Curious why the kids like that 8th seat installed? I've explicitly been shopping for the 7-seat config so we can get the pano sunroof... maybe I should rethink?
My kids are 14, 12, and 2. When we're just driving around town, they prefer to all sit in the second row. It's wide enough for them to sit comfortably and then nobody has to climb into the back. On longer trips, one of them will sit in the 3rd row, but they still want the 8th seat installed because it folds down into an armrest with cup holders. When we decided to get the 8 passenger, I figured the 8th seat would only get installed occasionally when the kids had friends with them. I didn't realize how much the kids would end up liking the flexibility with it installed.
Also, what did you mean by a spare tire in the bin... like a spare donut for the car?! I didn't think those bins were big enough... last time I test drove, it looked like a space for a backpack, not a spare tire... but it's possible I'm overestimating how large tires are (sort of picturing a full size car tire in my head).
The spare tire kit for the Pacifica is an inflatable type donut that's made to be small. The kit also comes with a jack, and they both fit perfectly in the bin.
Also do you use the vacuum at all, or is that just fantasty?
I use the vacuum all the time. My wife likes to give out snacks in the car, so there are always goldfish and cheeze-its on the floor. I do wish that the vacuum was on the passenger side instead of the driver's side. I've always had the youngest kid on the passenger side to see them better while driving, which I would guess is pretty common. But then you have to pull the vacuum hose from the other side of the van to suck up the goldfish. Other than that one gripe, the vacuum works well.