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    Review: 2014 Honda Accord EX


    • A Well-Rounded Midsize Sedan?


    The current Honda Accord and I had a difficult beginning. When the automaker introduced the Accord Coupe Concept at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, I was wondering what real changes had been made and being more interested in the early 80’s Accord on loan from The Henry Ford in their exhibit. Then when Honda revealed the production Accord Sedan and Coupe, I was wondering what was going at Honda because it looks almost the same as the old one. But recently, I spent a week with a 2014 Honda Accord EX Sedan and I said, “Oh, I get it now.” Read on to see what I mean.

    On the face of it, the 2014 Accord EX Sedan doesn’t look that much different from the last-generation model. The two models have a similar design profile. Honda made a couple of changes with the front end with a new grille surround and a set of LEDs running along the outer edge of the headlights. In the back, there is a restyled trunk lid. However, there is one big difference between the old and new Accord; length. Park the two next to each other and the 2014 model is about 3.6 inches shorter than the last-generation. Not only does this bring the Accord back into the midsize classification, it also makes the overall design look better proportioned.

    2014 Honda Accord EX 2

    Moving into the Accord EX’s interior, its the same story as the exterior. There really isn’t anything that breaks new ground. It’s just a lesson on how to build one that is very comfortable and well built. Materials range from soft-touch plastics on the door panels and dashboard to faux brushed metal trim. Build quality was excellent.

    All Accords come equipped with a large eight-inch color screen that displays radio, audio inputs, trip computer, backup camera, and Honda’s LaneWatch system. LaneWatch uses a camera on the right-side mirror to keep an eye on the Accord’s blind spot. The system activates when you flick the turn signal to make a right turn or by pressing a button on the turn stalk. The system is a great idea as it provides that extra amount of security and certainty when making lane change or a pass. I would like to see Honda add a blind spot monitoring system as well to add a bit more security. Aside from LaneWatch, controlling the audio system and trip computer was very easy thanks to a well placed set of controls that featured large buttons.

    2014 Honda Accord EX 16

    The Accord’s interior space has to be at the top of the class. On the EX, they were wrapped in comfortable cloth with heat. The front seats provided excellent support and comfort. Despite a cut in overall length and a 0.2 inch reduction of headroom, space in rear seat is still large. My 5’7” frame was able to get comfortable and even stretch out back here.

    For thoughts on the powertrain and handling, see the next page.


    For most Accords, they’ll be equipped with the powertrain combination found in my tester; a new 2.4L EarthDreams four-cylinder engine with direct-injection paired with a CVT. The 2.4 produces 185 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. However, the new Accord Sport gets a slight bump in horsepower and torque to 189 and 182 respectively.

    2014 Honda Accord EX 12

    Honda is known for building four-cylinders that are very smooth, but have to be pushed to an inch of its life to get it moving at a decent clip. The new 2.4L follows that somewhat as its power delivery is very smooth. However, you don’t need to reach the outer limits to get moving. The engine builds power starting in the midrange, which makes power delivery more linear. More impressive is the CVT which takes the place of a five-speed automatic. The transmission has been engineered to simulate shifts to make it seem like you’re driving an automatic. This illusion works for the most part aside from pressing the pedal to the floor and the whine from the transmission comes into play. My average fuel economy for the week landed 31 MPG, which puts it right in line with the EPA ratings of 27 City/36 Highway/30 Combined.

    Another item Honda is very well known for is using a double-wishbone suspension setup in the front and rear for the Accord. With this generation, Honda swapped swapped the double-wishbone in the front to a more compact MacPherson strut setup. This change may cause many to worry that the fun to drive aspect of the Accord would be lost. It hasn’t. The Accord feels confident and collected when being pushed around. Steering feels nicely weighted, giving more confidence to a driver.

    2014 Honda Accord EX 11

    Don’t think the Accord’s suspension is a one trick pony though. On the ‘fine’ roads of Michigan, the Accord’s suspension was able to provide a very smooth ride. Impacts from bumps and potholes were minimized. One area Honda still needs to work on is wind and road noise. Both were noticeable during my week with the vehicle.

