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2004-2008 Chrysler Pacifica
USED CAR REVIEW
A classic North American wagon
The vehicle’s strength is in taking care of family-related chores and comfortably and safely.
Chrysler launched its trend-setting Pacifica tall wagon as a combination sport utility vehicle and minivan, an idea that other manufacturers have since wholeheartedly adopted. The vehicle, which was priced on the premium side of the scale, was available in either front- or all-wheel- drive versions and employed a variety of 3.5-, 3.8- and 4.0-litre V6 engines that ranged in output from 200-253 horsepower. A four- peed automatic transmission was employed on all models.
Sales remained sluggish throughout the Pacifica’s five-year lifespan and it was retired from the Chrysler fleet at the end of the 2008 model year.
THE GOOD STUFF
From its first-year, the packaging of the Chrysler Pacifica included plenty of space for six passengers, or five from 2005-2008 Pacifica if the base model with its second-row bench seat was selected (a decision that deleted the third-row twin buckets).
The vehicle’s minivan roots were revealed in the relatively soft suspension settings that were ideal for highway cruising and absorbing rough roads. Interior accommodations were comfortable enough and included a floor console on six-passenger models that extended past the second row.
The optional on-demand all-wheel-drive setup was useful when experiencing inclement weather or rough-road conditions and was the choice of most original purchasers. Overall styling could best be described as attractive, but conservative.
With a vehicle curb weight of 2,045 kilograms or more, the base 200-horsepower 3.8-litre V6 that was standard on all but first-year Pacificas was at best a tepid performer. The optional 3.5- or 4.0-litre V6s, both rated at about 250-horsepower, were far better picks, especially for heavy hauling or towing purposes. Whatever the powerplant, fuel economy was less than impressive.
Both the second and third rows of seats could be folded flat for maximum cargo space, but when transporting people, the back row’s limited legroom made it suitable only for small fry, especially on long journeys.
A classic North American wagon accurately sums up the Pacifica. The vehicle’s strength is in taking care of family-related chores and comfortably and safely (seven airbags and an impressive crash-test rating) covering long distances in full-load mode. An affordable resale price also adds to the Pacifica’s appeal.
Engines: 3.8-litre OHV V6 (200 hp); 3.5-litre SOHC V6 (250 hp); 4.0-litre SOHC V6 (253 hp)
Transmission: Four-speed automatic
Layout: Front engine, front- /all-wheel-drive
Body: Four-door wagon.
PRICES AT A GLANCE
The Pacifica’s lack of popularity means that its value on the used-car market is somewhat diminished, right off the bat. That’s good news for buyers, who should find more than a few excellent deals to be had.
Model year Approx. price range*
*The low end of a given price range represents higher-mileage, low- option vehicles. Prices as of March 2011.
©CarTest.ca. Posted June 14, 2011. Source: Wheelbase Communications.