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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for opinions on whether the $2795 premium for AWD is worth. We have owned 3 Pacificas and currently have a FWD one. Winters in NW Indiana lately have been pretty tame from a snow standpoint. We use the van for going to dog shows and trials so the AWD may come in handy at some point. However, the FWD has proven adequate during snow.
Was looking to place an order for a new 2022.
Thanks in advance for your comments.
 

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2018 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L
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Looking for opinions on whether the $2795 premium for AWD is worth. We have owned 3 Pacificas and currently have a FWD one. Winters in NW Indiana lately have been pretty tame from a snow standpoint. We use the van for going to dog shows and trials so the AWD may come in handy at some point. However, the FWD has proven adequate during snow.
Was looking to place an order for a new 2022.
Thanks in advance for your comments.
If the FWD model is working okay for you now, I'd pass on the AWD option. It just adds more things that can fail or wear out, especially if you plan on keeping it for a while.
 

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2018 Pacifica Touring L+
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I agree with freddie73. We also have dogs that we take to various trials, mostly in the Upper Midwest, and so far the FWD Pacifica has been fine with Michelin Defender tires. The reason we also have an AWD Pacifica is because I sometimes tow a boat which we launch and recover from various area lakes. We also travel to the SoCal area to visit daughter. The AWD will be used if we need to cross the Rockies during times when snow might be present.
 

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Figure how long your going to keep it for and then divide the price by the number of years . Either way it’s also a added feature if you ever resell it . The bigger brakes on the front and the peace of mind more awd on demand to some are piece of mind even if you only use it one time .
 

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I have not owned a 4wd vehicle, but I take delight in passing them while they are in ditches in heavy snow. To be fair, it is not the vehicles, but the drivers who feel 4wd makes them immune to the laws of physics. Yes, 4wd helps you go forward, but does zero to prevent a skid in a turn or while braking.
 

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I'm in a FWD Pacifica and coming from all RWD cars for the past 25 years, it's kinda silly to think I would need AWD. In truth, we don't get more than 2 or 3 snows per year, so that made the decision even easier. As another l person mentioned, the tires are more important.
 

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I have not owned a 4wd vehicle, but I take delight in passing them while they are in ditches in heavy snow. To be fair, it is not the vehicles, but the drivers who feel 4wd makes them immune to the laws of physics. Yes, 4wd helps you go forward, but does zero to prevent a skid in a turn or while braking.
4WD and AWD are two different things. AWD will help prevent a skid in a turn or while braking as the system actively modulates power to the drive wheels. Not all AWD perform equally. I saw videos of a few different AWD brands being driven through an icy curve and up a slippery slope. The difference in performance was apparent. Subaru's system performed the best.

I agree that too many people over drive their vehicle for conditions or their driving skills. I live in snow country but don't feel a need for AWD. No doubt AWD will minimize any wheel spin when starting off from a stop or while driving through deeper snow but I have never been stopped from going where I needed. A little wheel spin is a good indicator of road conditions and a reminder to drive accordingly. I do use dedicated snow tires in the winter.
 

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The question is, what kind of driving are you going to do? Personally, I would get the AWD. AWD just makes the van more capable and gives it more utility. As an example, we rented a cabin one time that had a steep gravel driveway. So steep that there was no way to get our FWD Pacifica up it, it would just lose traction and it wouldn't go anywhere. My brother was joining us and he had an AWD Nissan Murano which went up the driveway no problem. We had to leave the Pacifica in the grass down the hill, transfer all our crap to the Murano and use it to get it all up the driveway. Huge PITA. Had the Pacifica been AWD, none of that would have been necessary.

Another time we were traveling and had to get up a steep grassy field to get to a remote cemetery. We were in the Pacifica because we had my kids and my brother and his wife. We got up that hill, but it was high drama foot to the floor slinging mud the whole way up, AWD would have been no drama.

We're going skiing next month, my plan is to take my Mercedes because its AWD. That presents a huge PITA because we will have to pack to be able to take it vs the Pacifica which obviously has way more space for a road trip. If the Pacifica were AWD, that wouldn't be an issue.

So, the AWD gives the van a lot more utility IMO.
 

