2018 Chrysler Pacifica

Performance


$26,995 MSRP
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2018 Chrysler Pacifica Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.5

The 2018 Chrysler Pacifica has solid performance for a minivan. It has decent acceleration (though the engine doesn’t always feel smooth) and gets good fuel economy. Handling is poised, even on winding roads, and road imperfections are absorbed without any fuss.

  • "By minivan standards, the Pacifica performs well. It handles better than average, with good brakes and strong acceleration. It would get a better overall performance score if it weren't for the frustrating nine-speed transmission and vague steering." -- Edmunds
  • "No one will confuse this minivan - or any other - with a BMW 3 Series in terms of driving dynamics. But as minivans go, the Pacifica felt responsive with minimal levels of body roll. It felt more nimble than the larger Toyota Sienna." -- Autoblog (2017)
  • " … the Pacifica actually is pretty fun to drive. Sure, it's tall and bulky, and somewhat heavy ..., but it feels more agile and sprightly than you'd guess." -- Jalopnik (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The Pacifica features a 287-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. It has solid acceleration, though you really have to mash the gas to get it going. Although the engine is energetic, it’s not as smooth as rival engines. The transmission draws mixed reviews, with some saying it’s smooth and others arguing that it sometimes has trouble finding the right gear.

According to EPA estimates, the Pacifica gets 18 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Those are among the best ratings in the class.

  • "Off the line, the Pacifica feels a little sluggish and unresponsive, but with a heavy foot, it accelerates well. … Zero to 60 mph takes 7.7 seconds, which is pretty quick for the segment." -- Edmunds
  • "… Chrysler has engineered most of the weirdness out of its 3.6-liter V6/nine-speed automatic combo, to the point where the Pacifica feels significantly quicker than its rivals, even if it can't quite match the smoothness of an Odyssey V6." -- Autoweek (2017)
  • "A revised 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine delivered 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, making the climbs up California's hills effortless. Likewise, the new nine-speed automatic transmission never strained or felt clunky. … The harmonious combination of the upgraded engine and transmission felt like the single-biggest differentiator between the old and new minivans." -- Autoblog (2017)

Alternative Powertrains

The gas engine isn’t the only option for the Pacifica; you can also get the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (covered in its own review), which is a plug-in hybrid minivan with a V6 engine and two electric motors that combine to produce 260 horsepower. According to Chrysler, it can go up to 30 miles on battery power alone and earns 84 mpg-e in combined city/highway driving.

Handling and Braking

Minivans are expected to have a cushioned ride, and the Pacifica delivers on that front. Unlike some vehicles that ride smoothly but have dodgy handling, this Chrysler is also poised around turns and on winding roads. Sharp steering and sturdy brakes also help improve driver confidence.

  • "The 2017 Pacific (sic) boasts an agreeably smooth and quiet ride. Whether you're driving around town or heading out for a week-long road trip, the Pacifica will keep you and your passengers comfortable." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "The Pacifica's steering is responsive, the turn-in quite good and the van feels stable when cornering at reasonably-quick-but-not-law-breaking speeds." -- CNET (2017)
  • "New, too, is an independent rear suspension … that in conjunction with the mass reduction provides a refined and sporty ride and handling balance. Nicely calibrated electric power steering, larger four-wheel disc brakes, and available 245/50R20 tires helped make short work of what twisty roads we encountered." -- Motor Trend (2017)
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