2004 Chrysler Pacifica SUV (480)

This week I tested the 2004 Chrysler Pacifica SUV and it seems I never run out of SUV’s to review. They keep bringing them on. Cadillac, Porsche, Lincoln, Mercury, Ford, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota, Hyundai, Kia, BMW, Buick, Chevrolet, Dodge, GMC, Honda, Hummer, Isuzu, Infiniti, Jeep, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes Benz, Mitsubishi, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, VW and Volvo. Have I missed anyone? These guys represent about 40% of all vehicles sold. SUV’s used to set on truck platforms, but now with the “Crossover” shift in design they are utilizing passenger car platforms.

Is there any question we’re all very similar. Most of us have love affairs with the same things. We flock to Idol’s and issues in huge numbers like a gaggle of geese or a flock of sheep that feel somehow safe in numbers. It must be ok or good or we simply want company to commiserate with. Fads abound from Frisbee’s and Hoola Hoops in the 1960’s to Bungee jumping and sky diving in the 80’s to name a few. The same principal applies in our wanting or needed to experience what other brothers and sisters experience. It gives us something to talk about at parties and we comfort in a common bonding of sorts. Ever notice guys standing around a car with the hood up. We kick the tires and reflect on attributes of this car versus all the great cars of the past and what the future must hold in store.

Women don’t understand this, but I have news for you, guys don’t either. Just something to do at half time watching football I guess. Who knew Janet Jackson would disrobe on National TV. Not to worry they played it over and over and over and over…

Handling & Performance:

This Pacifica is a new arrival and has had the benefit of waiting to find out what people want the most in this popular class of vehicle. Handling like a car with similar comforts and an image of go anywhere off road capability is the attitude that has evolved over the past several years. Acceleration is crisp and quick. The only real performance issue that has not been adequately addressed in the SUV is achieving better gas performance. These crossovers speak to that a little by finessing the consumer to believe they’re 4-wheeling it when it’s only a 2-wheel drive. You know the saying that the silence is deafening? Well, in this Pacifica there is a noticeable quiet and the braking is smooth and you notice the absence.


Pacifica enters the market as a beauty contest winner. Aesthetically this is one of the nicest looking of the lineup. I like it as much as the Cadillac I recently reviewed. They are two of the new generation of SUV / Crossover’s that grab your attention.

Pacifica has unique higher body panels that wrap up around you, with smaller window area to give that cozy enclosed feeling. Some may not like that but it is a different feel to go with the clean flowing interior lines and beautiful Burl wood trim. Controls are well placed and fall right to your fingertips.   There is a third row fold down seat that provides 6 seating. The second row seats are special and mimic front seat comfort even including a center console.

Fit and Finish:

First Class.


The base price or MSRP provides virtually everything of comfort and convenience that you’ll likely want as noted below in the Standard Equipment features. The fluff of options are minimal and only add about $1,700 to get things like auto headlights, fog lights and tire pressure monitoring among others.  One other feature worth noting is – ready for this? … front seatback Grocery Bag Hooks. Now if that isn’t convenient I don’t know what is.


Well, if it were my money and I could save $10-15,000 over the Cadillac SRX or Lexus or other luxury SUV’s I would surely want to include this Pacifica in my search.

Consumer Recommendation:

This is a top contender in higher end SUV’s. It has the classy look and feel of more expensive products in this class. This would have to be in the top few to consider in your search. And in consideration of the economic times in America and the world, consumers should consider supporting those people who’s taxes continue to aid countries in need. Perhaps it is time to support the Goose that has been laying the golden eggs of global well-being. Our attention to American products therefore benefits a shrinking global community. Face it, the US has colonized the world with “Can Do” forward thinking and instructional technology to the entire industrial world. Thanks America.

The Competition:

Chrysler Pacifica $28-32,000, Acura MDX $36-43,000, Audi Allroad Quattro $39,950, Volvo XC 90 $34,700, Cadillac SRX $38-47,000, Lexus RX 330 $35-36,000, Lincoln Aviator $40-45,000, Volkswagen Touareg $35-41,000, Mercedes-Benz M-Class $37-46,000, BMW X5 $40-52,000, Porsche Cayenne $56-89,000 and Infiniti FX $34-44,000.

Good News:

Very nice styling, comfortable and car like ride and it is priced well.

Bad News:

I felt there were driver blind spots that made me uncomfortable.

Standard Equipment:

3.5 liter V6 engine, 4-speed automatic trans with autostick, dual front air bags with driver knee air bag, child sear anchor system, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes, load leveling and height control, air conditioning, power windows and locks, steering wheel tilt and audio controls, front seat back grocery hooks, stereo radio with CD player and infinity speaker system, front and rear center consoles, power front seats, remote keyless entry, security alarm with sentry key engine immobilizer and power heated foldaway mirrors.

Gas Stats:

17 City and 23 Highway MPG.


MSRP $28,845.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com

Copyright © 2003 – An Automotive Love Affair

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

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