Crossovers and SUVs might be all the rage for folks with families, but when it comes to kid- and cargo-hauling, nothing beats a good minivan. The Chrysler Pacifica is one of the best vans available in the US today, and with good reason -- it comes from the automaker that invented the minivan segment in the 1980s.
The Pacifica hit the scene a few years ago, replacing Chrysler's well-liked Town & Country minivan. In 2018, the Pacifica added a plug-in hybrid variant, which offers improved fuel efficiency. For 2020, not much changes in the land of the Pacifica, save for the launch of a budget-minded version, which is actually called the.
We're big fans of the Pacifica here at Roadshow. It's the van so nice we tested it twice, having completed yearlong loans of both aand a .
Powertrain and specs
The non-hybrid Pacifica is powered by a naturally aspirated, 3.6-liter V6 -- Chrysler's "Pentastar" engine. This V6 produces 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, and sends its power to the front wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is not available.
The Pacifica's fuel economy ratings are about average for a modern minivan. The EPA estimates the 2020 Pacifica will return 19 miles per gallon in the city, 28 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined.
The Pacifica Hybrid uses an Atkinson-cycle version of the aforementioned 3.6-liter V6, and pairs it with a 16-kilowatt-hour, lithium-ion battery. All told, Chrysler says the Pacifica Hybrid's total system output is 260 hp.
Where the Pacifica Hybrid earns its keep is in fuel economy. The EPA says the Hybrid's miles per gallon equivalent rating is 82 MPGe, and that the Pacifica should be able to travel roughly 32 miles under electric power alone. During the year we spent with our long-term Pacifica Hybrid, after some 17,000 miles of mixed driving, we observed 42 mpg.
Depending on trim, the Chrysler Pacifica can seat seven or eight passengers. The standard setup consists of two captain's chairs in the second row and a three-across bench in the third row. Eight-passenger seating is available as an option, which replaces the aforementioned captain's chairs with a full bench seat.
One of the Pacifica's most innovative features is its Stow 'N Go seating. The second-row chairs can be folded down underneath the floor, allowing for a completely flat cargo area. When the seats are up, the under-floor area can be used for additional storage.
Unfortunately, because the Pacifica Hybrid's battery pack is located in the middle of the chassis under the floor, these models cannot be equipped with the Stow 'N Go seats. Hybrid models also can't be equipped with the Stow 'N Vac integrated vacuum cleaner, which is only available on the gas-only Pacifica Limited.
Should you need to press the Pacifica into hauling duty, it offers more cargo space than most full-size SUVs. Behind the third row of seats, the Pacifica has 32.3 cubic feet of space. Fold the third row flat, and you get 87.5 cubic feet. Fold both rows of seats flat and the Pacifica offers an impressive 140.5 cubic feet of storage, with a wide load floor that can accommodate 4x8 sheets of plywood.
The base Pacifica Touring and Pacifica Touring L models come with a 7-inch multimedia display, running Chrysler's Uconnect infotainment software. This standard setup includes Bluetooth compatibility, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
All other Pacificas -- including the Hybrid models -- come with a larger, 8.4-inch touchscreen display. The aforementioned smartphone integration features are still standard here, but this more robust Uconnect package adds HD radio, and can be had with embedded navigation.
Finally, the Pacifica offers rear-seat riders two entertainment options. The Uconnect Theater setup includes a pair of seat-mounted touchscreens, for viewing DVDs and more. Buyers who prefer a simpler setup can option a single, overhead DVD player, though it's worth noting that this option cancels out the possibility of adding a panoramic sunroof.
On the safety tech side, the Pacifica comes standard with blind-spot monitoring, rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera. A number of driver-assistance features are available as options, including forward collision warning, lane-departure warning, parking assist, a surround-view camera and adaptive cruise control.
The 2020 Chrysler Pacifica starts at $34,990, including $1,495 for destination. The cheapest Pacifica Hybrid comes in at $41,490.
Here's a full pricing rundown. All prices include the mandatory destination charge.
- Pacifica Touring: $34,990
- Pacifica Touring L: $38,240
- Pacifica Touring L Plus: $41,040
- Pacifica Hybrid Touring: $41,490
- Pacifica Hybrid Touring L: $43,790
- Pacifica Limited: $45,940
- Pacifica Hybrid Limited: $47,240
The 2020 Chrysler Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid are on sale now.