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2004 Chrysler Pacifica Sport Utility Crossover

2004.5 4dr Wgn AWD

Starting at | Starting at 17 MPG City - 22 MPG Highway

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  • $32,300 original MSRP
Printable Version

2004 Chrysler Pacifica Sport Utility Crossover

Printable Version

2004 Chrysler Pacifica Sport Utility Crossover

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2004 Chrysler Pacifica

Source: New Car Test Drive

Introduction

Chrysler has introduced an all-new vehicle for 2004 called the Pacifica. Pacifica is not a minivan. It's not an SUV nor is it a station wagon. Chrysler is calling it a "sport tourer." We don't know what to call it, other than terrific.

Pacifica combines the best elements of Chrysler's sporty sedans and pioneering minivans and borrows heavily from Mercedes-Benz to create an entirely new kind of six-seat family conveyance. Pacifica takes its name from Chrysler's Pacifica design studio in Southern California, where it was conceived several years ago.

Pacifica doesn't look like other crossovers. It's comfortable, easy to get in and out, and offers a large cargo capacity and three rows of seats. A 250-horsepower V6 from the sporty Chrysler 300M sedan delivers plenty of thrust and the automatic shifts smoothly. On the road, Pacifica is smooth and quiet, with a rear suspension that comes from a Mercedes E-Class sedan. Available all-wheel drive provides all-weather traction and handling. The ride is smooth and supple and the four-wheel antilock disc brakes do a good job of bringing Pacifica to a smooth and undramatic stop.

Model Lineup

All Pacifica models use the same powertrain: Chrysler's 3.5-liter V6 engine rated at the 250 horsepower. Pacifica comes with a four-speed automatic and is available with a computer-controlled all-wheel-drive system.

The 2004 Chrysler Pacifica will be available in three models: There's a front-drive version ($31,230), and a fully loaded all-wheel-drive version ($32,980). A budget model will be offered later in the year (expected to retail below $30,000).

The list of standard equipment even on the basic front-drive model is quite substantial, from all the usual power assists to a tilt wheel, power pedals with memory, a universal garage door opener, a total of four 12-volt outlets around the cabin, and a lot of other family amenities that buyers will like.

The option list includes leather trim, heated first- and second-row seats, a 385-watt Infinity Intermezzo sound system with eight speakers ($700); Chrysler's new Uconnect wireless hands-free communication system with Bluetooth technology ($275); a navigation system ($1595); a DVD video rear-seat entertainment system ($1070); CD/DVD changer ($395); Sirius satellite radio ($35 plus $11.95 per month for the service); high-intensity discharge headlamps ($500); a huge power sunroof ($895); a cargo convenience package, and 17-inch chrome six-spoke alloy wheels. An optional power liftgate ($400) is available that should be very popular.

Walkaround

The vice-president on this program worked for almost three years in Stuttgart and Berlin on the Mercedes-Benz GST, or Grand Sport Tourer, before being reassigned to the Pacifica program here in the United States, and the vehicle is rife with borrowed Mercedes-Benz parts and technologies, including the complete rear suspension system borrowed from the Mercedes E-Class sedan.

Styling is always going to be subjective, but we think the Chrysler guys have hit a home run. Pacifica doesn't look like anything else on the road. It's less radical and less expensive than the Nissan Murano and Infiniti FX45 crossovers, its glass-to-steel proportions are new and different, yet by its grille, the Pacifica couldn't be anything but a Chrysler.

Pacifica is as much as 18 inches longer and 6 inches wider than some of its crossover competitors. Yet it is almost 3 inches lower to the ground than a typical minivan, which makes it easier to climb inside.

While the Pacifica is in the lower part of the E-Class price range, it is still a Chrysler, as evidenced by its homegrown powertrain, the biggest, most powerful V6 Chrysler has ever made, more than enough to haul typical family loads, and rated to tow as much as 3500 pounds.

Interior Features

Climbing into the Chrysler Pacifica is easy because it is relatively low to the ground. The first impression inside the Pacifica is one of spaciousness and luxurious appointments.

The bucket seats are thick and deep with enormous side bolsters that may not be comfortable for some larger frames, but fit this 6-foot, 4-inch tester like the proverbial glove.

The leather-wrapped steering wheel is a thick, chunky, small-diameter wheel giving the impression you're directing the movement of something substantial. Redundant controls are mounted on the steering wheel for the cruise control and sound system. There's just enough brushed nickel-plating inside, on the shifter surround, the ventilators, and the door handles, to brighten up the interior without it looking gaudy.

The instrument panel is done as one swooping enclosure that goes from the back of the left door around to the back of the right front door. The dash features a major hood and a minor hood to keep the sun off the instrument faces. Under the sweeping hood, there's an interesting-looking set of instruments and controls, and right in the center of the speedometer, there's the small navigation screen, exactly where it should be for safest use. The DVD-based nav system is set up and run by a circular switch panel to the right of the steering wheel. Chrysler's new system is one of the easiest we've encountered, far simpler than the Mercedes-Benz system.

Third-row seats fold down 50/50 and disappear for large cargoes. Second-row seats can be split into two sections and folded over to handle still larger cargoes. The second-row seats, split by the standard console, are as handsome as the front seats, but they do have to fold over for cargo, so they're not quite as cushy as the fronts. All the seat-folding symbols and directions were easy to follow the first time out.

