- Tony Swan
The new Pacifica comes with the latest version of Chrysler’s Stow ‘n Go fold-flat second- and third-row seats, re-engineered to make folding them into the floor even easier, leaving a truly flat surface and a vast cargo hold. This is the best design of its kind in the business, and it optimizes the fundamental trait in which minivans excel: versatility. These seats are not available on the hybrid version, however, due to the space taken up by the battery packs.
Another nifty feature is the Stow ‘n Vac on-board vacuum cleaner. Yes, the Honda Odyssey was first with this idea, but Chrysler improves on it. The system stows in the left side of the body, just behind the second-row door, the readily accessible bag is in the left side wall of the cargo compartment, and the vac includes a 14-foot hose, with an additional 14 feet offered as an accessory.
Like all contemporary minivans, the Pacifica offers a rear seat entertainment system, this one equipped with a pair of 10-inch touchscreens integrated into the upper front seatbacks. In addition to movies, games, and other visual and audible diversions, Chrysler furnishes apps, including Are We There Yet, allowing rear seat occupants to track the progress of their journey.
Up front, Chrysler has adapted its dial-a-gear transmission control, pioneered in the Ram pickup truck (the Rotary E-shift), into the attractive and intuitive center dash array, which also includes a big (8.4-inch) color screen and a sensible array of switches and knobs. The test of any system is whether it can be operated without resorting to the owner’s manual, and here’s one vehicle whose primary and auxiliary controls present no mysteries.
Chrysler boasts more than 100 safety features for the Pacifica. Among them: adaptive cruise control, forward collision alert, auto emergency braking, 360-degree surround view, and rear view camera.