The Chrysler Pacifica will assure your kids you have superpowers…

A blue Chrysler Pacifica on an ice rink while it's raining.
Credit: Chrysler

I cannot think of a more polarizing category of automobile than that of the minivan.  Years ago, when my three sons were incredibly young, we owned one.  But, against my wife’s more reasonable judgment, I went out and replaced our minivan with an SUV approximately four hours after my youngest son outgrew his car seat.  Back then, I was a ringleader in the camp of SUV superiority.  Sure, minivans get better gas mileage, transport people more comfortably, and can even haul more cargo.  But SUVs look cooler.  These days, I am much older, and perhaps a touch wiser, and I STILL favor SUVs!  But the Chrysler Pacifica is one vehicle that is worthy of consideration, especially if you want to keep a careful eye on your children.

Before I describe how you can pull that off, you need to know that this is one good-looking minivan (not an oxymoron).  In fact, at certain angles, it might even pass as an SUV.  The engine is more than capable of getting the job done, and I could even use it to tow my bass boat as it is rated to tow 3,600 pounds!  It is incredibly safe, and can even come equipped with all-wheel drive. (The model looks comparable to the 2020 Toyota Sienna.)

With a quick tap, you can see an interior camera showing all passengers. This is just as remarkable as the bird’s eye view now common on the outside of cars (it is stitched together using multiple cameras outside of the vehicle to make it seem like you are above the car). Inside, the wide-angle lens shows little Tommy in the backseat, his older siblings in the middle row, and it helps you keep an eye on all of them with a single glance.

It’s awesome not only because it’s innovative and new, but also because it actually works. You can also check to make sure no one is asleep in the back when you pull into the garage and forget they are still in there. For safety reasons, you can also see if someone is hiding in the car.

Chrysler may have just ushered in a whole new era of camera utilization in automobiles.  Many manufacturers already use cameras to help drivers park, cover blind spots, detect front and rear traffic (this minivan included), but this may only scratching the surface.  In the next several years, I anticipate we will see the common use of cameras in vehicles helping drivers enter the vehicle using facial recognition.  Also, camera use will aid in security with the use of dashcams or perhaps even side cams, if everyday drivers decide that they want to utilize them.

Minivans have come a long way, in terms of looks, performance, and technology.  With the addition of the Pacifica’s FamCam, parents can keep a careful eye on the cargo they are transporting and the children they are nurturing.  This practical and helpful feature just adds to the utilitarian nature of the minivan.  But, if looks are all that matters, you may just want to hold out and see when the Jeep Grand Cherokee incorporates their own version of an interior camera.