departure warning plus, forward-collision warning plus, adaptive cruise control, and a surround-view camera system, and the kid-occupying goodness of Uconnect Theater. Pacifica Hybrid models start at the Touring Plus and move up to Limited, which is mostly analogous to the gasoline-powered Limited, with a panoramic sunroof being the only stand-alone option.

Under the Hood

Standard Pacifica models get a 3.6-liter V6 engine and 9-speed automatic transmission powering the front wheels, with 287 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, making it one of the most powerful minivans you can buy. But fuel efficiency still matches the Honda Odyssey on the highway and in combined scores, and is just one mpg behind in the city. The engine is a gem, delivering smooth power across its rev range, and it even sounds good doing it. The 9-speed automatic shifts smoothly at cruise, going up and down hills, or at full throttle. Pacifica Hybrid models get a version of the same engine designed to run on a more fuel-friendly Atkinson-cycle engine plus two electric motors for a combined output of 260 horsepower.

3.6-liter V6
287 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
262 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28 mpg

3.6-liter V6/dual-electric motors, 16kWh battery
260 total system horsepower
EPA city/highway combined fuel economy: 32 mpg/84 MPGe
Battery-only range on a full charge: 33 miles

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Pricing Notes

The 2018 Chrysler Pacifica L starts competitively with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just over $28,000 including the $1,095 destination charge. The LX starts about $1,800 more, however we think the Touring is a better bet, thanks to power sliding doors and other features for around $33,300. The Pacifica Touring-L (around $36,600) and Touring-L Plus (around $39,800) add equipment like leather seats, and the Pacifica Limited (around $44,800) adds even more. The Pacifica Hybrid Touring Plus starts just under $44,000 and moves up from there, but note that the federal tax break knocks $7,500 off the hybrid’s price, making it a surprisingly good deal. Even though options can push the price of a Pacifica Limited to well over the $45,000 mark, it's still competitive against the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna and Kia Sedona. Be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying in your area. As far as holding its resale value goes, the Pacifica is a strong player, not quite up to the levels of the Odyssey or Sienna, but on par with the Nissan Quest and healthier than the rest of the pack.

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