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Would NEVER buy an American vehicle -- Pacifica changed that

We needed a replacement minivan, coming from a 03 Odyssey and 12 Sienna LE that was recently totalled. All set to buy a used 15 Sienna XLE (traditionally a Japanese Mfr car buyer -- 98 Corolla that still runs at 352K, and a 03 Camry) -- when I suggested checking out the Pacifica before putting down a deposit. Heard many good things, though hard to believe that a minivan could be better than a Sienna XLE. My wife was skeptical (would never buy an American car, much less a CHRYSLER??) and had arms folded during the initial sales talk.

The test drive changed all that.

We had just selected the used Sienna as our vehicle of choice, admiring the minor refresh that the 15 provides over our old 12 Sienna. But this Chrysler Pacifica is a whole different vehicle. The smoothness, the quiet and controlled ride, the interior luxury -- left such a strong impression in both of us. Suddenly we found ourselves negotiating on a new 2018 Touring L. What sealed the deal was the 8.4 UConnect and Apple Carplay/Android Auto -- so easy to use. The OTD price ended up only $5K more than the used Sienna.

Now 5012 miles later, this Pacifica Touring L is still going strong with NO issues. Both of us love to drive this van and my wife has used the Stow and Go numerous times, praising the versatility each time she converts the seats. Gas mileage is better than the Sienna with plenty of smooth power. Wife says it is the best vehicle she has ever driven. No regrets at all.
 

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I started researching about two months before we had our test drive. We leased ours so not as concerned about reliability, but heard the old TC’s were pretty good reliability wise so how badly can they mess it up after the initial year of production? Toyota is on an old platform and Kia was never in the running (we have 2 Hyundai’s so nothing against Koreans) and that leaves just Honda and Chrysler.

We had a 2016 Odyssey that my wife hated, every minute of it...we got the SE so it was pretty basic other than the added RES and vacuum. She also complained the ride as floaty and rough. So when I got shuttled home in a new 2018 after bringing our van in for service earlier this year, I was convinced Honda has made great improvements in suspension tuning! On the same day we test drove the Pacifica, we also test drove the Odyssey Elite; the minute we turned out of the parking lot she asked me to go back!!! So the smooth ride was the deciding factor (BTW, Odyssey is no cheaper lease wise than PacHy), the comfortable interior, tri-pane sunroof, easy to use UConnect, and being able to go on electric only when shuttling the little one are just added bonuses! My wife even said this is one of the best cars she’s driven!

We’ve owned it just under 3 weeks and over 700 miles and have noticed minor glitches on the UConnect Theater and the hands free tailgate doesn’t seem to work even though the sliding doors do (or we’re not kicking in the right spot?)! Not major enough for me to go into the dealer to have them look at the problems...yet.
 

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I looked for another Honda but was turned off by the body style.
I remember the first Odyssey with sliding doors. I thought it looked really good, and since then they just kept getting more conservative looking. I owned the bizarre Toy van back then (until the Sienna) and it was great aside from the sunroofs I hardly ever used but that had started leaking badly in her 24th year. Tape on the roof? $4K repairs on a '92 Previa? Goodbye Penelope, you lasted longer than my relationships. One of many of her bizarre features; the 2nd row captain's swiveled 180°, and the third, split row reclined beyond flat until the top-back hit the floor. Directly above the 2nd row, half of the roof opened up. So in Yosemite, you could back up to your favorite view, open the tailgate, and recline in the 2nd row while the 3rd made the perfect ottoman with the wind rushing through the pine needles above.
 

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The devil made me do it!
 

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Below are a few points of why I bought Pacifica:

1. Exterior look of the limited trim with upgraded 20" wheels, front camera and dark paint. This combo makes it the most handsome looking minivan available currently. It's front is very elegant with the LED, HID, chrome mirror and front camera. But when you look at it's sides, it gives you a somewhat agressive, sharp and sporty feel. Some of people thought it's actually not a minivan I purchased and but a nice looking SUV. This is something you will not get from Honda or Sienna.

2. The interior looks and feels more upscale and European comparing to the Honda and Toyota. The two tone steering wheel. Nappa leather seats, Transmission knob, the center focused but less clustered control console with right amount of physical buttons, the 2 screen Uconnect entertainment system, the tripanel sunroof and interior fit and finish make it's interior much more pleasing to touch and see than it's competitions.

