Minivan Comparison: Chrysler Pacifica, Dodge Grand Caravan, + Nissan Quest

August 19th, 2016 by

Minivan Comparison: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan, and 2016 Nissan Quest

 

As we slowly roll through 2016, (it’s already August, can you believe it?), we’re starting to enter a new model-year for the auto industry. While minivans are only one small sector of the auto industry, many brands have started announcing 2017 model year designs and test-driving the new models.

The new Pacifica from Chrysler was the first 2017 model to hit showrooms so we wanted to use it as a gauge against two other minivans that haven’t released the 2017 model details yet. Do you think there’s much of a difference? You tell us. Here’s a comparison between the nicest trims of some of the most popular minivans, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited, 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan R/T and the Nissan Quest Platinum.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited

Chrysler must have been pretty excited to launch the all-new Pacifica because they immediately stopped production of the Chrysler Town & Country right after its release. As it stands, the new Pacifica may actually beat out other minivans for the “best-in-class” spot in 2017, but as it stands, it’s a blend of style, luxury, and practicality that consumers want and need.

2016 Dodge Grand Caravan R/T

The brand with a different approach to minivan luxury is Dodge. Dodge  took the famous soccer mom car and blended its DNA with some R/T or “Road Track” blood. Typically, when people hear R/T or SRT, they’re thinking Challenger or Charger, so to see that acronym next to a minivan definitely turns some heads. The Grand Caravan has been around for sometime, and its exterior hasn’t changed much, but its interior has kept up with the times.  

2016 Nissan Quest Platinum

Taking a step back from FIAT cars, we decided to mix it up a bit and bring Nissan into the ring. Nevertheless, like other family minivans, the Nissan Quest is roomy, versatile, and is rocking a strong V6 engine. The main difference we notice is it’s block back-end. Cubed vs rounded has yet to bring applause from consumers, but it does offer some clever technology features.

Engine

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited

Under the hood of the new Pacifica is a 3.6-liter V6 24-Valve VVT engine with an engine oil cooler. Engines with an engine oil cooler tend to have higher quality performance, and the “VVT” stands for “Variable Valve Timing.” This type of engine process is used to not only increase a vehicle’s performance, but also fuel economy and reduce emissions. The Pacifica’s VVT engine is paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission and together they bring the engine’s horsepower to 287 horses, and the fuel economy to 17 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway — pretty great for a minivan.

2016 Dodge Grand Caravan R/T

The Dodge Grand Caravan also has a 3.6-liter engine, but it It doesn’t have an engine cooler, but it does have VVT. In terms of transmission, the Grand Caravan has a 6-speed automatic transmission with AutoStick. An Autostick transmission is a driver-interactive transaxle shifting process that provides clutchless manual shifting. The Grand Caravan’s engine is 283 horsepower and its fuel economy is estimated at 17/25 MPG city/highway.

2016 Nissan Quest Platinum

Not much different than the Pacifica or Grand Caravan the Nissan Quest’s 3.5L-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 engine. “DOHC” stands for “Double Overhead Cam”, meaning the engine has two camshafts versus one, and thus should outperform cars with just one cam shaft, but the Nissan Quest doesn’t over power the horsepower of the Grand Caravan or the Pacifica. The Nissan Quest Platinum generates up to 260-horsepower and 27 miles to the gallon on the highway and 20 MPG in the city.

Interior and Technology

We won’t bore you with seat trims and stitches, who cares right? As long as it’s comfortable. Instead, we’re going to focus on technology and features that stand-alone.

Stow ‘n Go Seating

We mentioned features crossing over. The seating capacity in all three minivans is maxed out at seven. However, in both the new Pacifica and the Grand Caravan, the second and third rows are made up of Stow ‘n’ Go seats- those seats that you can fold up and tumble down into the floor of the car. Yeah, those seats are great for maximizing storage space.

Split Seating

Rows of seats that fold up and split are also a nice feature, as one doesn’t need to give up an entire row for storage space. Nope, 60/40 split seats/rows have become popular, where 60% of the row folds down and the other 40% does not, or does not need to. A 60/40 split fold row can be found in both the Chrysler Pacifica and Nissan Quest.

Novelties

Not too surprisingly, the 2017 new Pacifica has a lot more novelties than the 2016 competitors. For a short glimpse, there are ventilated front row seats, heated front row seats, rear heater ducts, second and third row window shades, and a sentry key theft deterrent key. But, if you aren’t into super high-tech features, the Dodge Grand Caravan’s much lower price tag is very appealing.

Technology

The technology in these three minivans varies greatly. For a little run-down…

Feature Pacifica Limited Grand Caravan R/T Quest Platinum
Audio System 13 Alpine Speaker System 9 Amplified Speakers with Subwoofer 13-speaker BOSE Audio System with AM/FM/CD and MP3 playback
Touchscreen 8.4” 6.5” 8.0”
GPS Yes Nissan Nav
Bluetooth Voice Command Yes Option Yes

Other high-tech features like a rear or overhead multimedia interface or the Uconnect Theater are all options on the  new Pacifica and Grand Caravan. They are standard in the Quest.

Safety Options

All of these minivans come with the usual standard safety features: advanced multistage airbags for the front, side supplemental airbags for the front and rear, LATCH ready child seat restraints, and active head restraints (GrandCaravan and Quest-only). However, the Grand Caravan has several options for add-ons whereas the new Pacifica has plenty, including: full-speed forward collision warning, lane departure warning, ParkSense Front and Rear Park Assist with Stop, and a Surround View Camera System. Blind spot warning comes standard in the Quest; a ParkView Rear Backup Camera comes standard in the Pacifica and Grand Caravan.

Price + Warranty

What is really surprising about this comparison is pricing, and Nissan’s specs and price don’t stack up as nicely. The Dodge Grand Caravan has excellent features, but in comparison, there may be a few less. However, it is priced $10,000 than both of the other vehicles. While the Pacifica and Quest have the same price, the Nissan Quest’s price is for the 2016 model and it doesn’t have as many excellent tech features as the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica. The Pacifica Limited starts at $42,495, the Dodge Grand Caravan R/T has a starting price of $32,495, and the Nissan Quest is $42,230.

The warranties for both Dodge and Chrysler minivans are the same: basic 3-year/36,000-miles warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, and rust-through coverage for 5 years or 100,000 miles. Dodge also has roadside assistance for 5 years or 100,000 miles as well. Nissan vehicles are covered by a basic 3-year/36,000-miles warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty.

Photo Source for cars: Chrysler Ad Planner and Nissan.com
Photo Source for boxing ring: Shutterstock/Copyright: James Steidl
Posted in Chrysler, Dodge