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2017 Chrysler Pacifica

Chrysler pulls out all the stops to build the best minivan on the market

Earlier this year we suggested the new Chrysler Pacifica was the best minivan in its class. With its win as our Minivan Best Buy for 2017, we can confirm it. The interior offers the kind of utility you expect from a minivan but with an unexpected dose of luxury, while the exterior is ready to go straight from the soccer game to the valet stand. Combine it with safety features and other family-friendly touches not available in any other minivan on the market, and the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica simply kills it.

Utility and Luxury, Without Compromise

A minivan's interior is a make-or-break proposition. It has to seat eight people comfortably, provide plenty of entertainment options for the kids, be flexible enough to offer a vast amount of flexible cargo space, and ideally it should be a pleasant environment as well.

The Pacifica shines in all these categories. Stow ‘n Go returns, but with a twist: Not only are they easier than ever to stow under the floor, they're actually comfortable to sit in. To ease third-row access, they cantilever forward, meaning you don't need to remove your kid's booster for easy third-row access. And finally, Chrysler has made its minivan an 8-passenger hauler, thanks to a small center seat that's both lightweight for easy removal, and comfortable to sit in as well. The third row bench is also comfortable, and folds neatly into the floor with the tug of a couple handles. When upright, there's no seat hardware cluttering up the cargo space to catch grocery bags or get crammed with Cheerios. If there is a spill, the Pacifica's available vacuum cleaner can make short work of it.

Yet despite the utility, there's no shortage of luxury, either. The elegantly styled dash would look at home in any number of high-end sedans you could mention, and the interior color palette offers enough choices to give each Pacifica a custom feel. In addition to soft-touch surfaces and soft leather on the seats, the switches and controls all feel top notch as well. There's a twin-screen rear-seat entertainment system available, and a panoramic sunroof for those times when the whole van wants a skyward view. Even the roomy third row has its own cupholders and USB ports.

High-Tech Fun and Safety

In addition to looking great inside and out, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is available with the widest variety of high-tech options you can get in any minivan, period. Of course there are things like three-zone automatic climate control, and powered sliding doors and rear hatch. But you might not expect a 20-speaker Harman Kardon sound system with 760 watts of power. Or a dual-screen rear seat entertainment system that features individual USB and HDMI ports, and allows you to stream content from smartphones or other devices. And those power doors and hatch? They can be opened by waving your foot under the door. Then there's Stow 'n Go Assist, which slides the driver and front passenger seat forward to make stowing the second-row seats easier, and then returns them to where they were.

The high tech extends to safety, too, most of which is bundled in the Advanced SafetyTec option package. It adds forward collision warning and braking, automatic high beams, lane departure warning and assist, parking assist, and adaptive cruise control that works even in stop-and-go traffic. It also adds an around-view camera to make parking this big van a snap, with switchable views on the big 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment screen. The 2017 Pacifica is the gadget freak's minivan.

The Drive and the Price

Perhaps the best news is that you get all these features in a vehicle that is genuinely pleasant to drive. The 3.6-liter V6 puts out 287 horsepower, routing it through a 9-speed automatic transmission that was exceptionally smooth in its operation. At speed the Pacifica is commendably quiet as well, with wind whispering around the mirrors and road noise very nicely controlled. The steering and suspension are both biased toward comfort, but the Pacifica leans very little in corners. While this doesn't make the Pacifica "fun" in the enthusiast's sense, it does keep body motions to a minimum, which will help passengers avoid carsickness. Even fuel economy remains good, with the Pacifica offering fuel efficiency as good as or better than its competitors.

And then there's price. While it'd be easy -- and understandable -- for Chrysler to ask for more money for the 2017 Pacifica, the price remains competitive. Even with the Advanced SafetyTec package, a Pacifica Touring L comes in at about $40,000, giving you more equipment than competitive top-level vans, but for notably less money. If that's not a bargain, we don't know what is.

More 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

If you want to soak up more of this year’s Minivan Best Buy, read our 2017 Chrysler Pacifica full review. Ready to take the next step? Build and price your own Pacifica to unlock its Fair Purchase Price, 5-Year Cost to Own and more. And if you want to cover all your bases, head straight to our Minivan Buyer's Guide.

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