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2021 Pacifica Limited AWD, Black/ Red "S" Appearance Package, PSS, 20" Foreshadow Wheels
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I've owned so many different cars in my life as a driver, from RWD (Still have a 2010 Mustang GT), to FWD (too many cars to mention) and AWD, ('05 Subaru Legacy GT),('14 GMC Acadia AWD), (My current '21 Chrysler Pacifica AWD and a '20 Hyundai Kona AWD). I live in New Jersey which can get a lot of snow, although in recent years, not as much. FWD is clearly better than RWD. Even with very good tires and judicious use of throttle, my Mustang GT is a beast in even light snow (I have Michelin Pilot AS/3 255/35-20's), the rear just loves to break loose and send me fishtailing. My '17 Chrysler Pacifica FWD Limited was significantly better than the Mustang, but that's not saying much. Trying to get up my driveway which is not unusually steep was difficult to impossible with my '17 Pacifica if there was ice or snow or any combination of the two. My Subary, GMC and Hyundai all AWD vehicles made the driveway every time, sometimes with a little slippage but they always bit back in and got it done. I haven't driven our '21 Pacifica in the snow yet, it snowed the other day but was quickly cleared. To me, the difference is AWD will always get you going, unless it's extreme conditions. Like others have said, just because you get going doesn't mean you can brake quicker or better or turn better. Both have to be done very carefully, and AWD, even the most complicated systems don't make either of those a no brainer. Initial traction is what AWD has in spades over wither FWD or AWD. If that means anything to you, then it's worth it. As someone also mentioned, tires are important too. If you get dedicated winter tires for your FWD it will help a lot in the winter but you must change them as soon as you can because they are awful on dry and big neagtive once the warm climes come. Winter tires on an AWD make it just about invincible, so there's that. Good luck whichever way you go. In snow and ice, AWD > FWD or RWD.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the reply’. Decided to go with AWD. Planning on ordering. Now trying to decide if I want to go Touring L or Limited. Configured, the Touring L is about $2k less. Not sure on need power third row as it stays stowed, or the upgraded sound system or outside mirrors. Still deciding.
 

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My experience? You're never going to say "I wish I hadn't gotten all these features". If youre ordering, get the Limited.
 

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Thanks for the reply’. Decided to go with AWD. Planning on ordering. Now trying to decide if I want to go Touring L or Limited. Configured, the Touring L is about $2k less. Not sure on need power third row as it stays stowed, or the upgraded sound system or outside mirrors. Still deciding.
Those power folding third row seats are one reason I went with the Touring L. Too slow and prone to failure. Another thing about the Limited is the metal ring the goes around the front of the steering wheel. Folks here have complained that even with the heated steering wheel in the winter it is coooold. The high today where I live was 2F above. BUT, the Limited does come with lots of other goodies, like sunroof, 8-way front passenger seat with auto advance and return, vacuum and other "shtuff" you may or may not want or need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Those power folding third row seats are one reason I went with the Touring L. Too slow and prone to failure. Another thing about the Limited is the metal ring the goes around the front of the steering wheel. Folks here have complained that even with the heated steering wheel in the winter it is coooold. The high today where I live was 2F above. BUT, the Limited does come with lots of other goodies, like sunroof, 8-way front passenger seat with auto advance and return, vacuum and other "shtuff" you may or may not want or need.
Agreed on the steering wheel. My wife hated that on our first Limited. Burn your hand when hot, ice cold when freezing. Pretty much all the goodies mentioned above come in the package available on the Touring L.
 

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We've got a 21 with AWD. We're in the Chicago area. We love it. It's been great this week on the uphill ice rink that is our driveway. We've also done a fair amount of driving on gravel roads out west. It did a great job there too.

The only thing we don't like is that there is no spare tire available for the AWD model. They have bigger brake calipers and need a full size 18" rim.
 

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2017 Pacifica LX
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Looking for opinions on whether the $2795 premium for AWD is worth. We have owned 3 Pacificas and currently have a FWD one. Winters in NW Indiana lately have been pretty tame from a snow standpoint. We use the van for going to dog shows and trials so the AWD may come in handy at some point. However, the FWD has proven adequate during snow.
Was looking to place an order for a new 2022.
Thanks in advance for your comments.
As all these comments illustrate, there are a lot of pros and cons. I'd say if you can afford it, and afford to repair it (!) get the AWD. It has been interesting for us--we had an '02 Grand Caravan (FWD) that handled beautifully in snow. Our '17 Pacifica (FWD) has a LOT of low end torque, which makes me wary in snow. I've had to develop a much lighter touch on the gas with this vehicle. Fortunately we've moved about 850 miles farther South, and don't get nearly as much here in KY. We traded a 2010 Subaru Legacy for the Pacifica, and I do miss its AWD. We'll be replacing the tires on the '17 before long, so I've been following those discussion threads with interest. So much good information!
 