    On the face if it, you may think Honda really didn’t change anything with the 2014 Accord EX. But first glances can be deceiving. While the Accord does not have the sleek and sexy styling as some of its competitors, it does have a number of improvements to the interior, powertrain, and ride qualities that embarrass many of its rivals. To put it quite simply, the Accord just does everything right for a midsize sedan.

    Disclaimer: Honda Provided the Accord EX, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2014

    Make: Honda

    Model: Accord

    Trim: EX

    Engine: 2.4 DOHC 16-Valve i-VTEC EarthDreams Four-Cylinder

    Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT

    Horsepower @ RPM: 185 @ 6400

    Torque @ RPM: 181 @ 3900

    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/36/30

    Curb Weight: 3336 lbs

    Location of Manufacture: Marysville, Ohio

    Base Price: $25,680.00

    As Tested Price: $26,470.00 (Includes $790.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:

    N/A

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    The recipe has worked for roughly 3 decades, so it's only natural that Honda won't mess with that recipe a lot...

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    WOW, What a Bland Boring Put you to sleep Auto. The Interior is a Lesson in Minimalist, Plastic Cheapness.

    Just on looks alone both inside and out I would never recommend this to anyone. For the money, I see nothing to drive me to want to get this.

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    Open your eyes SMKelt.

    My eye's are open SMKZZZZZZZZZZZ ;)

    To me it is as bland as they always have been, but the interior is not anything special and way below what you can get from other auto companies. MPO :)

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    Doesn't help it is in tan either. I still kinda like it, as they improved the look a little.

    It little boring, but it will age well...

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    The Accord is one car that actually deserves to be a best seller to real people. It is the best every-man's car in the class. No, it's not the best to look at. No, it's not the best to drive. No, it's not the most luxurious, cheapest, etc. It's just a good car that combines as much of everything that it can to appeal to everyone. It wouldn't be my choice (mostly due to the limitations I face for wanting a manual transmission), but I can't fault anyone for buying it. At least it's not a Camry.

    Personally, I'd probably go for a Mazda6 or Passat, but the Accord would be my third choice. Unfortunately, as much as the Fusion appeals to me, I could never buy one due to the fact I would be stuck with the 1.6l turbo to get a manual transmission. *shudders*

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    The Accord is an outstanding car for the price. It may not be as sporting as the Mazda6, but it does almost everything well, and it's not a snoozefest like the Camry. It's missing some of the cutting edge electronic nanny safety devices, probably to leave some distance between this and Acura, but there is not a lot to dislike. Styling is subjective, but I think it looks vastly better than the last generation Accord and more purposeful than a lot of the competition.

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    my 013 test drive, i thought it was (like all Hondas) noisy inside and did not feel solid or substantial. Ride was nothing to write home about.

    turd looks. cheesy interior. aura of cheapness.

    good cvt, roomy inside.

    in my book, its mostly hype. Decent all around, but I would take the Mazda6, Fusion, Passat, Malibu, and maybe even the Koreans over this thing first. It's a dog hair in front of the similarly dopey Altima. Fusion has the best all around mid size lineup. New Passat 1.8 is a nice drive. M6 is tight on space but out Hondas Honda hands down.

    Close buddy had two leased Pilots and recently got a new leased CRV. That's pretty much the nail in the coffin for him. Hates the CRV, cheap noisy tinny. Pilots had poor mpg.

    Honda's lesions of fans should get out and look at other metal. They haven't evolved the species in years.

    Still better than the Cahmny.

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    In this class, if I didn't mind the spartan interior, I'd go for a TDI Passat. If I wanted a more luxury ride and the size, I'd aim for the Impala.

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    There should be another diesel in this segment to make VW run for its money. Too bad Mazda freaked out - at least temporarily.

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    There should be another diesel in this segment to make VW run for its money. Too bad Mazda freaked out - at least temporarily.

    Was not a freak out, it was just plain broken. They have so many problems with their diesel in the asian rim and Europe that their Sky Active Diesel technology just does not work. They should just buy a quality diesel motor from Isuzu and move forward rather than trying this smoke and mirrors of a so called sky active technology that does nothing and really does not tell anyone anything in the marketing. Just fluff.

