Last post on Jun 02, 2006 at 2:32 PM
You are in the Chrysler Pacifica
What is this discussion about?
Chrysler Pacifica, Saturn VUE, Car Buying, Wagon
#1 of 13 Chrysler Pacifica vs Saturn VUE
by pf_flyer HOST
Jul 16, 2006 (2:44 pm)
Comparison shopping the Pacifica and VUE? Share your opinions here.
#2 of 13 Pacifica vs. VUE
Feb 24, 2006 (9:23 pm)
OK, this may not sound like a typical comparison since these two vehicles are very different in size, shape, etc... But, when I first began the early stages of car comparing/shopping, these were the two that most interested me. I've since done quite a bit of online research and driven a number of other vehicles, mostly ones typically competing with the VUE, i.e. Mazda Tribute, Mercury Mariner, Kia Sorrento, etc... At this point I've basically returned to these original two as my finalists.
The wife drives a Saturn SL-2 which she likes and I have a good impression of Saturn's commitment to quality, safety, etc., and they generally seem like a good "bang-for-the-buck" choice. I am also impressed with VUE's gas mileage rating (even for the V6) and I like it's appearance.
The Pacifica, on the other hand, is quite a bit roomier and rides like a luxury sedan. My first impression of its appearance was, well, unique (for lack of a better word), but it's continued grown on me ever since. I've never owned a Chrysler product before, but a good friend of mine swears his '99 Sebring is the best car he's ever owned. Most of the Pacificas seem to be priced quite a bit higher than the VUE, but the salesman who let me test drive it led me to believe I could get a fairly basic one w/ leather interior in the $24-25K range and still take advantage of the 60 mo., 0% financing deal, of which I was pleasantly surprised.
At this point, I'm just looking for any comments from the gallery that might push me in one direction or the other. Thanks in advance!
#3 of 13 Re: Pacifica vs. VUE [ponggod]
Feb 25, 2006 (5:24 am)
First of all ponggod, I agree with your salesman that a Pacifica can be had for $25,000 with leather . I paid $25,300 for a new 2004 Pacifica w/leather and "26R package" that is a host of upgrades like seat memory, vehicle informatin center, adjustable pedals, 10 way drivers seat, etc....
I understand from these forums that 2005 and later Pacificas were offered in more trim levels than my 2004 was, ranging from "basic to loaded."
I recently sat in a Saturn VUE at the Houston Auto Show, and I feel I can at least make a few comments here......
Yes, the Pacifica is roomier, has a great ride, and I think the interior is very well done, with excellent ergonomics and a "sense of style" in the dashboard and lighting treatments that I have never grown tired of....
Mine has a third row seat which I rarely use, as we are a family of three. My 5 yr old son can get in and out of the Pacifica, it's easy with a booster seat, and storage and convenience items abound.
We go on camping and bicycle trips , and the Pacifica is an AWESOME highway cruiser, it is in it's element on the open road. I have installed a receiver trailer hitch and you can haul a lot of crap in a Pacifica, and we have....
I like the styling of the Pacifica, some don't , but Daimler/Chrysler deserves kudos for building something UNIQUE (using your word, ponggod), which seemed to be lacking as I test drove vehicles two years ago.....
I would buy another one, but the gas mileage is not outstanding, I get 17mpg in stop and go Houston with conservative driving habits . I have managed 22 mpg on the highway at 65mph with the a/c. I have had lower on the highway fully loaded with camping gear, roof box, etc. The Pacifica is heavy at 4400 lbs empty. That weight also helps in the safety/ride quality areas, and I cannot imagine a safer vehicle to be in, given Houston streets. My Pacifica even has a "drivers knee air bag" down under the dash somewhere! Not to mention side curtain air bags all three rows of seats.....
My wife was sort of suspicious of the Pacifica at first ("a Chrysler?"), but she now admits that it's a good vehicle. We are looking for something smaller to replace her aging '95 Lexus and that brought us to sitting in the Saturn VUE.
The Saturn VUE is a multipurpose vehicle like the Pacifica at a lower size/price point. It seems a little more "utilitarian" than the Pacifica without looking cheap. While the Pacifica is roomier and wider, I would say the Saturn is big for a small SUV, almost midsize in range.
In my opionion, I think both would be good choices, the question you have to ask yourself (and your wife) is : how much room do you want inside, do you regularly have more than two people in your car, and do you routinely haul "weekend warrior" stuff around?
Both vehicles would be good choices. If you want a bigger, roomier, nice riding vehicle, get the Pacifica .
