Comparison Test Drives - 2017+ Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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Comparison Test Drives

I own 6 vehicles and all of them are older ranging in age from 1994 to 2006. I have simply not been motivated to buy anything new in quite a while due to the fact that nothing made today impresses me. Yes, I am picky but of I am spending 40K to 50K on a vehicle it better darn well impress me....

In addition, I was not a fan of all the technology. My older Toyota 80 series Supercharged & Modified Land Cruisers of which I have several, Toyota T-100 Pickup and 2006 Dodge Ram Laramie DRW 5.9 Long Bed Turbo Diesel suit me just fine. In addition, my wife loves her 2007 SAAB 9-3 2.0T Turbo Convertible.

However, my partner had been asking about a new car for a while. So, when I was in Sweden recently, I rented a Volvo XC90 Diesel for a great price and was actually pretty impressed. I mentioned this to my partner when I got back from the trip.

One day while passing a Volvo dealer I stopped in to check out the Volvo XC90. Unfortunately, just like Toyota, the Volvo is not available with a diesel in the US. Both companies would sell more cars if they were. In addition, as nice as the Volvo was, I honestly did not think the was worth the asking price of 86K to 90K loaded.

I told my partner the story and she said she did not really want an SUV. She said she thought a Minivan would service our needs best. I agreed and asked her why she would not let me get one 6 years earlier when I had the same thought. She said it was practical. Hmmmm, I said the same thing six years ago....but whatever.

So, we went out on a Saturday and drive four (4) minions from different manufacturers back to back. Here are my impressions:

Toyota Sienna
Only AWD but worst ride quality of the bunch. Nicer interior materials than Honda. Lacking latest technology and many desirable features. Cargo Space was OK but some was taken up by 2nd row seats folded up against the front row.

Honda Odyssey
No AWD but better ride quality than Toyota and Kia. Interior materials
not as nice as the Toyota or Kia. Lacking latest technology and many desirable features. Cargo Space was OK but some was taken up by 2nd row seats folded up against the front row.

Kia Sedona
No AWD with sloppy handling with too much wallow and roll. Very nice Interior materials in fact impressive. Better technology than Toyota and Honda but not as high quality tech as I am used to seeing on higher end vehicles.

Chrysler Pacifica
Clearly the winner and the ONLY vehicle that excited me enough to pull out my wallet. No AWD but since I already have Land Cruisers for Winter Driving in the North East this was not crucial to me. Fantastic ride quality leaps and bounds above the rest. Had the most room by far and even with my 6'8" frame and wide shoulders I was extremely comfortable. Nicest interior quality, fit and finish. Technology comparable to the 86K to 90K Volvo XC90 that I drove. Very good implementation of technology and great features. In addition, Stow & Go was a deal closer.
I could go on but the bottom line is that it the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica stands head and shoulders above the rest. Bottom line -- I purchased one.
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Rich, Janice & Travis
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 01:26 PM
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Congratulations on your purchase! Glad to hear that you came up with the same conclusion I did. And you documented your thought process for all.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-01-2016, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by 4x4NA View Post
Had the most room by far and even with my 6'8" frame and wide shoulders I was extremely comfortable.
Great comparisons! I have been researching minivans for about 3 weeks now, drove them all twice. Pros and Cons all around.

In general the Pacifica is a better minivan, due to it's a "new" car, and not just a re-design year to year.

One question. more room. What do you think about the second row bench seat? did you compare that? I think the Odyssey with the seat that separate sideways might win here.

BUT I still like the Pacifica better.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-23-2016, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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2nd Row Seat Headroom

Yes, the 2nd row seat is a minor negative for me for the following reasons:

* I am 6'7" tall and with the Tri-Panel Roof, which takes up headroom, I cannot sit in the 2nd row without hitting my head on the ceiling. However, I would assume that titling or reclining the 2nd row seat a bit would make it possible.

* Due to the Stow & Go Design there is a sacrifice when it comes to the 2nd row seating ergonomics and comfort.

I am extremely tall and I never sit in the back seat. My friend that sat in the vehicle who is normal human size did not appear to have the same issues.

However, I can tell by sitting in the 2nd row there is a sacrifice in comfort and ergonomics due to the Stow & Go Feature which is more important for us and our application.


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Originally Posted by vtncus View Post
Great comparisons! I have been researching minivans for about 3 weeks now, drove them all twice. Pros and Cons all around.

In general the Pacifica is a better minivan, due to it's a "new" car, and not just a re-design year to year.

One question. more room. What do you think about the second row bench seat? did you compare that? I think the Odyssey with the seat that separate sideways might win here.

BUT I still like the Pacifica better.

