2022 Chrysler Pacifica Ushers Us Through All Phases of Life

Featured Image Of The 2022 Chrysler Pacifica. Photo: Sara Lacey
Featured Image of the 2022 Chrysler Pacifica. Photo: Sara Lacey

2022 Chrysler Pacifica eases my empy-nest syndrome. A little.

When I found out I was getting a 2022 Chrysler Pacifica minivan to test, I was really excited. It’s a vehicle that my family has loved testing over the years. Why? Because they are so functional, fun, effortless, and comfortable. It was only a few moments between the excitement and the huge emotional crash that came afterwards. My kids aren’t really home anymore to test minivans. 

And then I cried.

But handily enough, not long after THAT, I realized that it was in this moment that a minivan would still shine, and is the reason that once you own a minivan, you really should consider holding on to it for as long as you can. And I’ll tell you why.

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Front Seat Of The 2022 Chrysler Pacifica. Photo: Sara Lacey

Front seat of the 2022 Chrysler Pacifica. Photo: Sara Lacey

The 2022 Chrysler Pacifica AWD was Ready for Anything at all Times

It looked pretty cool showing up in my driveway all gray and moody. It looked kind of tough and utilitarian. And after a time of not having a minivan to drive, all the cool stuff came rushing back. Think of minivans like the fun house you would visit as a kid. Comfy furniture, big TVs, the good kind of snacks, lots of kids around. Nothing really too off-limits. 

Rear Angle Of The 2022 Chrysler Pacifica. Photo: Sara Lacey

Rear angle of the 2022 Chrysler Pacifica. Photo: Sara Lacey

My 2022 Chrysler Pacifica was the Limited trim that had a base price of $51,545. But after some optional packages (appearance and tech) and a a nice paint job and the destination charge, my Pacifica’s sticker price came to $57,552.

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In-Car Picnic! Photo: Sara Lacey

In-Car Picnic! Photo: Sara Lacey

Cargo Space Is No Worry

My daughter came outside to check it out. She is a fan of Van Life (at least, she is conceptually a fan as she has never actually traveled this way) and as we were looking it over she proclaimed that really, she could be down for the Minivan Life. It’s big enough, as the interior cargo volume starts at 32.3 cubic feet and maxes out at a whopping 140.5 cubic feet.

Anyway, we were contemplating the cargo space not because I was going to be taking her or her brother to their respective activities or practices like I had before, and we’d need to see if kids and gear would fit. No, it was because she was leaving for college that next week and we were going to use the minivan to move her there.

And then I cried again.

Actually, I would in fact be using the Pacifica to take my son and his friends to an activity. TO THE AIRPORT. TO STUDY ABROAD FOR MONTHS. I wondered whether the Pacifica would be able to handle them and their gear, plus me and my husband and daughter as there was no way anyone was staying home from this airport drop-off.

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The Whole Crew On The Way To The Airport. Photo: Sara Lacey

The whole crew on the way to the airport. Photo: Rich Lacey

Trying not to be Resentful that Things were so Easy

Of course, the Pacifica handled all of us with ease and confidence, including the kids’ luggage despite me hoping that maybe it wouldn’t work out and they’d all have to stay home with me. But I realized that it was really great to have a minivan even though it’s been a few years since I’ve needed to carry a bunch of people and their stuff around. And if I owned one, it would have been helpful in many instances when I needed to pick up large items, or if I needed to get my parents somewhere in a vehicle that didn’t have too high or too low ground clearance and roof lines.

Third Row Up, Suitcases In The Cargo Area Bin. Photo: Sara Lacey

Third row up, suitcases in the cargo area bin. Photo: Sara Lacey

The cargo area dimensions are 32.3 cubic feet minimum, and a whopping 140.5 cubic feet maximum. The bin below the floor behind the third row can hold a ton of stuff; in my case, at least three large duffel bags with a little room to spare, or it will house the third-row seats when they’re folded. When the third row is folded, this creates a large cargo area behind the second row and immediately I wanted to go car camping. But if you fold and stow the second row seats, you’re able to handle even more. Think moving your kid into college, or a hardware-store run involving lumber. It’s crazy. Stow ’N Go rules.

Second Row Captain'S Chairs, One Is Folded Via The Stow 'N Go System. Photo: Sara Lacey

Second row captain’s chairs, one is folded via the Stow ‘N Go system. Photo: Sara Lacey

There were four sets of latch connectors in the Pacifica, but you will want to test those seats to make sure the latch connectors are usable at the same time and for your family’s setup. There are also four tether anchors.

