Chrysler Pacifica Test Drive - What Did You Think?

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
edited March 2014 in Chrysler
Have you taken a Pacifica out for a test drive recently? What are your first impressions of the vehicle? What did you like? What weren't you crazy about? This is the place to share those thoughts.


  • rcf8000rcf8000 Member Posts: 619
    I drove a Pacifica for the first time today, and I was favorably impressed. The ride is smooth and quiet, and the handling is good. As some have reported, the car doesn't drive like the large vehicle it is. After all I've read about the lack of power and noisy engine, I was expecting worse than what I experienced, although the car certainly leaves something to be desired in these areas. I would only be interested in the FWD model, which should be a little quicker than the AWD model I drove. Does anyone know when FWD Pacificas will be available? The salesman, who just got back from a training course, said he was told they wouldn't be available for 6 months. But I seem to recall reading somewhere recently that FWD production would start sometime next week. Does anyone know for sure?
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Member Posts: 619
    I thought the Pacifica drove a lot like an MDX, but with less power and more engine noise. I don't think the excitement, if there is any, is going to last 6 months. Look at the FX35 and FX45. It wasn't very long before they started piling up on dealers lots and discounts became the norm. Judging from the forums, there was a lot more initial excitement around them than there is with the Pacifica. I do think that the Pacifica will do well against the competition in the long run, because of lower priced versions and heavier discounting.
  • cobrabrowecobrabrowe Member Posts: 5
    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."

  • goofy10goofy10 Member Posts: 17
    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.
  • cadellcadell Member Posts: 10
    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.
  • colorado1974colorado1974 Member Posts: 177
    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.
  • rogor2krogor2k Member Posts: 385
    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.
  • bargamonbargamon Member Posts: 302
    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!
  • svevarsvevar Member Posts: 160
    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...

  • rbirns1rbirns1 Member Posts: 311
    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.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 17,323
    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.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6

  • nbtynbty Member Posts: 24
    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.
  • charlesf1charlesf1 Member Posts: 52
    Since my 2004 PT Cruiser is at the dealer for two weeks so far with AC problems, they have given me a 2004 Pacifica to drive. I can hardly keep my wife out of it. She likes driving it more than her 2000 300M. If I was in the market for a new car I would be considering a Pacifica.
  • drlawrencedrlawrence Member Posts: 28
    AWD w/leather model. Comfortable and quiet ride. Liked it much more than JGC and T&C.

    As posted here in the past, sluggish acceleration, (like the T&C and JGC with the same engine) significant blind spots, and small side mirrors.

    I also tried opening the rear windows on the freeway as mentioned here. Wow, the worst wind pressure I've ever experienced. My Envoy does the same thing, but not like that Pacifica. Thought the cabin was going to shake apart along with my eardrums. Opening three other windows didn't help much.

    Played with the showroom unit's nav system. Love the location. Doesn't seem to be any way to turn off the display.

    I have a long commute, so the comfort is more important than performance. I've decided to purchase one. I'll just ask the dealer if they can install yellow caution tape on the window switches.

  • rsharprsharp Member Posts: 103
    I just had the opportunity to spend a week driving an '05 Touring Pac around Houston and to Schlitterbahn and back. Earlier this year I almost purchased a Pac but one 5 star dealer "mis-quoted" the pricing by $2,000 and the other didn't seem interested enough to call me back because I didn't want the loaded and way over priced Pacs they had on the lot. Anyway I wound up with a Honda Pilot which I like very much but I always wondered how I would have liked the Pac.

    So after almost 800 miles I can say the Pac is a great road car. I did a lot of city driving and one long trip from Houston to Schlitterbahn and back. The trip back was in a driving storm and the wind was howling, knocking out power lines left and right. The behind the wheel experience is very nice and the Pac is a sure footed and smooth road car. I had no trouble in some pretty heavy city traffic, but I am used to driving big autos.

    Where the Pac failed us was in room for 6 plus the stuff 6 people need. I had 3 adults and 3 children in the car a majority of the time and there is very little room left over for anything else. Our trip to the new Texas-sized IKEA store was a lesson in strategic packing. Thank goodness that IKEA stuff is pretty stack able by nature or we would have had to put things in our lap all the way home. We also did an overnighter to Schlitterbahn and all we took was a change of clothes, bathing suits, towels and personal items. After buying a few souvenirs I was not sure we could get home! There is no cargo room with the rear seats in use! My Pilot can seat 8 and has quite a bit more cargo space. So the Pac really lacks if you need to haul around more than 4 people + their stuff.

