2008 Pacifica New Car Test Drive
The Chrysler Pacifica helped launch a trend known in the industry as crossover vehicles. Crossovers are designed to combine the best attributes of sport-utility vehicles, sedans, and minivans. The Pacifica drives more like a minivan than an SUV or sedan, but doesn’t have the sliding doors or uncool stigma of a minivan.
Pacifica has four sedan-like doors and the wide rear liftgate you'd expect on a sport-utility vehicle. Inside it's roomy and comfortable, whether upholstered in fabric or leather. Getting in and out is easy. It rides like a sedan and handles well for a vehicle of its heft, and it's more enjoyable to drive through suburbia than just about any truck-based SUV. On the highway, it's smooth and quiet.
The Pacifica line offers a range of models, from well-equipped to luxury-class with all the bells and whistles, and it's available with two or three rows of seating. The five-passenger base model has two bucket seats in front with a split folding bench in the second row that seats up to three. Six-passenger models swap the middle-row bench for two folding bucket seats, and add a 50/50 split bench in the rear. Either changes from people mover to cargo hauler in a matter of seconds, and in both cases maximum cargo capacity exceeds that of the typical mid-size SUV.
The Pacifica earned outstanding scores in government crash tests. All-wheel drive is available, making it a good choice for snow country. Towing capacity is 2600 pounds, which is enough for personal watercraft, dirt bikes or camping trailers. It's stylish and handsome, and it doesn't fit easily in any particular mold.
After changes aimed at power and refinement for 2007, 2008 models are little changed. Base models are now called LX, and content is slightly altered model by model.
The 2008 Chrysler Pacifica is available in three trim levels, all of which offer front-wheel drive or full-time all-wheel drive. All come with a V6 engine and automatic transmission.
The base Pacifica LX FWD ($24,635) is powered by a 3.8-liter overhead-valve V6, delivering 200 horsepower and 235 lb-ft of torque through a four-speed automatic. All LX models seat five, with a three-place, folding second-row bench seat, and come with 17-inch steel wheels and hubcaps. Standard features include Chrysler’s Yes Essentials cloth upholstery that is stain and odor resistant, sunscreen glass, dual-zone temperature control, rear window wiper/washer, eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat, four-way adjustable front passenger seat, tilt steering column, power locks and windows, remote keyless entry, AM/FM stereo with CD player and six speakers, steering-wheel audio controls, multiple 12-volt power outlets, cruise control, alarm, roof rails, load-leveling rear suspension, and P235/65R17 all-season tires on steel wheels
The Pacifica AWD ($27,225) adds an engine and transmission upgrade and all-wheel drive. Its 4.0-liter overhead-cam V6 delivers 253 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, with a six-speed automatic. Chrysler's all-wheel drive system varies power delivery front to rear to maximize traction. It does not have low-range gearing.
Quick Order Package 29L for LX models ($1,945) includes leather upholstery, aluminum wheels, cargo net, heated front seats, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat and four-way power adjustable passenger seat, and a rear tonneau cover. An Entertainment Group ($860) adds rear DVD entertainment. Alloy wheels are available for $500, and a $335 Cargo Convenience Group adds a rear cargo net, a rear tonneau cover, and roof rail crossbars.
Touring FWD ($28,265) and Touring AWD ($30,310) get the 4.0 V6 and six-speed automatic. Touring models come with seating for six, in a 2/2/2 bucket-seat layout, and add more features. Standard equipment includes automatic dual-zone temperature control with cabin air filtration, 200-watt amplifier, Sirius satellite radio with one-year subscription, auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated outside mirrors, 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat, Vehicle Information Center, leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, HomeLink universal door opener, fog lamps, alloy wheels, and body color door handles.
A Signature Series Package for Touring ($4630) includes leather upholstery; a 385-watt amplifier; six-disc CD changer; Infinity Intermezzo surround sound with eight Infinity speakers and subwoofer; adjustable roof rail crossbars; auto-dimming driver side mirror; rear cargo net; heated exterior mirrors; heated front and second-row seats; ParkSense rear park assist system; power adjustable pedals; power liftgate; sunroof; memory for the stereo, driver seat, mirrors and pedals; tire pressure-monitor display; and P235/55R19 all-season tires on alloy wheels.
A GPS navigation system with rear backup camera is available for $1,995. A Comfort /Convenience Group ($555) has power adjustable pedals, auto-dimming driver’s side mirror, and memory for the driver seat, mirrors, pedals, and audio. Other options include leather upholstery ($1,400), ParkView rear camera with Parksense ($595); P235/55R19 all-season tires on chromed alloy wheels ($1,150), sunroof ($895), 385-watt Infinity Intermezzo Surround Sound ($700) with eight Infinity speakers and subwoofer, power liftgate ($400), heated first- and second-row seats ($550), and UConnect hands-free cell phone link ($275).
The Pacifica Limited FWD ($34,150) and Limited AWD ($36,195) are the luxury models. They feature the 2/2/2 seating and nearly all the amenities, including leather seats with position memory for the driver, heated front and second-row seats, 6CD changer, auto-dimming driver’s side mirror, sunroof, wood and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, power ad.