2004-2006 Chrysler Pacifica crossovers
After only two years of Daimler-based delays, the Chrysler Pacifica appeared in Spring 2003 as a 2004 model. The Pacifica featured "step-across" height, which means you neither climb up nor climb down to get in; you simply sit down into the seat.
Sales of early models was poor, as they were fully loaded and could cost over $40,000. Lower-priced versions sold better but were not barnstormers despite the attractive looks, inside and out.
There were two basic versions, one with six seats and a third fold-flat seat, and another with just two rows of seats. Both all wheel drive and front wheel drive were available.
The Chrysler Pacifica was developed in 30 months at a cost below $1 billion, and it was closely based on the minivans. Production began in early 2003 at the Windsor, Ontario Assembly Plant.
Common Pacifica repairs
The Pacifica seemed to be very reliable with few, if any, real weak points. Be sure to use the correct transmission fluid and oil grade - see the owner's manual - do not use “generic” or “ignore them, I know what’s best” grades.
Sometimes the front power seat or memory seat feature could fail due to a static power discharge. Fixing it required adding a jumper wire to ground the power seat module. This was not something many people will want to do themselves, but a dealer could do it in about 45 minutes - and it should be done for free as per TSB 08-039-05. This only affected Pacificas made between January 19, 2004 and June 30, 2005.
Chrysler extended the engine-cradle warranty to 10 years or 150,000 miles for 2004-05 Pacificas (customers were notified in November 2010). At the time, the company offered to cover what customers had already spent on the repair. Customers should be able to get a free inspection for corrosion on the rear cross car cradle support at the dealer — if the corrosion is severe enough (light surface rust is presumably not covered), the part will be replaced.
General Chrysler Pacifica information
Powered by a 250 horsepower (250 lb-ft of torque) version of the Chrysler 300M 3.5 V6 (some base models had a 3.8 liter V6 instead), connected to an AutoStick four-speed automatic, the Pacifica Limited had a load levelling rear suspension, four-wheel antilock brakes, power adjusted pedals with memory, and:
* Leather seats in first and second rows with seat-mounted armrests
* 10-way power driver's seat
* Heated first and second row seats
* Second row bucket seats with fore-aft, recline, and fold-flat capabilities
* Full-length, first and second row center console with storage and cup holders; cell phone holder in first row
* Six-passenger seating in three rows (2+2+2)
* Second and third row individual seats fold to create flat-load floor
* Third row: easy access to the 50/50 bench
* Easy step-in height
* Power liftgate
* Dual-zone automatic temperature control
* Auxiliary fan for rear seat passengers
* Rear cargo bin storage
* Integrated in-instrument cluster navigation system
* DVD entertainment system with drop-down video screen and wireless headphones
* Infinity® Intermezzo theater-style 5.1 surround sound digital audio system
* UConnect™ hands-free communication system
* SIRIUS satellite radio, prepped for Mopar installation
* Comprehensive memory system (radio, driver seat, pedals, and exterior mirrors)
* Universal garage door opener
* Steering wheel-mounted controls (cruise control and radio)
* Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) with programmable features
In the 2005 model year, a base Pacifica with a 3.8 liter minivan engine was produced; it had better grunt but less horsepower - so it may have been more satisfying in day to day traffic but not so much on all-out acceleration.
The Pacifica's interior was completely different from any other Chrysler vehicle, and combined elegance, practicality, and room for telematics - indeed, a navigation system was cleverly placed right in the middle of the instrument panel, a feature which has not been replicated, as far as we know. The version on display featured all wheel drive, though reportedly a front wheel drive version would also be available.
Strips of wood - real or false, we couldn't tell - accent well defined doors and the dashboard. The navigation system did not dominate the car, but it also didn't show as much information as most. We did, we must say, truly and sincerely appreciate the fact that the navigation system did not interfere with the audio system! In most navigation systems, the audio system had to be integrated in to save space, making it difficult to operate the stereo without losing sight of the road.
The few minivan style touches included a movable (we think) center console, and rear controls for ventilation and audio functions.
The rear hatch moved up and down under power, just like it does in the Caravan, and we would be surprised if the all wheel drive system did not also borrow from the Grand Caravan.
The controls and center stack all seemed sensibly designed and attractive to look at. Seat controls were on the door, where they were easier to locate.
The appearance throughout the interior was surprisingly subtle and pleasant (surprising only because Audi's Freeman Thomas was let loose in the Chrysler design studios, and we'd normally expect garish TT-style aluminum knobs everywhere).
In Chrysler's words:
The Chrysler Pacifica's driver-oriented instrument panel is enhanced with dynamic lines, accelerating curves and robust surfaces. The ignition switch is conveniently located on the instrument panel, which is designed with precise, flush-fitted surfaces and features satin silver accents, completing the vehicle's high-quality appearance.
A wood accent is used on the instrument panel and continues on the top of the doors into the second-row seating area. The shifter knob is leather-wrapped with a chrome accent. The shifter bezel is finished in the same silver accent as the door trim and instrument panel bezels.
The instrument cluster features an integrated navigation system directly in the driver's view. The technology is referred to as "thin film transfer display," which makes viewing the navigation information as easy as viewing the speedometer. Navigation controls are flush, easy to reach and conveniently located on the instrument panel to the right of the cluster.
