It’s been more than 15 years since Fiat Chrysler has offered all-wheel drive on its minivans. Providing huge benefits while driving in hazardous road conditions, the new AWD-equipped Chrysler Pacifica can take family vacations to a whole new level.
The 2020 Chrysler Pacifica
Minivans have always been the go-to choice for people who want to haul around their stuff without restricting the comfort of their passengers. The 3.6-liter V6 Chrysler Pacifica is at the top of its class, offering a large cargo carrying capacity with ample second and third-row seating options. Car and Driver claims the 2020 Chrysler Pacifica is, “The best minivan you can buy – and better than most SUVs, too.”
Listed on Car and Driver’s top 10 list, the Pacifica has a superior infotainment system, great audio and theater package, and advanced driver-assistance technologies. A 360-degree exterior camera system is a standard feature in Chrysler’s Advanced SafetyTec package. The NHTSA gives the 2020 Pacifica a five-out-of-five overall rating.
There are five trim levels available, ranging in price from $34,990 to $45,940.
Road trips were never so comfortable
“Are we there yet?” will no longer be yelled from the backseat. Passengers in a 2020 Chrysler Pacifica have so many conveniences and comfort features available that they may never want to get out of the van.
To start with, there are countless cup holders and slide-out storage bins for stashing road trip snacks. The Stow ‘n Go seats make room for eight passengers and more cargo than you can possibly carry. Car and Driver tested out the cavernous Pacifica and found room for 53 carry-on suitcases when the seats were stowed. That’s a lot of room for vacation toys that you can’t leave home without.
The easy-to-use infotainment system will keep passengers occupied for hours with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities. The Uconnect Theater package includes dual 10-inch HD touchscreens, two HDMI inputs, wireless headphones, and built-in games and apps.
The all-wheel-drive platform
Adding the all-wheel-drive platform to the family-friendly 2020 Chrysler Pacifica is the cherry on top of the delicious ice cream sundae. The all-wheel-drive system allows for versatile driving regardless of road conditions.
The Pacifica AWD Launch Edition package is currently only available in the Touring L model for an add-on cost of $3,095. With an MSRP of $41,735, the exclusive minivan will hit sales floors later this fall.
Chrysler calls it “the most advanced AWD system in its class.” A brake-lock differential helps to direct all available torque to whichever wheels have the most traction. The disconnecting system efficiently engages the rear axles when extra grip is needed. It automatically detects when AWD isn’t required and stops the driveshaft from spinning. This provides more traction on slippery or wet surfaces and gives power to all four wheels on dry pavement.
Is the all-wheel-drive option worth the money?
Consumer Reports claims that a good set of winter tires is more valuable than an all-wheel-drive system. They found that AWD helps with getting a vehicle moving on slick surfaces but offers little-to-no help for stopping or steering.
Chrysler, Toyota, and Honda see things a little differently and offer AWD on their line of minivans. Owners typically don’t want the hassle of storing seasonal tires and having to change them out twice a year. An all-wheel-drive system is always engaged in the vehicle, offering better performance and handling.
A set of four winter tires averages about $1,000 for a minivan. The surcharge of $3,000 for the AWD system means that all-season safe driving can be had for less than an estimated total cost of $4,000. Knowing you and your family are protected is well worth the investment.