    Another thing that didn't go well was entry into the 3rd row seats. Your front seats have to be pretty far forward and the 2nd row has to have the head rest down in order for them to flip forward. Well, that was never the case and kids, who are the only people that can fit in the 3rd row, are not going to wait around when getting in and out. So they climb between the buckets and step on the middle console. Over time the wear and tear on the console would be a big concern if you need the 3rd row on a daily basis.

    On the plus side my 88 year old grandparents were able to get in and out of the Pac with little trouble which was a good thing for them when they were riding. SUV's are typically to high up for them to get in and out of very well.

    Overall I really enjoyed driving the Pac and if Chrysler had priced the 2004's like the '05 models I might very well have purchased one. However I could not pay over $40K for a Chrysler station wagon, no way the Pac could compete in that stratified price range. Chrysler really screwed up the 04 pricing and cut out people like me who didn't want a minivan but wanted AWD and room for at least 6. In fact, in my midwest location most people I saw driving Pacs were retired or at least over 50! Not really the market the Pac was aiming for with their marketing.

    I like the fact that the 05 models offer a basic package without all the expensive and largely unnecessary luxury options and gadgets. By getting the price down into the mid $20K range they will do a lot better for the family drivers that should want the Pac. In fact last night a friend of mine told me he had also rented a Pac and really liked it but he didn't buy one in '04 because it was too expensive. I feel for those of you who spent $40K+ on the 04 Pacs and now will see their resale value decline as more affordable new models will be available.

    If I had to do it again I still would likely choose the Pilot. It has more seating, more cargo room and until Chrysler proves it can build a quality car for the laung haul of 5+ years, you have to be somewhat wary. However, if I had the Pilot and needed another family car then I would say the modestly priced Pac would be a contender. Along with the new Ford Freestyle due later this fall.
  • ciodudeciodude Member Posts: 6
    I researched and test drove the Pilot (I've owned Honda's most of my life and we currently have an Odessey) as part of my buying experience (bought a 2004 demo Pac 2 weeks ago) and must say my experiences were polar opposite to yours. First, to get 8 people in a Pilot they must have been very little.. There were alot of things I didn't like about the Pilot styling, but getting in and out of the third row seat took me like 5 minutes! Leg and side room in the Pac is far surperior to the Pilot.
  • lsandelsande Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I also bought a pilot instead of the pac....I like the space in my pilot, but it lacks any bells and wistles! and I had a 4mp front end collision where my pilot hit the back of a chevy avalanche...his bumper went right through my front end! $8000.00 damage to my (safe?) pilot and a 1" by 1/4" hole in his bumper! My airbags did not go off and we were not hurt, but my pocketbook is very empty! The damage was so great that I could not even get out of my door, as the fender was bent over the door! My husband says that if my bumper had hit his bumper, I would have had much less damage...He, as well as the auto shop men could not believe the difference in as a not ever expect that the pilot will do well in a crash, because it was like paper! And watch the lights, rather than the traffic movement, as I did. He started to go and I started to go, and then he slammed on his breaks and I slammed on my breaks, but bam. The pilot is a heavy vehicle and did not stop. Good luck, pilot owners and stay back, far!
  • rodutrodut Member Posts: 343
    Hi all,
    I hope it's not just me, bigdaddy and his 23lb. dinosaur on this discussion group ! I test drove a Pacifica today. Question for all of you:

    Did it ever happen to you to turn the key and hear just click-click-click and no start at all ? It happened to the Pac I test drove today. Then the dealer connected a big battery in parallel with the Pac's battery and it started. First of all if the battery is dead, why it makes click-click-click ? Then, why the battery was discharged ? The Pac was manufactured in December 2003 and had 5 miles on it so it was probably stored somewhere. Still I would expect a new battery to last one year ... I guess. Is there current consumption when the car is shut down ? That clock's consumption should be negligible ...
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    I'd be hesitant about any vehicle that's got a nearly 12 month old build date unless that vehicle was dead-on what I wanted with no compromises and the store was offering an absolutely smoking deal.

    The battery will discharge in just a few months if not used. I'm very surprised the dealer would not have been more diligent in charging a Pac that's been on the ground that long... you'd think they'd want to move that sucker as quickly as possible after 90 days.

