Ace of Base: 2018 Chrysler Pacifica L
Yes, yes, yes. I know that most of you wouldnât sign on the line that is dotted for a minivan, and, honestly, neither would I. It makes no sense, really, given that a large box-shaped living room on wheels is just the ticket for road-trip comfort with the family while offering enough space for shuttling hockey bags to the rink and making hardware store runs on the weekend.
Minivan Monroneys can climb uncomfortably high – witness loaded up Odysseys and Siennas which can handily crest $50,000. Is there a lot to like at the Ace of Base end of the spectrum? Let’s see.
Setting an opening bid of $27,590, the Pacifica L has all manner of safety nannies to comfort overprotective parents. Blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic detection, and the like used to only show up on fancy-pants models not that long ago. Now, they are here on the base model. The L will also hammer the brakes on your behalf if you ignore its proximity claxons in reverse gear.
Chryslerâs useful and fairly smooth Uconnect is on board, offering up Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Satellite radio is equipped, along with the expected Bluetooth and voice command features.
It doesnât even look that bad, with a 200-esque (remember that car?) beak and winged Chrysler badge on the grille. This base model does have low-rent hubcaps and a giant black plastic maw under its chin, sadly, but the rest of it is unoffensive to this authorâs eyes.
A minivanâs key trump card is its ability to swallow a family and all its detritus, a job the Pacifica performs admirably. The L foregoes the clever second-row Stow-n-Go seats but the rearmost bench performs the magic trick of flipping and folding into the floor. Your author recalls wrestling the 60+lb bench from the rear of an extended length Ford Aerostar twenty years ago. Progress is wonderful.
The foil to this argument is, of course, its aged distant cousin â the Dodge Grand Caravan SE. Itâs the vehicle that FCA just canât quit. Lined up and then hauled off death row more times than an inmate in a Hollywood movie, the Grand Caravan has surely long paid for all its tooling and you can be guaranteed that every single one makes bank for the company.
Currently listed on Dodgeâs website for $22,345 including some cash on the hood, the Grandest of Caravans makes a strong case for itself packing nearly 300hp, space galore, backup camera, and all manner of power options. The fact that a grand total of two models appear when you hit Chrysler’s build-and-price tool also gives me pause.
Dodgeâs Grand Caravan looks like yesterdayâs leftovers next to the Pacifica, so itâs the latter which makes the Ace of Base grade.
I still won’t buy one, though. No one said I was rational.
Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make our automotive landscape a lot better. Any others youâd like to see in our series? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selections.
The model above is shown with American options and is priced in Freedom Dollars. As always, your dealer will probably sell for less.
via The Truth About Cars http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com
April 17, 2018 at 03:37PM