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How Well Does A Chrysler Pacifica Drive In The Snow? (Answered)

Are you asking yourself how well does a Chrysler Pacifica drive in snow? If you are looking to buy a Chrysler Pacifica (to seat up to eight persons) and your city sees snowy conditions every year, this is a prevalent question to ask before making the purchase. First, let’s see how well the car actually does in the snow.

Chrysler Pacifica drives great in the snow with winter tires. It has safety features like ABS, EBD, ESC, and traction control. It also comes with an automatic All-Wheel-Drive feature (only in Pacifica) in the minivan segment. Its security and safety features make it an ideal vehicle to be driven in snow.

But the case of how well this minivan performs in the snow isn’t closed here. Now, we will look at the experience of some Chrysler Pacifica owners who have driven it in the snow to assess its performance in such conditions. Further into the article, we will discuss other aspects of Chrysler Pacifica in detail, including the type of tires, drive technology, and safety features that make it well suited for snowy terrain.

We will further discuss its dimensions and how this feature plays a role in performance in challenging road conditions. In the end, we will wrap up our discussion with add-on devices that can help you get a better driving experience in snow from your Chrysler Pacifica.

Also read: Types Of Gas A Chrysler Pacifica Takes (All Generations)

Experience Of Chrysler Pacifica Owners

The owners of Chrysler Pacifica have a better firsthand experience than anyone else. Therefore, it is important to know what they have to say about it. We went through many blogs and forums to know what people have to say about its performance. Great news! They are delighted with its drive.

Chrysler Pacifica is offered as an automatic AWD in all trim levels. It means that given the right set of tires for winter, the vehicle can do well on slippery and snowy terrain with automatic power distribution to all the wheels. Below are some comments from the people who have driven the Pacifica in such conditions:

The All-Wheel-Drive Pacifica really gives you confidence when driving on a slippery surface. You don’t have to push any button or anything to turn the system on or off. It senses what the driver is doing and what the vehicle is doing in order to know when to engage or disengage AWD.

Source

I just got a Pacifica Touring with All-Wheel-Drive and the S Package. The AWD allows me to travel on my driveway even with many inches of snow. AWD is better than FWD as with latter only one wheel drives. I am glad that I bought the AWD instead.

Source

The All new Pacifica has AWD across all the trim levels and it is a capable system. Unlike all time 4WD, the automatic AWD comes to action when it is needed and directs the power to the wheels which require it the most.

Source

Also read: 17 Common Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Problems

Does Chrysler Pacifica Have Snow Tires?

The Chrysler Pacifica comes with all-season tires. All-season tires can perform well on any pavement and wet conditions. These tires also perform well in light snow by providing decent traction to keep you on the go. But they are not suitable for the prolonged winter season when the temperature falls below 45ºF.

All-season tires provide better traction in summers, but when the temperature falls below 45ºF, they become stiff because of the rubber compound. Hardened tires are dangerous to use in freezing weather because they can easily lose traction, resulting in an unsafe driving experience.

To improve the driving experience of your Chrysler Pacifica in winter, you can choose studless or studded winter tires. Studless winter tires are designed with deeper grooves to provide a better grip on snow. They are well suited for driving on ice and slush because the rubber compound doesn’t get hard in freezing conditions.

For even more icy conditions on the road, studded winter tires can better control the vehicle during driving. Stopping distance on icy roads with studded winter tires is also appreciable as they are specifically designed to handle harsh weather and icy terrain.

If you want to buy snow tires for your Chrysler Pacifica, we suggest you visit Tirerack.com. The online tire selection tool can help you find a better-suited set of tires for your Chrysler Pacifica as per model year and specifications of the trim that you have.

Also read: The Exact Bolt Pattern Chrysler Pacifica

Have Snow Tires Equipped As Soon As Possible

If you want to buy snow tires, we advise you to use Tirerack. They have a great tool that allows you to find the perfect fit for your exact model, so you won’t have to worry about fitment issues. Furthermore, they also offer free shipping on most of their orders. Check out their store here!

What Drive System Does A Chrysler Pacifica Have?

Chrysler offers Pacifica for the 2021 model year in four trims; Touring, Touring L, Limited, and Pinnacle. All trim levels are powered by a 3.6-L V6 mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission. Pacifica is offered in front-wheel-drive for Touring and Touring L as standard, and All-wheel-drive is an option. However, All-wheel-drive is standard in Limited and Pinnacle trim.

The front-wheel-drive package is good for better mileage and for being quick. However, given the 17 feet length of the car and a maximum curb weight of more than 4500 pounds, the FWD variant can lack sufficient grip in slippery terrains.

The FWD variants can also suffer from the lack of pull provided by the rear wheels. If the front wheels are stuck or spin without traction, it is easier to lose control of the vehicle in the FWD variant.

On the other hand, the all-wheel-drive variant takes a bite out of the mileage, but it also has its pros. The AWD variant is not an all-time AWD system. It is an automatic AWD, normally it runs as any other FWD variant, but when the need arises, it shifts the power to the rear axle.

The Pacifica in AWD variant has a better grip, and it plants firmly to the slippery tarmac. It also provides a balanced grip on the icy surface as well. However, a minimum loss of grip is noted briefly before the AWD system takes over the rear axle and makes up for it.

Chrysler Pacifica is not offered in a four-wheel-drive variant in any of its trim. The lack of a 4WD system makes it not suitable for tackling off-tarmac conditions. It should also be mentioned here that the 4WD system does not vary the power to wheels depending on the necessity but rather provides equal power to all wheels.

Also read: How Well Does A Chrysler 300 Drive In The Snow?