    Host - Wagons
  • gmctruckgmctruck Member Posts: 186
    We just returned from a two week vacation in a rented Chrysler Pacifica Touring. The ride was smooth and I didn't feel tired after driving it for several hours. The cup holders were great and we used several of the power jacks for charging cell phones and keeping my son's Gameboy up and running during the long drive. The dual AC controls were nice since I like the AC cool and my wife doesn't. The car had XM radio, but it wasn't active - darn it! I never looked under the hood, but power was definitely not there, especially in the mountains. What saved the day was the autostick feature, which was a big help in the mountains. The car cruised well at highway speeds, but had no power left for passing or climbing steep hills in the drive position. I had to use the autostick more than I really wanted to. I didn't run the numbers, but gas mileage seemed to be decent for it's size. Backing up the Pacifica was tricky due to limited rear visibility from the drivers seat, so I tried to park it where I didn't have to back out. I'm sure I would adjust if I owned one and drove it daily, but rear visibility could be improved. The rear wiper was nice to have while driving in the rain. The arm rest on the drivers seat was useless unless my right hand was off the wheel. I had to use a small pillow on the drivers door side to rest my arm on for comfort. Overall not a bad vehicle except for the lack of cargo room and being a bit under powered. It is a good vehicle for around town, but I'm not sure it would qualify as a car used for "Touring"... at least with cargo.
  • steelydan0613steelydan0613 Member Posts: 144
    It's nice to hear someone's first impressions of a Pacifica ride/drive, particularly when someone drove it for two weeks like you did . A one hour test drive is not the same. I agree with most of your observations, backing up gets easier , you get to know the mirrors well . Most SUV's have this trait to some degree.

    As far as the power is concerned , I live in flat Houston, Tx, so I don't have a problem. The Autostick works on hills well, I find you just have to stab the throttle in Drive and there is enough oomph to pass easily , you just have to really mash it as the transmissiont , while unobtrusive, likes to hold the gear it's in. Or just use the Autostick.

    The Autostick does hold the gear it's in, which is nice. No upshifts unless you want it to. I use the Autostick with cruise control a lot as you can push "Resume" and the Pacifica will just ease back up to cruising speed instead of going through an urgent upshift in "Drive" mode.............

    Bottom line: the more you drive it , the less underpowered it seems to me. I really would rather have a 5 spd. auto , a few hundred less pounds of weight, and the 3.5 L would be fine. After all, it makes 250 HP and 250 ft. lbs. of torque......
  • axr6axr6 Member Posts: 42
    I agree with you on the need for a 5 speed tranny. Presently there are large gaps in the gearing. It would greatly address the "underpowered" feelings by being able to better keep the engine in its power range.

    I had just returned from a nearly 3000 mile trip where we kayaked down 240 miles of the Colorado river throught the Grand Canyon. Had 4 adults in the car, and 3 white water kayaks and 5 paddles on the roof rack. The cargo area in the Pac was fully jammed with gear and provisions for 2 weeks. Climbed several 8,000+ feet peaks in desert heats of over 115 F degrees and one, nearly 10,000 feet (Tioga Pass). Keeping the car at the proper RPMs for climbing had privided sufficient power, even for ocassional passing. Kept my speeds at, or below 70 MPH in consideration of the large surface area roof rack loads (150 lbs). On the way back, for a full day, we had extremely strong and gusty head and side-winds, gusting to 60 MPH. The roofrack was flexing, making worrysome noises but, held!!!

    Despite all the climbing and head-winds the Pacifica returned a bit over 20 MPG trip average, which was really nice, given the loading, winds and elevation changes. Also, it is the most comfortable vehicle I've ever had. I could drive 11 hours straight and have no aches and pains when I stepped out. It was superbly stable in the wind gusts, as well.

    I did visit my dealer prior to the trip and he replaced the lower front control arms for the clunking sound. It did not fix the noise. I am pretty confident that the clunking is really originating from the transaxle assembly. I'll have them check it again when ever I visit again. Hopefully not anytime soon.
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,989
    In your description you said it was "Underpowered, lack of cargo room, poor visibility, poor armrest"...would you buy one?
  • gmctruckgmctruck Member Posts: 186
    "In your description you said it was "Underpowered, lack of cargo room, poor visibility, poor armrest"... would you buy one?"

