Over the years, Chrysler's had its back up against the wall so many times, that its accountants have calluses on their shoulder blades.
They just don't seem to be happy operating on a normal financial condition and yet against the back drop, I'm here in this car the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica and it's not just a great Chrysler, it's a great mini van.
It's pretty and that's in the segment not known for its beauty.
It's techy, it's efficient, it's quite and it's even price right.
It's the type of tool that makes you feel like a better parent.
As it turns out the Pacifica is pretty much good at everything.
The 3.6 litre power tran, front wheel drive only which is kind of a bummer.
You're not gonna take to many crossover buyers that way.
However, it's got 287 horsepower and 260 foot pounds of tork.
It's up to a nine speed transmission and I got to be honest with you, that same gear box In every other vehicle I have driven in, I have kind of hated it, but here it is not so bad.
It has got a minimum hunting around, it always seem to find the right gear, and there is enough power that it feels like one of the quicker minivans out there.
So despite being safer, stiffer, and having way more equipment inside, This Pacifica is is actually about 250 pounds lighter than it's predecessor the old Towne and Country, that means it's more efficient.
According to the EPA it gets 18 miles per gallon in the city and 28 miles on the highway.
In my travels that worked out to about 23 miles per gallon.
That may not sound so impressive, but consider that my vehicle was full of stuff.
I travelled over the mountains and I even had an orange mohawk strapped to the roof, a kayak that absolutely murders aero efficiency.
So one thing I don't like about this vehicle, it's the rotary gear shift selector.
But not for the reason you think.
I'm perfectly comfortable with the way it operates except for the fact that I have very little manual control When it comes to dropping down a gear or two for hills.
The computer decides how much engine breaking it's going to give you.
You can't choose for yourself through paddles or rocker switch or anything, and that's really annoying.
There's a ton of available advanced safety features.
My Touring L Plus model arrived optioned with adaptive cruise control with stop and go Forward collision with auto-brake and the nicely judged lane keep assist feature, that's one of the few such systems that I didn't immediately want to turn off.
Our trip was made easier for everyone by the inclusion of a wi-fi hot spot, though oddly, it's only 3G.
My son appreciated the 10.2 inch rear seat entertainment screens and their inclusion of HDMI inputs.
And while my boy is a little bit old for things like the built-in games and the Jet Liner Are We There Yet app, these features are likely to be sanity saviors for those needing to pacify small children.
Chrysler's You Connect Infotainment system returns.
This time in a sleek bezel less mount, and the 8.4 inch touchscreen is nicely responsive with a good selection of apps including things like Yelp and iHeartRadio.
Unfortunately Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not part of the program at this time.
Despite having the longest wheel base in its class, the Pacifica does give up some space to key rivals from Honda and Toyota in certain metrics Namely cargo space, where it's behind the third row storage space of 32.3 cubic feet.
It's slightly less than rivals, and it's all seat [UNKNOWN] rating of 140.5 cubic feet is well down on rivals by eight to ten feet.
As tested price?
That sounds expensive, but it's actually a bit less than most competitors.
These days, minivans play second fiddle to the edgier, sexier world of SUVs.
And all the sleek sheet metal and the best new name in the world, they're not suddenly going to light the Pacifica's market on fire, and that's a shame because this isn't just one of the best family [INAUDIBLE] on the market It's one of the most creative and versatile new vehicles you can buy.
And I say all that before the plugin hybrid model hits showrooms.
If this rope-a-dope automaker can string together a few more vehicles like this, maybe Chrysler's future, well, maybe it's brighter than we think.
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