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    There should be another diesel in this segment to make VW run for its money. Too bad Mazda freaked out - at least temporarily.

    Was not a freak out, it was just plain broken. They have so many problems with their diesel in the asian rim and Europe that their Sky Active Diesel technology just does not work. They should just buy a quality diesel motor from Isuzu and move forward rather than trying this smoke and mirrors of a so called sky active technology that does nothing and really does not tell anyone anything in the marketing. Just fluff.

    Skyactive is just a branding term. There is pretty much no technical similarity between a Skyactive gasoline engine and a SkyActive diesel engine. Just because you don't understand what makes a Skyactive gasoline engine more efficient doesn't mean the technology doesn't exist.. it's not even a new technology concept... just a new marketing term. There is nothing special about the Skyactive diesel engine except for the standard fuel efficiency gains one gets by switching to diesel.

    To put it another way... GM's 2.0T Ecotech has more similarity to Ford's 2.0T Ecoboost than it does to the GM 5.3 Ecotech, yet the Ecotechs share a branding name.

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    Impala diesel!

    Agree with Drew on the VW.

    I will give Honda credit, their rear seat space hands chevy's Malibu its ass on a platter.

    Heck, VW does that with the Jetta.

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    There should be another diesel in this segment to make VW run for its money. Too bad Mazda freaked out - at least temporarily.

    Was not a freak out, it was just plain broken. They have so many problems with their diesel in the asian rim and Europe that their Sky Active Diesel technology just does not work. They should just buy a quality diesel motor from Isuzu and move forward rather than trying this smoke and mirrors of a so called sky active technology that does nothing and really does not tell anyone anything in the marketing. Just fluff.

    Skyactive is just a branding term. There is pretty much no technical similarity between a Skyactive gasoline engine and a SkyActive diesel engine. Just because you don't understand what makes a Skyactive gasoline engine more efficient doesn't mean the technology doesn't exist.. it's not even a new technology concept... just a new marketing term. There is nothing special about the Skyactive diesel engine except for the standard fuel efficiency gains one gets by switching to diesel.

    To put it another way... GM's 2.0T Ecotech has more similarity to Ford's 2.0T Ecoboost than it does to the GM 5.3 Ecotech, yet the Ecotechs share a branding name.

    Very Cool, Nice Clear and Understandable. Mazda should Hire you to market their tech so people can get it.

    Thank you,

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    Impala diesel!

    Agree with Drew on the VW.

    I will give Honda credit, their rear seat space hands chevy's Malibu its ass on a platter.

    Heck, VW does that with the Jetta.

    Jetta is starting this week in washington state, not sure if it is a national pitch or not, but you can get a VW Jetta TDI at any WA Dealership for $249 a month lease with a $1000 Fuel card.

    Saw this on the offical Washington VW commercial. Pretty sweet deal.

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    Another way to think of Skyactive is to think back to the Northstar. When the Cadillac Northstar first came out, it was marketed as the "Cadillac Northstar System". It wasn't simply an engine... it was a series of technologies that worked together to make the car better. At its base, the Northstar was just a DOHC V8 which was fairly advanced for its day and provided great performance. The Northstar System included features like limp home mode where the engine could shut down half the cylinders after a loss of coolant. It also included things like traction control, anti-lock brakes, and adaptive suspension... all of these components were considered part of the Northstar system.

    Skyactive Technology is the same as saying Northstar System.... Skyactive is a collection of things, including higher efficiency engines, lighter weight materials and so on that make up the whole "system". Inside that system you can choose a Skyactive-G (gasoline engine using Atkinson cycle for efficiency, sacrifices power density in favor of fuel efficiency) or a Skyactive-D (diesel engine with very low compression for a diesel yet is also very clean running without exhaust treatment). It also includes low friction automatic and manual transmissions to increase fuel efficiency.