    Is is a good vehicle for a short term weekend getaway? .... yes!
    Would I buy one to own? .... No, not unless some improvements were made on future models. Cargo room was my biggest complaint. With three of the four rear seats folded down, space was still very tight. If we had two kids instead of one, I would not have had enough room for everything to fit. I spent more time re packing everything during our trip than I wanted to and had to allow extra time for loading. If all four rear seats are up... forget it. You'd be lucky to fit a few grocery bags back there because there's so little room. Pacifica is a nice vehicle, but it does have some issues.
  • lamronh49lamronh49 Member Posts: 86
    I've had my eye on the Pacifica for a while. Yesterday I drove a 2005 base, they were asking 18 grand but quickly went down to 16 and will probably go lower. It has 20K miles. I've also gotten two dealer prices for new 2006 base models, both at about 20Gs once all incentives and Chrysler Finance ($1000) are figured.
    I like the Pac, tho it lacks cubbies and storage stashes. I like the firm handling and great ride, it leans far less than my Impala and rides far better. I'm curious about MPG, but that appears to vary by individual. What I see here is all over the map. I'm wondering if the 3.8 will have adequate power or if I should get the 3.5. The new 2007s will be out soon, the base will have a 3.8 and 4-speed (that's dumb, it should have the 6-speed) and the other models will have the new 4.0 and 6-speed. If I got the 3.8 I'd look at modding it with cold air intake and any other simple power-adders available.
    Reliability issues appear spotty. I talked with the parts guru at one dealer, he said the same thing. He seemed pretty straight, said he'd bought a vehicle at a different Chrysler dealer because they gave a better price.
    Any suggestions welcome. I'm after a base FWD model, hopefully with side bags but I realize those are probably rare. Thanks,
  • guinnessmanguinnessman Member Posts: 3
    I test drove the Pacifica tonight. I found a lot of great things about it, but reading all these horror stories here has me concerned. To say the least, I have a car that is topping the charts for reliability but unfortunately it's not the most comfortable to drive. Now back to Pacifica. The '04 would expect to show some problems due to the fact that it was the first year production, but the reliability continues to be an issue for later models. I'm trying to put things in perspective and I'm wondering how problematic, really, is the Pacifica? Do most have problems? I love the car, its a great ride, but the reliablity issues is a big problem.

    Any thought?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 31,345
    Do most have problems?

    Not even close. Most owners are perfectly content with their trouble-free pacificas. If that wasn't the case, there'd be a heckuva lot more press than some simple messages on an automotive discussion board.

    '94 Pajero 2.8TD, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '21 WRX, '20 S90 T6, '22 4xE, '92 Nissan Gloria 3.0; '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel. 65-car history and counting! '97 Suzuki R Wagon, '97 Alto Works on the way; Wagoneer L on order; and in queue for Lucid Air Pure, Blazer EV, and Fisker Ocean.

  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
    ...there'd be a heckuva lot more press than some simple messages on an automotive discussion board.

    Yep, problems do tend to be a little more amplified than praise on message boards :surprise:
  • nelson33nelson33 Member Posts: 100
    So far, at least at 8500 miles and a year later, the Pac has been great. No real problems to report, but a couple of small ones. A defective rear door lock and I can't remember the other prob. Seems well built and solid a year later as it should be. Mine is an 05. Can't say much about the 04.

    There are more frustrated car owners in other crossover sections on than Pac owners. I don't know the Pac's reliability 5 years from now. From what I can see w. my 05, it's excellent.
  • fred222fred222 Member Posts: 200
    My wife has a 2005 Touring AWD Pacifica purchased new in Sept 2004. It has somewhere around 18K miles on it right now. The only issue with this vehicle has been that the driver's side window holding mechanism broke last year. This was replaced under warranty. Normally I do not drive this vehicle. I have however driven this vehicle through the Cascade Mtns twice during the winter with some pretty unpleasant weather and it was just fine. My wife loves the ride, the look, the power and lack of any maintenance issues.
  • guinnessmanguinnessman Member Posts: 3
    Ever since I posted my reliability question on this forum, I have been researching the Pacifica and Chrysler vehicles in general. I was alarmed to find dozens of articles, official documents(lawsuits, government investigation, police reports), and owner testimonials that pointed to major quality and safety problems with Chrysler.

