2005 Pacifica New Car Test Drive
Chrysler says its Pacifica can't be binned into any existing automotive category. Indeed, the Chrysler Pacifica can't be neatly classified as a minivan, SUV, or station wagon. Chrysler calls it a sports tourer, claiming the Pacifica is a segment buster. We aren't exactly sure of what to call it, other than terrific. It does represent a new kind of six-seat family conveyance.
Pacifica combines the best elements of Chrysler's sporty sedans and pioneering minivans and enhances them with Mercedes-Benz engineering. Pacifica was introduced as a totally new vehicle for 2004. For 2005, the price of entry has dropped with the addition of a new entry model: the five-seat front-wheel-drive model is aggressively priced below $25,000 MSRP.
Pacifica doesn't look like other crossovers, a term usually applied to vehicles that blur the lines between car and sport utility. The Pacifica is roomy and comfortable, whether upholstered in fabric or leather, easy to get in to and out of. In its three-seat configuration, it offers 79.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity; new five-passenger Pacifica offers 92.7 cubic feet with the second-row seats folded.
A 210-horsepower V6 powers the five-passenger model. Touring and Limited models get a 250-horsepower V6 from the sporty Chrysler 300M sedan. On the road, Pacifica is smooth and quiet, with a rear suspension that comes from a Mercedes E-Class sedan. All-wheel drive is available, making the Pacifica a good choice for the snow country. The ride is smooth and supple, and the four-wheel antilock disc brakes do a good job of bringing Pacifica to a smooth stop.
All three Pacifica models have a V6 engine and four-speed automatic transmission. The five-passenger model gets a 210-horsepower 3.8-liter V6, while Touring and Limited are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine rated at the 250 horsepower. Computer-controlled all-wheel-drive is available on the base and Touring models and comes standard on the Limited.
The 2005 Chrysler Pacifica will be available in five models: the new, five-passenger with front-wheel drive ($24,315, not including $680 destination) and all-wheel drive ($27,295); the Touring with front-wheel drive ($27,570) and all-wheel drive ($30,370); and the Limited, with all-wheel drive ($36,315).
The list of standard equipment even on the basic front-drive model is quite substantial, from dual-zone air conditioning, to all the usual power assists, cruise control, a tilt wheel, eight-way power driver seat and four-way power front passenger seat, a total of four 12-volt outlets around the cabin, and a lot of other family amenities that buyers will like. The Touring and Limited add as standard equipment such conveniences as automatic, dual-zone air conditioning; a dash-mounted, analog clock; a programmable garage door opener; a mini-trip computer; and 10-way power driver's seat.
Options for Touring and/or Limited models include heated first- and second-row seats ($550); a 385-watt Infinity Intermezzo sound system with eight speakers ($700); Chrysler's Uconnect wireless hands-free communication system with Bluetooth technology ($275); a navigation system ($1,695); a DVD video rear-seat entertainment system ($990); CD/DVD changer ($555); Sirius satellite radio ($195), which includes the first 12 months of service; high-intensity discharge headlamps ($550); a huge power sunroof ($895); a cargo convenience package with cargo net, rear scuff pad, tonneau cover and adjustable roof rail cross bars ($335). Chrome 17-inch wheels are available for base ($400) and Touring ($750) models and chrome 19-inch wheels are available for Touring ($1,225) and Limited (no charge) models. The power liftgate that's standard on the Limited is optional on the Touring ($400), as is rear park assist ($285). Available on the Touring only is a full-size spare ($195). The base Pacifica offers an options package with an in-dash 6-disc CD/DVD changer, fog lamps, power liftgate, the AM/FM/cassette/CD with changer control and leather trim ($1895). Another package adds to above package: five supplemental side curtain airbags; automatic headlamps; memory settings for outside mirrors, stereo presets, driver seat and pedals; auto-dim driver and inside mirror; heated and fold-away outside mirrors; and heated front and second row seats ($2280).
Standard safety features comprise dual, multi-stage frontal airbags; driver-side inflatable knee bolster; three-point seatbelts at all seating positions and front seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters; and child safety seat anchors. Side curtain airbags are standard on the Limited and optional ($595) on the base and Touring. Traction control is available only on the Touring fwd ($175). Tire pressure monitoring system is standard on the Limited and optional ($70) on the Touring.
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