2004 Pacifica New Car Test Drive
Chrysler has introduced an all-new vehicle for 2004 called the Pacifica. Pacifica is not a minivan. It's not an SUV nor is it a station wagon. Chrysler is calling it a 'sport tourer.' We don't know what to call it, other than terrific.
Pacifica combines the best elements of Chrysler's sporty sedans and pioneering minivans and borrows heavily from Mercedes-Benz to create an entirely new kind of six-seat family conveyance. Pacifica takes its name from Chrysler's Pacifica design studio in Southern California, where it was conceived several years ago.
Pacifica doesn't look like other crossovers. It's comfortable, easy to get in and out, and offers a large cargo capacity and three rows of seats. A 250-horsepower V6 from the sporty Chrysler 300M sedan delivers plenty of thrust and the automatic shifts smoothly. On the road, Pacifica is smooth and quiet, with a rear suspension that comes from a Mercedes E-Class sedan. Available all-wheel drive provides all-weather traction and handling. The ride is smooth and supple and the four-wheel antilock disc brakes do a good job of bringing Pacifica to a smooth and undramatic stop.
All Pacifica models use the same powertrain: Chrysler's 3.5-liter V6 engine rated at the 250 horsepower. Pacifica comes with a four-speed automatic and is available with a computer-controlled all-wheel-drive system.
The 2004 Chrysler Pacifica will be available in three models: There's a front-drive version ($31,230), and a fully loaded all-wheel-drive version ($32,980). A budget model will be offered later in the year (expected to retail below $30,000).
The list of standard equipment even on the basic front-drive model is quite substantial, from all the usual power assists to a tilt wheel, power pedals with memory, a universal garage door opener, a total of four 12-volt outlets around the cabin, and a lot of other family amenities that buyers will like.
The option list includes leather trim, heated first- and second-row seats, a 385-watt Infinity Intermezzo sound system with eight speakers ($700); Chrysler's new Uconnect wireless hands-free communication system with Bluetooth technology ($275); a navigation system ($1595); a DVD video rear-seat entertainment system ($1070); CD/DVD changer ($395); Sirius satellite radio ($35 plus $11.95 per month for the service); high-intensity discharge headlamps ($500); a huge power sunroof ($895); a cargo convenience package, and 17-inch chrome six-spoke alloy wheels. An optional power liftgate ($400) is available that should be very popular.