    This is pretty worrisome:

    I'm glad I found this forum, and I'm glad that I've done my research. Not only have I decided not to buy the Pacifica, but I also decided to stay away from all Chrysler vehicles -- better safe, than sorry--

    Now, it doesn't mean that all Chrysler vehicles are of poor quality, and I don't intend to be bashing the brand. I'm sure there are many satisfied, repeated, loyal customers that enjoy their cars, but it seems to me that the risk of getting a lemon accompanied by poor customer service and declined warranty work is just too great for me personally.

    As with all vehicles, I suggest that you, as a smart consumer, research the vehicle you like and make your own well informed decision.

    Again, thanks everyone for responding, your help is much appreciated!
  • Jason5Jason5 Member Posts: 440
    to have owned several Chrysler Corporation vehicles over the course of my life and had positive experiences. From a first generation K-Car (which served dutifully for 60,000 miles and thru one serious accident) to my current 2000 Intrepid ES (with 146,000 miles). No steering problems, no transmission problems and no sludge concerns on any of our family vehicles from Chrysler.
    I test drove a 2007 Pacifica and found it to be a solid vehicle which meets my needs. I was particularly swayed by the changes made for 2007 and believe I'll be purchasing one before the new year. Any experiences with prices paid would be helpful.
  • b25nutb25nut Templeton, CAMember Posts: 202
    Last week I was able to see and drive the 2007 Pacifica for the first time. I have been a very satisfied owner of a 2004 Pacifica since April of 2003. I have not sat in or driven the 2005 and 2006 Pacificas, so the changes I noticed may not be exclusive to the '07.
    My first impression of my '04 was marred by what I felt was excess play in the lever for tilting the steering wheel (which is very minor since I've only used it once). This was the first thing I checked on the '07 and it is now very solid, so I felt this was a good sign that Chrysler is concerned about details.
    The second, and last, item that left me with a negative impression on the test drive of my '04 was the excessive sound that the engine made as it shifted down into second gear as I accelerated hard onto a freeway. For the '07 with the 4.0, six-speed and dual exhaust, this is a thing of the past. No one should complain again that the Pacifica can feel sluggish under some driving conditions. At 60-65 mph, pressing the accelerator gives immediate response with a very smooth down shift. A standing start gives you the feel that you have a V-8 under the hood. With the two additional speeds, you are slightly more aware now of the shift changes during acceleration. Some may say that could be improved.
    The second change that was most needed is the addition of a backup camera. The stress factor of parking lots goes way down with this option. Unlike the camera on the Lexus RX330, which provides just a wide angle view, the Pacifica camera, like that on the FX-35, has lines projected onto the view that let you know where the vehicle will be as you are backing up. If you are backing into a parking space along a street, you just have to align the line with the curb and you'll be the perfect distance away from it. It works great. When combined with backup sensors you are in full control.
    The radio antenna is now on the rear roof, which seems to make a big difference in reception. The stereo is also now set up for MP3. The front end and hood cosmetic changes add up to a slightly better looking vehicle.

    Personally, I think there are only two additional changes that Chrysler can now make to make the Pacifica a "perfect" car: illuminated controls for the speed control and an option for a panoramic or an additional moon roof.
    With the '07 Pacifica I can't see why anyone would pick anything else in its class. It blows away the FX-35, RX-350, MDX, MKX, SRX, XC-90, R-Series and everything else when every feature is factored in, especially price.
  • rodutrodut Member Posts: 343
    That guy at
    has a personal hate thing with Chrysler.

    I saw the same kind of rage Honda related (short life automatic transmissions) and Toyota related (sludge prone melting engines).

    Just search on Google :
    "Toyota engine sludge" and keep reading.

    Our 2005 Pacifica was almost trouble free, and feels very willing to continue to do so. Sure the suspension could be less noisy on gravel roads, the steering could be more tight ... so it's not technical perfection like a $60,000 BMW ... but I feel I have a friend in the garage, not an enemy. The price is lower, right ? If it doesn't matter, buy the BMW.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 31,345
    OMG. I just read the first section on that website and I gotta say that is some FUNNY STUFF.

