It’s been 32 years since the Chrysler Minivan first showed its squared-up jaw and quad-headlamps to the world. What started out as a basic box on wheels with a tire shredding 96-horsepower has now morphed into one of the greatest family haulers the world has ever seen. It now packs almost 300 hp, is beautifully designed and thanks to some wonderful engineering, is one of the most versatile people movers we’ve ever encountered. Ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes on the new icon – the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica.
2017 Chrysler Pacifica Exterior:
It goes without saying that reinventing a vehicle that is already the best in its class is no easy task. However, by implementing smooth flowing lines with a presence that elevates minivan design, the 2017 Pacifica has taken the minivan shape to the next level. This is an organic looking vehicle free of sharp edges and rough surfaces. The body is smooth with cascading panels that give it a soft elegance never before seen in this segment. The sliding rear door track, for instance, is hidden from view. The 20-inch alloy wheels fit perfectly under the wheel arches and even the rear hatch seems to utilize the right amount of blacked out trim and tint to make the Pacifica appear smaller than its overall length of 203.6-inches would dictate.
Available in 9 colors and 5 different trim levels (LX, Touring, Touring L, Touring L Plus and Limited), the Pacifica has a model for everyone. A hybrid is also planned for later this year with a projected driving range of 566 miles. The Pacifica seeks to accommodate people from those who are just starting a family to those seeking to expand. It should be noted that base LX and Touring models lack items like roof rails, lower body trim moldings, projector beam headlamps, additional driving lights and the more aggressive front fascia that can be found on the L, L Plus and Limited models. With that being said, even the base LX is quite the looker.
2017 Chrysler Pacifica Interior:
Stow n’ Go – that’s just one of the features that help make the 2017 Pacifica stand out. Collapsing the rear seats (both rows) directly into the floor means you go from family hauler to full-size hauler in no time. Whether you’re dropping the kids off at school or hauling a 250cc dirt bike, the Pacifica can accommodate. The optional UConnect Theater and Sound group, for instance, equips the Pacifica with a standard 115v AC outlet, a larger 220-amp alternator, a Harman Kardon stereo with 20 speakers and 760-watt amp, Blu-ray/DVD player and seatback video screens. Seriously, this thing has a better system than my house. There’s also a standard backup camera, an integrated vacuum (amazing) and Chrysler’s new UConnect 8.4-inch Nav display which shows information about your music, entertainment options and vehicle settings.
The outside of the Pacifica says minivan, but the interior says anything but. This is a vehicle of convenience. It exists to make your life easier and more comfortable. From the tri-pane panoramic sunroof and 3-zone climate control system to the heated front seats and steering wheel, never once did I find myself wanting for an option that wasn’t there. Now, granted, our tester was a fully loaded Limited model with a price North of $47k, but even if one opts for a base LX (starts at $28,595**), you’ll be treated to a host of great standard features.
2017 Chrysler Pacifica Performance:
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. That’s the philosophy behind the decision to equip the 2017 Pacifica with the proven 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. With 287-hp and 262 lb.-ft. of torque on tap, both off the line and highway passing acceleration was brisk. Power delivery was linear and the Pacifica pulled hard all the way to redline. The Touring Suspension on our Limited Model (optional on LX, Touring and Touring L) offers a smoother ride with better dampening over rough surfaces and was a joy to drive. Handling manners were reassuring and the Pacifica didn’t exhibit abundant understeer like so many others in the segment. Body roll was also kept to a minimum. A slick 9-speed automatic transmission transfers power to the front wheels and helps the Pacifica gain an EPA rating of 28-mpg highway and 18-mpg during city driving.*
Outward visibility was great with blind spots being few and far between. Our tester was riding on the optional 20-inch rims with 235/65-series tires and very little road noise was heard inside the cabin. The 8-way power adjustable front seats offer all day comfort, which means piloting the Pacifica for hundreds of miles is a snap.
2017 Chrysler Pacifica Safety:
Chrysler was just as committed to safety as it was to producing what seems to be the nicest minivan currently on sale. Some of the safety features include: Electronic Stability Control, Anti-lock Brakes, Hill Start Assist, Daytime Running Lights, Advanced Multistage Front Airbags, Driver Knee Airbag, Passenger Inflatable Knee-Bolster Air Bag, Front Seat-Mounted Side Airbags and Side-Curtain Airbags in All Rows. An optional SafetyTec Group ($995 option) can be added to LX and Touring models and includes Blind Spot and Cross Path Detection and ParkSense Rear Park Assist with Stop.
2017 Chrysler Pacifica Overall:
It should come as no surprise that the company that created the original minivan pulled out all the stops when it came time to introduce the 6th Generation. The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is a breath of fresh air in a sea of breadbox transportation. It looks great and provides a level of user friendliness that makes it enjoyable to live with on a daily basis- and with the new Hybrid model soon to be available, it looks as though the King of the family haulers will have no trouble retaining his crown.
To learn more about the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica as well as other Chrysler vehicles, be sure to drop by your local AutoNation Chrysler dealer today to check one out!
*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Vehicle MSRP of $49,270.00, excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.