I’ve always had a soft spot for minivans since a few decades ago when I traded in my Toyota Supra convertible for a Chrysler Town & Country. Okay, maybe that particular event didn’t make me fall in love with the extraordinary flexibility and room of a minivan, but as the family grew, as we added dogs and sporting gear, everything added up to the minivan being a great addition to our vehicular family. Do I still miss that Supra? Yeah, a little bit.
The Chrysler Town & Country evolved over the years, and in 2017 Chrysler rebranded the venerable Town & Country the “Pacifica“, to add some pizzaz to the name. Chrysler also had a Voyager minivan that was then rebranded as the Grand Caravan outside of the US market, but Chrysler could see the writing on the wall and the transition from T&C to Pacifica also coincided with an additional push towards a more luxurious driving experience. The result of a few iterations on the Pacifica produces the “S Appearance” Limited model that I drove, known more formally as the 2022 Pacifica Limited AWD S Appearance. I reviewed the 2021 model of this vehicle too, if you’re curious: My review of the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica LTD.
This 2022 model sported a Ceramic Gray Exterior and Black interior, with Nappa Leather Buckets Seats with the swanky “S” logo:
You can see that the grey color is very interesting, a deeper color than would be expected for such a neutral tone. That’s the “ceramic” finish and, like most every modern vehicle paint color, has a premium price tag, adding $495 to the cost of the vehicle. The Pacifica definitely has sleek lines and a simple front grill design, with all the forward-facing sensors neatly tucked under the front crossbar.
2022 CHRYSLER PACIFICA DRIVER’S AREA
Moving into the vehicle, the dashboard is pretty standard in its control layout:
The infotainment system screen is a big, bright 10.1″ display running the Stellantis UConnect system. UConnect has been through so many major and minor iterations across the Stellantis line that it’s a very refined and intuitive experience now. There wasn’t much that was more than a tap or two away from any point in the system, whether it was changing stations on the entertainment system, adjusting climate control, or getting driving directions to your next destination.
Notice the big, easily accessible cup holders and the rotating gear knob on the dashboard with a highly visible current gear indicator. Immediately below it is the parking brake control, one of the first times I’ve seen this on the front rather than the seat divider panel. The steering wheel controls were also easy to grasp and understand, though, again, there are two controls behind the steering wheel, one of which controls the track and the other volume. Unlabelled. Not a big deal except I listen to a lot of audiobooks and it’s really frustrating to seek a higher volume to compensate for road noise just to jump forward 30min in your audiobook because you accidentally chose ‘next track’ instead of ‘volume up. Not a fan of this particular pair of controls.
The main gauge display, on the other hand, is wicked cool:
While 24.5mpg is nothing to write home about when gas is $5.00/gallon or more, it’s not horrible for a vehicle of this size and capacity. Chrysler also makes a PHEV plug-in hybrid model of the Pacifica which gets much better fuel efficiency. Official EPA figures are 17/25, so 24.5 is pretty near optimal.
The center console area also has a typical – and much appreciated – array of plugs and power options for smartphones and other devices:
Notice all the plugs and the Qi charging pad on the bottom, then, just above it, the Blu-Ray player for the rear seat displays accessible to passengers in the second-row buckets. This is part of the Uconnect Family Theater Group and also includes a built-in Amazon FireTV, “FamCam” interior camera, and that Blu-Ray DVD player. We’ve never had displays in our vehicles, but if I was schlepping a group of little ones cross-country, this would undoubtedly be a great addition.
Before we leave the front seat, I want to share one of my favorite elements of the 2022 Pacifica: The umbrella storage spots. There’s one of these on each side of the front compartment:
Great planning and very helpful to have a spot to put a wet umbrella. Plus, who doesn’t like finding a hidden smiley in their vehicle interior?
PACIFICA PASSENGER AREA
Stepping out, you can start to see the roominess of the vehicle with the rear legroom:
Considering that those middle seats are Stow ‘n Go, folding down and into the floor of the van, they’re still comfortable and have entirely acceptable legroom, even for adults. And did I mention the vehicle has a built-in vacuum cleaner so you can keep it free of kid debris? A very interesting addition!
Where a minivan shines, however, is when you get a view of the full interior space:
You can imagine with the center seats also folded down, there’s a lot of darn space in this vehicle, enough that you can just wheel your bicycles in, pile up a lot of supplies from Home Depot, or even toss in a few bales of hay (well, they might make a bit of a mess). What’s new with the modern design is that seats fold down, rather than have to be pulled out, which is a remarkable improvement. You can go from seating for 7 to massive cargo space with just a few ingenious folds and flips.
One more photo, of the key fob. It’s complicated!
The nine (9!) buttons on the remote let you lock or unlock the car, open the rear hatch, remote start the vehicle, open either side door remotely, or get the vehicle to honk and flash its lights in panic mode. That’s a lot of options.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE 2022 PACIFICA
This is a long way from a truck with a different body on the frame and engine train, and the modern Pacifica is a fun drive, surprisingly peppy with its 3.6L V6 engine and 9-speed automatic transmission. It has reasonable cornering for a top-heavy vehicle (impossible to avoid with a minivan) and, of course, it’s really comfortable for driver and passengers, front and back. If you drive larger parties around or have your mob of kids, then there’s really a lot to love about the Pacifica. It has a great reputation and fan base – imagine, a fan base for a minivan! – and that’s all well deserved. it’s expensive, but if you’re in the market for a minivan, the Pacifica absolutely has to be on your list to check out.
And there ya have it. S Appearance and all.
2022 Chrysler Pacifica Limited AWD S Appearance with 3.6L V6 24V VVT engine with 9-speed automatic transmission. BASE PRICE: $51,545. OPTIONAL ADDITIONS: Customer Preferred Package 27P, Uconnect Family Theater Group, Ceramic Gray. AS DRIVEN: $57,552,00.
Disclaimer: Chrysler loaned me the Pacifica for a week in return for this writeup. Thanks, Chrysler!