AD #1825 – Toyota Accelerates Auto Braking, New Cadillac Mirror Unnatural, Chrysler Pacifica Driving Impressions

March 22nd, 2016 at 11:35am

Runtime: 7:21

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- Toyota to Add Auto Braking to Most Vehicles
- New Cadillac Mirror Takes Getting Used To
- New Stand-Up Personal Electric Vehicle
- 2016 Ford Shelby GT-H Mustang
- VW Introduces Golf Alltrack for U.S.
- 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Driving Impressions

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29 Comments to “AD #1825 – Toyota Accelerates Auto Braking, New Cadillac Mirror Unnatural, Chrysler Pacifica Driving Impressions”

  1. Bradley Says:

    The Scion iA already has auto-braking:

    Or do you mean once its called the Yaris iA, they are removing the feature? But that doesn’t make sense. As Mazda will still be making the iA.

  2. Bradley Says:

    We have a 2009 VW Sportswagen TDI.

    The Alltrack might put us back into a VW after diesel-gate…

    but..lifting the wagon an inch and more offensively adding the black rimmed wheel wells strike against it.

    I know why they do both those things, but they do not make the wagon look good. I could careless about increased off-road performance.

  3. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Bradley – The list of vehicles noted would not offer the system as standard. I’m guessing the auto braking feature for the iA is part of an optional package.

  4. Bradley Says:



    Scions do not have options aside from choosing a transmission FYI. Maybe it will be an option when it becomes the Yaris iA.

  5. RumNCoke Says:

    How much more will a base Pacifica cost relative to a Grand Caravan? Minivan buyers are a pretty frugal bunch so a big step up in price might mean a big drop in sales. Spa-like or not.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Just what we need, another perfectly good wagon, messed up, with 4 wheel drive and a lift kit. At least VW, unlike Subaru and Audi, will still sell the regular version of the Sportwagon, at least for now.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The base MSRP of the Pacifica is $28, 595, not too bad, for what it is.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Grand Caravan is $22,095 base MSRP. I suspect there is a big difference in standard equipment, but the GC seems a real bargain, for the amount of space it has. Anyone who wants a new GC needs to hurry, though. It is going to be discontinued soon.

  9. Roger T Says:

    Toyota jumping onboard is not surprising. What’s the best way to eliminate the risk of unintended acceleration accidents, including those involving moronic drivers that can’t distinguish right foot from left? Have the car step on the break for the driver.

  10. Max C. Says:

    I suspect the automatic emergency braking systems will likely make poor drivers who are already distracted by everything from the dashboard screens to cell phones into even worse drivers who will be even more distracted since they now won’t have to even worry about braking to avoid the car in front of them! Your thoughts?

  11. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I do like the new Pacifica.I wonder what the tow rating is for it.With the new and improved 3.6 Pentastar it should be good for 5k,I would think.

    @ Sean: Have you started doing anything to your wonderful old pan yet?

  12. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Rum – To add to what Kit already wrote. The Town&Country has the same starting price as the new Pacifica and the Grand Caravan only sold about 4,000 more units than the T&C in 2015. That’s why I don’t expect to see sales drop off.

  13. Sean McElroy Says:

    @G.A. – Not just yet. Need to get my garage space in order first and we have not had a warm enough stretch for me to do that yet. But I’ve been thinking about it constantly and hope to get started soon.

  14. Sean McElroy Says:

    Also @G.A. – Chrysler rates the towing capacity for the Pacifica at 3,600-lbs.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Sean, or anyone who might know, how do car companies come up with “official” tow ratings? Are there specific guidelines? I guess I tend to ignore them. My ’89 van has a tow rating of zero, with the powertrain I have, but it has worked fine towing a 1000-1200 pound popup camper.

  16. Lisk Says:

    In the past, tow rating were pretty much made up by the manufacturer but newer tow rating are SAE certified. I’m not sure if everybody is complying yet. They generally tended to be a bit on the safe side as I know many a pickup owner who had no regard to any of this when they hooked up to a trailer. Most of them were part of the “hold my beer and watch this” mentality though…

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Thanks for info, Lisk.

    For whatever reason, tow ratings in the U.S. have always been REALLY on the “safe” side. The tow rating for a VW Golf is zero in the U.S., while the same car has a rating o 1800 kg, or something like that, in Europe. I posted this link a few months ago, but here is a good discussion of the great American anti-towing conspiracy, as TTAC calls it.

