By on July 3, 2019

Digging up names from the past is a popular hobby at most car makers, to the point that a few of them would be well served to hire their own archaeologists to smooth out the process. Some are wantonly ditched prematurely in the pursuit of alphanumerics (*ahem* Legend, Vigor *ahem*) while others are relegated to the dustbin of history after being appended to a particularly horrid car.

Others simply slip away into the night like a silent bandit after the shuttering of its brand. Voyager is one of these, with FCA deciding to trot it out again and apply it to entry-level versions of the Pacifica (which, by itself, is a recycled name).

This Ace of Base was planned from the moment FCA made the announcement about this vehicle last week. However, it is appropriate that we should be talking about minivans today after the passing of Lee Iacocca. Without the first Magic Wagon, it’s unlikely we’d have machines like this at all.

For 2020, the Voyager is offered in three different trims: L, LX, and LXi. Those of you who lived through the ‘90s will recognize the latter, when American brand were busy appending the letter ‘i’ to various and sundry trim levels in an effort to keep up with the Germans and Japanese. This time around, the LXi is a fleet-only vehicle.

Base L models will start at $26,985. That number is gleaned from folks who were at the Chelsea Proving Grounds last week and not through the press materials, by the way. For that sum, the L comes equipped with FCA’s admittedly excellent Uconnect (in 7-inch form, not 8.4), Apple CarPlay, and the ubiquitous Pentastar V6 making 287 horsepower in this application. The transmission has nine speeds.

Be aware that your thrifty ways will be belied by the presence of black door handles and grille but at least the mirrors are color keyed. If it bothers you that much, get one in black paint so it all blends in. Tires are a sensible 235/65R17 across the board. The rig shown above is not the base model, given away by the presence of alloys instead of steelies with hubcaps. Until this thing shows up on the company’s build and price tool, we’ll make do with these distributed press photos.

Dual A/C is standard, as you’d expect, but rear seat urchins are on their own unless you pop for the LX and its tri-zone setup. Remote keyless, 3rd-row Stow n’ Go, cruise & tilt — all that stuff is standard as well. Satellite radio would be a welcome addition to the L.

Thanks for the minivan, Lee. Without it, the automotive landscape would be a hell of a different place.

[Image: FCA]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments and feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown with American options and priced in American Dollars. Your dealer may sell for less.

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46 Comments on “Ace of Base: 2020 Chrysler Voyager...”


  • avatar
    afedaken

    Does it still have a sliding door? Hinged second row entry is a deal-breaker.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Voyager is a good name for a minivan.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    The “loaded” LXi model being fleet only is an interesting touch.

    It means in a few years CarMax will be thick with them.

    • 0 avatar
      EGSE

      Given that it’s fleet only, I wonder where the LXi sits in the hierarchy WRT to content.

      “Fleet” must be a malleable term in auto retailing. When I was looking at the Plymouth Horizon in ’89 the local dealer gave me a price; when I shopped it around the other dealers accused me of lying. When I completed the deal I told the salesman how their competition wouldn’t believe me. He said they (the dealer) did a lot of fleet business and this car was a left-over (a 1988 model in ’89) that he handled as a single fleet sale to get it off the lot.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        The press releases I’m seeing have the LXi as the Voyager with the most features (although not as many as a fully loaded Pacifica.)

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          I checked here in So. Cal., and you’re absolutely right. In the old days, fleet used to mean stripped, but not anymore. The fleet vehicles now used by CA state agencies are loaded.

          I’m guessing they were having trouble disposing of earlier low-optioned vehicles, and decided to option them well enough to get decent resale. OTOH, manufacturers may no longer even make base engine/no AC models: all they need is one per dealer to justify the ads.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            It depends on what kind of fleet you are talking about. Gov’t vehicles are still low content, it is just that even base vehicles have things that used to be optional like A/C, power locks and windows.

            However the LXi isn’t intended for gov’t fleets it is intended for rental fleets. So yeah it has more stuff than the vehicles they are selling to cheapskates. If someone buying retail wants that level of equipment they are going to upsell them into a Pacifica.

