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Monthly Update for October 2016 - 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Long-Term Road Test Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited November 2016 in Chrysler

imageMonthly Update for October 2016 - 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Long-Term Road Test

After another month of hauling kids, adults and anything that will fit in the cargo hold, our 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is proving to be a versatile family vehicle with few faults.

Read the full story here


  • legacygtlegacygt Member Posts: 599
    I sat in one of these at the dealer recently and was very impressed. Styling inside and out might be best in class. Stow and Go seating seems to get better and better. A couple things though:

    1) I'm not that impressed with the fuel economy. I've had a Durango for 6 months with the same V6 engine. It's a heavier car and has AWD. I track every fill up and my worst tank was 19 mpg. I tend usually get 21 and do even better when I'm mostly on the highway. I know the biggest factors are driving style and terrain/traffic but this should be more efficient.

    2) Glad you brought up the roof rack. I just thought I'd add that there are pros and cons. Here's what I posted on a Durango (same rack system as the Pacifica) forum a little while back:

    Setup is relatively quick and simple. It's almost idiot-proof. The hardest part is just reaching up on the roof but if you're average height you should be able to reach everything by standing on the rear tires.

    To me the best thing about the rack is the way the crossbars stow into the rails. So understandably, when the rack is designed to be great when it's stowed, there may be some compromises for actual use. The first is the knuckle design. Since the rails are relatively low to the roof, the cross bars have knuckles that bend down to the rails approximating the "towers" you may see for aftermarket racks. These knuckles appear to be a weak point and the angle limits the available width on the crossbars. Still, this arrangement makes the whole setup work very well when the crossbars are stowed so it's probably a worthwhile tradeoff for people who keep them stowed most of the time.

    Another downside of the design is the lack of flexibility for the fore/aft position of the crossbars. The front and rear each have one position and that's it. There is no opportunity to adjust the spread between them and that's too bad. Especially since the entire roof rail system runs a long way along the side of the roof. It would seem that there would be plenty of room to allow the crossbars to slide fore/aft or at least have one other location to allow for a larger spread. I have a Yakima Skybox 18 which is fairly large and I like to spread the attachment points as far as possible to minimize shaking. My previous cars were a 2009 Mazda CX-9 (with factory rails and Mont Blanc crossbars) and a 2005 Subaru Legacy GT Wagon (with factory rails and Yakima crossbars) and those both allowed for more of a spread between the crossbars than the Durango which has a longer roof than both of those cars. The current Subaru Outback has a system that works just like the Durango's but has options for more or less spread between the crossbars.

    While the Durango doesn't offer multiple locations for the crossbars, there are multiple eyes and slots for tie-down points. This is a nice feature if you're going to need to use rope or straps to attach.

    The crossbars are fairly thin and have an aero design. Obviously they are quieter and less wind-resistant when they're stowed but when running across the car they are sleeker than a lot of options out there.

    It's also pretty clear that when you have the factory rack, you're going to use the factory rack. There doesn't really seem to be a way to attach anything else to the factory rails that run almost the entire length of the roof. I have a Mont Blanc rack that is very flexible for attaching to cars with factory roof rails but it would not work on the Durango. The clamps don't open wide enough and that chrome strip that runs the length of the rails is thin plastic and there is no way you could clamp any aftermarket towers onto the rails without destroying it. The plastic strip has a contour to it that appears like you could clamp something anywhere along the length of it but that's only for show.

    Also, the rack does not have any lock to secure it. This might bother some people as evidenced by all the locking options offered by Yakima, Thule, etc. It doesn't bother me as the effort to pick or destroy the locks offered by those brands is nothing compared to the effort of removing a cargo box, bike rack or ski rack while attached to the crossbars. I guess I'm of the belief that if a thief wants what's on top of your car, a locking system isn't going to stop them any more than the thumb screws on the Durango's crossbars.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Well, the nice thing about a van is that you can put all that stuff inside.

    But I retired from canoeing a few years back. :)

    Great write-up, thanks (love it cause my rack experiences date back to 1974).
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