3. I don't know about other trims. But I got the limited with all options expect the wireless charging pad. That basically gives you everything you need for safety, connecivity, technology convience and entertainments. It's arguably the most comprehensive option list you can get on a minivan.

4. One of the Pacifica big selling points to me is the 360 degree camera which is very very helpful in many parking situations. Honday does not offer that when I puchased the Pacifica last year. I am not sure about their 2019 model.

5. Another great feature is the hand-free power tailgate and slide doors. You kick below the bumper or the space below your slidedoor to open your tailgate and slidedoor when you hands are full. Honda odyssey relys on touch-a-botton on the minvan or the remote to open doors.

6. Power third row. This makes life much easier epecially for people who need to fold the third row up and down for extra cargo space. I don't think the Japanese makers offer that at all.

7. Stow and go. A killer feature and I use this feature to move stuff very often. I cannot imagine I need to remove and reinstall the seats everytime when I need the space It matters to many people who may use their minivan to move large size items. For me it's a serious deal maker. But for some people, this is just a feature they rarely need.

8. You will be impressed by its driving dynamic (in most situations), quietness, ride quailty (Mercede level) , second/third row space and comfort and the theater sound (get the HK).

9. And worth to mention, The limited's passenger seat got the same power treament and control with 4 ways lumbar support as the driver seat. Honda's Elite offers only the basic 4 ways power passenger seat which is very japanese-cheap-car-fashion and of course underwhelming.



But here are the things I think Pacifica missed:

1. Transimission gear paddles to allow us get the best out of this great engine.
2. Heads-up-display option.
3. Should have offered softer seat for limited. Although seats on limited are Nappa, it's on the hard side. I am not sure it has something to do with that they are profilated.
4. A better and longer ( elongated) thigh support design for first and seond row.
5. A better tail cross path radar alert. My 14 T&C 's backup cross path radar was much more sensitive and reliable than the one on my 18 pacifica.
6. I want something beyond the current HK sound system offer. The HK sysyem is very nice. But if it can give a even more upscale offer, I will probably take it.
7. AWD. If they can keep the price reasonable with this option or trim, this minivan is an easy pick for many people who live in snow states.
8. Slide (back and forth) second row.

To me, Honda Odyessy elite's biggest real advanatage is the driving dynamic because of it's excellent 10 gear transimision with paddles. This combination makes acceleration effortless and quiet even in very challenging situations such as steep uphill acceleation. Also, sitting quality (especially for long trip) of the odyessy on the second and third rows may be better than Pacifica as Honda's seats are little bigger and more softly padded. With that said, I still found pacifica's second and third seats rows quite comforatable and adequate for long trip.
 

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Thanks

The pic was shot the same day as my post. I love the colour also. With 2 coats of wax its hard to beat.
 

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In hindsight, I realize my tongue-in-cheek post above may be taken the wrong way by younger people who do not know the character in the picture. "Her" name is Geraldine Jones. She was (played in drag) the alter ego of one of the finest comedians of the 60s through the 70s, Flip Wilson. She was a sassy, brassy, take-no-prisoners, flirty Southern black gal. She had two laugh lines that made it into the general pop culture lexicon: "What you see is what you get!" and "The Devil made me do it!". In Flip Wilson's own words:

“The secret of my success with Geraldine
is that she's not a put-down of women.
She's smart, she's trustful, she's loyal,
she's sassy ... women can like Geraldine,
men can like Geraldine, everyone can
like Geraldine.”

—Flip Wilson

I watched almost every episode of "The Flip Wilson Show", his smash hit variety TV show. If asked why, I would say, "The Devil made me do it!"
 

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Will only buy an American vehicle and my wife wants a van. That leaves the Pacifica.
 

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Will only buy an American vehicle and my wife wants a van. That leaves the Pacifica.
Well, the Pacifica is assembled in Canada, the engine is made by Chrysler in Mexico, the transmission is built in South Carolina by a German company, and Chrysler itself is owned and controlled by an Italian conglomerate. In all seriousness, the Honda Odyssey may well be more "American" than the Pacifica. Still, it's a great vehicle.
 

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Lucky Me

I was looking at the Sienna but their base model price was about 33k. I never buy Chrysler brand before but I heard a lot of horrible stories about it. I know electrical will be the main problems for Chrysler brand thats why I go for the base L model just to be safe. Also, the price I paid is only $20,400 brand new with only 5 miles, plus 2018 is the second year of this model so the reliability would be a lot better than the first year.

