That whole "ugh, minivans" thing is one of the reasons why Chrysler decided to axe the Town & Country name for 2017. Simply put, the target customers for the new minivan (young parents) would have grown up in their parents' Town & Country vans (or Caravans, or Voyagers...) in the 1980s. Three decades later, FCA wants to make it absolutely clear that this isn't just your parents' minivan. Why it chose to bring back the name of a lackluster part of its mid-2000s history, though, is anyone's guess.
The 2017 Pacifica rides on an all-new platform, but dimensionally, it's similar to the outgoing Town & Country.
The 2017 Pacifica rides on an all-new platform, but dimensionally, it's similar to the outgoing Town & Country. It's a tenth of an inch shorter in length, about an inch wider, and roughly half an inch taller. The body itself looks great – influence from the 200 sedan is obvious up front, and around back in the taillights, and top-trim models can be had with 20-inch wheels – a big change from the old van, which topped out with 17-inch rolling stock. There's big weight-savings here, too – the Pacifica tips the scales at 4,330 pounds in base spec, which is over 300 pounds less than the Town & Country.
Inside, it's more of the same from Chrysler. The interior design uses language brought up from the 200, and the different color and material choices look really rich, especially in Limited Premium trim. Of course, I'll wait to make final judgments on the cabin until I see it in base cloth spec, rife with kid fingerprints and french fries ground into the carpets. Up front, the Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen houses familiar infotainment functionality, and for backseat passengers, there's a new Uconnect Theater system, with a pair of 10-inch touchscreen displays. All in, the Pacifica is much larger inside than the old Town & Country, with some 200 cubic feet of total interior volume, and a capacious 140.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the first row. Chrysler's infamous Stow 'N Go seating is still here, with seats that fold into the floor.
As for powertrains, two are available. Both use FCA's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, but in the Pacifica Hybrid, there's a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery that delivers up to 30 miles of electric driving range, for an 80-miles-per-gallon-equivalent rating. Read more about the Hybrid here. Standard Pacificas just use that naturally aspirated V6 with 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission (with a dial shifter on the center console). Stop-start will be added to the Pacifica range after its introduction, and all models come with front-wheel drive.
In the Pacifica Hybrid, there's a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery that delivers up to 30 miles of electric driving range, for an 80-mpge rating.
Six trim levels will be available – LX, Touring, Touring-L, Touring-L Plus, Limited, and Platinum. Pricing isn't available as of this writing, but given how lush and well-equipped the Pacifica can be in top-level spec, we imagine this van can get pretty expensive.
Overall, there's a lot to like here, and regardless of its name, the Pacifica continues the tradition of being an incredibly well-rounded, nicely executed minivan. Chrysler invented the segment back in the '80s, and it continues to innovate today. The Pacifica launches in the spring, with the plug-in version to follow later this year.
- 2017 Chrysler Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid revolutionize the minivan segment with nearly 40 new minivan firsts
- After creating the minivan segment more than 30 years ago, FCA US now boasts an unmatched 115 minivan innovations
- Re-engineered from the ground up on an all-new platform for class-leading ride, handling, and noise, vibration and harshness (NVH)
- Delivers class-leading gasoline and hybrid powertrains to the minivan segment, with the Pacifica Hybrid offering up to 80 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) in city driving
- 2017 Chrysler Pacifica brings sculptural styling, beautiful surfacing and highly crafted execution to the minivan segment
- Offers more than 100 standard and available safety and security features, including 360-degree Surround View camera, ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Hold and Forward Collision Warning-Plus
- The most technologically equipped of its kind with available all-new Uconnect Theater rear seat entertainment, 8.4-inch touchscreen display and premium audio systems
- Full array of comfort and convenience technologies available, including Stow 'n Vac integrated vacuum, tri-pane panoramic sunroof, handsfree sliding doors and liftgate and redesigned Stow 'n Go seating with Stow 'n Go Assist and Easy Tilt access to the third row
Auburn Hills, Mich., Jan 11, 2016 - Delivering unparalleled levels of functionality, versatility, technology and bold styling, the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica redefines the minivan segment.