Driving Impressions

The Pacifica we drove was a loaded-up version with the big stereo system, Sirius satellite radio, the in-dash navigation system, and all-wheel drive. We were lucky enough to have our driving experience in Northern California, where the paving is excellent, the roads are twisty and interesting, and the traffic is relatively light. This enabled us to really push the Pacifica hard, much harder than the average buyer ever will, and we came away impressed.

The engine, while powerful and torquey, doesn't sound very powerful when you stand on the gas, a function of the induction system and the exhaust system. Chrysler is already working on that. But no matter how it sounds, the engine delivers. This 3.5-liter V6 also powers the upmarket Chrysler 300M and is rated at 250 horsepower.

The four-speed automatic is smooth and quiet in operation. The AutoStick feature for manual shifting is fun to use, and the all-wheel-drive system is transparent. We were a little disappointed that the Pacifica didn't come with a more flexible five-speed automatic, however.

Under normal conditions, the all-wheel-drive system sends all of the power to the front wheels. But it can transfer up to 90 percent of the power to the rear wheels. It does this whenever the front wheels lose grip (under hard acceleration, for example). This feature helps the Pacifica sail through corners like a sports sedan, rain or shine. The all-wheel-drive uses a viscous coupling in the center differential and an open differential at the rear.

While the steering system is not race-car communicative or direct, it's better than many, and the steering wheel feels good in the hands. We found the suspension a willing partner in the vehicle's performance, smooth and supple while controlling lean and wallow. The isolated front and rear subframes, the long wheelbase and wide stance really help to deliver a quality ride. As a bonus, the interior is very quiet at cruising speeds.

Overcoming the substantial weight of the Pacifica and its contents seemed easy for the combination of the Michelin all-weather tires and four-wheel disc brakes. The brakes got a workout from us, and they responded every time without fade or smell or any sign of distress. ABS comes standard, allowing the drive to maintain steering control under panic braking.

Summary

Chrysler Pacifica turns and accelerates well in the dry weather of the California wine country, and we're itching to find out how it goes in a blinding rainstorm or on top of 12 inches of snow.

Whether this really is a whole new kind of family transportation device or not, a "segment buster" in Chrysler's words, it's a lot of very versatile vehicle for the money. Aside from the rather weak-sounding engine and some very familiar, shiny plastic components in the center stack, we found a lot to like in this Pacifica sport-tourer.


Model Line Overview

Model lineup: Pacifica fwd ($31,230); Pacifica awd ($32,980)
Engines: 250-hp 3.5-liter dohc 24-valve V6
Transmissions: 4-speed automatic overdrive
Safety equipment (standard): ABS, traction control, front airbags, side airbags, side curtain air bags, driver knee bolster
Safety equipment (optional): N/A
Basic warranty: 5 years/50,000 miles
Assembled in: Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Specifications As Tested

Model tested (MSRP): Chrysler Pacifica awd ($32,980)
Standard equipment: power steering, power brakes, power adjustable pedals, power windows, power locks, keyless entry, alarm system, full-length console, fold-flat load floor, tire pressure monitor, dual-zone air-conditioning, driver memory system, AM/FM/CD changer
Options as tested (MSRP): Navigation ($1595), Infinity stereo ($700), power liftgate ($400), sunroof ($895), Sirius satellite radio ($300 plus monthly fee)
Destination charge: ($680)
Gas guzzler tax: N/A
Price as tested (MSRP): $37,550
Layout: all-wheel drive
Engine: 3.5-liter dohc 24-valve V8
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 250 @ 6400
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm): 250 @ 3950
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy: 17/22 mpg
Wheelbase: 116.3 in.
Length/width/height: 198.9/79.3/66.5 in.
Track, f/r: 66.0/66.0 in.
Turning circle: N/A
Seating capacity: 6
Head/hip/leg room, f: 39.6/55.1/40.9 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m: 40.4/56.3/38.9 in.
Head/hip/leg room, r: 35.4/41.9/29.9 in.
Trunk volume: 79.5 cu. ft.
Payload: 3500 Lbs.
Towing capacity: N/A
Suspension, f: strut, coil spring
Suspension, r: five-link independent
Ground clearance: 5.9 in.
Curb weight: 4675 lbs.
Tires: P235/65R17
Brakes, f/r: disc/disc with ABS
Fuel capacity: 23 gal.

Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle.
All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) effective as of January 13, 2003.
Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges. N/A: Information not available or not applicable.
Manufacturer Info Sources: 1-800-992-1997 - www.chrysler.com

Copyright © 1994-2003 New Car Test Drive, Inc.

Printable Version

2004 Chrysler Pacifica Sport Utility Crossover

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Rollover Resistance
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

HID Headlights Opt
Daytime Running Lights Opt
Fog Lamps Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Accident Prevention

Handsfree Wireless Opt

Security

Alarm Std
Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

2004 Chrysler Pacifica Sport Utility Crossover

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 7 Years/70,000 Miles
Corrosion 5 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 3 Years/36,000 Miles

Chrysler Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

7-Years/100,000-Miles (whichever comes first). Powertrain Limited Warranty runs from the date vehicle was sold as new.

3-Month/3,000-Mile Maximum Care Warranty. Starts on the date of the CPOV sale, or at the expiration of the remaining 3/36 Basic New Vehicle Warranty.

A deductible may apply. See dealer for details or call 1-800-677-5782
Age/Mileage Eligibility 5 years / 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 125 point
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $100

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2004 Chrysler Pacifica Sport Utility Crossover

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