You’ve decided to stay in the minivan fold. Or, to Fiat Chrysler’s delight, you’ve decided to join it. Just because your Pacifica spends its days shuttling around colorful little Playskool houses and playing Paw Patrol videos on the seatback media screens doesn’t mean it shouldn’t also strike terror into the hearts of passers-by on the mean streets of America.
Right on cue, or perhaps a little belatedly, Chrysler is adding a hint of menace to a decidedly non-menacing model with the return of the S Appearance Package to its minivan stable. Last offered on the defunct Town & Country, the package does for the Pacifica what it does for the 300 and what it did for the departed 200.
Bring on the darkness.
“The Chrysler Pacifica definitely stands out in the school drop-off line, and its class-leading style has won over many new customers,” says Tim Kuniskis, head of FCA’s North American passenger car brands.
Well, with the S variant, available for the 2018 model year, those parents might wonder if the child of a custom motorcycle builder/reformed gang member just enrolled at the school. Adorned with black accents in every conceivable nook and cranny, the package transforms the Pacifica into a stow ‘n go gangstermobile. To be fair, the Pacifica pulls off the look better than the Town & Country.
Included in the $595 package are a bevy of gloss black accents. The list of newly darkened items includes the grille surrounds, headlamp eyebrows, daylight opening molding, rear valance molding, roof rails (in most cases), wheels, seats, steering wheel, and basically all interior features ahead of the rear seat. Light gray stitching and lettering helps breaks up the inky void. Outside, 18-inch wheels with “Black Noise” finish comes standard, but 20-inchers will run you an extra $995.
If generating schoolyard mystique is your plan, the S Appearance Package is available on Touring Plus, Touring L, Touring L Plus and Limited trims. Only the base LX model shuns the dark side.
Regardless of trim or package, all Pacificas undergo a tech upgrade for 2018. Now standard across the board are FCA’s SafetyTec suite of driver’s aids and upgraded Uconnect 4 systems with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 4G LTE Wi-Fi with unlimited data becomes an available feature later in the model year.
Given its meager lineup, any spice capable of sweetening the Chrysler sales pot is a good thing for the brand. As sales of the full-size 300 sedan continue a downward slide, U.S. Pacifica sales rose 18 percent in September, year-over-year.
[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]