All The Dorm Stuff Fit In The 2022 Chrysler Pacifica. Photo: Sara Lacey

All the dorm stuff fit in the 2022 Chrysler Pacifica. Photo: Sara Lacey

And She'S Off. Out Of The Minivan, Into Her Dorm Room. Photo: Sara Lacey

And she’s off. Out of the minivan, into her dorm room. Photo: Sara Lacey

Power Aplenty

The mpg estimates are 17city/25highway/20 combined. And my test Pacifica was all-wheel drive, friends. The 3.6l V6 engine had plenty of power and I wondered if this minivan knew no boundaries. With a full passenger and cargo load, there was no problem merging on to the highway. And even at highway speeds it accelerated comfortably to pass. Not that I was in a rush to get to the airport. I was not afraid to head up to the mountains in this baby, either.

Third Row Shades, Two Cupholders And A Bin. Photo: Sara Lacey

Third row shades, two cupholders and a bin. Photo: Sara Lacey

Some Excellent Features for Families (and Other People, Too)

My Pacifica was a Limited trim level, so the base price was $51,545 and that had a bevy of fabulous features. It had front and rear, and parallel and perpendicular park assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot and rear cross-path detection, lane departure warning system, forward collision warning, pedestrian emergency braking, a ton of airbags, and rear seat reminder alerts.

The Family Spy. I Mean, Famcam. Photo: Sara Lacey

The Family Spy. I mean, FamCam. Photo: Sara Lacey

A feature I found fun was the FamCam. It’s a camera mounted on the ceiling and gives the driver visibility into whatever is going on in the second and third rows. Great for when you have an infant starting to cry or a teen and their significant other canoodling in the third row. 

What The Driver Sees In The Fam Cam. Photo: Sara Lacey

What the driver sees in the Fam Cam. Photo: Sara Lacey

Another fun piece of tech was the Amazon Fire system set up for the second row passengers. My test van also came with a Blu-Ray DVD player! Headphone ports and remotes rounded out this entertainment extravaganza. Heads up, these were part of a $2,495 package.

Amazon Fire! And Charging Ports. Photo: Sara Lacey

Amazon Fire! And charging ports. Photo: Sara Lacey

The second row and third row windows had sun shades in them. So many cupholders and water bottle holders, too. In the front seat, my son and I had an impromptu picnic when checking out the new Slim Chickens restaurant down the street. The top of the center console held the box of chicken, Texas toast, and macaroni and cheese container. There were four cupholders in the front as well, so we were set.

The Vacuum In Its Housing. Photo: Sara Lacey

The vacuum in its housing behind the second row captain’s chair. Photo: Sara Lacey

In case we dropped a nugget or a noodle, the Pacifica had a built-in vacuum! It operated best with things like crackers and such, not as great with pet hair and lint.

Vacuum Hose. Photo: Sara Lacey

Vacuum hose. Photo: Sara Lacey

The giant panoramic sunroof kept everything light and visible, despite the all-black interior. I loved it. I also loved the power sliding doors. I would argue they may be the single best feature that makes having to drive around with kids easier.

My Kid, Her Stuff, And The 2022 Chrysler Pacifica. Photo: Sara Lacey

My big kid, her stuff, and the 2022 Chrysler Pacifica. Photo: Sara Lacey

The 2022 Chrysler Pacifica Enables Parenting Success

Look, here’s the thing. The weird feelings surrounding minivans is nothing new. Many people opt for SUV’s instead. It used to be that a lack of all-wheel drive was a motivator. But that’s negated now. As I’m looking at the prime time of parenthood from the rearview mirror, I see how awesome it would have been for me to have a minivan. It would have enabled me to be comfortable, been easier for the kids to get in and out of, and to bring all their friends along. There was a time I didn’t want to be the neighborhood school bus. But now, I feel like maybe I missed out.

And I will say that in hindsight I probably should have seen the minivan not as a car I would have had to drive around, but a car I got to say yes to.

Front Angle Of The 2022 Chrysler Pacifica. Photo: Sara Lacey

Front angle of the 2022 Chrysler Pacifica. Photo: Sara Lacey

Sara has written about cars since 2005. She used to beat them up with her kids and write about... More about Sara Lacey