Rich, Janice & Travis
4x4 North America, inc.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-25-2016, 01:51 AM
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I never cared for the stow and go as they are more for the youngsters.....I have no kids, but carry around our friends, neighbors and I did not care for them in my 05, 07, 08, 10 nor 11 Town and Country vans, so in the 2012, 2013 and 2014I ordered with the fullsize middle bucket seats (same size as front), but the new Pacifica doesn't offer that option.....still gonna order one when I get to see the "TUSK WHITE" color when one hits a local dealer.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-07-2016, 05:05 PM
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I traded in my Honda Odyssey Elite for the Pacifica Limited last month. I have now driven 7,692 miles in one month on my new 2017 fully loaded Pacifica Limited with every option! The Honda Odyssey engine is silky smooth! It is very quiet and accelerates effortlessly. The Pacifica is close, but is not as refined or smooth as the Honda. The second row seating in the Honda has more leg room.
Both minivans are very nice, I especially like the front seats in the Chrysler, but I must give Honda the edge for one reason; it has a collision warning system that audibly warns the driver of potential rear end collisions at least a couple of car lengths in advance! Despite all of the firsts on the Pacifica, it fails with a poorly designed Front Collision Warning system (FCW +) that does not audibly warn the driver a car length or two in advance to mitigate any potential accidents CONTRARY to what is stated in its brochures, owner's manual and press releases.
To date, of the almost 8K miles I have driven, the system has not engaged at any distance except within, literally inches with a warning and breaking. I am sorry, but that is to close for comfort! The settings in the system, of Near, Med and Far do NOT result in any active change in audible warnings to the driver. In contrast, the Honda offers similar sensitivity adjustments. The Honda's Collision warning system adjusts the distance accordingly with the appropriate warning. The Honda system actually provides an audible warning to mitigate any potential accident.
The system in the Pacifica, in my opinion, is probably one of the worst designed systems on the market. If you decide to purchase a Pacifica with the optional SafetyTech Group option ($1,995) you WILL BE disappointed to learn the Forward Collision System does not operate as illustrated on Chrysler's website, page 70 of the Pacifica's owner's manual or per its press releases. For comparison, drive the Honda and Pacifica equipped with the Forward Collision features. Chrysler does not recommend testing their system, SO DON'T! In the Honda, you will quickly realize how a Forward Collision System works if you adjust the sensitivity of the warning system! The Honda, without fail, will provide an audible alert! This standard Safety feature on the Honda Odyssey Elite will most likely mitigate rear end collisions and all the consequences of such an accident! So despite the firsts on Pacifica, I would purchase the Honda Odyssey Elite in a minute! Safety first!

Last edited by Jaypoocha; 09-07-2016 at 05:13 PM.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-07-2016, 07:50 PM
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I traded in my Honda Odyssey Elite for the Pacifica Limited last month. I have now driven 7,692 miles in one month on my new 2017 fully loaded Pacifica Limited with every option! The Honda Odyssey engine is silky smooth! It is very quiet and accelerates effortlessly. The Pacifica is close, but is not as refined or smooth as the Honda. The second row seating in the Honda has more leg room.
Both minivans are very nice, I especially like the front seats in the Chrysler, but I must give Honda the edge for one reason; it has a collision warning system that audibly warns the driver of potential rear end collisions at least a couple of car lengths in advance! Despite all of the firsts on the Pacifica, it fails with a poorly designed Front Collision Warning system (FCW +) that does not audibly warn the driver a car length or two in advance to mitigate any potential accidents CONTRARY to what is stated in its brochures, owner's manual and press releases.
To date, of the almost 8K miles I have driven, the system has not engaged at any distance except within, literally inches with a warning and breaking. I am sorry, but that is to close for comfort! The settings in the system, of Near, Med and Far do NOT result in any active change in audible warnings to the driver. In contrast, the Honda offers similar sensitivity adjustments. The Honda's Collision warning system adjusts the distance accordingly with the appropriate warning. The Honda system actually provides an audible warning to mitigate any potential accident.
The system in the Pacifica, in my opinion, is probably one of the worst designed systems on the market. If you decide to purchase a Pacifica with the optional SafetyTech Group option ($1,995) you WILL BE disappointed to learn the Forward Collision System does not operate as illustrated on Chrysler's website, page 70 of the Pacifica's owner's manual or per its press releases. For comparison, drive the Honda and Pacifica equipped with the Forward Collision features. Chrysler does not recommend testing their system, SO DON'T! In the Honda, you will quickly realize how a Forward Collision System works if you adjust the sensitivity of the warning system! The Honda, without fail, will provide an audible alert! This standard Safety feature on the Honda Odyssey Elite will most likely mitigate rear end collisions and all the consequences of such an accident! So despite the firsts on Pacifica, I would purchase the Honda Odyssey Elite in a minute! Safety first!
I've driven only 400 miles and twice had the front collision avoidance system go off, so not sure if yours is working. In my case (as with my previous car with the system), it goes off when coming up on a car turning right. I don't slow down, because I know the car will move out of the way, but the system doesn't know that and audibly and visually warns to break. Perhaps, though, I'm not sure, the difference may be that the system doesn't warn if you are already breaking some? Don't know what to tell you, but to me, the system has worked exactly as advertised (if anything, it was too aggressive in its warning).
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-07-2016, 10:37 PM
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Wink Questionable Quality Control

Quote:
Originally Posted by goofydisneydaddy View Post
I've driven only 400 miles and twice had the front collision avoidance system go off, so not sure if yours is working. In my case (as with my previous car with the system), it goes off when coming up on a car turning right. I don't slow down, because I know the car will move out of the way, but the system doesn't know that and audibly and visually warns to break. .
It is great to hear your FCW system is functioning as designed and per page 70 of the owner's manual. Hopefully, Chrysler will read this forum and/or get enough complaints of faulty FCW systems on the Pacifica they will advise there techs how to diagnose this issue without a system code! In the meantime, for comparison, I would strongly suggest that any buyer contemplating purchasing a Pacifica to experience the Honda and other minivans equipped with this feature to know what to expect. As an owner of others cars in the past with a forward collision system, I know what to expect. Thank you goofydisneydaddy for confirming my suspicion of a faulty FCW system.

Last edited by Jaypoocha; 09-07-2016 at 10:40 PM.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 10:42 AM
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I dont think the competition is really more reliable anymore. Wasnt it consumer report who had bunch of issues on their odyssey?
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by 4x4NA View Post
Yes, the 2nd row seat is a minor negative for me for the following reasons:

* I am 6'7" tall

Hi 4x4NA,

I am 5'10" and all cars seem to have good headroom for me.

What other things are special about how you evaluate cars?

For example; Does a tilt/telescoping wheel help with your seating, or is it ineffective?

Are there cars that have been great for you out of the gate or with little modification?

Best,
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