A spontaneous furniture purchase in a large shop? Going back by bike and unexpectedly taking some friends with you? Need a face string of firewood plus three kids? All of these scenarios have been shown recently, and the Pacifica has cleverly handled each one of them when we simply folded a combination of the third row split bank or the second row Stow ‘n Go buckets into the ground, a trick, not a minivan of another automaker can perform. Our Pacifica continues to score high for comfort, peace and reliability. In fact, in our 34,000 miles so far, we have had no major problems and have barely achieved anything insignificant. The Pacifica’s Uconnect Theater back-seat entertainment system, with its 10.1-inch touchscreens, is regularly rewarded for quieting restless children for hours, no doubt one of the main reasons that this van has gained miles so fast.
“It’s in this arena, and in Cargo / Passenger Space Utility, that the Pacifica shines the most – the kids watched movies and played games, and they loved it – a fantastic solution to the endless, straight, flat Midwestern highways”, said the editor Josh Jacquot. The games built into the two rear entertainment screens also softened a passage of drunken adults on the way back from a game of the Detroit Red Wings, though the designated driver was unconvinced by the noise from the back of the cabin in some way reduced distraction of the driver.
The carpet covering the bottom of the Pacifica seems to attract dirt, lint and hair with a nearly magnetic pull, making it almost impossible to suck it off to a satisfactory level of cleanliness. A visit to mountainous western states resulted in a failure of the Neungang automatic: it lacked the manual shift control. If the driver tries to keep the steep inclines constant, the transmission will wait for so much gas before it will allow a downshift. When it finally chooses a lower gear, it often jumps to two instead of one. At this point, the transporter accelerates so fast (this is not a problem with lack of power) that the driver has to lift to prevent him from blowing through the desired speed, pushing the transmission up twice where it started, repeating the spiral of gear hunting. Descending mountains are not much better, as the low range (the Pacifica’s only forward selection except the driveline – and its only solution for requesting a lower gear) keeps the engine close to Redline and not the more precise manual controls than any other minivan offers (including the Pacificas Dodge-badged predecessor, the Grand Caravan, which is still being sold). Also on this western road trip, the 80 mph speed limits combined with 30 mph wind gusts had us wanting more body control as our laden Pacifica moved uncomfortably on its suspension, tending to be disturbed by chill bites and other road bumps