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Chrysler Pacifica

Any thoughts on the new Chrysler Pacifica
just introduced at the Detroit Show. Described as a segment buster but is an upscale sportwagon if you ask me. Built off a Chrysler minivan chassis.

Can this compete with Audi Avant, E class wagon or RX300?

Couple of photos on Edmunds and a gallery of photos in the auto show gallery at Auto.com.
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Comments

  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    And from Edmunds.com, here's some information about the Chrysler Pacifica. As mentioned in this article, Chrysler will be bringing the Pacifica to production for the 2003 model year. ;-)

    image

    Revka
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  • I think if it retains this style, and can drive fairly well (Chrysler Minivans have good steering compared to the competition) I think it will be a modest success. It's just that this market is starting to get saturated...
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 4,218
    The Pacifica seems to have nice styling cues, but the greenhouse is a little high, which could be bad for visibility.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Hi Corvette- Thanks for stopping by. What do you mean by "greenhouse"? Glass? What areas...? I do see the side windows appear to be high. Thanks. ;-)

    Revka
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  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 4,218
    Yes, the glass seems to be high up, and thus there's not a lot of it. Other than that, the styling vaguely reminds me of a BMW 5-series wagon. Time will tell if it drives like one!
  • knhillknhill Posts: 33
    It does look tall, but it looks good. We'll have to decide between the minivan and wagon in about a year. The only wagon I really like is the upcoming Mazda 6, but this could bring me back to American cars. I wonder what Chrysler reliability is like these days.
  • Apparently it's really not bad at all. The Sebring rates very high in reliability scores, and the Concorde is CR recommended.

    I think it's the Minivans and the trucks that make Chrysler's overall reliability look murky. But these days, I think that a Chrysler sedan would be a safe buy.
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    The PT Cruiser is also right up there. The 2002 CR New Car Buyers guide publishes the new Frequency of Repair records for the 2001 model year. The PT Cruiser is rated much better than Average. Perhaps the newer models coming onstream will all reflect the same improvement.
  • I forgot the PT Cruiser! They do have a very well-built cabin and this is coming from a Mexican plant. I think the misconception that Mexican build quality is behind American is soon being eroded.
  • cb70cb70 Posts: 226
    Can this topic be linked with the SUV board too like many of the other topics? Just curious.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Yes, we're working on it... Thanks. ;-)

    Revka
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  • If they can keep the looks similar to what was shown at the auto show. If they can make it drive similar to a X5 or tall 5-series. If they can keep build quality and reliability high. And most importantly, If they can keep the price in the $25k+ range that has been rumored I think that this will be a very appealing vehicle for alot of people.

    I'll agree that there are more and more manufacturers coming to market in this segment but, the segment has been stagnant for so long that each new entry helps. I disagree completely that the market is saturated. There is a nice selection but as the car show demonstrated there is a whole gambit of options that have yet to be explored. I say bring them on, I'm ready to trade.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,109
    It looks like we're official!

    SUVs welcome the stationwagoneers!

    tidester
    Host
    SUVs
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    This is a beautiful vehicle and will be a positive addition to a growing segment. I have had two Dodge Stratus rentals and enjoyed my time in that solid, quiet little car.

    The Chicago Tribune reported Chrysler was thinking of annual run of only 5k vehicles starting in '04. That does not seem right. Anyone hear differently?

    The Pacifica and the Crossfire will probably be the last of the pre-merger Chrysler concepts to be built. I wonder what will happen next year with so many of the late '90s Chrysler designers having run off to work with Lutz at GM.

