Last post on Feb 21, 2007 at 11:24 AM
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Chrysler Pacifica, Car Buying, Wagon
#4 of 43 Cannot see Pacifica Navigation with sunglasses
Apr 12, 2003 (4:05 pm)
I drove a fully loaded Pacifica today with the Navigation and DVD Entertainment system. One of the first things I noticed while driving is you cannot see the navigation system with your sunglasses on. They have placed the navigation screen in the middle of the dash where the speedometer is normally found.
When I started the drive, I asked the lease manager (who went with me) what the negatives were and he said none. After I gave him my sunglasses to look at it, he said "Well I guess that's a negative."
#5 of 43 Pacifica Ride and Drive ...
Apr 16, 2003 (9:27 pm)
I was at the NJ launch of the Pacifica this week. Let me tell you ... get a minivan and save your money. There is no trunk space when the third row seats are up. And it seems like very little room for those third row passengers. The one that sat in the showroom had navigation and the dvd option ... sticker price was $39,000. I almost had a heart attack when I saw that. There was also a Voyager in the showroom. It had the dvd but no navigation and it was considerably less. And it had a good amount of trunk space.
#6 of 43 Pacifica Test Drive
Apr 17, 2003 (2:14 pm)
I too was one of those who was awaiting the arrival of the Pacifica. When the wife and I saw one on a lot, we stopped in to take a look. We were able to take it on a test drive as well. So what they are worth, here are my impressions.
The one we drove was somewhat up scale, and didn't have much plastic at all. It was a sort of Opal color with leather interior. Had a great lumbar support. I, being 6' 3" tall had to lower the seats to see out the window. All in all the fit was not too bad. The rear window is extremely small and adds to a large blind spot. The engine was peppy enough, but would benefit from a V8. It is pulling quite a heavy car. This explains very poor mileage. the ride was not soft, but not mush either. But, you could easily feel the bumps. I wished I could have floored it, but I didn't think the salesman would have liked it. I doubt this car will roll over very easy. A plus for all those concerned about those SUV's. All in all not a bad car. But, a lot of money to shell out. It could also benefit from the V8, which I here is in the works for next year. As for me, I will pass on it simply for headroom and rear vision. Plus, I believe one can get more there money by spending less. In today's world, a car with a little better mileage would be better also. Impressions in a nutshell. Good, but not good enough.
#7 of 43 Ride and Drive Response
Apr 20, 2003 (12:29 pm)
I also had the priveledge of attending a ride and drive in the Seattle region. From my experience there I came away extremely pleased with the job Chrysler did. Here are my impressions:
As far as build quality, the Pacifica made the Acura MDX look like a low level Kia. On top of that, after the first day, the Acura needed new rear wheel bearings and an engine knock fixed under warranty.
Ride quality: The Pacifica even outshined the much touted Lexus RX300. On the course, the Lexus' body roll was almost as bad as a Ford Expedition.
Driving Impression: The V6 is adequate for what type of vehicle it is. It's not supposed to be a Porsche or a Hemi. For the size and package, the 3.5L was supurb.
Overall the Pacifica cornered flat like the Volvo XC90 but was softer sprung like the Lexus. The build quality was on par with Lexus and Volvo. The utility factor was on par with a minivan but without the size. When you look at the entire package you get, it sums up all the good traits of a minivan, SUV and luxury car without having to spend a fortune. To me, Chrysler hit a home run.
#8 of 43 Pacifica Test Drive - Impressions
Apr 26, 2003 (4:34 pm)
Test drove one this afternoon. The dealer didn't have a "market adjustment" tacked on, but they did have a "VIP Package" (basically a fancy wax job and Scotch-Guard interior protection) for $3995. Same "VIP Package" on a 300M was $995. Total rip off, I wouldn't consider buying from them. I was ready to walk off the lot until he offered me a test drive. "Oh, well, sure, I'll go for a test drive!"
Impressions: Not a bad looking vehicle overall. Fit and finish seemed very good to excellent. Interior sits much like a 300M, but a little rounder and zoomier.
I have mixed feelings on the instrumentation. I don't like that they have the EVIC readout at the lower left edge of the instrument cluster. EVIC controls (MENU, etc) are basically behind the steering wheel where you have to peek around to see them. Overhead console was a much better location for the whole thing IMHO.