What Electronics System Helps The Chrysler Pacifica In The Snow?

The Chrysler Pacifica has a plethora of advanced electronics systems that are aimed towards safety and security, such as automatic emergency braking upon detecting a pedestrian, active lane keep and lane departure assist, active blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, front end collision warning, and emergency braking and much more.

Some of the features that help the Chrysler Pacifica perform well in the snow are:

Traction Control

Traction control is standard in all Chrysler Pacifica trims. It is an electronic system that prevents the driver from losing control of the vehicle by checking the wheel spin on the wheels in traction with the pavement.

On a slippery surface such as thin ice or snow, a spinning wheel has no grip on the surface that can cause total loss of control over the vehicle. The traction control system detects the wheel(s) with loss of traction and reduces the power to that or applies an individual brake to prevent loss of control.

Forward Collision Warning and Braking

Forward collision warning and active emergency braking to avoid it are standard in all Pacifica trims. The system works actively to detect and assess the threat of an impending collision with an object ahead.

The system provides visual and audio alerts to the driver to create situational awareness of the possible collision threat. If the driver doesn’t take action, the system can apply an emergency brake to bring the vehicle to a halt if the need arises.

Also read: The Exact Towing Capacity Of A Chrysler Pacifica

Automatic All-Wheel-Drive

As mentioned earlier, this system is available in all trims but standard in Limited and Pinnacle. Automated All-Wheel-Drive detects the need for power to a certain axle or individual wheel and then directs power to it.

When the need for AWD is not there, it functions as an FWD variant by only providing power to the front wheels. AWD system provides better traction and grip on icy surfaces and in slush. This system ensures that the driver has better control of the vehicle in snowy conditions.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

Standard in all trims of Chrysler Pacifica, Electronic Stability Control reduces the risk of a vehicle losing control, slide, or spin uncontrollably. The system actively detects and analyzes the direction of driving and the movement of the vehicle.

ESC automatically becomes active and takes corrective actions when the driver’s intended direction of traveling and the steering wheel turn angle do not coincide with each other. The corrective actions include emergency braking and reduced power to specific wheels to ascertain the heading once again.

Disabling ECS Will Help You In Snow? You should never disable the ESC by any means. There are only two instances where you can turn off the ECS.

  1. If you want to perform the rocking maneuver, where you rock the vehicle back and forth in case you are stuck in snow.
  2. If you want to have an accident.

Other than these two instances, you should never turn it off.

Advanced Brake Assist (ABA)

The advanced Brake Assist feature detects an imminent collision and increases the brake response of the vehicle even if the driver has requested a low brake response. The advanced brake assist function comes in handy to avoid a collision that could happen when insufficient braking is done due to an error of judgment or any other reason.

Weight Distribution

The aforementioned electronic systems play a significant role in making Chrysler Pacifica drive great in snow. However, there are other technical aspects of the vehicle which are also important such as weight distribution across the front and rear axles of the vehicle.

The curb weight of Chrysler Pacifica trims varies between 4521 to 4883 pounds which is decent for a minivan. The weight distribution doesn’t vary that much between the variants. A slight increase of weight on the rear axle is observed in the Hybrid FWD variant due to a battery pack.

2021 ModelsWeigh Distribution F/R
Touring FWD/AWD55/45
Touring L FWD/AWD55/45
Limited AWD55/45
Pinnacle AWD55/45
Hybrid FWD54.5/45.5

The weight distribution would have mattered more if the Pacifica was offered in a rear-wheel-drive configuration, but this is not the case. AWD variants counter much of the effect of weight distribution by actively managing power distribution to all wheels.

Ground Clearance (in):5.1

When deciding on buying a vehicle to drive in snow, ground clearance is an important aspect. Ground clearance of Chrysler Pacifica keeps it from competing with SUVs in deeper snow.

The ground clearance of Chrysler Pacifica trims ranges from 5.1 (FWD) – 5.4 (AWD). It provides reasonable clearance to the Pacifica to avoid bumps and potholes on dry pavement, but it is considered insufficient to navigate more than 4 inches of thick snow.

If you are expecting occasional snowfall, then Chrysler Pacifica will do well. But if it snows heavily in your area, then an SUV or a truck can be a better choice of vehicle for you.

Wheelbase (in):121.6

In the end, let’s talk about the wheelbase of Chrysler Pacifica. The wheelbase is the distance between the front and rear tire of the vehicle. This distance is somewhat inversely proportional to the chances of your vehicle getting out of control and slide.

Normally, a vehicle with a longer wheelbase gives the driver some time to take corrective action and prevent slip or slide. Shorter wheelbase vehicles slide in a shorter time, making them impossible to control.

The wheelbase of Chrysler Pacifica is 121.6 inches which is almost comparable to a pickup truck. The wheelbase is not so bad for a minivan. Still, it adds very little to the capability of Chrysler Pacifica as it already has many electronic systems onboard to reduce or prevent slides and slip.

What Traction Device You Can Use On The Chrysler Pacifica?

If you are expecting snowy weather in the coming days, you can get a snow chain for your Chrysler Pacifica to get more traction and a better grip. Chrysler Pacifica has a low clearance between the tires and the body. Therefore, they recommend using a maximum of 285/65 tires for 17 and 18-inch wheel size and 9mm cable/chain.

Snow traction devices provide more traction without damaging the vehicle if the user’s manual recommendations are carefully observed. Snow traction devices can be browsed here at Amazon. Before buying a snow traction device, please make sure that your tire size and the device’s size are compatible with the clearance between tires and body.

Happy driving.