    Finally, will the Pacifica make the Benz M series redundant?
  • It looks like a slightly larger Jetta or Passat wagon.
  • patty64patty64 Posts: 22
    My dealer called me last night to confirm that Chrysler is now offering the $1,000 rebate on purchases or leases. He indicated that he had originally been told by Chrysler that no incentives would be offered until at least 6 months. Apparently, Chrysler has changed their mind due to slower than expected sales. He urged me to write to Chrysler and gave me the name of a regional Sr. VP. to send the letter to. I, as did RussKlass, urge all those early buyers to write Chrysler and demand your $1,000.
  • I doubt that the Pacifica will make the M a redundant vehicle. There are substantial differences between the two vehicles and I think they both go after a different market sector.
    The M-class has seating for 7, is more than capable off-road, aesthetically is more like an SUV and price wise starts at $36,000.
    The Pacifica has seating for 6, is geared for safe driving in all weather conditions, aesthetically is a cross between a sleek SUV, sport sedan and minivan and is supposedly supposed to be priced around $25,000.
    If anything I wonder if the Pacifica won't be seen as direct competition to it's proposed cousin, the Mercedes Benz GST. Although they are built off of different platforms and will be geared to different clientele you can't help but see the similarities in both design and concept.
  • ruskiruski Posts: 1,566
    I had a Chrysler 300M with performance handling package and was VERY happy with it. The engine is great. The tranny could be a bit more efficient though, but I think Chrysler is switching to Mercedes trannies anyway.

    I like this Pacifica.
  • nelson33nelson33 Posts: 100
    I am glad to see that Chrysler is going to build this car. I love the overall look of the vehicle. am trying to find some dimensional specs. on the vehicle. From looking at pics on the web, it does not seem to be as tall as say a Lexus RX 300 but I am more interested in the length. The fact that it has 3 rows of seating makes me wonder if it is as long as my Intrepid which I hope is not the case. Anyone have any ideas.
  • cb70cb70 Posts: 226
    the SUV forum you will find a link to a Chicago review. Here are the specs compared to your Intrepid.

    Pacifica 116.3 wheelbase 198.9 overall 78.7 wide
    Intrepid 113 wheelbase 203.7 overall 74.7 wide
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    You may also want to check the Chrysler website. I've noticed that the preliminary specs there are slightly different. Of course keep in mind we're just looking at the concept vehicle, so anything can change. ;-)

    Revka
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  • from what i've read dc needs to move 130k pacificas a year at approximately $30k per to make a profit. good luck dc. principal competitors acura and lexus sell about half as many rx300's and even fewer mdx's per year at roughly comparable prices. to date,the only "hybrids" to sell in volume are small vehicles like escape, pt and crv at the $20k price point.
    the fact that recent chrysler products have achieved rough parity with the top japanese vehicles on material quality and reliability has not yet been fully absorbed by the market. so why should we expect what will in essence be a chrysler mdx to outsell acura or the others?
    on the automobile front, chrysler's strengths (e.g. styling, innovative features) have not translated into substantial sales where they have gone up against comparable japanese products in the same market segment. to take an example, 300m sales are running at about half of acura tl's and declining, while the acura is up for 2001.
    dc's successes have come only when they have created new market niches (e.g. minivans, midsize affordable convertibles, midsize pickups, 3 seat row suv's, etc.) or risked wildly creative styling (e.g. ram, pt, viper). when others have followed dc into the niche (e.g. odyssey minivans, everyone with 3 row suv's) or when styling has been toned down (those minivans again), sales have fallen off.
    with pacifica, dc is following, not leading: acura, lexus, audi, and volvo are already there, and the honda pilot and volvo xc 90 will both be on the market before pacifica arrives. and pacifica's styling, while handsome, is hardly the bold statement made by the pt cruiser or original ram.
    bottom line: absent very aggressive pricing, pacifica will be a modest success, not a major hit.
  • cb70cb70 Posts: 226
    Of course who knows on the pilot but all the other vehicles you mentioned start out above $30K. If Pacifica has a base of $25K it will be substantially less than the competitors you mentioned. I think a closer rival to the Pacifica is the Outback. It appears that they will have similar pricing. I don't think Pacifica is much competition for any vehicles you spoke of except the Pilot. I think the Pacifica will be much nicer equipped than the Pilot for the price but it is hard to say until we see the pricing on both.
  • plawin1plawin1 Posts: 10
    I read about this in Automotive News. According to Chrysler, the Mercedes vehicle was developed independently. They think the "segment" is big enough for both -- but haven't promised they'll build the Mercedes.

    This looks like something I'd be interested in. I like the "chairs" that come in minivans and SUVs, but I don't like climbing up to them or the high center of gravity. I hope that's what they mean about a new "segment" -- too low to be an SUV, too tall to be a station wagon.