            The root of this is based on the fact that the Pacifica isn’t amortizing at the desired rate. So the LXi will move a ton of metal to the rental fleets and boost the rate of amortization of the new model.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            @Scoutdude, maybe other states still buy low content vehicles, but I work for the Cali DOT, and their fleet includes features like bluetooth and cellphone charging.

            They used to put radios in selected models, but now they actually want your cellphone number, and use employees’ personal phones for communications “in the field”. They “officially” tell you to pull over to send or receive a call, but…

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Yeah and those features on on the base models, not necessarily standard but optional. Because the bluetooth is considered a safety feature yeah gov’t fleets order them especially if they don’t require moving up the trim ladder.

            I know when airbags and ABS were still new and frequently optional my state ordered them because they were considered safety features. But they were still base model vehicles.

            I’m betting that FCA will still have fleet deals on the L trim Voyager and that is what you’ll find in gov’t fleets not the rental car special LXi.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            I should also note that sometimes mfgs play games with the gov’t and rental car fleets.

            A couple of examples.

            When Ford introduced the Escape and then Fusion Hybrids they were their own trim level that was comparable to the middle models in content. The FFV engine in the Fusion and Ranger was the V6 and not the 4cyl. This was done because many gov’t fleets have mandates that require a minimum number of AFVs.

            In the rental car world I don’t remember the specific model, but GM de-contented the side air bags out of rental car versions to meet a price point. Then of course they did the Captiva, a vehicle never sold at retail, only to rental car companies.

            Ford sold a Crown Victoria Fleet LX that had the aluminum wheels and leather interior of the old Retail LX but lacked the extra sound deadening and other small things that were in the retail LX. That was for resale value, and to make them sell quicker when they came back at the end of their rental car service.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @ScoutDude – It was the W-Impala that got sold to rental agencies minus the side airbags. I think it got the rental companies a few hundred dollar discount per vehicle.

            After the vehicles started to hit the auctions etc GM caught a lot of flak for it although it was in conjunction with the rental companies.

            I’m actually amazed how many Captiva’s I’ve seen in the wild in the hands of 2nd or 3rd owners. The retail used car prices I’ve seen for them really aren’t that much different compared to an Equinox of similar vintage.

            I wouldn’t want to own either but I don’t understand why folks wouldn’t just buy the Equinox.

  • avatar
    WhatsMyNextCar

    This is such a stupid strategy. A Pacifica with steelies and hubcaps. This is the brand Dodge buyers are supposed to aspire to. Make the Voyager a Dodge. They’ll aspire to get a real Pacifica. Or, leave things as they are. Who takes Chrysler seriously as an upscale brand, anyway?

    • 0 avatar
      EGSE

      Oh come on. No one who is actually shopping this part of the segment gives a damn whether it has a Dodge or Chrysler emblem. They just want a family hauler that’s within their budget.

      And it could be argued that FCA doesn’t consider Chrysler to be an upscale brand either, otherwise the decontented twin *would* have been a Dodge.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Exactly. When they decide to market an ‘aspirational’ or ‘halo’ model they could label it as an Alfa or a Maserati.

      • 0 avatar
        WhatsMyNextCar

        @Egse – then we agree. This is a dumb exercise. On top of having to spend money on marketing and branding efforts for a pointless Chrysler line that has two models, they now have to stretch the money to market the Voyager.

        Just kidding. They don’t spend money advertising any Chryslers.

        • 0 avatar
          EGSE

          “then we agree.”

          No……we don’t.

          The Voyager is a lower trim of the Pacifica with a different name. From that standpoint it makes sense to badge it as a Chrysler. Whatever “brand” they market the variant as, it will be parked in the same showroom, sold by the same sales staff, the customers run the same F&I gauntlet and the brochure will be in the same central kiosk with the rest of the literature. That is, if it even HAS a separate brochure, but given the cost of doing so is negligible in this context it probably will.

          The only way I can see FCA screwing this up is if they price it too close to other minivans like the Odyssey or Sedona. The Dodge GC sells on a low price. If that price advantage is significantly diminished, some prospective buyers will cross-shop the other brands and every time that happens FCA risks losing a sale.

