Review: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited – Part 2

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What you’re looking at is the 3.6l Pentastar V6 engine that drives the front wheels of the Chrysler Pacifica. It’s mated to a 9 speed transmission and puts out 287 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque which is a lot. Actually, it’s a bit too much as I spun the wheels a couple of times from a standing stop which forced the traction control to intervene. The upshot is that this amount of power allows you to tow up to 3600 pounds. A word about the 9 speed transmission. I’ve driven various FCA cars with this transmissions, and this is FCA’s best effort. It shifted extremely smoothly and without drama. I was very impressed with that. 

In terms of driving dynamics, the Pacifica is far more agile than any minivan has a right to be. It was easy to change lanes, park and navigate through traffic. The suspension is also quite good as well. It soaks up bumps very well and is firm enough where you could almost call the Pacifica sporty. What does let down the side a bit is the fact that the accelerator and brake pedal feel is artificial. It took me a bit to figure out how not to light up the tires off the line, and how much pressure to use on the brakes. The steering was a bit on the artificial side as well. But it does deliver enough feedback for you to figure out what the minivan is doing. One other thing, the Pacifica comes with active noise cancellation. Other than when you put your foot down to accelerate hard, you hear almost nothing inside the cabin.

The engine transmission combo delivers stellar fuel economy. As I type this, I am registering 11 L / 100 KMs. That’s outstanding for a minivan of this size and better than a lot of vehicles out there. It will be interesting to see if it stays that way during a week of driving.

In part three, I will be taking a look at the interior. Here’s a hint, it’s stellar. See why tomorrow.

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