NEWS

Your Cheap Pacifica Is Now the 2020 Chrysler Voyager

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is bringing back a name from its past (or overseas, if you happen to live outside the U.S.) to adorn a new version of its Pacifica minivan. The popular and multiple-award-winning Pacifica will see its lower trim levels split off onto a new nameplate — the 2020 Chrysler Voyager — while the most premium levels continue on under the Pacifica badge.

Related: Chrysler Pacifica Still (Mostly) Pleases 2 Years Into Ownership

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The new Voyager will come in three flavors, all at the lower end of the trim spectrum, designed to cater to people who need to ferry seven people but also need to do it on a budget. The L, LX, and LXi trims will be available, with that last one being sold to fleets and rental car companies only. They will replace the Pacifica L and LX models, and the Pacifica will now be only sold in Touring, Touring L, Touring L Plus, S and Limited models.

The Bare Necessities — And Not Much Else

What do you get at the low end of the spectrum? You get a spacious van with standard seven-passenger seating, a disappearing fold-away third row, a powerful 3.6-liter V-6 making 287 horsepower mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. Seats are cloth except in the fleet-only LXi and can be had in black, beige or gray. Options packages are limited: The base Voyager L can be had with an all-weather interior protection package or a safety package with a blind spot monitor and rear park assist with automatic stop, while the LX adds an optional Cold Weather Group Package with a heated leather steering wheel.

The multimedia system isn’t bad — it’s a standard 7-inch touchscreen running the latest Uconnect 4, which includes standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Climate control is manual, as are the seats (power driver’s seat is standard on the LX and LXi), headlights, sliding side doors and rear liftgate.

If you want creature comforts, Chrysler suggests you head upmarket to the Pacifica, with all of its myriad bells and whistles. If you’re just needing very basic, comfortable, quiet transportation for seven, the Voyager is now your go-to option.

How’s It Feel?

The remarkable thing about the Voyager is that it feels every bit as nice as a more expensive, better-equipped Pacifica. The interior content is decidedly lesser, but the material quality isn’t — the dash, doors, and seats all still feel quite nice. In a quick spin around FCA’s Chelsea Proving Grounds just west of Detroit, it proved to be powerful and quiet, featuring a six-speaker audio system and still retaining the Pacifica’s active noise cancellation function that helps quiet the cavernous cabin. Yes, everything is manual in the Voyager — opening and closing the doors, adjusting the seats, etc. There are no LED headlamps. The 7-inch touchscreen feels a little on the small side if you’re used to Chrysler’s 8.4-inch model. But it has all the basic amenities you could want, if only just.

How Much Does It Cost?

No official pricing was given for the new 2020 Voyager, but a spokesperson on hand said that the automaker is aiming to bring the base model in at just less than $27,000, not including a destination charge (which currently sits at $1,495 for the 2019 Pacifica and is unlikely to be less for 2020). This would be just a bit less than the 2019 Pacifica’s starting price of $28,730, including destination, so it looks like Chrysler is still aiming for getting the van out the showroom door for just under $30,000.

In comparison, the 2019 Honda Odyssey starts at $31,285 including destination, and a 2020 Toyota Sienna costs a minimum of $32,510, but a 2019 Kia Sedona matches the Voyager at $28,245 (see them compared with the Pacifica). The Voyager’s base price is still a lot of scratch for any new vehicle, but it’s a pretty good deal for a very comfortable seven-passenger people-hauler. You’ll be able to find the new 2020 Chrysler Voyager in dealerships in September.

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