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2022 Pacifica Hybrid Limited, Fathom Blue ordered 10/30/21, built 12/08/21, delivered 12/23/21.
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Those power folding third row seats are one reason I went with the Touring L. Too slow and prone to failure. Another thing about the Limited is the metal ring the goes around the front of the steering wheel. Folks here have complained that even with the heated steering wheel in the winter it is coooold. The high today where I live was 2F above. BUT, the Limited does come with lots of other goodies, like sunroof, 8-way front passenger seat with auto advance and return, vacuum and other "shtuff" you may or may not want or need.
Just an update about 2022 models - the limited no longer has that metal ring. I have a 2022 Limited Hybrid and the steering wheel has no metal and heats just like the wheel in my ram 1500. Regarding FWD vs AWD I know the OP already made the decision but I will just through out that I have been driving Ram's since 2014 with RWD/4wd auto which acts like a middle ground between 2wd/awd/4wd in that it is rwd until there is traction loss and it then adds fwd to the mix. the other vehicle I had before the truck and then has been my wife's car until we got the 22 pacifica was a subaru outback starting with an 02 and ending with a 20. I live in MN and often travel into rural northern parts of the state in winter and summer for camping and hunting. My truck with Blizzak dedicated winter tires and the multiple drive options and clearance is amazing. The subarus even with all seasons were phenomenal in snow - their awd is the best as stated in other comments. Now to the point of my story - the pacifica FWD has been really surprising this winter - running the OEM all season Yokohama Avid tires it isn't great on ice but in snow with the traction control and the extra weight from the hybrid battery (don't think OP was talking hybrid) it is really surprising on snow covered hills. Final point in my long post - I still want winter tires, it is a pain to store the extra set but once I invested in a set of ded tires/rims for my truck discount tire always makes the seasonal swap free of charge and I feel much safer in icy/snow/rain when the temp is below 40f with the blizzaks - I figure if it prevents a single fender bender they paid for themselves and if it prevents and injury for sure.
 

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As all these comments illustrate, there are a lot of pros and cons. I'd say if you can afford it, and afford to repair it (!) get the AWD. It has been interesting for us--we had an '02 Grand Caravan (FWD) that handled beautifully in snow. Our '17 Pacifica (FWD) has a LOT of low end torque, which makes me wary in snow. I've had to develop a much lighter touch on the gas with this vehicle. Fortunately we've moved about 850 miles farther South, and don't get nearly as much here in KY. We traded a 2010 Subaru Legacy for the Pacifica, and I do miss its AWD. We'll be replacing the tires on the '17 before long, so I've been following those discussion threads with interest. So much good information!
I don't see what the cons are. I have had many AWD and 4WD vehicles from many manufacturers and have never had to make one repair to the AWD system of a car...

And yeah, the FWD Pacifica will light the tires up from a stop in the rain with 1/3rd throttle...its not great in the snow.
 

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I don't see what the cons are. I have had many AWD and 4WD vehicles from many manufacturers and have never had to make one repair to the AWD system of a car...

And yeah, the FWD Pacifica will light the tires up from a stop in the rain with 1/3rd throttle...its not great in the snow.
I think the only obvious con is MPG and that varies a lot depending on driving style and type so a bigger deal for some than others and like everything a trade off for capability.
 

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Across the board MPG drop with AWD and also that all four tires must be replaced if there is a premature failure on one. Twice on my last AWD did I have to buy whole new all around set of tires due to either sidewall or other single tire failure.

I live in South Bend, FWD all my life except six years AWD, and really I will stay FWD.
 

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Across the board MPG drop with AWD and also that all four tires must be replaced if there is a premature failure on one. Twice on my last AWD did I have to buy whole new all around set of tires due to either sidewall or other single tire failure.

I live in South Bend, FWD all my life except six years AWD, and really I will stay FWD.
I'd gladly take that to be able to drive up a gravel driveway on vacation lol
 
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