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    Very Cool Drew, I stand by my comment that Mazda needs you to do their marketing. Good understanding now of the Skyactive pitch. :)

    Thank you,

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      Cadillac has been trying to position itself being as an alternative to German brands with models that offer exemplary handling characteristics and sharp designs. But the brand has the issue of models that don’t quite fit the image being presented. The SRX is the poster child for this. Yes, it had the sharp looks the brand was getting known for. But you wouldn’t call it sporty. It was more along the lines of a Lexus RX where luxury and comfort were the main priorities. Enthusiasts and critics were not pleased with this, but consumers gobbled them up. The SRX for a time was Cadillac’s best-selling model.
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      G. David Felt - Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.cheersandgears.com
      Honda Clarity Kicks Advertising into High Gear!
      While on YouTube I discovered a whole new crop of videos to help sell the Honda Clarity Hydrogen auto. Interesting that they went again to PES a video man that has a reputation for stop motion commercials. This time they went with kids singing and the heads one has to figure represent the hydrogen molecules in the tank. Honda YouTube
      Additional commercials also made by PES for Honda's big push of the Clarity Hydrogen auto:
      As one follows the links from YouTube for the Honda Clarity it is amazing to see all the other videos too such as the one below on how a fuel cell works.
      As I learned from the RoadShow video, the Clarity is in essence an EV with a Hydrogen Generator to give you a 366 mile range. What I was surprised by is that both the Toyota Mirai and this clarity are lease only auto's with a stated value of $60,000 more or less and free hydrogen for the first 3 years.
      Makes one wonder WHY, WHY would you want such an UGLY auto with such a high monthly lease cost when there are far better options out there. I love my alternative auto's and EV's are rocking it more and more, so for an energy upside down auto, do we really need these?
      One Positive is that this is the first time I actually like the dash and the tablet interface for the auto with proper sized buttons to control everything else.
      Want to know more about Hydrogen Auto's, this is a great video that covers what some think is the future for the auto industry.
       
