Long-Term Review:  Life In Drive

2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Ownership: Tech has the Magic Touch

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author photo by Lindsay Martell August 2018

I love technology as much as anyone, but I can be a bit of a luddite when it comes to listening to music in my car. In fact, I still have a CD case loaded with music stashed in the back seat. Driving the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, however, has pretty much transformed the tunes-listening experience behind the wheel. Why? In a few words, Apple CarPlay.

Play, Please

Simply plug in your smartphone (I'm an Apple devotee, but the system works with Android phones as well), and fire up Spotify or Pandora in a snap, as well as view maps, check out weather forecasts and receive notifications about incoming text messages. It's simple to make calls and to send and receive messages (thanks to everyone's favorite digital assistant, Siri) -- all from the Uconnect's 8-inch touchscreen. There is a Bluetooth option that allows you to connect wirelessly, but I prefer plugging in so that the screen matches my iPhone's -- I like being able to access apps, calls and navigation on the screen as well as via voice control. Sometimes Spotify can take a little while to load, which can be annoying, but I'm not supposed to be peeking at a screen while driving anyway, right?

Music plays like a dream, thanks to the richness of the 20-speaker Harman Kardon Surround Sound system. It's downright luxurious having "Let It Go" (which plays on repeat, per my daughter's daily request) amped up in the backseat, so it's not quite so loud for me in the front. Bliss. For SiriusXM Satellite Radio fans, one year of free service is included with the purchase of the Pacifica Hybrid, as is up to six months of Apple Music.

No Blues With Blu-Ray

While I do have CDs on hand for a music emergency (Bluetooth stops working, my daughter howls for her much-loved nursery rhyme songs or I'm jonesing for one of my 1980s mixtapes), I never thought I'd drive a car with a DVD player. We haven't used it much, but my husband fired up a flick and loved the 10.1-in HD touchscreens, wireless headphones and user-friendly remotes. The sound was clear and rich, and he had no issues with shaky or freezing video. The real test will be when we take a road trip later this Fall, when my daughter will have her choice of media to choose from. Uconnect comes with a smattering of games and apps, but she will most likely be all about her DVDs. Clearly, the apple doesn't fall from the old-school tree.

One of the coolest features of the games function is the ability to play with the person sitting next to you. This makes the rear-seat entertainment system extra fun for two reasons: Many of the games (like Checkers and even little-kid-friendly Tic Tac Toe) are multiplayer, allowing riders to interact with one another, and they are a great way to pass the time. Win-win!

I have no plans to ditch my old-school media, but the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid has the kind of dreamy tech that make all of us streaming, Bluetooth, wireless junkies. In a good, good way.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Ownership: Tech has the Magic Touch - Autotrader