Jerry, I don't disagree that many grandparents would buy a van with features marketed at children, but a lot don't. Here is a post I made on another Mopar forum that better describes what I would like to see. I now own a '14 T&C Limited, so some of the comments are about it, but the discussion was about the plunging sales figures for the Pacifica. None of my suggestions and complaints are big dollar items, but rather some things that would appeal to a rather large number of people who are totally ignored by the marketing gurus.
"The first thing I would want in any new vehicle is a wider choice of colors, both inside and out. Since my comments were made with older customers in mind, I’ll speak just to that point.
As far as colors, so many older people live and retire to southern climates. Arizona, Florida, Texas are the most popular retirement states and they have at least one thing in common, and that’s sunny days and the accompanying heat, so lighter colors are preferred. What interior colors are offered? Black-black, black-gray, and dark brown and gray. At our age, we don’t eat sticky candy and smear it on the seats, so light colors would sure make it more comfortable to climb in the car you parked in the lot down town. I even prefer high quality cloth over leather, but nothing is available in the Limited models.
Exterior colors are much the same. Nearly all are dreary earth-tones, plus a refrigerator white, and a bland grayish white. Where are light blue, light and medium aqua, creamy yellow, warm white, copper, and gold, even some greens…and dare I say…two-tones?
Features? Well, in the five years I’ve owned this one, the third seat has never been sat in, so how about making the seat easily removable so I can use the covered area to store things we don’t want thieves to see? Ditto for the entertainment system. Five years and the screens in my van have never been turned on. I’m fine with being optional, but I don’t need or want them…but I would love having free upgrades to the navigation maps and Sirius subscription.
Another feature could be resurrected from 1959 Chrysler products…the swivel bucket seats. My wife isn’t the only one with serious back problems, but she has difficulty getting into all cars because of the way you have to twist to get in the seat.
And where did the nice features go? Rear vent windows, dual glove boxes, Under-seat storage, I can’t begin to use all that cup storage, but the console ones could be larger diameter so insulated metal cups would fit instead of allowing them to spill if you have to brake hard.
We aren’t the only retirees with small pets, but no one makes a pet seat where they can see out the window. We’ve tried several. How about a Mopar accessory that mounts on the console between and behind the front passengers?
Speaking of consoles, it seems everything designed since the premium version on my ’08 T&C has become less and less useful.
Now that the spare has moved inside, how about a bin on the floor in front of the console that is insulated and has an outside drain so a couple of soft drinks could be stored in ice? That alone would convince my wife to buy!
Those are just off the top of my head, and I know they probably offer nothing to soccer moms, but I guarantee you that many retirees with disposable income would love them."