However , given today's gas prices, you could make the argument that the Saturn VUE is "big enough." Do you do a lot of driving ? I don't drive much during the week, so the gas mileage issue is not as important to me .....
For me , having one larger vehicle like the Pacifica makes sense, but I will say my wife's new vehicle will be smaller, something like a Saturn VUE size!
Good luck, I'm sure you will have more responses to this inquiry than you wanted! We Pacificans are a devoted lot!!
#4 of 13 Re: Pacifica vs. VUE [steelydan0613]
Feb 25, 2006 (4:40 pm)
steelydan, thanks for your detailed response. You make a lot of points that I agree with. One thought you triggered in my mind is that the main reason I began looking at SUVs is that I want to have something larger for when we take road trips, something we tend to do several times per year. As for the day-to-day, the wife and I generally car pool (in her small car), so I expect my next car won't be used so much. Considering this, the Pacifica is looking better. It surely will be a more comfortable and practical vehicle for highway trips and the lower gas mileage it gets will be less of an issue since it won't be driven quite as much. My current car, Buick Regal, typically gets about 27 MPG on the highway, so I don't mind trading 5 MPG or so for extra room and comfort on the road.
I got a quote of $22,700 today for the VUE which I will use as a bargaining position on the Pacifica. If I can get within $2,000 of this price, I'll definitely go with it.
- Robert -
#5 of 13 Re: Pacifica vs. VUE [ponggod]
Feb 25, 2006 (6:05 pm)
ponggod, Let us know how it comes out.....I would say you are dealing smart!
#6 of 13 Re: Pacifica vs. VUE [ponggod]
Feb 25, 2006 (6:09 pm)
Robert, I did not get my best offer from the first Chrysler dealer I talked to, so shop around. My best offer came from DeMontrond Chrysler /Jeep in Conroe, Tx. , and they obtained my new 2004 Pac from a dealer in Galveston, Tx. They drove it to Conroe, and I picked it up there.
I would shop around, You are in the driver's seat, so to speak!
I will also say their service department was excellent, and it was worth the drive. My 2004 Pacifica came with a "loaner car" for 36,000 miles, so that made it easy to make the trek to Conroe. I don't know if that program is still in effect or not. Ask the dealer , it was called "Premium Care" in 2004, and it applied to Chrysler Crossfires and Pacificas..........
#7 of 13 Re: Pacifica vs. VUE [steelydan0613]
Feb 26, 2006 (5:34 pm)
That's not a bad idea. So far, I've only talked with Archer Chrysler on Southwest Freeway simply because it's the most conveniently located dealership for me. My thinking is that when it comes time for any kind of necessary service, I'd prefer to deal with the people from whom I purchased it. Nevertheless, I think I'll use Edmunds' tools to submit a quote inquiry from other Chrysler dealers in the area. It surely can't hurt!
#8 of 13 Re: Pacifica vs. VUE [ponggod]
Feb 27, 2006 (11:52 am)
That was the first place I called , they were nice, they let me drive the car for two days, but they wouldn't deal with me like DeMontrond did. Try Champions Chrysler , they have two locations in Houston and seemed eager to deal, DeMontrond basically was willing to match whatever and they found the right color/leather seats...........
I bought two years ago, so things could be different now...........
#9 of 13 Re: Pacifica vs. VUE [steelydan0613]
Feb 28, 2006 (9:37 pm)
Today I received an intriguing quote from the Internet sales manager with Lawrence Marshall (yeah, Hempstead is way out there!) They quoted me $22,890 which includes leather interior, but not just any leather. Apparently for the "a la carte" leather upgrades (as opposed to the leather packages) they have some custom upholsterer in Houston do it for $1395 and it's supposedly much higher quality - he said this company does this for BMW and Mercedes dealers too. Furthermore, they can get it in the Magnesium Pearl (kind of a charcoal green) which is one of the less common colors that I like.
The trade-off, of course, is that this low-ball price doesn't come with the best financing offer, but I can trade some of the rebate back for better terms - add $1500 for 2.9%/60 mo. or $3000 for 0%/60 mo. At the very least, this will give me good bargaining ammunition.
#10 of 13 Re: Pacifica vs. VUE [ponggod]
Mar 01, 2006 (5:40 am)
Sounds good, I called them too, and they didn't have much then, "Bubba" told me they were "mostly into trucks," and I agreed....Hey, get them to buy you and your wife a BBQ lunch if you do buy out there!!!!!!!!