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Pacifica’s vacuum/spare tire quandary

by David Zatz on

Do you really, really want the vacuum option in the Chrysler Pacifica?

It’ll cost you.

First, to get the vacuum, you have to get the top of the line Limited Platinum model, which we suspect will run around $40,000, based on the price of the current Limited Platinum.

Second, you have to give up the spare tire. This doesn’t come inflated; it’s “inflatable” and is an extra-cost option on the base LX, the Touring-L, and the Touring-L Plus (with sealant). If you want the inflatable spare on the Limited Platinum, you have to give up the vacuum.

There don’t appear to be many options in that price range. You can get the Advanced SafetyTec Group, KeySense, an engine block heater, 20 x 7.5 wheels, trailer towing (3,600 pounds), and UConnect Theater with or without the Sound Group. Advanced SafetyTech really is advanced: you get adaptive cruise (with full stop and go), brake assist, auto high beams, collision warning (that can hit the brakes), lane departure warning, auto-parking, front/rear parking warnings with the ability to stop, rain-sensitive wipers, and the surround-view camera.

There are only two seat colors in this rarified level, it seems: black with gray, or black with brown. Paint colors are a more generous pallet, with silver, two shades of white, black, burgundy, metallic gray, blue, silver, and red.

At the other end, the Pacifica LX may be the base model, but buyers can option it out well, with eight-passenger seating, KeySense, SafetyTec, a wheel-and-tire group, and cloth black/alloy seats or cloth “cognac/alloy/toffee” seats — and the same color choices. Fleets, and only fleets, can buy power sliding doors and the 8.4” navigation setup on the base model.

The Chrysler Pacifica holds a great deal of promise and a great deal of risk for the brand and the company. It should have far better handling and a smoother ride than the current minivans, and the interior has been praised by people who have been “one on one” with the 2017 Chrysler minivan.  The hybrid option finally lets buyers have their cake and eat it too, with the fuel efficiency of a Prius (or better) and the space of a large SUV.  If buyers of Dodge Caravans make the switch to the Pacifica, Chrysler will easily regain its top position in US minivan sales.

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