2017 Chrysler Pacifica – Test Drive, Review, Ratings, Specs

2017 Chrysler PacificaA Family Mini-Van with a New Vision

Chrysler is best known for being the key innovator of the mini-van concept dating as far back as 30 years ago. The box-like Chrysler Town and Country offered confident handling, sharp acceleration while preserving practical cargo space and even an ability to carry 7 passengers. Despite the popular trend of cross-over SUV’s in today’s market, Chrysler rather continues its positive vibes by completely modernizing the mini-van into what is known today as the Chrysler Pacifica.

And it’s pretty awesome as well – even in the perspective of someone who’s got no kids. The sharp angles and trapezoidal tail with its flat overhang gives off an athletic and futuristic look. Its fluid exterior design shows no compromise on the inside either. You still get all the space and amenities expected from a minivan and lots more. The sunroof panels are triple layered to better shield the cabin space from unwanted road noise, and there’s not one, but two sunroofs covering the first and second row seats.

What We Liked

The Chrysler Pacifica carries over all the best parts of a minivan into a modernized package. The short front over hang along with its front wheel drive configuration gives the Pacifica decent acceleration off the straight line. This is thanked by its renowned 3.6L Pentastar engine capable of producing 287 horsepower, and 262 lb-ft of torque. New to the Chrysler Pacifica is also a plug-in hybrid powertrain option with the ability to travel up to 33 miles on zero vehicle emissions and continue to run in hybrid gas-electric mode. The dual electric motor plug-in hybrid powertrain is coupled to Chrysler’s first CVT transmission with its electric energy stored in a 16kWh battery pack.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

The interior is a well balance of form and functionality. There’s much to like about especially the soft-touch leather material, rotary shifter and a large 8.4″ infotainment touchscreen that actually works well. Visibility is plentiful and the second and third row seats even get their own sunroof for brightening up the interior. A convenient feature offered by the Pacifica is the Stow’n Go second row seats that automatically recline and and stowed into the floor tub automatically with the push of a button. There’s even a Stow’n Vac purchase option that comes with a Rigid vacuum cleaner. However, that’s only available in the gasoline engine powertrain configuration as the hybrid model replaces the floor tub space with the lithium ion battery packs.

What We Didn’t Like

The Pacifica is a lot of car, and its long wheel base is quickly revealed when its front wheels start to bite hard on the road around corners. And while I enjoy the clean design of the rotary-type shift knob, its placement close to the volume and climate fan control knobs creates a bit of visual confusion.

Engine

Final Thoughts

The Pacifica continues its strong momentum and reputation in building mini-vans. Introducing the plug-in hybrid brings in a fresh perspective in what the minivan can achieve with significantly lower vehicle emissions and improved fuel efficiency. In terms of options, there’s plenty out there, especially if you were to opt for a more tighter and refined cross-over SUV that can seat 7. The Mazda CX7 comes in mind, and is even similarly priced. Speaking of price, the standard Pacifica will set you back $43,090 and comes equipped with plenty of amenities including heated front seats, remote start, triple zone climate control, and power lift gate. The plug-in hybrid powertrain makes sense on an economic standpoint, and given the current issues we face with climate issues. A cleaner approach will unfortunately set you back at $51,495.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

Specifications

  • Vehicle : 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
  • Model : Pacifica Platinum
  • Vehicle Type : Mini-van
  • Seating Capacity : 2+2+3
  • Engine : 3.6L Pentastar
  • Horsepower: 287 hp, 262 lb.ft
  • Transmission :  9-Speed Automatic Transmission
  • Price as tested: $43,090

Pros

  • Sharp and modern styling
  • Smooth and powerful acceleration
  • Practical with excellent cargo space
  • Exceptional interior cabin quality construction

Cons

  • Dated mini-van platform
  • Large size of a mini-van may be too much for most people