It’s not easy to get excited about a minivan – however, the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica is one that might get your vote. An entirely new model that redefined the minivan segment upon its release, the Pacifica is the closest thing yet to a cool minivan.
And if you need a vehicle that can haul people and their stuff, the newest Pacifica is a solid choice. Here’s what makes this minivan stand out.
A minivan is essentially a big box on wheels designed to carry as many people and as much cargo as possible. But a minivan is also meant to be as comfortable, flexible, and versatile as possible. Because of those intrinsic characteristics, no minivan is ever going to look sporty and stylish.
Chrysler’s designers deserve credit for making the 2019 Pacifica as attractive as reasonably possible for a minivan. The body is smooth and sleek, and the profile is clean and smart thanks to hidden sliding door tracks underneath the rear windows. It’s a big vehicle by any measure, but some visual trickery makes it look smaller than it really is.
The Pacifica is still recognizable as a minivan, but it raises the bar for styling and challenges the competition.
Engines and Performance
Any minivan needs a powerful engine because it has to carry a lot of weight. The standard powerplant under the hood of the Chrysler Pacifica isn’t revolutionary, but it is a tried-and-tested unit that’s more than capable for the job at hand.
The unit in question is the FCA’s 3.6-liter V-6, which develops 287 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque. The power is sent to the front wheels through Chrysler’s widely used nine-speed automatic transmission. In this application, it seems to perform much more smoothly.
There might not be as much power available to the Pacifica as some of its most contemporary rivals, but the way the Chrysler drives is nothing short of a revelation. This is a minivan that drives like a large sedan. It’s no mean feat, and the engineers have done a good job with the way the Pacifica drives and handles.
And if all that wasn’t enough on its own, there’s also a Pacifica Hybrid model – an option none of Chrysler’s rivals offer right now.
No matter how a minivan looks or drives, it’ll inevitably succeed or fail on its interior quality, versatility, flexibility, capability, and comfort. There are some very good minivans interiors around at the moment, but none come close to offering an interior as good as the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica.
With a 121.6-inch wheelbase and measuring in at 79.6-inches wide, the Pacifica is a big vehicle, but Chrysler went the extra mile to squeeze the absolute most out of every available inch. Inside the Chrysler, there’s a cavernous 197.3 cu.-ft. of space. 84 percent of that space is dedicated to accommodating up to seven people. It would probably have been possible to squeeze an extra seat or two in to increase the Pacifica’s passenger capacity, but that would’ve compromised comfort.
Every seat is fabulously comfortable. And Chrysler’s Stow ‘n’ Go fold-away seating system means the interior is massively flexible. You can combine passengers and cargo in different ways. And if you were wondering about the third-row seats, they’re perfectly fine for full-grown adults and children.
Features and Equipment
A fully loaded Pacifica can set you back over $45,000. But for that, you’re getting an awful lot of vehicle. The starting MSRP for a new Pacifica is $26,985.
The Pacifica is available in enough trim levels to please most buyers, starting with the entry-level L model and moving up to the LX, Touring Plus, Touring-L, Touring-L Plus, and the range-topping Limited. There’s no option for all-wheel drive, but you can have just about anything else.
Base L models come standard with a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a rearview camera, 17-inch wheels, blind-spot monitors, and rear parking sensors. One thing the base models lack is fold-away second-row seating.
If any vehicle has to take safety seriously, it’s a family-friendly minivan. Thankfully for Chrysler, the Pacifica isn’t lacking in this area.
The NHTSA gives the 2019 Pacifica a full five-star rating for overall safety. And the IIHS has given the Chrysler its coveted Top Safety Pick rating again this year. With standard blind-spot monitors and rear parking sensors, negotiating a crowded parking lot in this vehicle isn’t too much of a problem.
- Attractive exterior
- Impressive handling and performance
- Lots of room for cargo
- Segment-exclusive hybrid
- Very well equipped at all levels
- Can be pricey
- No option for AWD
The Last Word
It may be hard to get excited about a minivan, but it’s a lot easier to get worked up about any vehicle when it’s as good as the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica. If an off-roader was this good it would be better than a Range Rover or a Jeep Wrangler, and if a sports car was this good Ferrari and Aston Martin might be getting worried. The Pacifica is as good as minivans get at the moment, and perhaps for some time to come.