    • By William Maley
      American Honda Continues Record Sales Pace in January
      American Honda sets new January records for total vehicle and total truck sales Honda Division also sets new January benchmark for total vehicle sales Honda trucks jump 30.2 percent for best-ever January Honda CR-V smashes previous January record as it gains 52 percent for month Acura trucks remain strong with RDX topping last year TORRANCE, Calif., Feb. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- American Honda Motor Co., Inc. today reported total January sales of 106,380 Honda and Acura vehicles, an increase of 5.9 percent over January 2016 and a new record for the month. Total Honda Division sales as well as Honda truck sales also set new January records, with total Division sales rising 7.7 percent on sales of 97,178 and trucks up 30.2 percent on sales of 51,337 units. Acura Division sales totaled 9,202 vehicles in January, a decrease of 10.2 percent.
      Honda
      After posting a 3rd consecutive sales record in 2016, the Honda Division started 2017 with yet more monthly records, gaining 7.7 percent as cars and trucks continued to sell strongly. CR-V and HR-V led the way in January, pushing Honda trucks to another new record for the month.
      Honda Division sets new January mark, rising 7.7 percent on sales of 97,178 units. Honda trucks also set a new January record, jumping 30.2 percent on sales of 51,337. CR-V smashed its previous January best, gaining 52.5 percent on sales of 29,287 vehicles. HR-V sales also gained sharply, rising to 5,689 in January for a gain of 36.2 percent versus last year. Accord and Fit sales remained strong in January. "Our conservative approach to growth was criticized when the industry was growing faster but it is clearly paying dividends now as industry sales are flattening," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division. "A steady cadence of products and disciplined sales tactics is the right approach for customers and dealers."
      Acura
      Acura brand sales remained fairly steady in January, with Acura light trucks demonstrating continued strength as RDX gained ground and MDX maintained a solid pace, even before dual sourcing of Acura's three-row luxury SUV begins this spring in Ohio, promising increased supply. 
      RDX sales were up 3.2 percent for the month, with 3,202 vehicles sold in January. NSX notched sales of 50 units for the month. "In a month marked by major storms across the country, Acura maintained a steady pace with trucks leading the way," said Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager of the Acura division. "And a strong showing of the Acura NSX GT3 in its debut at Daytona last weekend just adds to the momentum building around the Acura brand."
      American Honda Vehicle Sales for January 2017
            Month-to-Date
      Year-to-Date
            January 2017
      January 2016
      DSR** % Change
      MoM % Change
      January 2017
      January 2016
      DSR** % Change
      YoY % Change
          American Honda Total
      106,380
      100,497
      5.9%
      5.9%
      106,380
      100,497
      5.9%
      5.9%
          Total Car Sales
      48,567
      54,382
      -10.7%
      -10.7%
      48,567
      54,382
      -10.7%
      -10.7%
          Total Truck Sales
      57,813
      46,115
      25.4%
      25.4%
      57,813
      46,115
      25.4%
      25.4%
          Honda
      Total Car Sales
      45,841
      50,812
      -9.8%
      -9.8%
      45,841
      50,812
      -9.8%
      -9.8%
          Honda
      Total Truck Sales
      51,337
      39,435
      30.2%
      30.2%
      51,337
      39,435
      30.2%
      30.2%
          Acura
      Total Car Sales
      2,726
      3,570
      -23.6%
      -23.6%
      2,726
      3,570
      -23.6%
      -23.6%
          Acura
      Total Truck Sales
      6,476
      6,680
      -3.1%
      -3.1%
      6,476
      6,680
      -3.1%
      -3.1%
          Total Domestic Car Sales
      39,355
      51,450
      -23.5%
      -23.5%
      39,355
      51,450
      -23.5%
      -23.5%
              Honda Division
      36,709
      47,978
      -23.5%
      -23.5%
      36,709
      47,978
      -23.5%
      -23.5%
              Acura Division
      2,646
      3,472
      -23.8%
      -23.8%
      2,646
      3,472
      -23.8%
      -23.8%