As the original creator of the minivan more than 30 years ago, FCA US LLC has transformed the segment with firsts – notching 78 innovations through the first five minivan generations. With the introduction of the all-new Chrysler Pacifica, FCA US adds 37 minivan firsts to its portfolio for an unprecedented total of 115 innovations in the segment.
"The all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is truly a no-compromises minivan, giving customers everything they need or want," said Timothy Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands, FCA - North America. "We started from the ground up to design the most technologically advanced minivan, which offers bold styling, class-leading ride and handling, and unmatched fuel economy, with the Pacifica Hybrid delivering up to 80 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) in city driving. The all-new Chrysler Pacifica was thoughtfully designed and engineered to provide unsurpassed levels of comfort, convenience, technology and functionality, making it the perfect combination for modern families."
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica was re-engineered from the ground up on an all-new platform, delivering class-leading ride and handling and reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). Its body structure is the lightest and stiffest in its class, making it more responsive with lower levels of body roll and enhanced agility to absorb and distribute road inputs. Class-leading aerodynamics contribute to the Pacifica's unsurpassed fuel efficiency.
The all-new Pacifica is engineered and executed to deliver a "vault-like" interior environment with low levels of wind noise, road noise and related vibration/harshness characteristics. Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) is standard on all models to further heighten the Chrysler Pacifica's refinement factor during a comfortable daily commute or an extended road trip with family and friends.
The Chrysler Pacifica boasts the largest interior volume in the segment, with clever storage, available eight-passenger seating, and – a requirement with all generations of FCA US minivans – the ability to fit an 8 x 4-foot sheet of plywood.
The all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan features a choice of two powerful, efficient and advanced powertrains – the segment's first hybrid vehicle, and the next generation of the award-winning Pentastar V-6 gasoline engine, which is mated to a segment-exclusive TorqueFlite nine-speed automatic transmission.
The Pacifica Hybrid, the industry's first electrified minivan, will deliver an estimated range of 30 miles solely on zero-emissions electric power from a 16-kWh lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery. In city driving, it is expected to achieve an efficiency rating of 80 MPGe based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards.
The pivotal technology behind the all-new Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is its innovative electrically variable transmission (EVT). Patented by FCA US, the device features two electric motors, which are both capable of driving the vehicle's wheels.
On the Chrysler Pacifica gasoline models, the latest iteration of the award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine produces best-in-class horsepower (287) and torque (262 lb.-ft.), along with unsurpassed fuel economy. Enhancements such as two-step variable-valve lift (VVL), cooled exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) and innovative weight-reduction strategies boost the engine's efficiency and performance, all while preserving the smoothness that remains a hallmark of the Pentastar brand. For added fuel efficiency, engine stop-start (ESS) technology is a standard feature on the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica (late availability).
Featuring the face of the Chrysler brand, the all-new Chrysler Pacifica has a sculpted exterior with athletic proportions. A fast silhouette and sophisticated, fluid-like surfacing deliver a level of style not found in the minivan segment. The Pacifica's sliding door track lines are hidden under the rear-quarter side glass, making them virtually indistinguishable. With its long wheelbase, wide track, low ground clearance and available 20-inch wheels, the Chrysler Pacifica appears planted, with a capable stance.
The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid features a unique front grille pattern and wheel design, as well as distinctive badging, differentiating it from the rest of the Pacifica lineup.
The thoughtfully designed and beautifully crafted interior mixes high-tech elements with a sculpted, muscular feel. With horizontally drawn features, the interior's spaciousness is amplified, and the linear elements keep the eye moving throughout the cabin. The available tri-pane panoramic sunroof, with a dual-pane panoramic sunroof and a fixed glass pane over the third row, adds to the feeling of spaciousness.