    I'd like a car with a high roof that accommodates a decent seat. The hatchback style is okay, but I agree that the windows look awful narrow.

    Does anyone have specs (length, width, height) on the Pacifica?
  • cb70cb70 Posts: 226
    Should give you the answers you need.
  • plawin1plawin1 Posts: 10
    Thanks for the link -- I see now that I missed a couple posts as I was reading through this thread.

    From my perspective, the Pacifica is almost as big as a grand caravan. The length and wheelbase are each 3" less, and it's 2" shorter. The surprising thing is that it's just as wide (of course, that makes sense if it's built on a Caravan platform).

    That's too big for me. I'm still looking for the ordinary mid-size sedan with a raised roof.
  • Forbes columnist Jerry Flint expressed a viewpoint similar to mine in his most recent column:

    "Most important was the Chrysler Pacifica. With three rows of seats and all-wheel drive, it is to go into production in about a year. Chrysler talked about a price starting in the middle $20,000s, but I would say $31,000 to $35,000 might be more like it for a well-equipped model. Volume? They didn't say, but I hear the target is 130,000 a year. This is a huge number. Subaru, one of the leading wagon makers, sells about 80,000 AWD wagon-like vehicles a year, but they are generally priced between $26,000 and $28,000."

    I don't think 31 to 35K is a whole lot higher than what Acura and Lexus are getting for MDX's and RX's (based on my experience last year shopping both), both of which only come well equipped, and both of which sell in far lower numbers. Again, it's difficult to impossible to believe that Pacifica can be a PT sized hit.
  • rb123rb123 Posts: 51
    I think you need to take a closer look at chrysler's past new vehicles and the sales numbers. The minivan first came out in 1984 and today 18 years later they are still far and away the best selling on the market they own 40 percent of the minivan market, the Jeep grand cherokee the second best selling suv on the market, the Dodge Ram going from 4% of the market to 20% after the redesign in 1994, The PT crusier another major hit. So from what I have seen I would expect the pacifica to be another hit.
  • As I said earlier, DC has hit big where they created a new niche, or entered an existing one with a radically styled new product. The minivans and Grand Cherokee are examples of the former, PT and Ram pickup the latter. As I also said, when competitors enter DC niches, DC sales drop. Honda was the first competitor to fully comprehend the DC minivan concept, and copy it without modification (although with a couple of improvements, like the fold down third row). The only reason DC hasn't lost more share to Honda on minivans is that Honda is capacity constrained.
    Likewise, Grand Cherokee, which pioneered the midsize luxury SUV niche, is experiencing plummeting sales due to new competition from all fronts.
    Pacifica is neither creating a new niche, or entering an existing one with a radical new look. Instead, DC is joining an existing and soon to be much more crowded niche with a product that isn't much different or better looking than the competition. Nor is it clear that there's even that big of a "sport tourer" market out there. If there is, Honda,Toyota, Volvo and Audi have all messed up somewhere, since none of their products has achieved anything like DC's projected sales, despite receiving almost universal acclaim, and being marketed under more appealing brands than Chrysler.
  • bgkannebgkanne Posts: 25
    Regardless of how the Chrysler mini van, Grand Cherokee and Dodge Ram are doing, the company is loosing enormous amounts of money and has huge rebates on most products. They even have a rebate on the PT Cruiser now; supply has finally caught up with demand.

    In the case of the mini van, most people find the Honda Odyssey to be the best; that's why it's in short supply with no rebates and virtually no discounting. You can sure Honda is making far more on each Odyssey than Chrysler makes on it's vans because of the lack of discounting.

    The Grand Cherokee is an also ran in todays market because it's cramped inside and has solid axles, which does not translate into the car like handling and ride that many of it''s competitors now have. The Grand Cherokee also has rebates and sells with huge discounts.

    The new Dodge Ram is an improvement but sells a distant third to Ford and Chevy. If you look at the latest Motor Trend, it's current gas engines are truly feeble compared to those from Ford and Chevy. This will change, of course, once they figure out how to put the V10 in it. A V10 Ford Lightening competitor is coming out from Dodge, but it will be a low volume niche vehicle.
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