Chrysler’s new Pacifica is its first minivan that’s truly entertaining to drive. It’s surpassed the Honda Odyssey as the minivan we’d drive, if we could only drive minivans from now on.
All versions, for now, are powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 that turns out 287 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. The heavily revamped V-6 is lighter and more efficient, and it’s now teamed to a 9-speed automatic transmission, with stop-start that saves fuel in city driving.
Acceleration is smart and the shifts are pretty crisp, Strong straight-line performance is joined by very good ride and handling. The Pacifica has a new front-strut and rear trailing-arm suspension, and electric power steering.
It’s all tuned for crisp responses, better even than today’s paragon Honda vans. A brand-new, sturdy body structure that’s much stiffer than the outgoing vans gets much of the credit.