Thursday, January 24, 2013

Used Car Review - Chrysler Pacifica (2005-2008)

Luxury cars , when already used, are bargains and Myk Belmonte checks out this vehicle that was priced prohibitively can be yours at low prices.

2005-2008 Chrysler Pacifica

History books tell us that Daimler Benz and Chrysler Corporation merged in 1998 in which they call it as the "Merger Of Equals". This was met with success and controversy especially that investors are questioning whether the transaction was the "Merger of Equals" itself that upper management claimed or totaled to Daimler Benz's claim of Chrysler. DaimlerChrysler did not have any integrated product lines but after 2002 they saw the Chrysler Crossfire convertible utilizing the Mercedes SLK platform and using its 3.2 V6 engine and the Dodge Sprinter being a rebadged Mercedes Benz Sprinter van. This partnership did more worse than good and Chrysler ended up being purchased by Ceberus Capital Management. It was a marriage gone bad, similar to what had happened to Kris Aquino and Philip Salvador or if you like golf, Tiger Woods and Elin Norgeden.

The Chrysler Pacifica is a product of this union with Daimler Benz and Chrysler jointly engineered this vehicle, which took some inspiration from the 1999 Chrysler Pacifica and the 2000 Chrysler Citadel concept cars. While it cost them little less than a billion Dollars in just 30 months to develop this vehicle, DaimlerChrysler lost money on every Pacifica sold especially it used a modified minivan platform but the interior does not have any commonality with any Chrysler vehicle. Tons of problems when it comes to marketing and quality concerns took a toll on the vehicle's sales and thus, having it discontinued in November 2007 with 2008 being leftover units.

CATS Motors brought this crossover SUV in the Philippines in 2005, after the takeover of distributorship from Norkis Motors. Initially, the 3.8 engine arrived first with the 4.0 following suit two years later. Together with the US market, the Pacifica was dropped from the line-up in 2008.

Value and Costs
You can have this smooth operator for just P1,500,000 especially if you care more about comfort and don't give a damn about gas prices. A wise decision is picking up a pre-owned unit from CATS Motor's pre owned selection. This ensures that these vehicles are inspected and given a limited warranty to ensure worry free ownership.

Various reliability problems that the Pacifica faced include mechanical glitches related to the transmission and engine, some interior flaws, electrical headaches, and low built quality that plagued this vehicle. Browse Google or read some copies of Consumer Reports magazines and you'll get what I mean. Have these components fixed before driving one home, or you'll be shocked with the total repair bills. Parts are to be purchased in either the casa or specialist shops.

Exterior and Interior
I'm confused on what should I call this car. An SUV? A minivan? An MPV? Its a crossover, especially that you combine the driving behavior of a sedan, the utility of an SUV, and the versatility of a minivan. Notice the hood which has vertical slats that resembles the power board of a yacht. Some hard creases and a swooping roof design contemplate this large SUV.

Chrysler did it right when it designed the interior which resembled some Benz vehicles. Fit and finish are commendable and right for the then new price tag of P2M ones. Let's talk about the seating capacity, it has six individual seats that those who had not taken a bath or madamot in sharing their seats can rejoice. But, better leave the third row empty since legroom is lacking, despite the second row being moved forward. Flexibility with the seats occupied is limited, better tag along four people for the trip to Greenbelt or Divisoria.

There are two engines that PHDM Pacificas are fitted with. Initially, an EGH 3,778cc that has 200hp at 5,000rpm and 332Nm at 4,000rpm but in 2007 a 3,952cc V6 with 253hp at 6,000rpm and 355Nm at 4,100rpm. The first engine did not have the capacity of carrying the bulky weight and had a hard time puffing, and making things worse is a 4-speed automatic; while it is available in front wheel drive, better avoid this engine. The 4.0 does the job well especially it is paired with a 6-speed automatic and can carry the weight well.

Driving Impressions
Good thing this vehicle drives like a car, especially it is based from the famed Chrysler minivans. Drive slowly and it is quiet like a baby sleeping but when you feel the need for speed the weight (it has a total weight of 2,068 kilograms) penalty is felt. Visibility is not a strength no thanks to the blind spots present in the third quarter area.

Trying an interesting alternative? The Pacifica is one good pick especially if comfort and luxury are priorities. Facifica Falayfay (played by the late but legendary Dolphy) might got this as his (or her) ride if this was sold during the film's release. Reliability problems tarnish this otherwise impressive vehicle, so if you prioritize quality, look elsewhere.

The Good: 
  • Luxurious interior
  • Comfort for four
  • Sedan like driving
The Bad: 
  • Not so roomy third row
  • Various reliability problems
  • Numb steering
The Pick: Touring AWD to get the 4.0 engine

Engine: 3,778cc EGH and 3,952cc 4.0 V6 gasoline
Power: 200hp @ 5,000rpm (3.8), 253hp @ 6,000rpm (4.0)
Torque: 332Nm @ 4,000rpm (3.8), 355Nm @ 4,100rpm
Fuel Consumption: 5-7km/L (city), 8-10km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 4-speed automatic (3.8), 6-speed automatic (4.0)
Suspension: Front independent McPherson strut, rear independent multi-link

Price (New): P2,650,000-P2,850,000
Price (Now): P1,500,000
Rivals: Honda Pilot, Hyundai Veracruz, Mazda CX-9, Mitsubishi Endeavor, Nissan Murano
On Sale: 2005-2008

CATS Pre Owned - (02) 784-5004

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