- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 10, 2006

Last month, Chrysler introduced an updated version of the Pacifica that has gotten a modest face lift and, more important, a new power plant.

The new V-6 engine should be more appealing than the one that was under the hood from the introduction of the Pacifica in 2003.

Especially customers who do not want the more expensive V-8 asked for more power in the current, strong V-6 that has 250 horsepower and a maximum torque of 230 foot-pounds.

The 2007 Pacifica will be available with a 4.0-liter V-6 with that has only 5 horsepower more (255 horsepower), but with 265 foot-pounds, it has better torque, which should be appropriate for the 4,410-pound car.

The new engine that is Chrysler’s most powerful naturally aspirated V-6, is teamed with a new six-speed automatic transmission that replaces the current four-speed.

The 3.8-liter engine becomes standard on the front-wheel-drive base Pacifica.

The new version will get standard ESP stability control including all-speed traction control and brake assist and side curtain air-bags.

The face lift consists of a new grille, new headlights and a new hood. Chrome runs from side to side above the bumper. The interior will be freshened up with new colors and with Yes Essentials anti-static fabric that is stain and odor resistant.

The instrument cluster graphics have been revised and the base model now gets a four-gauge cluster.

A CD/DVD/MP3-radio replaces the CD/cassette radio and the rear-seat video screen of the optional rear entertainment system grew to 8 inches.

All models of the new Pacifica will be equipped with side curtain air bags, while all-row side-curtain air bags will be available, as well as a driver’s side inflatable knee-blocker and an energy-absorbing steering column, park system and the new ParkView rear back-up camera.

The Pacifica earned the five-star crash-test rating for front and side impact and four stars for rollover, the highest among vehicles tested in its class.

On Chrysler’s proving ground in Michigan, we could get a first impression of the Pacifica 4.0 that indeed is livelier than the less-powerful engine.

When accelerating and during hard cornering, you can feel the Pacifica is a heavyweight, but the new engine performs nicely.

As nice as the engine performs, the price cut that Chrysler announced recently is nicer.

The new Pacifica will go on sale this fall with a base price of $24,890, including destination fees.

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