Thinks about it, 20k for a minivan with all the options, even a honda civic quote at the price. Who would be crazy enough to buy a small civic when you can get a best looking minivan with 3.6L.

In the end, with 5k miles during the 4 months i purchased, the minivan run perfectly free of problems. My wife loves it and I loved taking my kids on a weekend trip to camping/hiking/picnic...etc

I don't know, I guess I liked to take risk, I even buy those cheap Chinese scooter 150cc online and been running it for more than a year without any problems. Maybe I'm lucky.
 
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Christogo pretty much nailed it, though I'm not sure AWD is much of an issue with a minivan...at least not for me. We'd lose the second row Stow 'n' Go with AWD. I liked the look of the Pacifica when it came out and when the time came to hang up the RVing hat, it was on the top of our list. The second and third rows folding into the floor was icing on the cake. It beats lifting 70 lb seats out and storing them in the garage. The vast amount of space with the seats down is beyond useful. We can take our dogs, cat and anything we want on our trips to our second home in the mountains.

For gripes, I would add the transmission. It's too indecisive when climbing hills, especially with cruise control. My 3.5L Ecoboost F-150 would rocket up 8% grades without downshifting. Torque is a wonderful thing! The transmission in my 2014 Grand Cherokee with the same engine was recalled for it's tendency to roll off when it wasn't in park, but it didn't hunt like this one. The Pacifica is averaging at least 3 mpg better than the GC and has a lot more room and tech goodies.
 

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So I bought the Pacifica Hybrid, and not the gas version and the answer boiled down to 4 factors that led us to choose it:

1. We needed a minivan (this was a combination of factors that mostly involved a growing family)
2. We wanted to buy new primarily for the latest safety features
3. The Plug-in Hybrid would save us significant cost in fuel (most of our trips are under 30 miles daily)
4. In Maryland we were able to get $9,100 off the price due to Federal and State Rebates

Overall after taking into account rebates we were able to get a top-of-the-line hybrid minivan with significantly higher MPG's than Honda/Toyota and all the advanced safety features, and also a plush interior that imho bested the Odyssey, for the price of a mid-level Odyssey/Sienna.

Other thoughts: A car companies reliability is not static, and the Pacifica is the most reliable car FCA has made to date (lets not talk about the HONDA transmission debacle a few years ago). The electric drive-train of the Hybrid in my opinion lowered the overall maintenance as well. I've occasionally come across parking-lots that have free EV charging and prime parking for EVs, and my greenhouse gas emissions are lower (if your a person who cares about that kinda thing).

Overall I am going around 1000-1200 miles per tank of gas, and the car rides smoother than baby's bottom. I got everything I wanted in the car, and I'm very happy with it.

I have owned my Pacifica since Feb 3, 2018 (4 months as of this writing) and we have even driven it from DC to Chicago and back (with a stop off in Michigan) and had no problems with it. I drove 700 miles with the A/C blasting a cool 72 degrees, and the speedometer reading in excess of 73 mph on average and still managed 30+ mpgs. That was my main selling factor.
 

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PHEV.

If Toyota or Honda had a PHEV minivan... I might have considered them instead.

Style wise, I actually prefer the Sienna and Odyssey over the Pacifica.
 

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Answering why I chose the Pacifica:
I did TONS of research...as I once put to a pushy realtor, "I don't even buy a purse the first time I see it." I have driven Chevy Suburbans since 1984. I no longer needed the towing capacity, but I wanted storage capacity. Also, the gas mileage on the Suburban was getting on my nerves. When I saw that Chrysler was coming out with a hybrid minivan, I started reading everything I could find and watching all the test videos from all sources. At 68 years of age, I went to my first auto show! With that intro, here's what pleased me:

