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ROAD & TRAVEL's 2004 Crossover of the Year -- Chrysler Pacifica

No vehicle can be all things to all people, but if the 2004 Chrysler Pacifica is any indication, some come close. The Pacifica effectively blends the best attributes of passenger cars, minivan and SUVs into one attractive, family-friendly package.

First, the Pacifica's passenger-car pedigree comes in its low-slung stance with a fully independent suspension for good handling. It also comes with the same 3.5-liter V-6 found in many of Chrysler's sport sedans. Minivan attributes include three rows of seats and a low floor for spaciousness. Finally, the Pacifica's SUV attributes come in the form of assertive styling with a high hood, hinged rear doors as well as available all-wheel drive.

But the blending doesn't stop there; the Pacifica also blends the best of Mercedes-Benz (namely, sweet handling, thanks to the E-Class' rear suspension architecture) and the best of Chrysler (in its handsome face and well-masked exterior dimensions). Other Pacifica strengths include a sexy interior rife with accelerating curves and high-quality materials. It also offers a rear-seat entertainment system and an Infinity Intermezzo surround sound system that is without a doubt one of the best we've ever heard in any automobile (sedan, SUV or minivan).

Honorable Mentions:

Infiniti FX
The ground-breaking 2004 Infiniti FX shows the world that SUV styling and sports car performance need not be mutually exclusive. Think of it as a Z-Car with ground clearance and a luxury car interior and you won't be far off. In a word, it's awesome.

Chevrolet Malibu Maxx
Chevrolet is reinventing the 5-door with its funky, cool new Chevrolet Malibu Maxx. Although it's shorter than its sedan counterpart, it is infinitely more usable, with a standard, Vista-Cruiser-style rear sunroof, a rear seat that slides fore and aft more than seven inches and, of course, a handy hatchback cargo area that swallows up gallons of gear. It is also available with a DVD entertainment system, XM radio and OnStar, too. If you dare to be different, this may be your ride.


International Car of the Year
Car of the Year
Cadillac XLR

Most Sex Appeal
Sports Car of the Year
Cadillac XLR

Most Respected
Luxury Car of the Year
Jaguar XJ

Most Dependable
Sedan of the Year
BMW 5-Series

Most Spirited
Entry-Level Car of the Year
Dodge SRT-4

Most Compatible
Minivan of the Year
Nissan Quest

Most Versatile
Crossover/Sport Wagon of the Year
Chrysler Pacifica
Most Memorable
Classic Car of the Year
Chevrolet SSR
Most Athletic
Pickup Truck of the Year
Ford F-150 FX4

Most Likely to Survive
SUV of the Year
Volkswagen Touareg

Class of 2004 ~ 8th Annual Awards Links