In its favor, the Pacifica is a solid, well-equipped machine and handsome, too.
The Pacifica occupies a spot to the left of the midway point along the driver-involvement spectrum, tending toward the enthusiastic side yet unlikely to make press-on drivers blow their cool.
Shut lines are among Chysler’s tightest ever, the vehicle is teeming with consumer electronics, and the styling is handsomer than most, never vulgar, and restrained in a refreshingly un-Chrysler way. Inside, the Pacificais unusually quiet, owing to the specification of thicker, five-millimeter glass for its windows. It’s a better sort of Chrysler.
The Pacifica has chiseled lines, a high beltline, and a low step-in height that somehow conspire to make it look lower and more weildy than most of its light-duty competition. But it still looks like some sort of truck, and has nearly 4700 pounds of road-hugging wieght to prove it.
The instument cluster’s resemblence to a Mercedes-Benz is more than coincidental. Navigation resides inside the speedometer.
The Pacifica is a veritable electronics amusement park, with a hands-free phone, a six-disc in-dash CD changer, satellite navigation, power-adjustable pedals, and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with wireless headphones. Add to this arcade dual-zone climate control with odor and particulate filtration an optional power liftgate, a standard power sunroof, and built-in alarm system. And don’t forget the ten-way power seats, with Mercedes-like switches on the door panel.
All four rear seats fold independently, creating a flat load floor when the need arises.
The 9.6 seconds Chrysler quotes for the Pacifica‘s 0-60 mph sprint won’t set blood aboil; 250 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque in the face of two-plus tons of sports tourer ain’t much. But the Pacifica at least presents the smoothest rendition yet of the long-lived Chrysler six, a stone-reliable unit once known for its asthmatic, slightly tortured soundtrack.
As the Chrysler press materials note, there is “first-class seating in the first and second rows,” with four armchairs for passengers. Of course, the big problem with first class is second class, and, indeed, the third-row seats in the Pacifica are strictly steerage grade.
Most crossovers carry five or seven passengers, in a 2+3 (+ optional 2) configuration. The Pacifica is a 2+2 (+2).