What’s That?: The All-New Chrysler Pacifica

“What’s that?” is my go-to question when test driving any new press vehicle. But I must admit I sounded like a broken record with that question when learning about the 2017 all-new Chrysler Pacifica earlier this year when pre-production models were debuted in Colorado.

It’s all-new from the ground up! I couldn’t help it.

The Pacifica is making a huge impact for Chrysler in the minivan segment it created more than 30 years ago with the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager. According to the most recent U.S. News & World Report “Best Minivans” rankings, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica leads the segment, followed closely by the 2016 Honda Odyssey and 2017 Toyota Sienna. It’s definitely not a segment of the market to be ignored. Since 1983 more than 14 million minivans have been sold and more than six million are on the road today.

The all-new Pacifica, a sleek, lighter and more aerodynamic replacement of the Town & Country, certainly has a lot going on. It’s more than the visible LED lighting, available chrome accents and 20-inch wheels. The all-new Pacifica, featuring power, fuel economy and an overall smooth ride, has a 3.6L V6 engine with 9-speed automatic transmission that delivers a best-in-class 287 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque and best-in-class 28 highway miles per gallon. The spacious interior of this eight-seater is magnified by tri-pane panoramic sunroof with power dual-pane, first- and second-row sunroof and third-row fixed overhead glass.

My Top Six Notable Features
1. Stow n’ Go: The latest Stow n’ Go seating, storage and cargo space, originally created by Chrysler, allows you to fold the second- and third-row seats neatly into bins in the floor, leaving a flat carpeted surface. When seats are in the upright position, the bins can be used to store items out of sight. In short, at the push of a button, this family room on wheels can be turned into a convenient cargo space.

2. From the Second to the Third Row, and Around Again: The heated second row includes an easily removable center seat, adding an armrest, cup holder and bin when the seat’s back is folded down. This eighth seat also increases the capacity of LATCH-installed child seats to five. The second row’s Easy Tilt lever comes to the rescue when you realize you can’t squeeze into the third row like you did 10 years ago. Simply pull the lever and the second-row seat shifts forward even with an unoccupied installed child seat in place.
The third row of any SUV or minivan can be challenging due to space. It can cramp your style when the edge of the seat is cutting off your circulation mid-thigh and leg room is lacking. The Pacifica’s third row offers a deep seat cushion, and you can stretch your feet under the second-row seats in front of you. First class leg room on an airplane comes to mind. But, to be realistic, really tall passengers will want to call shotgun for first or second row

3. Hands Free Everything – Almost: Hands free cell phone use while driving is almost the norm these days, but the Pacifica features even more hands free features. The liftgate and side sliding doors will open with the motion of your leg near the door. The Pacifica’s technology offers an autonomous parking system that will move the vehicle from a traffic lane into a parking spot to perform parallel or perpendicular parking. Your hands are not on the steering wheel. This is no longer years away. It’s happening now. 

4. Stow ‘n Vac: Stored and contained near the second row of the driver’s side, the most powerful integrated vacuum in its class offers easy access to all corners of the Pacifica. The easy-to-use Stow ’n Vac includes debris-drawer removal, for simple disposal, as well as extended reach with a longer accessory hose.

5. UConnect to Keep Them Busy: The Pacifica also offers its UConnect theater rear seat entertainment system that facilitates access to all kinds of entertainment options including DVDs, memory sticks, and streaming from your phone. Available touchscreens can be wirelessly paired with mobile phones, tablets and headphones, or used to interact with built-in travel apps.

6. Noise Control: While testing the minivan as a passenger and as a driver, I could hear the engine revving, but outside of that I couldn’t hear too much external noise. This fairly quiet ride is thanks in part to the enhanced low-sound exhaust and motor volumes, laminated glass, active noise cancellation and triple-seal doors.

This list is only a sampling of what the all-new Pacifica has to offer. With its introduction, FCA US adds 37 minivan firsts to its portfolio for an unprecedented total of 115 innovations in the segment through more than five minivan generations. Impressive. Another number that intrigues me is the 243 different seating configurations that Chrysler Pacifica is currently promoting.

I tried doing the math…Way too many questions. Your turn. Check out this short Chrysler Pacifica video .

The MRSP for the five models of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica range from $28,595 to $42,495.