The Chrysler Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid are available in 10 exterior paint colors that accentuate the vehicle's surfacing: Billet Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl Coat, Bright White Clear Coat, Molten Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Velvet Red Pearl Coat, Jazz Blue Pearl Coat, Dark Cordovan Pearl Coat, Tusk White Pearl Coat, Granite Crystal Metallic Clear Coat and Silver Teal Pearl Coat (available only on the Pacifica Hybrid and paired with an exclusive interior environment).
Safety and Security
The all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica showcases the latest in advanced safety and security technology, offering more than 100 standard and available features. Available for the first time on the all-new Pacifica is the Surround View camera, which uses four cameras positioned around the vehicle to provide 360-degree views, including a bird's eye perspective of the vehicle and its surroundings. Other advanced features include:
- ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist, which uses ultrasonic sensors to guide the driver into parking spaces
- Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Hold, which maintains the distance between the vehicle and the one in front of it, and can bring the vehicle to a controlled stop under certain circumstances
- Forward Collision Warning-Plus deploys the brakes to alert the driver if an impact appears imminent, and assists with driver response
- LaneSense Lane Departure Warning-Plus leverages electronic power steering (EPS) by delivering a torque input to alert and assist the driver with corrective action
Other standard and available features include Blind-spot Monitoring, ParkSense rear park assist with stop, ParkView rear backup camera, electronic stability control and electric park brake. As part of FCA US's ongoing efforts to proliferate advanced safety and technology, the Pacifica's all-new body structure features the use of additional high-strength steel.
The Chrysler Pacifica also boasts up to five seating positions that will accommodate LATCH child safety-seat installation – a capacity unsurpassed in the segment.
Technology and Convenience
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is the most technologically equipped vehicle of its kind, offering an all-new Uconnect Theater entertainment system, 7-inch full-color driver information display, 8.4-inch touchscreen, acclaimed Uconnect Access and an array of other features.
With the all-new, class-exclusive Uconnect Theater rear seat entertainment system, passengers can watch movies, play built-in games, connect personal devices to surf the Internet and stream content throughout the vehicle via two high-definition 10-inch touchscreens.
The available KeySense programmable key fob places limits on speed and audio volume, mutes the audio when front seatbelts are not buckled, prevents the disabling of certain features like Forward Collision Warning-Plus and ParkSense rear park assist, and allows blocking of SiriusXM Radio channels.
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica features the available easy-to-use Uconnect 8.4 system with an 8.4-inch touchscreen, navigation, integrated voice command, and Uconnect Access, which keeps drivers and passengers connected with helpful information, such as fuel prices and movie listings
For audiophile-quality sound, the Chrysler Pacifica comes standard with six speakers and Active Noise Cancellation. Premium audio systems, either a 13-speaker Alpine system or a 20-speaker Harman Kardon system, are also available.
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is loaded with comfort and convenience features, including Keyless Enter 'n Go, remote start, and heated and ventilated seats. Other notable features include segment-first handsfree sliding doors and liftgate, which are operated by making a kicking motion under the sliding door or bumper to open or close the sliding doors or liftgate.
For added convenience, the available Stow 'n Vac integrated vacuum powered by RIDGID provides easy access to all corners of the vehicle. The Stow 'n Go seating and storage system, a hallmark of FCA US minivans for more than 10 years, has been redesigned for added ease of use, and the addition of the all-new Stow 'n Go Assist feature helps to further simplify the process. With the press of a button on the B-pillar, the front seat moves forward to allow the second-row seat to be stowed into the floor tub. Once the seat is stowed, pressing the button again moves the front seat back to its starting position. In addition, the Easy Tilt second-row seats allow for easy access to the third row, even with an empty child seat installed in the second row.
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is available in six models and the Pacifica Hybrid in two models. The Chrysler Pacifica will be available in dealer showrooms in spring 2016, with the Pacifica Hybrid arriving in the second half of 2016.
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is built at the Windsor Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.