When I was younger, my dream was always to have a black SUV. Specifically, the Cadillac Escalade. Alas, I grew up and realized the value of money. I settled for a used, but beautiful, black Chevy Tahoe. It lasted me through my first two kids.
Then the third baby came. And I realized if I wanted to have a seat for all three kids, the halfie third row seat was not going to cut it for them or for me. Imagine trying to buckle in four kids under the age of seven by having to push the seats down. That would be a pain.
So, I did a lot of soul searching and realized that my dreams of never becoming a minivan owner would never come true (that's a double negative). I started watching other moms roll-in to daycare and practically finish getting more kids out of their minivan than I could with my two from my SUV. After dinging someone else's door with my stupid Tahoe and having my insurance premiums slightly go up, I knew it was time. So I started searching for minivans.
However, I know this will sound really superficial: If I'm going to stoop as low as getting a mini-van, I needed to at least feel cool in it.
After a bit of research and talking to more experienced moms, three minivans were up for consideration. My research filtered based on the following things:
- Number of mom's that had it and recommended it
- Number of those vehicles sold as well as awards won
- Youtuber Reviews and Walk Throughs
I did a lot of show floor touring. Some of you were following me on my Facebook Stories as I went around to various dealerships to look at them in person. Here were my initial thoughts of each of the brands and models that were top of mind when it came to minivans.
Honda Odyssey versus Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Review
Pro: The Honda brand is known for it's longevity (my first car was a Honda Accord that lasted through three generations). In addition, the resale value for a Honda Odyssey was bigger than of it's competitor, Toyota. From a value perspective, Honda wins on value and on quality. The quality was unmatched. You could feel the quality by looking at it.
Cons: It was not at all modern. The dash didn't seem as sleek as the others. A new body style at the time was due out in the next few months, and I didn't want to risk buying a vehicle that would become out dated that quickly. From a functional standpoint, the middle car seats had to be fully taken out if I needed more room. It had an "old mom" feel to it (from my perspective).
Toyota Sienna versus Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Review
Pro: I am also an avid fan of the Toyota brand as well. The resale value is also larger than other vans. I love the quality of the material.
Cons: The Toyota Sienna had a boxy feel to it. The middle car seats also have to be taken out on the Toyota Sienna. The tv monitor for the kids sit pretty high up, especially for the kids in the middle seat. I also recall the electronics weren't positioned in the most convenient spot. There was a spare tire holder, but I remember it took away from storage room as well.
My Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Review One Year Later
To be honest, I've never been a fan of the Chrysler line. I've always heard that the resale was terrible and the engine, coming from my husband who knows a lot about cars (he grinds cranks on the side), they are always the engines that come for service the most. However, after researching this specific model and visiting the showroom floor, I as blown away by the amazing features and how much care was taken to design for the best location for everything.
There were SO MANY features in this minivan that blew me away as compared to the others. With the Sienna and the Odyssey, I always felt like I had to give up a feature in order to maintain another feature. With the Chrysler Pacifica, everything was so smartly designed that I didn't have to compromise anything.
With my Chrysler Pacifica minivan review, I wanted to share some of my favorite things about my ride. I get these questions ALL THE TIME. Even my daughters have come home and told me, "Yeah, <insert kid name> told her mom that she wanted to get a minivan like yours." It's pretty sweet. Granted, I would take my Tahoe in a heart beat, but in this season of life, my minivan is EVERYTHING.
Front body exterior. From the front, the Chrysler Pacifica doesn't even look like a van. It literally looks like it's sister sedan if you look at it straight from the front.
Beautiful interior. The interior of this minivan is absolutely gorgeous as compared to the other vans. It literally looks like the dash of a sedan. Everything is angled appropriately, in reaching distance for short arms. It's absolutely gorgeous.
Storage spots with phone anti-slip cover. Pretty much the bee's knees.
Tri-pane panoramic roof. Makes it feel like you are outside. Enough said.
Stow and Go assisted seats. This is a game changer. I was given a tutorial at the Honda and Toyota dealerships on how to take out those middle seats. They were freaking HEAVY. The sales guy sold me on how industrial the frame of the seats of the Toyota and Honda are (which means a safer ride). But the Pacifica also makes use of high-strength steel and aluminum even being able to drop 250 pounds! I absolutely love how I can stow away the seats without a lot of hassle! Take for instance the day I had to take over 120 Girl Scout cookies home! It is now power-operated, and can be stowed or deployed with a push of a button. Freaking amazing.
Here's a view of me hauling 100+ boxes of Girl Scout cookies home. It was so easy to put the seats away!!!
Driver customization. I love the fact that I can customize where I see the digital odometer, the outdoor temperature, in-cabin temperature, radio station and apps! It's crazy awesome how much you can customize to your own preferences. The middle dash screen can also be dimly lit at night and turned off completely if you wanted it to be!
Deep back seat space. This minivan has the ability to fit a double side by side stroller and more!
Vacuum or spare tire. With the Chrysler Pacifica Limited, the space had an option to either choose to have a vacuum or a spare tire kit. I chose the vacuum (totally impractical I know). However, we don't travel very far that often and I don't go into the boonies very often. So a vacuum would, I thought at the time, serve me right. And if I'm being honest, I've only used the vacuum twice in my ownership.
Tons of cup space. Enough said. Read my post about that here.
Heated and cooling seats. With my key fob, I can start my car on a cold day and my seats will be warm, and vice versa for summer days! The driver side, passenger side and captain seats have climate controlled seating. It is a game changer. Oh, I forgot to mention the steering wheel is also heated. Game. Changer.
Hands-free sliding doors. I know you guys have all seen this on the Chrysler Pacifica commercial. It has come in handy pretty much every day. When I'm trying to put groceries in or take them out and close the door, it's been pretty much awesome for that.
Smart lighting. I just realized what all the knobs to the left of the steering wheel do. One of them controls the cabin lights AROUND the small pocket areas where you hold things. It's amazing, especially when it's dark at night.
Active safety technology. The Pacifica has a ton of safety features, which includes lane departure warning and rear park assist with auto stop. Its amazing!
Infotainment screen. The screens are located on the back of the driver and passenger side. As compared to the other minivans, they all had them on the ceiling, which strains passengers necks. However, you would think that having them on the back of the driver and passenger side would be a viewing disadvantage, but it is actually not! My kids in the back have never complained not being able to visually see anything. It's done with the UConnect entertainment system. The headphones are proprietary, so they have to be special order. They can be paired wirelessly with mobile apps so they can interact with it! The display screens are 10 inches and are beautiful! They also have the ability to flip down.
Power outlets, USB outlets. There are USBs in reach from every single seat in the van. There's a power outlet in the back as well as in the front console. I've never used this, but I could see using it if you are sitting on a parade route and needing some power.
Outdoor noise cancellation. If you've got a ton of construction, you'll be able to barely hear it as you wait in a traffic jam.
Smart memory seat. When your car can remember your seat preferences as compared to your spouse's, it's a win win.
Here are the things I don't like about it or wish they would change:
- The vacuum needs to be on the opposite side of the fuel tank. When I'm pumping gas, I'd like to be able to use the vacuum while waiting for 17 gallons of gas to be pumped.
- The middle glove compartment near feet needs to be contained more. I think what the designer's assumption is that it would be where purses would go, but none of my diaper bags ever fit there. Sure, I could find a storage compartment for it, but I digress.
I hope you guys enjoyed me review of the Chrysler Pacifica minivan review!