-- Impressive 5-star safety ratings on virtually all categories.
-- Hybrid with $7,500 tax credit at the time (which made the hybrid pretty comparable in price to the gas model)...sorry for those who missed the credit.
-- Automated lift gate and side doors, kick open feature an added bonus.
-- Park Assist … OMG, I don't know how I lived all those years without it, altho it took me a long time to try it...one parallel parking spot and I was hooked.
-- FLAT surface when the second row seats are removed. Yes, the one disadvantage to me is that I have to remove the seats in the hybrid BUT in 14 years with my last Suburban, I NEEDED to carry more than one passenger maybe ten times...not worth giving up the hybrid for the ease of stowing the seats inside the van almost year-round. (I said I needed storage capacity, not seating capacity.) Referring to the question on other vans, I went shopping with my friend several years ago before she bought her most recent Town and Country, and the Toyota we looked at had these big raised fittings when you took the seats out...NOT at all of interest for the kind of storage I needed.
-- As far as reliability, previously reference friends has been driving Town and Countrys for many years, and I have not seen her go through any major problems with them, altho she keeps them for a good long time. On the other hand, an acquaintance recently told me he gave away a Honda minivan when they said it needed the 4th transmission!

I'm sure there are more reasons I chose the Pacifica Hybrid, but I think those are the main things. I have had it for 9 months now. I LOVE it!! It has not yet been in the shop. I just scheduled my 10,000 mile service, and I don't have anything out of the ordinary for them to check. I recently checked the NHTSA recall site because of the reported cruise control issue, but it doesn't even look as if my vehicle is in the recall. I will of course ask the service person, but it looks like it's only the gas model that is being recalled for that.

I don't have my mileage numbers handy, but my sense is that it's getting around 40 mpg. Electricity charges in my area are pretty good, and I really didn't see a change in my utility bill when I started charging it. A few months ago, I did put a level II charger in my garage so I can charge it in 2 hours, not 11.

I have not regretted my decision to buy this vehicle one bit.
 

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For all the reasons stated already but I want to reemphasize the better utility, capability, and convenience over the SUVs and other vans we looked at. We are hauling grand kids now in addition to recreational stuff so the interior space can't be beat. In addition, the stow and go second row was a big decision factor for me. I don't miss manhandling and storing very heavy seats as I did with my chevy Astro van. I have almost 3k miles after three months and gas mileage isn't averaging 23 so far. I am a very happy Pacifica owner so far. Hope you are too!
 

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Question 1: Chose the Pacifica because of the forward view/surround view camera (was a must for my wife), and because it was much cheaper out the door than a comparable Odyssey (only other van we considered, we traded a 2015 Kia Sedona SXL).

Question 2: Mostly still happy. We've had intermittent freezing of the uConnect screen which is really annoying, and both out headphones are broken (covered, replacements are on their way). Got the latest update for the uConnect and it seems to be fixed, we'll see.

If the screen freezing is fixed, we're still happy. If not, then I wish we'd gotten the Odyssey.
 

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Not necessarily better over at Odyclub

If not, then I wish we'd gotten the Odyssey.
Unfortunately the new 2018 Odyssey has had its own share of issues -- maybe typical for first model year issue, but a bit surprising for a Honda.
 

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We chose the Pacifica because it was bar far the cheapest minivan out there besides the outdated dodge caravan. There were huge incentives for the dealers to move the 2017's off the lot, especially the touring model. I did plenty of research and believe it or not the Hondas and Toyotas don't rank any higher in reliability than the Pacifica (according to Consumer Reports - New Cars). The Kia actually rated higher in reliability but CR didn't recommend it (CR recommended the Honda, Toyota and Pacifica). We were actually going to buy a Kia but it would have been for a 2018 and it would have cost $2K more for a comparably equipped model. We liked the Toyota, Honda, Kia, and Pacifica and would have gone with any of them depending on the price, they all had their trade offs. We ended up finding a new (300 miles on the odometer) Pacifica Touring at Carmax for $24,599 ($26,700 out the door). Used Toyotas that were +3 years old with plenty of miles were going in that price range. The best Kia could do was $28,800 out the door. The stow and go seating was a nice touch too, but this does mean the seats are a little flimsier.

I would recommend going to barnes and noble and buying the Consumer reports guide for new cars so you can compare reliability ratings. Don't believe the hype, reliablity varies from model to model within every brand.
 

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Hello,



Title is Question 1 for those of you who did your research ( or not :smile2:) what made you choose, and purchase, the Chrysler Pacifica over other minivans like the the Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona etc. I'm just starting the search and really like the style of the Pacifica and the stow-n-go seats but noticed that Chrysler doesn't rank very high in reliability. They're all about the same on MPG. I'm looking to purchase a van that will last years to come and you definitely see more old toyota's and honda's but not many Chrysler's, ya know?

EDIT: If you chose it for style and look, that's OK as well :) Just curious about what made you choose it.

Any input on what your research showed or what the deciding factor was to purchase would be great.



Question 2: How long have you had your Pacifica and are you still happy with your purchase?



Thanks!!!
Regarding minivan research and which is best. This is minivan number 6 that we bought this past Christmas. The first being an AWD Town & Country and until now the only other Chrysler. All have been the top of line models including a Toyota van (Japan), 2 Nissan Quest and the most recent past Honda Odyssey Elite. For us it came down to the Pacifica Hybrid Limited/Limited or Honda Odyssey Elite. Both cars have great comfort and features and in fact my wife was sold on getting an Odyssey replacement when I pressured her to at least look at the Chrysler (since they were the top 2 rated) and she fell in love with it! The stow and go seats were never a deal breaker or maker but since having them they are a real plus. Dropping them in the floor as opposed to having to physically remove them from the car is very convenient. For me I was the highest priority was safety features so the active cruise, lane departure, etc... are great and available for both. We wanted the hybrid but couldn't find a limited and also if you op for the hybrid you can not get the full overhead moon roof. There are a few things that I'm not a fan of but not regretting the purchase yet. There have been two recalls on the van since purchase 6 months ago BUT they were both software upgrades so they are quick fixes. Also we are having a problem with the driver side sliding door sometimes snot closing all the way and reversing like something is blocking its path when nothing is there; in fact that's why I joined the forum about a month ago seeing if anyone else was having that problem (the answer is yes). The gas mileage is routinely about 21 mpg vs the 27+ expected. I will say the Honda always provided about 29 mpg and it didn't have the engine start/stop feature but did shut down half the engine when under a light load. The interior of the Chrysler was far and away the best looking and most luxurious of all the minivans (IMO). The Honda was really nice with high quality but as most Honda's are it was mostly for function but works well. Lastly the entertainment system in the Chrysler was clearly the best; fold away screens on the back head rest as oppose to the one screen mounter to the ceiling in the Honda that function like an airline entertainment system. They are touch screen, have games on them, players on the left can play against the right. Video can be inputted from front nav, rear left, rear right and be displayed separately or on all of them. That was a big selling point for us but if the Harmon system upgrade ($2500 option or so) is not for you then the choice gets a little tougher. The vacuum is very functional and powerful (also in the Honda). I will say that regarding the Harmon system upgrade it have a 20 or so speakers and has great clarity and volume but of all of the upgraded audio system we have had which is always optioned off in every vehicle it is the one we like the LEAST. Let me be clear with this point; for one I'm not sure what the regular option sounds like for comparison but the Harmon upgrade is very "boomy" with heavy bass. Now we like bass heavy music sometimes and it works great with movies from the blu ray or Roku (we installed) but we find ourselves constantly adjusting the sound both me and the wife. Lastly I will say since we are talking about the entertainment options the vehicle also has wifi which is slow (3g) and expensive (you have to purchase an account for the van) about $50/month I was able to get around that by adding a HUM 4G plugged into the Obd port and adding to our Verizon account. Since I was not clear at what level of van you were looking at I wanted to point out that the issue of which is better gets easier as you option up the van and at the top we liked the Chrysler. If you were more middle of the road then the Honda and Chrysler feature for feature are very close. Also the Chrysler is lot quieter on the rode than the Honda, and in fairness the new Honda is quieter than the last generation and the Elite actually has sometime of active noise cancellation built in but the Chrysler is still quieter. Lastly I will say that IMO the Pacifica is the best looking of the minivans and I'm so glad that the T&C went away because I could not stand the look of that vehicle! That was a deal breaker! I know the top of line Kia and the Toyota had a recline ottoman feature available that was nice but didn't see that getting much use. When it comes to luxury, comfort, safety (5 star), and entertainment the Chrysler was the best choice for us but we still need to work out the few issues mentioned first. Price wise we were able to get the Chrysler significantly cheaper than the Honda at the end of the year (it had a higher MSRP than the Elite). I remember saying within the first couple of months after buying the car that this was the first car that we have purchased (not just the first minivan) that I really liked everything about the car. It was a solid 98 at first its probably in the low 90's now if I had to rate it;but its still a great vehicle, the real test is will we want to buy the next generation in a few years. We'll see. Good Luck!
 
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