Road Test: 2023 Chrysler Pacifica Limited S

The landscape of available minivans is not as populated as it once was. Few automakers still entertain the model type, opting more for larger SUVs.

But those that remain are a far cry from the minivans that would get your parents mocked for driving you around in it.

2023 Chrysler Pacifica Limited S

Case in point is the 2023 Chrysler Pacifica S we tested recently. A stylish family hauler that has lots of creature comforts and also comes as a plug-in hybrid version, a definite plus.

The Pacifica – and the rest of the minivans on the market – do tend to cost more than the more economical models of the past.

2023 Chrysler Pacifica Limited S

For example, the Pacifica starts at a shade over $54,000, and the Limited S tester is $64,075. The one saving grace for the plug-in hybrid we tested is that you are eligible for government grants to help lessen the cost.

Powertrain: The Pacifica hybrid can get up to 51 kilometres of electric-only driving thanks to the 16-kWh batter on board. That could satisfy many day-to-day routines and even the work commute, depending on where you are.

For longer drives, the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 will do the job just fine. It delivers 260 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, good enough numbers for the minivan. It is paired with an eFlite Electrically Variable Transmission.

2023 Chrysler Pacifica Limited S

The transition between EV-only driving and the gasoline engine is about as seamless as you could ask for. You do not notice the switch at all from behind the wheel.

I was unable to match the estimated combined fuel economy of 8.0 litre per 100 kilometres for the Pacifica hybrid, coming in at 10.9 L/100 km. However, I did get as low as 9.0 L/100 km early in my week with it, so the number put forth by Chrysler does seem achievable.

Exterior: I am not ashamed to admit that I have always found the Pacifica’s styling to be quite nice. Yes, I know it’s a minivan, but if they all always looked this nice, perhaps they wouldn’t have been the butt of so many jokes.

2023 Chrysler Pacifica Limited S

From a stylish front end to some nice accent lines throughout the body, the Pacifica looks good from every angle.

The back has a stylish lightbar across the rear hatch, which I find is just a nice way to cap off the look of the Pacifica.

Our tester had optional 18-inch wheels which are part of the S appearance package (an $895 option). That also includes a few other exterior modifications such as Anodized Ink badging, including an S badge, black daylight opening mouldings, body-colour door handles, front fascia air deflectors, gloss black exterior mirrors, as well as a premium black rear fascia and premium upper and lower grilles with black surrounds.

2023 Chrysler Pacifica Limited S

Interior: The Pacifica’s cabin is an equally inviting environment. The S trim includes some added features that do give it a more upscale feel, such as Nappa leather-faced seats, heated and ventilated up front and piano black interior accents.

The second row Captain’s chairs is always something I appreciate in a minivan, giving easy access to the third row. Those in the second row also benefit from the seat-back entertainment system on the front seats, a feature that is always a hit with the kids.

The Pacifica offers up a quiet and comfortable atmosphere in the cabin, although the all-black interior can get a bit dark – especially toward the rear.

When not in use, the third row can be easily stored in the floor to open up a larger storage area should you need it. If not, the sunken floor behind the bench does provide a good amount of room for everyday usage.

2023 Chrysler Pacifica Limited S

Access to the cabin is made easy thanks to dual power sliding doors, and the powered liftgate.

Also at the back is a portable air compressor and puncture sealant as part of the S package for when the unforeseen happens.

Infotainment: The seat-back entertainment is part of the optional Uconnect theatre family group ($3,145) on the Pacifica Limited S we tested. In addition to the extra screens, the package includes a 20-speaker harman/kardon audio system with active noise control.

2023 Chrysler Pacifica Limited S

Other items in the optional package include having Amazon Fire TV built into the system, the FamCam interior camera, HDMI and USB ports for the video screens, and more.

The main infotainment system is powered by the Uconnect software, and it’s a setup I have always found quite easy to use and understand, and the Pacifica was no exception.

It is compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a feature consumers are now seeing as more and more common – and sought after – in vehicles.

Drive: I am sure not everyone will agree with me, but driving the Pacifica was actually quite enjoyable. It has the required power, delivered smoothly. The plug-in hybrid system works flawlessly when it kicks in. The ride is very smooth, keeping occupants well isolated from the outside road imperfections and the steering is light and responsive.

And the Pacifica does not feel as big as it is while you are driving around, which helps improve the overall driving impressions.

Conclusion: I really enjoyed my time with the Pacifica Limited S. The plug-in hybrid version allows owners to save on fuel costs while retaining the flexibility of using the minivan for longer trips with the vehicle packed with people and gear.

It looks great in my view and offers up a very comfortable and upscale cabin environment that will also make those trips more enjoyable – and keeping the kids entertained with the 10-inch screens for entertainment.

2023 Chrysler Pacifica Limited S
Price as tested: $64,075.00
Freight: $2,095.00
Configuration: Front engine/Front-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 with hybrid system/ eFlite Electrically
Variable Transmission
Power/torque: 260 horsepower/ 236 lb-ft of torque
Fuel (capacity): Regular (62 L)
Combined fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): 8.0 L/100 km
Observed fuel economy (L/100 km): 10.9 L/100 km
Warranties: 5-years/100,000 km (basic)
Competitors: Honda Odyssey, Kia Carnival, Toyota Sienna
Website: Chrysler Canada

Translate »