Posted Wednesday, May 10, 2023
If you want to buy a spacious minivan for your family, Indy Auto Man has a variety of options to choose from in Indianapolis, but Dodge and Chrysler stand apart from the competition.
The main advantage of the Chrysler Pacifica and the Dodge Caravan minivans is the Stow‘N Go system. In a couple of minutes, the trunk volume increases to 4000 liters, which allows accommodating two full-size refrigerators into the car. The seats of both the third and second rows are hidden in a niche, forming a flat floor without any bumps and drops. You can sleep on the road, quickly move to a new apartment or use the car as a commercial vehicle, returning it to a family look at the snap of your fingers.
Let’s figure out what distinguishes Chrysler from Dodge minivans.
The Caravan is a classic: the fifth-generation Dodge minivan was produced from the end of 2007 to the end of 2020. The Dodge Caravan is severe minimalism, in which you will find nothing superfluous, only functionality. Inside, the vehicle has units that have been run for years, studied up and down. Finding consumables or repairing them is not a problem, and not only in Indianapolis. The Caravan has no newfangled goodies and systems, meaning there is nothing to break. As a result, you get a problem-free indestructible tank with an amazing margin of safety. Simple, unpretentious, reliable.
Pacifica has been produced since 2016, and it is strikingly different from Dodge in design and equipment. These are not chopped angular forms but modern aerodynamic ones.
The Chrysler minivan looks expensive, and its white interior is generally out of competition. Yes, impractical, but how beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. Now let’s go through the points.
Both Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Pacifica have a petrol V-shaped six under the hood: Chrysler’s favorite Pentastar engine with a volume of 3.6 liters.
The Dodge has the first version with the ERB index inside. The Chrysler Pacifica has an upgraded one with an ERC index under the hood. To the usual system for adjusting the valve timing VVT, they also added the VVL system, which allows you to change the valve lift height.
The Caravan has a native 62TE six-speed automatic transmission from the Ultradrive family with roots from 1989. It is rather reliable, and, in the long run, it feeds on cheap and easily accessible ATF + 4 oil. The filter is hidden behind the pan and is easy to change.
Pacifica has a nine-speed 9HP48 from the ZF concern inside. Found on Cherokee, Renegade, and Chrysler 200. The same gearbox family is installed on Land Rover Discovery, Evoque, Honda CRV, Civic, Acura MDX, RLX, and CDX.
The filter is inside the box, so you can’t change it without cutting it in half. Oil is more expensive, and the replacement is more complicated but not critical.
The new gearbox does not affect overclocking greatly. The Caravan accelerates to sixty in 7.6 seconds, and Pacifica does it 0.2 faster, which is not bad for a two-ton family car. But the fuel economy is better, and the smoothness of the ride is almost like on a variator – you won’t feel the switching.
The Chrysler and Dodge minivans have almost the same wheelbase, but Pacifica’s ground clearance is 0,4 in less.
The Pacifica already has a full-fledged multi-link at the back: three transverse levers and one longitudinal. Silent blocks, except for the longitudinal one, are traditionally not sold separately, only assembled with a lever or a fist. Servicing the Pacifica is more expensive, but it drives like a sedan, regardless of the length, and passengers note increased comfort. The Chrysler Pacifica would be a perfect choice if you plan to take children on a trip around Indiana.
When comparing Chrysler vs. Dodge, there will be no clear winner in interior dimensions if you take models with identical engines and the same wheelbase. In general, we have parity with the predominance of each car in certain categories, and the score can go by inches.
The dispute is over 100 liters, even with the seats folded down. There is hardly a person who will stuff the car for all the volume, and having 4000 liters, not 3900, rarely makes any difference.
The Dodge Caravan has heating on the first row, and the second and third rows are folded by hand.
The Chrysler Pacifica has ventilation in the front. It has a button that pushes the front seat as far forward as possible and then returns the seat to the same place to facilitate folding the second row. The third-row tilt backrest can be adjusted with a button, and folding is as easy as shelling pears. In previous generations, it was necessary to pull the handles in turn.
Let’s now see what is so special about the Chrysler compared to Dodge:
Does this make Dodge any worse than Chrysler? No. But it has a cargo-and-passenger character. If you discard all the fashionable options and systems, the Chrysler Pacifica enters the turn better and feels like a sedan.
Visit Indy Auto Man to test drive a Chrysler Pacifica, Dodge Caravan, and a couple more used minivans from our Indianapolis car lot in one place and buy the best car for your family!