Rollin' on Route 66 with the Chrysler Pacifica

Rollin' on Route 66 with the Chrysler Pacifica

We picked up our Pacifica Hybrid Limited just two days before our big “Don’t Get Dysentary” Western tour. 5,500 miles later, how has it performed?

The Good

The car came with these custom mocha leather seats. They have been very good. The front seats have adjustable back support and venting (which blows cool air on your bum in the summer).

The gas mileage has been good. We are sitting at over 1,300 miles driven on electric and 4,600 on gas. Since we’ve only been able to plug in a few places, most of those miles come from regen. On the biggest slopes we’d get up to 5-8 miles added to the battery on a downhill. The car doesn’t track a cumulative or trip fuel economy (it seems to maintain a 12 or 24 hour rolling average). On this trip we’ve seen mostly 28s with a high one day of 35. Lots of high speed driving on those Midwestern and Western highways.

There is so much space in the back. We’ve brought two cots, an instant pot, workout gear, four computers, a big stuffed bear, four gift bags for friends, and more. At the start of the trip this required the back and part of one seat. Now, at the end, it all goes in the back.

Radar cruise control is the bomb. It’s allowed Ginnie a little more freedom to look around at the scenery because she knows if the car ahead slows down our car keep a safe distance. The lane tracking is less useful. It does want to keep the car in between the lanes but it wants to stay closer to the center lane then feels comfortable. It will be nice for our new drivers though.

There is ample power for the electronics. We have four USB plugins and one regular outlet. These have kept us in a healthy state of charge to while away the hours.

We’ve enjoyed the gadgets and gizmos.

  • SiriusXM satellite radio has kept the singable songs coming.
  • Kicking a foot under the door will open the sliders and the back door.

The “Bads”

Is the lack of a good a bad? The streaming video the video screens support is Miracast, a tech that our phones don’t support. So no streaming video for us.

Speaking of the seatback entertainment system; it comes with Sudoku built in. Early in the trip Monkey discovered the coding is amateurish. Can you spot the problem?

Look at the 2-1-3 sequences going vertically. It’s clear the entire board is just a random sequence of one through nine repeated either vertically or horizontally.

No, this is not how Soduku is supposed to work.

There are other niggles.

  • Turning off the back AC from the front requires digging through menus.
  • The audio is fine but with 20! speakers we had hoped for more.
  • The built-in nav isn’t great. It feels old, and doesn’t always send you on the best route. Notably, on one Utah trip it routed us through Zion National Park which cost 30 extra minutes and $35. On the other hand it was a beautiful drive.

The car had been great. The only thing missing is a good nickname. We’ve been tossing around “Cupcake” and “Strawberry Lemonade”. What do you think, gentle reader?