2017 Chrysler Pacifica: Only the Teen-Driver KeySense Key Works
Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on August 24, 2016
Three keys were included in the purchase of our 2017 Chrysler Pacifica. Two are standard keys, while the other is a "KeySense" fob, an add-on for which we paid $175. Think of it as a teen driver key. Parents are able to limit top speed, set emergency warning/intervention thresholds and restrict satellite radio channels through a PIN-locked menu. The settings are then activated whenever the car is started with the KeySense fob. It's not a bad idea, and in fact there are many vehicles on the market that offer similar watchdog applications.
But due to an oversight somewhere along the buying process, the KeySense fob is the only working key we received at delivery.
Even with the PIN-encoded menu unlocked, there are aspects of the KeySense system that cannot be altered past a certain point, or modified at all.The most annoying aspect is the volume limit, which cannot be increased. While the maximum volume is a decent level for low-speed driving, it's nearly impossible to hear dialogue-heavy podcasts or talk radio at highway speeds. The speed limit is also an issue, at least for us. The limit is adjustable from 65-85 mph, but we need to take our Pacifica to the drag strip as part of our normal vehicle testing process. We tested another Pacifica in the past, and we think our minivan should cross the quarter-mile at about 90 mph.
The Pacifica was initially delivered to our office by drivers from Russell Westbrook Chrysler, the dealership we purchased it from. I was the first to inspect the car to gather several bits of vehicle information and make sure it wasn't damaged before it entered the fleet. I must have used the KeySense key when I did this, otherwise I would have caught this problem sooner. In retrospect, I should have taken all the keys when I went to the parking garage to make sure they all worked, but I have never seen inoperable keys before. That being said, I'm surprised someone from the dealership didn't check for key operation before they handed the Pacifica off to us.
We'll make an appointment to resolve the issue.
Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor