STATUS: New lower-priced offshoot adopts the Voyager name - If you were wondering whether FCA would replace the Dodge Grand Caravan, and what with, we just might have the answer: The company will sell decontented Chrysler Pacificas under the Chrysler Voyager name. The Grand Caravan, which is growing long in the tooth, is actually scheduled to be around for the 2020 model year, but if and when FCA decides to pull the plug, the Voyager might be able to fill the void. If you're old enough, you'll recall that the Voyager was a Plymouth minivan, but rest assured the new foundation is modern: The Pacifica is one of the best minivans on the market, built on a weight-saving platform that supports smartly tailored sheetmetal. Matching the tasteful exterior is a comfortable interior with room for up to eight people. The Voyager comes in base L, LX and fleet-only LXi trims, while the better-equipped Touring, Touring, Touring L Plus and Limited models plus the Hybrid are under the Pacifica umbrella. As for content, Chrysler's super handy Stow 'n Go system (the second- and third-row seats fold beneath the floor), which turns the Pacifica into a movable storage locker, is not available in any Voyager model. The 287-horsepower V-6 is standard for both, however, as is the nine-speed automatic transmission. The heavier (by about 600 pounds) Pacifica Hybrid plug-in uses a V-6 plus an electric motor connected to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Hybrid can function in electric-only mode for up to 33 miles and at speeds up to 120 mph. A combined city/highway fuel-economy equivalent of 84 mpg in electric mode is also a major reason for acquiring one. There's enough electric range to satisfy most daily commutes without having to dip into the gasoline reserve.
Base price (incl. destination): $28,000 (Voyager, est.); $35,000 (Pacifica, est.); $41,500 (Hybrid)
Engine (h.p.): 3.6-liter V6 (287, or 260, Hybrid)
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic; continuously variable (Hybrid)
Base mpg (city/highway/combined): 19/28/22
Base weight (lb.): 4,330