Chrysler's Pacifica, referred to as a "sports-tourer" by the brand, offers a pleasant alternative for those wanting a vehicle that's a cross between a minivan and an SUV.
While the cabin provides a comfortable environment for five or six passengers, depending on how you order the Pacifica, my biggest complaint with previous versions of this vehicle was the lack of power from the 3.5-liter V6 engine.
A lack of power was most noticeable when Pacifica was fully loaded. The old Pacifica would barely get out of its own way when firmly pressing the accelerator pedal down. Merging onto expressways was also a challenge for the old Pacifica.
I even complained about the fact that the previous Pacifica featured a 4-speed automatic transmission when many of its competitors started sporting 5-speed automatic transmissions.
Well, that was then, and this is now.
Thankfully, the 2007 Chrysler Pacifica
delivers noticeably better acceleration thanks to a larger 4.0-liter V6 engine mated to an all-new 6-speed (yes, 6-speed) automatic transmission.
Pacifica is offered in three trim levels: Base, Touring, and Limited. Each trim level is available as a front-wheel- drive (FWD) or all-wheel- drive (AWD) configuration.
The base Pacifica FWD model is powered by a 3.8-liter (210 horsepower) V6 engine mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission. All other Pacifica models benefit from the new V6 and 6-speed automatic transmission.
On paper, the 4.0-liter (255 horsepower) engine in my base Pacifica AWD tester shows only a handful more ponies than its predecessor; however, it provides noticeably better acceleration.
The other key point is that Pacifica's all-new 6-speed automatic transmission features a much lower first gear for better acceleration from a stop. The previous 4-speed automatic featured a 2.84:1 first gear ratio while the new 6-speed automatic features a 4.12:1 first gear ratio. Take my word for it - there's a huge difference.
I like Pacifica's improved launch and all around acceleration and power. What I didn't care for was the busy-ness of my tester's 6-speed automatic transmission. I found the shifts to be a bit more pronounced than I'm used to. Maybe with a little software revision, Chrysler can soften those shifts a bit. Overall, Pacifica delivers a very comfortable, agreeable ride.
The cabin is roomy for passengers and provides versatility for those trips to the building supply store.
The 2007 Chrysler Pacifica further benefits from side-curtain airbags and stability control as standard equipment. A rear back up camera has been added to the option list for the 2007 Pacifica.
The elegant-looking Pacifica is now where it should have been when it entered the market. Chrysler is hoping their enhancements will make Pacifica more desirable.
I firmly believe they've succeeded. With a starting price of around $25,000 for the base model and about $10,000 more for a fully dressed Limited AWD model, Pacifica is priced very competitively.
2007 Chrysler Pacifica AWD
Engine: 4.0-liter (255 hp) V6
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive Type: AWD
Fuel Economy: 16 city/24 highway
Base Price: $28,075
As Tested: $29,950 (includes $730 for destination)