    • 0 avatar
      salmonmigration

      FCA is kind of in a pickle here. They’re too cheap to shut down the hugely profitable Dodge Grand Caravan, which is getting on for 11 years old now.

      But they also want to make a stripper model of the Pacifica because it’s FCA and if you run a product line you have no supervision. But where to put it? Either the stripper Pacifica is a Dodge and makes the GC look like crap, or it’s a Chrysler and it makes “Chrysler” look like crap.

      Chrysler already looks like crap though. Only the Pacifica name is important. Call it another type of Chrysler. Problem solved!

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      This is actually the smartest move by FCA since the Dart earned them the rest of the US Gov’t shares.

      The Caravan was supposed to have died by this point but it hasn’t. That is hurting the profit potential of the new van because it isn’t amortizing its development costs quickly enough.

      FCA obviously thinks that making a stripper Pacifica could hurt what prestige it has so dragging out the Voyager name plate is a great idea. It is not a Dodge because that brand is short for this world. They don’t need two car lines and becasue of the C in FCA they are probably hesitant to jettison the Chrysler name.

      • 0 avatar
        EGSE

        Interesting analysis of the financial considerations. Thanks.

        One parts bin to simplify inventory and (assuming) assembly line for both variants would be another benefit.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    Chrysler Voyager Lido Edition. There’s the name for ’em.

  • avatar
    quaquaqua

    The “low-end” Siennas and Odysseys are at this Voyager price point, so I don’t see the reason why Chrysler thinks this merits a name change.

    Speaking of, the Grand Caravan keeps outselling everything else — largely in part due to fleet sales, but also because it’s obviously the cheap choice with a lot of cash on the hood. There’s plenty of people here who say it’s a “value” because it’s cheap, not realizing price and value are two very different things. After a decade on the market, it’s still an outdated, outclassed car and if I had to pick a cheap minivan I’d either go with a Sedona or a two-year-old Sienna. Both will last far longer. And the Sienna will actually be worth something still in ten years.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Not everyone wants all the latest ‘bells and whistles’. Nor do many care about driving dynamics.

      What many want is a vehicle that they can afford, that meets their needs.

      And the Grand Caravan meets those requirements. Quite well in fact.

      If only the ‘best’ vehicles available sold or would be continued to exist the market would certainly look quite a bit different than it does.

      If FCA were to invest about $400 in improved parts/assembly, then a few hundred more by increasing the warranty, they could increase the actual selling price of the Caravan and I believe would sell even more of them.

      • 0 avatar
        d4rksabre

        The driving dynamics of the GC aren’t even that bad. People complain, but I don’t know what they’re complaining about. I drove a rental GC all around Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Utah last fall and it handled the mountains (loaded with passengers and stuff too!) really well. I think if I drove mountain passes regularly I’d want heavy duty brakes but it was fine.

        • 0 avatar
          MKizzy

          I recently drove a rental Grand Caravan for a week and the old dino handled well and was very comfortable. Its only fault besides a horribly dated dashboard design were shaky brakes and an engine that didn’t have the most pleasant roar at high RPM.

          The GC has its own niche and FCA could print money with it if they’d just give it a restyle and interior freshening.

          • 0 avatar
            backtees

            Agree with both comments above. Just put at 20k mile rental GC through a three state, 1000 mile family haul and it flat performed under the hood and in the tranny…plus got 22 mpg easy being driven hard. BUT the kids veto any future rental of said vehicle (about the third time they have lived in a GC for a road trip) as they just can’t deal with the seats and lack of comfort. Wife in the right seats agrees. Get a Pacifica or Suburban next time and will sacrifice Cracker Barrel and chik Fil a for subs to balance the budget.

          • 0 avatar
            probert

            They did – It’s called the Pacifica and Voyager. Handsome brutes.

      • 0 avatar
        EGSE

        “If only the ‘best’ vehicles available sold or would be continued to exist the market would certainly look quite a bit different than it does.”

        Yes indeed. And it wouldn’t look as good either. In the NA auto market ~100 years ago there were cars that were considered to be “the best” like Deusenberg, Pierce Arrow, Packard, Cadillac etc. Then there was Ford, Chevrolet, Nash and other volume builders.

