Car Review: Chrysler Pacifica Pinnacle is the luxury version of the popular minivan

Luxury and available AWD, the Chrysler Pacifica Pinnacle minivan looks to move in on the crossover crowd.

Another week and yet another minivan. This time it is the latest from Chrysler.

The Pacifica ups the luxury to ten with the new Pinnacle trim level.

The new version takes its premium level seriously with rich-feeling Nappa leather that covers the seats and a suede headliner. Together they give it a more upscale look.

Behind the wheel, this not-so-minivan is long and wide but after just a few miles you get used to it. The V6 engine and 9-speed automatic tend to favor fuel economy as it upshifts quickly. Even with five people loaded on board, the Pacifica has no problem keeping up with traffic.

 

This minivan is now becoming more competitive with crossovers and SUVs with the addition of AWD.

The Uconnect Theater provides two screens for back seat riders so they can do different things at the same time. A vacuum helps keep the van clean and family cam allows you see what’s going on in the back.

 

The useable third row means the entire family will find it easy cruising for many miles.

 

The Pacifica gets a nip and tuck for this year with a larger grill with a more squared, tougher SUV look than before. The Pinnacle trim level adds handsome 20-inch polished aluminum wheels and LED lighting as nice touches for this more upscale minivan.

I enjoyed the ease of the hands-free sliding doors and rear hatch made loading much easier.

Cost:  $53,390; as tested $54,895

MPG: 17MPG city; 25MPG highway; I managed 19.1 mpg in 551 miles of mixed driving.

Safety:  ready-alert braking; full speed forward collision warn plus; adaptive cruise control with stop & go; lane departure alert warning plus; automatic high beams; parallel & perpendicular park assist with stop; ParkSense front and rear with stop; advanced brake assist.

Things to know: The Pacifica Pinnacle is high on luxury, cool technology, AWD and space that makes it a serious family hauler.

Pros:

  • The FamCam allows you to keep an eye on what is going on behind you
  • Spacious and luxurious interior that will please buyers looking for more upscale experience
  • AWD makes the minivan an easy year-round vehicle

 Cons:

  • The second-row seats do not fold into the floor
  • Doesn’t like being pushed on curvy roads
  • Fuel economy lags the other minivans

Mike Parris is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association. The vehicles are provided by DriveShop, FMI, NAVS DC or Motus One for the purpose of this review.

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