Chrysler Planning All-Wheel Drive Pacifica Minivan
March 25, 2019
Reports continue to surface that the Chrysler Pacifica minivan will soon add an all-wheel drive version to the current front drive and hybrid variants. Automotive News now reports that the minivan's Windsor, Ontario plant will be extensively retooled this summer for an AWD Pacifica. The source of the information is none other than Dave Cassidy, president of the plant's Unifor union local. If true, it will be the first AWD minivan for FCA and it's predecessor Chrysler Group since 2004. The feature was dropped when folding Stow'n Go seating was added to the second row of the then 2005 Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country. The new seating arrangement took up the space formerly used by a drive shaft for the rear differential. At the time Chrysler claimed all-wheel drive made up less than 5% of their minivan sales. Since then it has become a much more mainstream feature with demand continuing to grow in colder states. AWD availability is one reason utility sales are now so dominate in the passenger vehicle arena. It is unclear if the Pacifica AWD will also eliminate Stow'n Go seating for the same driveshaft accomodation reasons. Stow'n Go is among the most popular features of the Pacifica and one that clearly differentiates it from rivals. Currently, only the Toyota Sienna offers a minivan with all-wheel drive. Pacifica AWD is expected at dealers in the fall of this year as a 2020 model.