    I love this leap of faith:

    The report estimates that close to $1.6 billion was paid out in warranty claims by Chrysler in the first and second quarters and “In terms of the percentage of sales spent on warranty claims, DaimlerChrysler is now at 4.4%, which is the lowest it's been since 2004.” We strongly believe this is a result of Chrysler's ongoing refusal to honor many valid warranty claims.

    hahahaha. Soooo... if Company B is at 10%, they are just really generous with their warranty claims, right? It has NOTHING to do with quality. Nice logic.

    '94 Pajero 2.8TD, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '21 WRX, '20 S90 T6, '22 4xE, '92 Nissan Gloria 3.0; '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel. 65-car history and counting! '97 Suzuki R Wagon, '97 Alto Works on the way; Wagoneer L on order; and in queue for Lucid Air Pure, Blazer EV, and Fisker Ocean.

  • Jason5Jason5 Member Posts: 440
    qbrozen.. We have gone through this on the Intrepid for years. One (perhaps two) folks with too much time on their hands and, perhaps, axes to grind would post these seemingly sincere complaints about Chrysler. After a time we noticed that these were, indeed, false. I notice that this particular poster--who of course doesn't OWN a Chrysler-- follows that profile. Simply click on their name and you see the usual pattern. They create a new profile and stay long enough to present information or spread vitriol....then leave.
  • guinnessmanguinnessman Member Posts: 3
    I didn't leave. I carefully read all your post with interest. I don't have anything against Chrysler and I'm not here to ruin its reputation. I'm afraid Chrysler might do that on its own. Simply put, there are too many complains for me to fell comfortable buying a Chrysler. I mean, look at this website alone. How many "lemon" complaints do you see? Now, check out Mazda or Honda forums. The number of complains drops drastically.

    The bottom line is that the choice to buy a Chrysler is not necessarily a bad one. If you like the car enough, you simply assume the greater risk and move on. The fact that you might have additional expenses down the road, versus let's say Honda or Toyota, is just an added expense of owning the car you want.

    Just to make one thing clear. I've done an extensive research on the Pacifica and Chrysler in general. One thing that is consistent is poor service and frequent quality issues. The 2006 and late 2005 models seem to be much better, but still far behind many other auto makers. I'm still considering the 2006 model, but I haven't made up my mind.

    I appreciate everyone's input. Keep them coming.
  • rodutrodut Member Posts: 343
    "FAR BEHIND other many other auto makers" is an inflated statement. I own a Pacifica, a Honda and a Volvo. I would accept that Pacifica is a little bit less sophisticated than Honda reliability wise, but Volvo is by orders of magnitude crappier than the other two together ! And my Volvo is a better than the new ones equipped with all that high-tech unreliable electronic crap !!!

    For what you pay, I think Pacifica is a great car. FWD have better gas mileage than AWD, and are faster. More reliable too (less transmission parts).
  • Jason5Jason5 Member Posts: 440
    it's an inflated statement--and an inaccurate one. In cases like this--as in the other post--you'll see someone compare traditionally domestic makes to "Honda" or "Toyota" which is, of course, an unfair comparison. Compare domestics to domestics and you get a much more accurate and better picture. In fact, maintenance costs on traditionally domestic makes are more often lower than on traditionally imported makes. Room for improvement? Sure... Poor quality and service? Not true...
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 31,345
    First off, reading internet forums is not a reliable way to judge a vehicle.

    Second, think about what you are actually reading. Is it a major complaint? A minor one? How often has one person posted about the same problem (making you think its a widespread problem, when its actually just a few really vocal people)?

    Third, think about the comparisons you make to other vehicles. Honda is quite reliable for the most part, yes. But you could easily have gotten sucked into the whole transmission scare. It was all over the internet. All over the news when the recall and extended warranties went into effect. Lots of people complaining. In the end, there was something like 1% of owners affected. Also, when you look at other companies like Mazda, for instance, think about the small number of vehicles they sell compared to bigger manufacturers, like Chrysler.

    Its funny. I actually have a habit of buying vehicles that internet forums tell me not to buy. And I've been perfectly happy with all of them.

    '94 Pajero 2.8TD, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '21 WRX, '20 S90 T6, '22 4xE, '92 Nissan Gloria 3.0; '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel. 65-car history and counting! '97 Suzuki R Wagon, '97 Alto Works on the way; Wagoneer L on order; and in queue for Lucid Air Pure, Blazer EV, and Fisker Ocean.

  • b25nutb25nut Templeton, CAMember Posts: 202
This discussion has been closed.