The Chrysler Pacifica was a mid-size crossover introduced in 2004 to take advantage of the new CUV market. It competed with other crossovers like the Nissan Murano and was developed remarkably quickly. Unfortunately, the quick development of the Pacifica may have added to significant reliability issues, fuel economy problems, and relatively poor consumer ratings, and the Pacifica was phased out in 2008.
Assembled in Windsor, Ontario, the Pacifica was developed by Chrysler-DaimlerBenz and initially had a 3.5-liter 250 horsepower V6 with a 3,500 pound towing capacity, five seats, and a four-speed automatic transmission. Later models had upgraded engines. The 2008 model, for instance, had a 4.0-liter 253 horsepower V6. Fuel economy on the Pacifica was generally poor, hovering around 14 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. Both forward and all-wheel drive were available.
When the Pacifica was introduced, it was based on the aforementioned burgeoning crossover market and a concept minivan, also called Pacifica, that Chrysler had shown in 1999. The Chrysler-DamlerBenz development team created a fairly large vehicle that married a minivan interior to SUV control. However, there were issues; Chrysler overestimated sales of the Pacifica, which fell with later models. A poor fuel economy and generally poor reliability may have hurt the vehicle's reputation. It also carried a fairly high price tag. Ultimately, the Pacifica didn't meet the expectations of either consumers or Chrysler-DaimlerBenz and may have even contributed to the dissolution of the two car companies' brands.
Several trim options were available with the Pacifica, including the Touring edition, Limited edition, and a final Signature series. The Signature series had a sunroof, built-in GPS, and a DVD player, while the touring edition was popular for its extra seating and a luxury interior. Every model was available in front-wheel and four-wheel drive and all came with built-in CD players. Options included heated seats, leather, and an exterior rack.
The Pacifica was notable for its luxurious interior and its blend of minivan and SUV features. However, fuel economy issues and an underpowered engine plagued early versions of the Pacifica, as did the aforementioned reliability issues. The 2007 and 2008 models are generally considered to be the best of the series, as the 3.8-liter V6 and optional 4.0-liter SOHC V6 helped to overcome many of earlier models' flaws. The Pacifica was an especially safe vehicle. The IIHS awarded the 2007 a five star front and side crash rating and a Best Pick" award in frontal collisions.
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