The life of a minivan isn’t easy. From ferrying around kids to hauling cargo and completing road trips, minivan buyers almost always ask a lot of their vehicles.
That’s why Chrysler was sure to put the 2017 Pacifica minivan through a stringent testing regime prior to the van’s release, racking up more than 3.4 million miles and counting on development mules. That gives the Pacifica one of the highest pre-production mileage totals of any Chrysler production vehicle ever.
“The main objective of putting Pacifica through more than 3.4 million miles of real-world driving is to identify and prevent any issues from occurring in the first place,” said head of FCA quality Scott Garberding. “This commitment to quality is just one piece of a comprehensive strategy that focuses on attention to detail, as it represents one of the final steps in a quality process that began with the inception of Pacifica.”
FCA drove the Pacifica day and night and through the heat and cold when putting on test miles. During the van’s numerous 4,000-mile-plus roundtrip drives from Auburn Hills, Mich., to FCA’s Arizona Proving Ground (APG) in Yucca, Ariz., the van not only completed a long haul, but did it in a 120 degree dusty desert climate.
Engineers also took the Pacifica to Houghton, Mich. in the state’s Upper Peninsula, where it was tested for three weeks in fridgid minus 20 degree weather. The team also took the van out to Alaska where systems like its traction control, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control were put to the test on snow and ice.
“The trip allowed our Pacifica engineers an opportunity to refine the minivan for customers as several ESC calibration adjustments were made to improve system smoothness and reduce noise, vibration and harshness,” said Garberding of the Alaska adventure.
Finally, FCA engineers put the Pacifica through corrosion tests in which salt was directly applied to the vehicle’s undercarriage and body. This would mimic the worst corrosion climate in the world, Chrysler says, with the Pacifica’s body and undercarriage easily withstanding the rigorous testing.
“This commitment to quality is just one piece of a comprehensive strategy that focuses on attention to detail, as it represents one of the final steps in a quality process that began with the inception of Pacifica,” said Garberding.