Is The Future Of Chrysler Just Selling Minivans?
Now that the Chrysler 300 sedan has been discontinued, the entire Chrysler lineup for the 2024 model year consists exclusively of minivans. We’re being generous by using the plural form of “minivan.” The Pacifica, Pacifica Hybrid, and fleet-only Voyager are all remarkably similar. One could consider them three different variants of one model.
Is a brand consisting only of a minivan a sustainable business model? Let’s look at what we know and add some speculation to the future of this once-iconic American brand.
The 2024 Chrysler vehicle catalog
Although the Chrysler 300 still shows up on Chrysler’s website, 2023 is the final model year for this full-size sedan. It bowed out with a special 300C variant powered by a mighty 6.4-liter Hemi V8 shared with the R/T Scat Pack variants of the Dodge muscle cars, which were discontinued simultaneously.
That leaves only three models in Chrysler’s 2024 lineup. They’re all minivans. The star of the show is the Chrysler Pacifica. This brand invented the minivan in the 1980s, and it still produces the best-seller in the segment, according to data on GoodCarBadCar. The Pacifica is a top choice in minivans for its spacious, family-friendly, three-row interior, the class-exclusive Stow ‘n Go system that lets you fold all of the back seats into the floor, available all-wheel drive, and luxurious options.
As its name implies, the Chrysler Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid is a PHEV version of the Pacifica. This is the only PHEV minivan on the market today. According to the EPA, it achieves an all-electric range of up to 32 miles. Even with a depleted battery, it gets 30 combined mpg.
Finally, there’s the Chrysler Voyager. The successor to the old Plymouth Voyager is a fleet-only version of the Pacifica.
A few minor updates to the Pacifica for the 2024 model year include a standard Sepia interior color scheme for the top Pinnacle trim, and an Emergency Vehicle Alert System built into the infotainment system. Additionally, Red Hot and Baltic Gray are new paint options this year. The Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid gets similar updates, plus its old Touring L and Limited trims have been consolidated into a new Select trim.
A future for the brand beyond the Pacifica minivan
So, where does the Chrysler brand go from here? It’s historically good at making minivans but has to offer something else to stay relevant. “The Chrysler Brand is reimagining the mobility experience through innovative technology, connected experiences, and a commitment to full electrification by 2028,” according to the brand’s website.
The Chrysler Airflow concept debuted in 2022, and the version that graced the New York International Auto Show that year looked production-ready. It was a midsize SUV with two electric motors, a high-tech interior, and a new interpretation of the winged Chrysler logo.
Chrysler has also shown off a concept that isn’t a whole car. Instead, it’s just an interior. The Chrysler Synthesis concept is primarily a showcase of the Harmony infotainment system. The Synthesis has a 37.2-inch display that “synchronizes your personal and mobility digital activities and makes life easier by automatically installing new features and vehicle updates,” according to Chrysler.
The Airflow or something similar will relaunch Chrysler
Although the concept looked close to ready for production, Chrysler announced in 2023 that the Airflow wouldn’t make it to production. Instead, a different EV we haven’t seen is planned for the 2025 model year.
According to The Detroit News, Chrysler plans to have at least three vehicles in its lineup in 2028. That’s the deadline the brand has set for itself to go all-electric. It’s a safe bet that one of those EVs will be a minivan since Chrysler is the sales leader in that segment. Another EV will probably be a crossover similar to the Airflow concept.
We can’t help but wonder if the third planned EV will be a successor to the Chrysler 300. The 300 was a more budget-friendly alternative to big luxury SUVs like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BWM 7 Series. Could a new electric Chrysler 300 be a more affordable alternative to EVs like the BMW i7, Mercedes-Benz EQS, and Tesla Model S?