Roseville, Calif. – Once the rage and deemed the vehicle of choice for “soccer moms” everywhere, minivan sales peaked in the early 2000s and has slowly subsided ever since.
Realizing the peak years are in the rearview mirror, it’s a little perplexing that Chrysler didn’t waste any time in creating a new minivan. After a brief shutdown of its Windsor, Ontario plant where it built the Town & Country, the place was up and running again with a new minivan to produce.
Say hello to the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, a minivan that could put a little dent in the sales of the two industry leaders – Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey.
We find it a little odd that Chrysler chose the name Pacifica. It produced a midsize sport utility vehicle by the same name from 2004-08 that didn’t fare that well. So why name the new minivan Pacifica?
Chrysler did a nice job of creating its new minivan. It features a light, yet solid body structure with a sleek, stylish exterior, and engineered an appealing interior that is both comfortable and smartly designed.
2017 Chrysler Pacifica
* Performance: 3.6-liter, V6, 287 horsepower
* Mileage estimate: 18-28 mpg
* Price estimate: $29,590 to $35,000
* Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles; roadside assistance: 5 years/60,000; corrosion: 5 years/unlimited
This year Chrysler bid farewell to the Town & Country minivan, an automobile it had produced for more than two decades with some degree of success.
The Pacifica also provides good handling, solid performance and has the versatility that folks are looking for in a minivan that seats seven to eight people and can tow up to 3,600 pounds.
The Pacifica exterior has some resemblance to the Chrysler 200 sedan in terms of its curvy nature, classic grille and accented taillights.
The Chrysler Pacifica comes standard with a 3.6-liter, V6 that generates 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. We found the performance met our needs in all driving situations. That included a trip into mountainous Lake Tahoe, where it performed well in snow country.
Mileage estimates are between 18-28 mpg. If that’s not enough, perhaps the new Pacifica hybrid (coming out soon) will be more to your liking. It will hike up those mileage figures and will be capable of going 30 miles on electric power only.
The performance is ample and the Pacifica’s driving mannerisms can be applauded as well. It provides a quiet and smooth ride that will be a blessing on long trips. Wind and road noise are at a minimum and the Pacifica handles itself well enough that catching a nap as a passenger is easily accomplished.
What makes or breaks most minivans is the interior. A bad one can make any family trip – large or small – a miserable journey. No worries with the Pacifica; it delivers comfort in all three rows and will entertain the kids while doing it.
The recommendation here is upgrade the Pacifica to include the latest technology hardware. The 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen is a wonderful infotainment system that has terrific graphics and is easy to operate.
The Pacifica has versatility that’s appreciated when cargo space is needed in lieu of passenger room. There’s a folding, collapsible second row that can take the Pacifica from 32.3 cubic feet of space to 87.5 cubic feet. A push of the button lowers the seat in 17 seconds.
Priced at under $30,000, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica has a lot to offer for minivan shoppers who are looking for something a little different.