Ford Freestyle Poses a Serious Threat to Pacifica Sales
I'm a big fan of the Pacifica, which will hardly be news to those who read my diatribes often. I like its styling, interior quality, packaging and handling characteristics the most, and have been fairly vocal about how it could be improved. The engine is powerful enough, but it needs more than four forward gears for the heavy machine to make the most of it.
|It's no secret that Chrysler dropped the ball during the launch of the Pacifica, but now it is selling well and should perform even better with a full lineup of models. The Limited (shown) is now added to the mix. (Photo: DaimlerChrysler Canada)|
It's also hardly news that Chrysler Group fumbled the car's launch. Slick TV ads featuring Grammy winning jazz vocalist Diana Krall in Canada and Canadian-born and raised Celine Dion in the U.S., did little to pull value conscious buyers into Chrysler's dealerships. Those that showed up were met by an extremely well designed crossover SUV, so fully featured that it was priced beyond the reach of the brand's traditional clientele.
Chrysler responded quickly by offering a de-contented version featuring front-wheel drive instead of all-wheel drive and cloth upholstery instead of leather. The price came down and sales went up, even of the top-line model. Currently it's one of the more popular luxury crossovers available.
|With the introduction of the value-added 5-occupant Highline version, the previous base model has been renamed the Touring. (Photo: DaimlerChrysler Canada)|
Now, timed to coincide with Ford introducing its new Freestyle crossover for a full-scale assault on North America, Chrysler will introduce an even less expensive 5-occupant version of the Pacifica dubbed the Highline, at a reduced MSRP of $35,965. The previous base model has been renamed the Touring, and starts at $38,600, while the top-tier Pacifica Limited is available for $48,550.
"The addition of the new Highline model to the Pacifica lineup allows consumers to get the utility and style of the Pacifica at a very attractive starting price," commented Ron Smith, Vice President Marketing, DaimlerChrysler Canada. "With an entry level model priced at $35,965, a mid-level six-passenger Touring model and the premium Pacifica Limited, Chrysler offers customers more flexibility to get into the model that best meets their needs."