They may not be as popular as they used to be, but minivans are still cool!

Thirty-five years after introducing the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is honoring the minivan OGs with a pair of 35th Anniversary special edition models, featuring the Dodge Grand Caravan and the Chrysler Pacifica. Like most special edition models, the Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Grand Caravan 35th Anniversary Editions are packed with exclusive touches, including fancy paint finishes and special badges. All special edition features come in the form of packages. The special edition package is available to a range of Pacifica and Grand Caravan models, including the Pacifica Hybrid. Pricing details have yet to be released, but the 35th Anniversary packages for both the Pacifica and the Grand Caravan will be available sometime in summer of 2019. The Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Grand Caravan 35th Anniversary Editions will debut at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show.

FCA Looking to "Wow" Chicago with A Pair of Special Edition Minivans
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I’m completely on board this. It’s about time minivans got some special edition shine, and it couldn’t have come at a better time, too. It’s hard to imagine that the Dodge Grand Caravan has been around since 1984. Even though it used to be called by just the “Caravan,” it’s still Chrysler’s longest-running nameplate, which is saying something considering how many models have come and gone under the brand. The Voyager, on the other hand, hasn’t been around since it was discontinued in 2000 when the Plymouth brand went in the toilet. Even when that happened, Chrysler didn’t leave the minivan market completely. It still had the Chrysler Town & Country, which was produced from 1989 to 2016 before giving way to the Chrysler Pacifica. So while the Chrysler minivan’s family tree isn’t as straightforward as you’d think, you can make a case that the Pacifica can trace its roots back to the Plymouth Voyager.

That’s why it’s fitting that Chrysler is rolling out 35th Anniversary Editions for the Dodge Grand Caravan and the Chrysler Pacifica.

Both SEs are tribute pieces to two of the first minivans to hit the streets of America in 1984.

It wasn’t just that both the Voyager and Caravan were huge sales successes for Chrysler in the ’80’s — they were huge hits — but both models also provided the template for all the minivans we see today, including the Toyota Sienna and the Honda Odyssey.

FCA Looking to "Wow" Chicago with A Pair of Special Edition Minivans
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Both 35th Anniversary Edition models are tribute pieces, but they’re also a showcase of Chrysler’s large and admittedly exhaustive list of options, add-ons, and packages. Take the exterior, for example. The special edition Pacifica features a liquid chrome badge with a gloss black insert. It’s a minor detail, sure, but special badges are “special” for a reason. You don’t see them in other models. The interior paints a nice special edition story, too. The seats and surface are wrapped in all-black with the seats dressed in perforated leather and Cranberry Wine accent stitching. The exclusive red shade can also be seen on the instrument panel bezels. Obviously, there are special floor mats, too, because why wouldn’t there be? These floor mats even include special 35th Anniversary text to signify that they’re, in fact, special edition floor mats. That’s largely the extent of the special edition add-ons on the Pacifica 35th Anniversary Edition. So what if it looks more like package than actual exclusive touches. What’s important is that they’re available across a number of Pacifica trim models.

You can buy the Pacifica Touring L, Touring L Plus, and Limited Trims, and you can avail of the 35th Anniversary treatment.

You can even buy the Pacifica Hybrid and get the same package, though if you really want your special edition minivan to stand out, you can choose to add the optional S package, which gives the minivan an extra layer of black trim. Extra sets of standard equipment are also included in the package, atlas depending on the trim level. The Pacifica Touring L, for example, comes with eight-passenger seating, a driver’s seat memory function, an overhead DVD player, and a new set of 18-inch alloy wheels. Meanwhile, the Touring L Plus trim boasts a dual-pane sunroof as standard equipment while the Grand Caravan Limited trim features a bigger set of 20-inch wheels.

FCA Looking to "Wow" Chicago with A Pair of Special Edition Minivans
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Then there’s the Dodge Grand Caravan 35th Anniversary Edition. Sure, the Grand Caravan is completely outdated — the current-generation has been around since 2008! — but just because it’s in dire need of a next-gen model, that doesn’t mean Dodge can’t infuse a bit more personality into it. Nods to history notwithstanding, I suppose that’s one of the reasons why FCA picked the Grand Caravan to raise the special edition flag at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show. If it’s not an all-new model, a special edition version could drive up interest in the aging model, right? We’ll find out soon enough. In the meantime, Dodge did about as good a job as it could in giving the Grand Caravan a shot of special edition goodness. The upgrades are pretty identical to the Pacifica 35th Anniversary, most notably the all-black interior and the Cranberry Wine accent stitching.

The Dodge minivan’s cabin also features Piano Black trim, and, how can I ever forget, special floor mats!

If for nothing else, special edition floor mats are the way to go. The Grand Caravan’s exterior also boasts its own set of 35th anniversary badging, tattooed on the grille and liftgate.

Equipment upgrades for the Grand Caravan 35th Anniversary Edition are also available, provided that those interest you. The minivan’s SE trim, for example, comes with a power driver’s seat and second-row Stow ’N Go seats. Opt for the higher-spec SXT trim, and you also receive GPS navigation and, more importantly, the Driver Convenience Package, which includes a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, and second-row sun shades.

FCA Looking to "Wow" Chicago with A Pair of Special Edition Minivans
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On the side of performance, neither the Chrysler Pacifica nor the Dodge Grand Caravan is on the hook for any engine upgrades.

That’s hardly a surprise considering these two minivans aren’t exactly known for being speed demons. Instead, the Pacifica 35th Anniversary Edition is powered by a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine that produces 282 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. That’s a decent amount of burn for a minivan. Those who have established themselves as hybrid truthers aren’t left in the cold, either, as the 35th Anniversary Edition is also available with the Pacifica Hybrid, which boasts the same 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine and combines it with a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery that’s located under the floor of the second row of seats. A total of 260 horsepower comes out of its setup. The Dodge Grand Caravan, on the other hand, comes with its own engine options, featuring the same 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 unit as the Pacifica. Power is rated the same — 282 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque — in this configuration.

FCA Looking to "Wow" Chicago with A Pair of Special Edition Minivans
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I’ll be the first to say that I’m happy that these special edition minivans are coming. That said, I’m not as thrilled at the finished products. I think FCA could’ve done more to make these two special edition minivans stand out. An exclusive paint scheme, perhaps? Maybe more exclusive touches in the cabin? I’m going to stop short in calling the Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Grand Caravan 35th Anniversary Editions as disappointments. They have some appeal to them, especially with the Pacifica. But it also feels like they didn’t reach their full potential.

Further reading

2017 Chrysler Pacifica
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Read our full review on the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica.

2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid - Driven Exterior
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Read our full driven review on the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

2011 Dodge Grand Caravan High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan.

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