Ramiro Tapia demonstrated the new van to me
What a perfect spring day it was to make the 60 mile trip to Quitman GA to see the new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica van. It was also nice to meet Ramiro Tapia - their senior sales consultant.
You are probably wondering what am I doing looking at another new car. A little clue is that we just returned from 3 months in Germany - and a wonderful 1500 miles trip through the Bavarian Alps in a Ford van. Some day - when Lulu retires - we will be doing less and less of jet setting - and more and more highway traveling. It would also be nice to have a car where you can haul family and friends around together.
A few years back we had a Honda Odyssey - the dean of small carlike vans. We enjoyed that car and put a lot of miles on it before trading it with someone for a Prius. But recently the Odyssey has gotten a little dated. As I have gotten older - it has been harder and harder to remove the middle seats when I wanted to use the Honda as a cargo van.
So when I found out there was a Pacifica in Quitman - it was a nice excuse to put the BMW top down for a beautiful cruise through Dixie - literally - one of the towns I passed through was Dixie GA.
Quitman is a cute quaint little Southern town - one of the main businesses on the main street is Cass Burch Chrysler. When I called them - they said they had one Pacifica on the lot - it was not even prepped for sale. No one else in the area had one.
The 2017 Chrysler Pacfica is an all new vehicle from the ground up. It is powered by the Pentastar V6 engine which produced 278 HP. An all new 9 speed automatic transmission feeds the power through the front wheels. In a few months - it will be available with a plug-in hybrid engine - more on that later.
To be honest with you - the very best feature of this van is the seats. They all fold and drop down into the floor - easily - with on hand. It goes from seats for 8 passengers to a completely empty cab in seconds. There are over 200 seat configurations. You can haul the family anywhere - take a nap in the back - or haul a stack of 20 - 4 x 8 sheets of plywood.
The van is only 6 feet tall so it would fit into our garage and also into any city parking garage with limited entry.
It also has an infinite list of electronics. My favorites are the 360 degrees camera view - the rear cameras - the blind spot cameras and warnings - the lane warnings - the smart cruise control - the emergency stop help - the parking assist - the touch screen controls - the phone connections - etc. The power doors and tailgate are nice too.
Did you ever hear of Active Noise Control? Being hard of hearing - noise is a big bug-a-boo for me. With ANC - the speakers play sounds to counteract road noise. Bose Sound System does this for headphones used in airplanes.
Of course Lulu loves the 3 sun roofs - only available on the top of the line Limited. There is a sunroof over each row of seats - it reminds one of the old VW microbus.
Prices are not cheap - MSRP is from $28000 to $45000.
Honda is supposed to be releasing an all new Odyssey van this fall. If they offer one with all the folding seats - it would have my vote. If not - would you buy a car simply because the seats fold easily into the floor?
They will release the Pacifica with a plug-in hybrid system. You plug the car in at home. The first 30 miles every day would be just electric motor power. After that the gas engine kicks in for 580 more miles. The biggest problem with that hybrid configuration - they put the batteries in the chassis bins - so the middle seats cannot fold into the floor!
|All seats fold into the floor|
|Sensors on bumper warn you of danger|
|Side view of folded seats|
|The 9 speed shifter is a dial|
|Touch screen controls and GPS|
|All power doors|
|Plain sides and windows|
|3 seat configuration|
|4 disk brakes|
|Remote start - remote doors - remote AC|
|Our BMW is sitting there - not sure of this|