          Total Domestic Truck Sales
      57,813
      46,115
      25.4%
      25.4%
      57,813
      46,115
      25.4%
      25.4%
              Honda Division
      51,337
      39,435
      30.2%
      30.2%
      51,337
      39,435
      30.2%
      30.2%
              Acura Division
      6,476
      6,680
      -3.1%
      -3.1%
      6,476
      6,680
      -3.1%
      -3.1%
          Total Import Car Sales
      9,212
      2,932
      214.2%
      214.2%
      9,212
      2,932
      214.2%
      214.2%
              Honda Division
      9,132
      2,834
      222.2%
      222.2%
      9,132
      2,834
      222.2%
      222.2%
              Acura Division
      80
      98
      -18.4%
      -18.4%
      80
      98
      -18.4%
      -18.4%
          Total Import Truck Sales
      0
      0
      0.0%
      0.0%
      0
      0
      0.0%
      0.0%
              Honda Division
      0
      0
      0.0%
      0.0%
      0
      0
      0.0%
      0.0%
              Acura Division
      0
      0
      0.0%
      0.0%
      0
      0
      0.0%
      0.0%
           MODEL BREAKOUT BY DIVISION
                    Honda Division Total
      97,178
      90,247
      7.7%
      7.7%
      97,178
      90,247
      7.7%
      7.7%
              * ACCORD
      19,536
      20,765
      -5.9%
      -5.9%
      19,536
      20,765
      -5.9%
      -5.9%
              * CIVIC
      23,095
      26,741
      -13.6%
      -13.6%
      23,095
      26,741
      -13.6%
      -13.6%
                CLARITY FCV
      42
      0
      0.0%
      0.0%
      42
      0
      0.0%
      0.0%
                CR-Z
      89
      192
      -53.6%
      -53.6%
      89
      192
      -53.6%
      -53.6%
              * FIT
      3,078
      3,095
      -0.5%
      -0.5%
      3,078
      3,095
      -0.5%
      -0.5%
                INSIGHT
      1
      19
      -94.7%
      -94.7%
      1
      19
      -94.7%
      -94.7%
                CROSSTOUR
      0
      266
      -100.0%
      -100.0%
      0
      266
      -100.0%
      -100.0%
              * CR-V
      29,287
      19,208
      52.5%
      52.5%
      29,287
      19,208
      52.5%
      52.5%
                HR-V
      5,689
      4,177
      36.2%
      36.2%
      5,689
      4,177
      36.2%
      36.2%
                ODYSSEY
      6,500
      7,221
      -10.0%
      -10.0%
      6,500
      7,221
      -10.0%
      -10.0%
                PILOT
      7,180
      8,561
      -16.1%
      -16.1%
      7,180
      8,561
      -16.1%
      -16.1%
                RIDGELINE
      2,681
      2
      133,950.0%
      133,950.0%
      2,681
      2
      133,950.0%
      133,950.0%
              ***
      Memo: Accord FHEV
      1,711
      71
      2,309.9%
      2,309.9%
      1,711
      71
      2,309.9%
      2,309.9%
                Memo: Civic Hybrid
      16
      161
      -90.1%
      -90.1%
      16
      161
      -90.1%
      -90.1%
          Acura Division Total
      9,202
      10,250
      -10.2%
      -10.2%
      9,202
      10,250
      -10.2%
      -10.2%
                ILX
      693
      1,233
      -43.8%
      -43.8%
      693
      1,233
      -43.8%
      -43.8%
                NSX
      50
      0
      0.0%
      0.0%
      50
      0
      0.0%
      0.0%
                RLX / RL
      80
      98
      -18.4%
      -18.4%
      80
      98
      -18.4%
      -18.4%
                TLX
      1,903
      2,239
      -15.0%
      -15.0%
      1,903
      2,239
      -15.0%
      -15.0%
                MDX
      3,274
      3,576
      -8.4%
      -8.4%
      3,274
      3,576
      -8.4%
      -8.4%
                RDX
      3,202
      3,104
      3.2%
      3.2%
      3,202
      3,104
      3.2%
      3.2%
              ***
      Memo: RLX Hybrid
      11
      18
      -38.9%
      -38.9%
      11
      18
      -38.9%
      -38.9%
          Selling Days
      24
      24
          24
      24
                **** Hybrid
      1,878
      461
      307.4%
      307.4%
      1,878
      461
      307.4%
      307.4%
          *    Honda and Acura vehicles are made of domestic & global sourced parts
        **   Daily Selling Rate
        ***  Memo line items are included in the respective model total
        **** Hybrid includes FHEV, PHEV, CR-Z, Civic Hybrid, Insight, ILX Hybrid, RLX Hybrid, RLX Sport Hybrid, MDX Sport Hybrid and NSX
       
