What's New for 2007
The Chrysler Pacifica gets a host of revisions for 2007. Under the hood, all models except the base front-drive trim get a new 4.0-liter V6 matched to a new six-speed automatic transmission. Inside, instrument graphics have been revised, a new audio system with MP3 capability has been added and base models now get an analog clock. The rear-seat entertainment system also gets a larger 8-inch video screen. In terms of safety, side curtain airbags and stability control are now standard on all models, and a backup camera and backup sensor have been added to the options list on some trims. Wrapping up the changes to the 2007 Pacifica is updated front-end styling.
A wagon that's part minivan and part SUV, the Chrysler Pacifica luxury crossover attempts to be all things to all people. In many respects, it succeeds. The Pacifica's sculpted lines give it a look that's more stylish than that of your typical ho-hum kiddie hauler, but with room for six, it handles this function without breaking a sweat. Best of all, the Pacifica gets you there with a nimbleness that belies its capacious heft.
Updates have been made this year that enhance the vehicle's family-friendly quotient. Stability control, side curtain airbags and a tire-pressure monitoring system are now standard on all trims. Also, a backup camera and backup sensor have been added to the options list on certain models.
The 2007 Chrysler Pacifica also gets a new 4.0-liter V6 that makes 253 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This should address the sluggish feel of the previous 3.5-liter V6. True, that engine still made 250 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque, so this 4.0-liter doesn't look that much stronger, at least on paper. But the spec sheet doesn't tell the whole story. While the new engine doesn't imbue the Pacifica with delusions of drag-racing trophies, it does feel considerably more powerful and torquey, especially at low speeds.
The Pacifica fills a need for those seeking a family hauler that's outside the box, and we're impressed. We like the crossover's sharp styling, able handling and long list of luxury and safety features. However, we're troubled by the less-than-stellar reliability of early models. Quality has no doubt improved since the vehicle's introduction in model-year 2004. Still, it's fair to say that if you place a premium on headache-free ownership, you'll probably be better served by an offering like the Honda Pilot or Subaru B9 Tribeca.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Chrysler Pacifica comes in three trim levels: base, Touring and Limited. All trims are available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The standard features list on the base model includes five-passenger seating, air-conditioning, keyless entry, full power accessories, power front seats and a CD/MP3 player with steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. Step up to the Touring trim and you also get dual-zone climate control, HomeLink, three-row six-passenger seating and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter. The top-of-the-line Limited trim adds a power liftgate; leather upholstery; heated seats; automatic dual-zone climate control; wood trim; driver-seat memory, an upgraded sound system with a six-disc, in-dash CD changer; and a rear DVD entertainment system. Major options, depending on the model, include a navigation system with a backup camera, park assist, a premium sound system and xenon HID headlights.
Powertrains and Performance
Pop the hood of the base front-wheel-drive Pacifica and you'll find a 3.8-liter V6 good for 200 hp. Powering all-wheel-drive base models and all Touring and Limited models is a more muscular 4.0-liter, 253-hp V6. Front-wheel-drive base model Pacificas get a four-speed automatic transmission, while all other models get a six-speed.
Side curtain airbags for all rows are standard on all Pacificas, along with a tire-pressure monitoring system and a stability control system that includes traction control and brake assist. A backup camera is also available. The Pacifica scored a flawless five stars in the NHTSA's frontal and side-impact crash tests. The IIHS gives the Pacifica a top rating of "Good" for frontal-offset crash protection.
Interior Design and Special Features
With the base model Pacifica, you get seating for five; there is a rear bench that seats three, but no third row. Touring and Limited models are equipped with second-row bucket seats and accommodate six passengers thanks to a split-folding third-row seat. A surprisingly accommodating entry height makes getting in and out of the Pacifica a breeze. Both second- and third-row chairs fold flat, affording the Pacifica a fair degree of versatility. However, cramped legroom means that the wagon's third row is best left for the wee ones. Cargo room is generous, opening up to 92.2 cubic feet in the base model and 79.5 in the Touring and Limited (due to the third-row seat).
The 2007 Chrysler Pacifica handles with a confidence that surpasses that of most minivans and SUVs. Steering feedback is solid, though some drivers might find body motions to be excessive when it's driven over bumps. All in all, however, the Pacifica delivers more driving enjoyment than you'd expect from a family hauler. In terms of acceleration, the wagon's robust curb weight dulls acceleration for models with the smaller V6.