Didn't get a chance to preview the Nav system, the DVD it took to launch it was lurking somewhere in the office. Looking at the area where it displays (center of the speedo) it seemed a bit small to see much without squinting. I think I like the console location better for a Nav display.
Driving impressions: It feels solid and a bit softer than my non-PHP 300M. Outside noise was negligible, but I didn't really have a chance to test it at speed or over RR tracks and speed bumps.
It's a slug off the line, but that may have been partially attributable to a brand new, stiff engine. That may get better after break-in, but I wouldn't look for very much improvement. The engine didn't seem to rev freely and shifts were sluggish. Once again, may get better after break-in.
EPA mileage rating was 17/22 on the sticker. That seems like a real drop from the 300M, considering it's the same engine and only 500 pounds heavier than an M.
Bottom line: this may be your Grandfather's Chrysler.
#9 of 43 test drive
Apr 28, 2003 (7:22 pm)
Rear suspension is based on e-class.
The census opinions I would have to agree with, it is an ok vehicle, but not the segment buster we had all hoped. It does everything ok, but nothing great. Not enough room, not great mpg, not great performence, not great comfort, not great price, etc etc.
The murano is a harsh ride, but more of a sport suv. outside it looks out of proportion, but I can live with it. Inside its a premium but undersized minivan. there are lots of vehicles that compromise but do something really good.
Pacifia is off my list. I bought an Audi allroad for the price of an loaded pacifia. Apples to oranges but it works for me. Next year we'll look at family trucksters, but this thing is out.
Seems like the only people whom like this thing are the ones whom have orders in for it. To those, enjoy your pacificas and tell us how wonderful they are!
#10 of 43 "Art of Driving" Experience
May 04, 2003 (8:38 pm)
I drove the Pacifica at Chrysler's "Art of Driving" event earlier today and came away very impressed. The interior was great, the navigation system was easy to use and see, and the performance was excellent. I was able to drive the Pacifica and the Volvo XC90 back to back and I honestly felt that the Chrysler was better. The Volvo wasn't bad at all, but it did shudder over bumps, and it felt almost tank-like. The steering was heavy, and the handling slow. I felt very disconnected from the road. Also, the interior seemed very plain in comparison to the Pacifica. The Pacifica seemed to have more power, although the Volvo had the 5 cylinder engine, not the optional 6 cylinder. The "guide" who accompanied me in the Pacifica encouraged me to floor it along a curvy, uphill gravel road. The engine did not seem overly harsh or underpowered, as I've read in some reviews. Going around the curves, it was obvious that the Pacifica handled better, though this isn't very surprising given its width and low center of gravity. From what I could tell, many people were as impressed with the Pacifica as I was. The Acura MDX and Lexus RX300 were also available for comparison, but we were allowed just two rides at the Pacifica course.
See my comments on the Crossfire in the Crossfire board...
#11 of 43 Test drive impressions
May 19, 2003 (7:00 am)
I finally took the time to drive the Pacifica. First thing I did was load one of my kids into the third row. We had a difficult time moving the second row seat out of the way--even the saleman struggled, but it finally worked. It wasn't a problem when we tried it again later. Not sure what the problem was, but it was a bad first impression. Anyway, on to the rest.
Interior is very luxurious for an American car. Forgive me for being unpatriotic, but I think that in general, domestic cars have crappy interiors. Uncomfortable seats and lots of cheap plastic are the norm. Pacifica has very comfortable seats with good support and control, and decent quality leather. Plastic is everywhere, of course, but feels better than most. Wood trim is among the best, comparable to my current Audi. Overall, interior is very spacious and well-appointed. Chrysler should be proud of themselves.
Exterior is what leaves me scratching my head. While it is very attractive, my impression is that it looks more station wagon than SUV or minivan. If this is the look you want, then it's great. Personally, like many people, I'm looking to stay away from the minivan or wagon look. This may be the main thing that leads me to a different vehicle.
