Several months ago I bought a used '17 Pacifica. I saw a local dealer had it listed, and it had the factory trailer tow. I was not looking for a new van, but a quick call to my brother confirmed his standing interest in my trusty '10 Town & Country. Next call was to the dealer who confirmed that it did, in fact, have the factory tow setup. The van was driven by the dealership owner's wife since new, and was a special order. I haggled for a couple of days and ended up buying the van BECAUSE it had the factory tow package. I have only towed once with it so far, and just a utility trailer on a 5+ hour jaunt to pick up a new toy. The computer in the van DOES know when a trailer is connected, as my oil life was decreasing at a faster rate when towing even though the utility trailer provided little additional load on the van. Having the 4 and 7 pin OEM plugs which are shielded against the elements is very nice, and the ability to just plug in my Tekonsha P3 is HUGE.
My previous 2010 Chrysler van did not have the towing package. It did tow fine, though I think the 4.0 in that van has more beans (real world, not on paper) than the 3.6 in the Pacifica anyway. I put off installing the trailer wiring for several years, as I didn't like the idea of running a power wire to the rear of the car to power the trailer light module. I had grand plans to rip out the interior and install the power wire "correctly", but the day came that I needed trailer lights for something, and I ended up running the wire under the car the "quick & dirty" way like everyone else. Even though it's "plug & play" you still have to run a tap to the battery. I can best describe it as a work-around. I am an aircraft mechanic, and didn't like any part of the wiring install as the directions called for it. In order to do it properly, you would need to add a circuit to the fuse box, and remove plenty of interior panels from your newly purchased van (good luck explaining that one to the Mrs.....) to properly run the wire inside adjacent to other wire bundling. You still need to find a home for the converter box (I believe mine suggested double sided sticky tape(!!!)), and a way to secure and/or retain the trailer pigtail. All of that said, a brake controller is not even considered with this arrangement. If you want that, more hot wires running around under your dash or maybe even connected directly to your battery. No thanks for me.
I watched and waited for a nice car with factory tow, and I am glad that I did. You can find one too if you are patient. You will have to be ready to pounce when one comes available. Many dealer sales departments do not understand that this is a big deal, and forget to list the option or it's buried in the 300 point list of cupholders, vanity lighting, and other stupid garbage they all list these days. Mine was not listed as trailer tow in the ad online. Do what you want. I feel that the OEM setup is worth the effort and cost. Going forward, I will not be buying a vehicle without the towing setup unless none is available - even if I don't intend to actually tow with it.
'16 Touareg TDI