    • By William Maley
      There is one vehicle that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has to get right the first time - the minivan. The company is credited for creating this vehicle segment back in the eighties with the introduction of the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager. Each subsequent version brought forth some new improvement or feature that put it ahead of the pack. But due to the bankruptcy in 2009 and subsequent merger with Fiat, plans for the next-generation Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Caravan were pushed back. This left the old model struggling against some fresh competition in the form of the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. 
      But last year, Chrysler surprised everyone with a new minivan. Wearing the Pacifica nameplate, the van was unlike anything that had come before. It featured a sleek design, handsome interior, and the option of a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The bigger surprise was that Chrysler would be the only brand getting the new van. The Dodge Caravan would continue in its current incarnation for a few years to provide a low-cost option for those shoppers. Has Chrysler pulled a rabbit out its hat or has the unthinkable happened and the Pacifica trails the competition?
      The first thing to take in about the new Pacifica is how good-looking it is. The design comes courtesy of the 700C that debuted quietly a few years back at the Detroit Auto Show. The rounded front end is reminiscent of the recently departed 200 with a narrow grille and headlights, chrome trim along the edges of the grilles, and a sculpted hood. The side profile shows off two character lines; one running from the front fender to the chrome trim for the windows and another running through the door handles and curving into the rear fender. We would only make one slight change to the Pacifica. Our Touring L tester featured 17-inch wheels that looked a bit small for a vehicle this size. We would go for the larger 18-inch wheels that fill in the wheel wells much better.
      Anyone who has been in the last-generation Chrysler Town and Country or Dodge Caravan knows the interior was well past its sell-by date. When pitted against competitors, the two vans came up very short in terms of design, materials, space for cargo and passengers; and infotainment. Step inside the Pacifica and it is clear that Chrysler has done its homework. The design is much more modern with flowing lines and contrasting colors. It also feels more spacious than the outgoing vans thanks to some smart decisions such as the removal of the center console to allow for an open floor between driver and passenger, and the use of a knob for the transmission. Material quality has also seen a noticeable improvement with many surfaces now boasting soft-touch plastics. It wouldn’t be crazy to say the Chrysler Pacifica is ahead of everyone when it comes to the interior.
      Depending on the trim, you can order the Pacifica with seating for seven or eight people. Our Touring L featured the eight-seat layout with a removable middle seat for the third row. It will take you a few moments to figure out how to remove the seat, but once you do, it is quite easy to remove and install the seat. The rest of the seats feature Chrysler’s Stow ’n Go folding system where the seats can fold into compartments in the floor to provide a flat load area. Cargo area is in line with the current crop of minivans with 32.3 cubic feet behind the third row, 87.5 cubic feet behind the second row, and 140.5 cubic feet with both rows folded. As for passengers, both rows of rear seats provide an excellent amount of head and legroom. Getting into the third row is much easier thanks to second-row seats offering a tilt function.
      FCA has equipped the Pacifica with the newest version of their UConnect system. The interface may look similar to the older UConnect system, but there are a number of changes that help catapult this new version towards the top of the infotainment system list. First, the new system is much sharper thanks to the new fonts and an updated screen that provides improved brightness levels. FCA has also improved the overall performance of the system, meaning no slow downs when going between various functions. One item we cannot comment on is navigation as our test Pacifica didn’t come with it.
      Power for the Pacifica comes from the 3.6L Pentastar V6 with 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission that routes power to the front-wheels only. It might not be the fastest van on the road (that honor falls to the Toyota Sienna), but Pacifica comes very close. Power comes on a smooth and steady rate. You’ll find yourself not wanting more power when merging onto a freeway or trying to make a pass. FCA has seemed to get its act together with the nine-speed automatic transmission. Issues with clunky shifts and gear hunting have been mostly ironed out. The transmission now features smooth and quick upshifts. The only item we would want FCA to work on is the transmission’s hesitation to downshift in certain situations such as making a pass.
      EPA fuel economy for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is rated at 18 City/28 Highway/22 Combined. Our week mostly spent in the city returned 23.2 mpg.
      The primary concern when it comes to a van’s ride and handling characteristics is providing maximum comfort and the Pacifica delivers. The suspension delivers a smooth ride even on some of the rough roads on offer from Metro Detroit area. An added bonus is how well the Pacifica isolates road and wind noise from coming inside. At highway speeds, only a whisper of wind noise makes it inside. But the Pacifica becomes a bit of a surprise when it comes to handling. Despite its large size, FCA’s engineers made the Pacifica feel quite nimble. The steering might not give that impression as it feels somewhat light when turning. But go around a corner and the van feels more like a midsize sedan than a van. 
      It has been a long time coming for a new minivan from FCA and the good news is that they haven’t dropped the ball. The Pacifica may not have ripped up the rulebook when it comes to minivans, but it sure has expanded or rewritten bits of it. From a surprising balance of ride and handling characteristics to the best interior in the class, it is clear that FCA wants to reclaim the crown of the best minivan. But there one thing that we need to address and that is FCA’s poor reliability history. No matter which survey or study look at, more often than not, FCA’s core brands are towards the bottom. What does this mean for the Pacifica? We can’t say for right now, but this could be the one thing that makes or breaks Chrysler’s new van.
      For right now, the Pacifica is at the top of the class.
      Disclaimer: Chrysler Provided the Pacifica, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Chrysler
      Model: Pacifica
      Trim: Touring L
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT V6
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 287 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 262 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/28/22
      Curb Weight: 4,330 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Windsor, Ontario
      Base Price: $34,495
      As Tested Price: $36,880 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Audio Group - $895.00
      8 Passenger Seating - $495.00

      View full article
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