  18. Jonathan Says:

    Get show Sean! Did you get a chance to review the electric hybrid Pacifica…

    That should be a huge hit when and if government regulations force fuel efficiency further.

    Good looking in both gas and electric hybrid design. Well done Chrysler.

  19. Lex Says:

    The Pacifica is a stylish minivan but with the demise of the Chrysler 200 there will nothing left in the FCA stables with similar fascia. Do you think that was poor planning on the part of FCA exterior designers?

    I never liked the Town & Country nameplate. I hope FCA keeps the Caravan & Grand Caravan nameplates active into the future and re-introduces a AWD version to compete against the Toyota Sienna AWD.

    Finally VW needs to rethink it’s North America line-up. I was watching a Wheeler Dealer episode on Velocity Channel that feature the VW Corrado VR6. That was a sexy vehicle. VW should think about resurrecting the Corrado nameplate in the form of a sporty “B” segment CUV to compete against the Honda HR-V and Toyota’s new smaller CUV. It should be Gasoline only no Diesel!

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Here is an earlier Chrysler Town and Country.

    I test drove a Corrado VR6 when it first hit the market, and I had a ’98 GTi VR6. It was impressively quick, for the time, and the engine was smooth, and sounded good. My car was fun, but, surprise-surprise, had some reliability issues, mostly electrical. As far as the powertrain, it was nice to drive, but premium fuel was required (not recommended, but required), and the mpg was not good for a 3000 pound car, even a quick one. I got only about 27 mpg on the highway with the VW, while I get over 29 with my Corvette.

    In all, the VR6 was a marvel in packaging efficiency, but less than wonderful in efficiency. Mine was an early, 2.8 liter, 2 valve/cylinder version.

  21. Lisk Says:


    Did you have any head gasket problems with the VR6? I remember with the wide cylinder head that this was a problem. Thanks

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Lisk, I didn’t have any head gasket problems, but I had the car only about 40K miles. I’d heard that such problems were common with VR6′s, at least early ones. The head gasket having to bend 15 degrees would complicate things, along with the width of the gasket.

  23. GM Veteran Says:

    The new Pacifica needs to sell a LOT more than the outgoing Town & Country to be considered a success, since it is replacing both the Town & Country AND the Dodge Grand Caravan.

    While the SAE tow ratings apply to all cars, vans, crossovers, SUV’s and light and heavy duty pickups, they were primarily conceived of to eliminate the constant oneupmanship the big three were consumed with in their advertising, especially when it came to the heavy duty pickups. The automakers are under no obligation to use the SAE system to determine their tow ratings, though all have agreed to use them and publish the rating for their pickup trucks. Since SAE does not test the vehicles, when it comes to non-pickups, you may not be able to tell if its the SAE rating or the manufacturer’s rating.

  24. Sean McElroy Says:

    @GM Veteran – FCA has said that the T&C will carry on for a little while longer, but not how long. The Dodge Grand Caravan will be sticking around as well in its current form as an entry level option and for fleets. FCA has also not said how long it will stick around, but will re-evaluate the possibility of a new one depending on how sales go.

  25. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Jonathan – Unfortunately no I did not get to drive the hybrid. Chrysler does not have any available yet. At least not for the media.

  26. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Lex – Chrysler said the new platform can handle an AWD drive option, but for the moment it’s not available. Another thing they will re-evaluate at another time.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The last I read anything about it, the Sienna had an AWD take rate of only about 10%. That is partly because AWD isn’t available on the lower trim level, but also, the AWD-obsessed are more likely to buy tall wagons with hinged doors, rather than minivans. Unless they can do AWD on the T & C pretty cheaply, they probably shouldn’t bother.

  28. Speedy Says:

    Re:The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica.
    At the site

    It states “The body has nearly 130 meters of adhesive, boosting stiffness, strength, and damping; the effect is expected to last for at least ten years.”

    Do I junk the van after that?

  29. W L Simpson Says:

    Don’t understand all this dithering about rear view cams & screens. If the “old” GM backup cam had a wide angle lens & the existing screen was enlarged & properly placed, the “kiss principal”
    would rule ! About half the junk engineers come up with is trying to justify their existence.
    Just read the CR annual new car reviews , a lot of thumbs down on reliability & cabin noise.