Both first- and second-row seats are chair-height, giving occupants a strong sense of security and command-of-the-road while providing excellent ingress and egress. For versatility, second and third row seats conveniently fold flat. And for ultimate first-class travel, passengers seated in the second row will enjoy the comfort and convenience of heated captain's chairs.
Power controls are conveniently located on the door panel where the driver and passenger may adjust memory seats, lumbar support, thigh support, adjustable pedals or heated seats. In addition, Chrysler Pacifica features a continuous, full-length center console complete with dual cup holders, storage area and adjustable air outlets. A flip-down, roof-mounted DVD screen is available to rear seat occupants and a theater-style surround sound audio system comes complete with eight Infinity® speakers, bringing movies and music to life.
Mike Donoughe, Vice President-Family Vehicle Product Team, cited safety features such as "The first-class seating position, cockpit-style controls, all-wheel-drive and sport-sedan handling help the driver avoid accidents. If a crash does occur, safety systems such as the three-row side curtain air bags help keep occupants safe. We set stringent internal safety targets right from the beginning of development and carried them all the way through production."
"Chrysler Pacifica is one of world's first vehicles to offer a three-row side curtain air bag, that will be standard equipment on the vehicle which goes on sale in the spring of 2003. The ceiling-mounted side curtain air bag deploys downward and provides full-side window coverage. The air bag was tested to the voluntary standards set by the industry's Side Air Bag Technical Working Group. In addition, Chrysler Group engineers also used the 'pole test,' which mimics accidents such as hitting a telephone pole or tree, to evaluate the side air bag sensing system. These types of accidents may be severe because the crash forces are concentrated in a relatively small area of the vehicle."
"Chrysler Pacifica meets Chrysler engineers' strict criteria for handling and stability. The unique sports tourer package is designed with a wide track for optimal handling and stability. Although the Chrysler Pacifica is taller than most passenger cars, its suspension, steering and ride are calibrated to achieve sport sedan cornering and handling qualities.”
Chrysler Pacifica's advanced restraint system encompassed the seat belts, air bags and sensors to optimize occupant protection in the event of a crash. In addition to the side curtain air bag, Chrysler Pacifica also provided the first Chrysler inflatable knee blocker. Located just below the steering column, the knee blocker helped to reduce potential leg injuries in a crash. It also aided in appropriately positioning the driver to get the full safety benefit of the total restraint system.
Enhanced multi-stage driver and passenger air bags deployed at various levels based on the severity of the crash. Two charges in the air bag module were triggered separately. A minor impact would trigger a low-power deployment while a severe impact would deploy a more high-powered discharge in order to optimize occupant protection. The sophisticated driver air bag worked in conjunction with the energy-absorbing steering wheel, patented steering column and inflatable knee blocker to provide supplemental restraints in frontal or near-frontal impacts.
Safety was reinforced in styling, with an ironic twist: Joe Dehner, Director of Design, said, "With Pacifica, we revisited the proportions of glass to sheet metal. We wanted the side profile to be two-thirds sheet metal and one-third glass. More sheet metal and less glass communicates an armored, protective quality to the consumer." In short, visibility, which increased safety of the occupants and, probably to a greater degree, of pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists, was lessened in order to convey safety to the owner.
UConnect, Chrysler Group's hands-free, in-vehicle communication system, made its debut as a factory-installed option on the all-new 2004 Chrysler Pacifica. UConnect focused on personal mobility, convenience and affordability.
Using Bluetooth, communication was driven through a user's personal mobile phone, and worked both inside and outside the vehicle. Like OnStar, the system allowed the audio to be heard through the radio speakers, while a microphone was in the mirror. The user's mobile phone may then be placed wherever the user chose within the vehicle. Conversations may be continued upon entering or exiting, without disrupting the call. Calls may be linked to UConnect within 30 feet of the vehicle. The system included voice dialing, an audio address book, mute, caller ID (with the phone number of the caller showing up on the radio display), three languages, the ability to recognize up to five phones, and the ability to work with different carriers.
The original Pacifica page
Long ago, we suggested that, since most SUV buyers seemed to use them as commuter or family vehicles, it might make sense to simply disguise a minivan as an SUV. Then the clever automaker could simply mark up the price and hire a macho celebrity, such as Paul Hogan, to sell it. (To be fair, this was hardly an original thought, since Subaru had done it with their Legacy station wagon.) GM did just that with the Aztek and Rendezvous. Chrysler was going to do the same...but, apparently, stopped at the last minute and changed quite a bit of the Pacifica, giving it a rear suspension resembling the Mercedes E-class and making many other changes, so it is on its own platform (for real, we are assured) - and, by the way, is also not a reshaped Mercedes.
Production was due to start at the Windsor, Ontario minivan plant in 2002. (Pacifica tooling was being installed at Windsor Assembly Plant. However, the remainder wasn't due for install until April. Then they would be running metal runs for crash testing until early 2003. You wouldn't see a production vehicle until then. Thanks, Jeff!)
The Pacifica was powered by the 3.5 liter V6, and would be available with both front and all wheel drive (it would normally use front wheel drive but all wheel drive would be available on demand). Prices were reportedly set around $25,000 with six-passenger seating, including two rows of bucket seats and adjustable pedals.
The Citadel concept used a hybrid powertrain similar to that projected for the Durango and Ram hybrids of 2004. It also featured dual sliding rear doors and a retractable cargo door, just like a minivan, for easy wheelchair or cargo access.