Let's turn the key. It's on the dashboard, by the way, something that may take a few days to get used to. Acceleration was a little slow for my liking. I don't know if it needs more horses or a 5-speed, but as it is, it feels slower than its competitors. Overall ride is comfortable. Handles bumps pretty well, firm but forgiving. Good straight line with no wobbling or swaying (very car-like). Acceptable body roll when cornering. Excellent brakes. Overall, drives better than most domestic cars (and better than any truck-SUV or minivan). However, I don't think it's quite up there with the imports.
As for pricing, they are starting to discount now. For a fully loaded one, the sticker is around 41K. Without haggling, they took a thousand off. Obviously, there's even more wiggle room there.
I want to lease, so they worked up some numbers. For this loaded model, nothing down and rolling everything into the lease (bank fee, security, and NY's ridiculous 8.5% tax), a 36 month lease would be $689 and a 39 month would be $660. This would be for 12K miles per year, with only first payment due at signing.
The sales manager came over, as expected, to try to close a deal. I told him, truthfully, that I need to look at some other vehicles on my list. When he saw there was no deal today, he said (as expected) that there was some room on the price, and they'll sharpen their pencils for me if I want the car.
IMO, this is not a good deal. That lease payment is about the same as a BMW X5, which stickers for 5K more and is vastly superior to the Pacifica (albeit smaller with only 5 seats). My current Audi A6 is also superior, around the same sticker price as the Pacifica, yet has a lease payment well under $600.
It still looks like the domestics are poor vehicles for leasing (mainly due to low resale values). This will hurt the Pacifica's chances of competing with the imports it has targeted, many of which are leased.
My final impression: This is a very good alternative to minivans and other vehicles priced under $35K (Sienna, Odyssey, T&C, etc.). It is a step down compared to the competitors in the over $35K range (MDX, XC90, X5, RX330, etc.).
Feel free to post specific comments and questions.
#12 of 43 Pacifica Rental
Jun 04, 2004 (4:58 pm)
Today I had to rent a vehicle for business to make a 300-mile trip. National gave me a Monte Carlo, and when I got in at the lot and tried adjusting the mirrors, the switch fell thru the armrest into the door! I returned to the desk, and they were full of apologies and tossed me a new set of keys to a Butane Blue Pacifica with a black cloth interior.
My first impressions were mixed. I've always liked the design of the Pac, and the dash looked great with the silver and wood trim, but I found many of the controls indecipherable. It was far bigger than I am used to (my regular car is an Intrigue) and I had trouble with that, along with the visibility, partly due to blind spots, partly due to small mirrors and a poor view out the rear window, and partly due to the side window tint. Around town it was a bit of a handful, and at first on the expressway I found the steering a little light and twitchy. The power seemed adequate, but nothing more.
The more I drove it, the more I liked it. I got used to the dynamics on the expressway and really enjoyed cruising along at 70mph. It was quieter than my car, had a better highway ride, and even though it didn't handle as well it still felt very stable. The seats were great and the 2 1/2 hour highway drive to my destination was very comfortable and not at all tiring. It felt like a very luxurious ride.
Still, there were some things I didn't care for. In the sun, at certain angles, the silver dash trim glares back into your eyes, and it doesn't match the trim used around the shifter. I played with Autostick a bit but don't think I'd use it much if I owned the car. The engine roared a bit too much when you had to kick down to pass a slower car. And while we were very comfortable, for a vehicle this big and heavy it seemed not to make good use of all that size, with space for a maximum of 6 and not a whole lot of cargo.
On balance, I really liked it (and my coworker was ready to buy one!) after driving it, but it isn't for me - too big, heavy and most importantly, thirsty. I had to fill it before returning it to National and the 300 miles cost me $52 in gas (Canadian dollars and Canadian gas prices). Now although the guage read full when I picked it up I know from experience that rentals are often a gallon or so short starting out, so maybe that was a bit deceptive, but that number was still pretty staggering. Too bad, because it's a lovely vehicle and would make a great highway cruiser.
#13 of 43 2005 touring with 19 inch wheels
Jun 14, 2004 (5:29 am)
Took one out for a test drive yesterday. Kids loved the room in the back seat. I felt pick up was sluggish but adaquete and cruising speeds felt really nice. My question is with the 19 inch wheels. They make the car have a higher stance which we like but we don't want too sacrifice ride or winter driving.
Salesman said tires were bigger but not low profile so ride shouldn't changed much or at all.