Opinion

Why The Chrysler Pacifica Is The Car Millennials Don't Know They Want

A multifunctional vehicle full of tech should be a millennial hit...right?

A millennial is roughly defined (at least by The New York Times) as someone who was born between 1980 and 1995. This generation is important for a few reasons. They were the first to grow up in the age of the Internet and, most importantly, are starting to gain real purchasing power. I, a 26-year-old, just spent a week driving the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica. In that week I became convinced this is the car millennials want. Scratch that. This is the car they need. They just don't know it yet.

Millennials are often described as coddled and tech-obsessed, a definition I usually debate. That being said, my favorite thing about the Touring L Plus trim we tested was its wealth of standard luxury features and tech. (Maybe there’s truth in that description after all?) The front seats were both heated and eight-way power adjustable. The second row of seats was also heated. Oh, the steering wheel was heated too. An 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen, dual entertainment screens mounted in the front headrests (watch movies or play games on them) and in-car WiFi highlight the standard tech. From the outside I may have looked lame driving the Pacifica. OK, I definitely looked lame.

But on the inside I was warm and toasty and making use of the in-car WiFi to stream music onto the user-friendly Uconnect touchscreen. The biggest issue I had behind the wheel was whether to pull over and hop in back to watch a movie or not. Driving a living room sounds lame until you actually do it. Millennials are said to prize utility over all else, a factor which should make the Pacifica a slam dunk in the eyes of my generational peers. Our tester could seat seven—seating for eight is available—or be converted into a two-seat cargo van in a moment’s notice thanks to Stow ‘n Go. The Pacifica is big enough to carry a garage band and its instruments and can be lived in (a twin bed fits on the floor) should your startup suddenly collapse.

Another stereotype of this age group is that its members are fiercely eco-conscious. Well, hey, the Pacifica is the only minivan with a hybrid option! Save the environment and save some cash at the gas pump simultaneously. Most millennials are broke, right? The Chrysler Pacifica is clearly the car for millennials. So why haven’t they realized that? I don’t know. To be fair, I actually had to get behind the wheel before seeing the light. The merits of a minivan can’t be understood from afar. Another factor is the price. Millennials are said to prefer leasing to buying. The Pacifica we tested is a steal at $43,445 when compared to comparably equipped and sized SUVs and crossovers.

However, I’d be willing to bet most millennials don’t even have $4,300 in their bank account. Then there’s the whole image issue. No one wants to be seen driving a minivan, even one that can play Blu-Rays and has its own WiFi hotspot. That’s a damn shame because the Chrysler Pacifica really is everything millennials want in a car.

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Chrysler Pacifica
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