        The second group is what put the country (including Canada here) on wheels and it was that increased mobility for the common citizen that helped create a society that lifted all boats. Apologies for the mixed metaphors. Anyway, the high-end cars are the icons we remember but it was the less-heralded tin lizzies that allowed people to get to work wherever it might be. Farmers to get perishable produce to market. Businesses to widen their geographical area of operation.

        The Brass Era cars were great for captains of industry and the idle rich but it was the cheap car, affordable by millions of “little guys” that helped make us more productive.

        • 0 avatar
          Mike Beranek

          I think Sto-n-Go is the problem with the seats. If you make seats small enough to stow into the floor, then they aren’t going to be comfortable enough to sit in for long trips.
          I’ve sat in sto-n-go seats and also found them lacking. I’d rather use my muscles for those rare occasions when I need the 2nd row removed.

  • avatar
    d4rksabre

    I really want to like the Pacifica but the amount of NHTSA complaints these things are racking up in such a short period of time is CRAZY. The Pacifica is a MESS.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      By what standard? Per NHTSA

      2019 Pacifica – 2 recalls, 13 complaints
      2019 Odyssey – 6 recalls, 27 complaints

      • 0 avatar
        d4rksabre

        It’s too early to look at 2019. 2017-18 are quite bad.

      • 0 avatar
        johnds

        Test drove a 2017 Pacifica last week, and it had some of the worst cancer corrosion on the hood. The dealer claimed Chrysler was going to pay for it, but if you look how bad past Chrysler vehicles hold up with regards to corrosion and rust, its going to be a problem after they “Fix it”

        Also do your recall lists have anything about the auto-start stall feature that has caused some Pacifica’s to shut off in traffic?

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          New car dealers in Charlottesville, Virginia travel to car auctions in northern locations that include Buffalo, New York in order to buy cheap rust-bucket late model cars and trucks. I saw it repeatedly over the past three years. They look just fine parked on the ground with the hood closed, but reveal horrors when on a lift or when the hood is lifted. I don’t know the history of the van you looked at, but it would be consistent with what I’ve seen. Chances are the rust is due to copious road salt and Chrysler would only take responsibility if perforation of exterior sheet-metal resulted.

          My ex-gf bought a Volvo V70 XC that was making a noise. I thought the noise might be the angle gear that fails so often and at such great expense on her then-four-year-old Volvo. It turned out that the Volvo dealer that sold it to her bought it up north and every mechanical component under the car was rusted to the point that they talked her into scrapping it and taking a five-figure loss on a car she’d bought from them less that two years earlier.

          Anyway, if you live somewhere that cars don’t rust, don’t accept any sign of rust on a used car.

          • 0 avatar
            d4rksabre

            My folks live in Buffalo and have a 17 Pacifica with rust bubbling on the hood. So you nailed that one.

        • 0 avatar
          d4rksabre

          Funny that ToddAtlas metions the cars coming from Buffalo. My folks live in Buffalo and have a 2017 Pacifica that has rust bubbling on the hood.

          The failure of the auto-start stop system seems to be the biggest concern with the 18+ Pacificas, but the 17 doesn’t have it (small victories?).

          I just know I wouldn’t go anywhere near the Pacifica with my money.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Had the family crew in last month and rented a Pacifica with many but not all the toys. I was quite impressed as it carted 6 of us all over. I think we got 24 mpg at 80 mph on a road trip, which isn’t bad at all.

    If my wife and I had had more than one kid then I would have proudly been all over a minivan. Very useful.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    I had a base Pacifica a couple of years ago for a weekend. It basically sounds like this base Voyager… cloth seats, no navigation, no power sliding doors or tailgate, IIRC. It was a very nice family hauler… comfortable, quiet, very spacious, decent stereo. The middle row stow and go seats were meh for adult comfort but the kids liked them. I even thought the cloth in the seats was pleasant and seemed durable. I didn’t miss any of the options from the higher level model. I though about getting the hybrid version (which has bigger non stow and go middle seats) but gave up due to production delays and recalls.


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