12 Best Family Cars: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
If there’s one vehicle that can do it all, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica can make a case for being it. While the Pacifica’s forebear, the Town & Country, can be credited with creating the minivan genre, Chrysler’s mainstay had been both a leader and a follower in the category -- sliding more recently into follower status with its dated styling and lack of innovation. The all-new Pacifica changes all that.
And that’s part of the reason the Town & Country name is being retired. FCA is looking to signify a break with the past by resurrecting a nameplate that first appeared on what was arguably the prototypical crossover SUV, a model that was later overwhelmed in the marketplace and faded away. But with a new lease on life thanks to great styling, good packaging and drivetrains that the competition lacks, a case can be made that the reconstituted Pacifica will have a long life as a minivan.
The look of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is fresh, with a distinctive grille treatment that incorporates the brand’s signature grille and winged logo. The surfaces are smooth and flowing, and a wrap-around window at the rear gives the Pacifica a futuristic feel. With its sliding doors there’s no mistaking the minivan mission, but the Pacifica looks a generation ahead when compared to others in the category. And it’s certainly light years ahead of the Town & Country it replaces, which had a heavy, blocky look to the sheetmetal.
That air of modernity carries over to the interior. Even in the lower trim levels, the Pacifica has the feel of an upscale vehicle thanks to the abundant use of soft-touch materials and attention to fit and finish. The dash has a highly integrated look -- the central infotainment screen is discreetly tucked beneath a binnacle and goes against the industry’s trend of drawing attention to the screen by making it look like someone had plopped an iPad on its side at the top of the center console.
The Pacifica is equipped with comfortable front bucket seats, a choice of either removable captain’s chairs or the innovative Stow ‘n Go rear seating, and a third row that also folds into the floor for a quick conversion from troop transport to cargo hauler. In our assessment of the ability to accommodate child safety seats and boosters, the Pacific rates good to excellent in both the second and third rows, with easily accessed anchors.
Two powertrain choices
The standard Pacifica models are equipped with a 287-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission, which can deliver up to 28 mpg highway and tow 3,700 pounds. The Pacifica Hybrid, which is also equipped with the 3.6-liter V6, adds an electric motor powered by a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The combined output of this duo is slightly less than the standard vehicle's 260 horsepower, but the plug-in hybrid is capable of 33 miles of pure electric operation. When that all-electric range is combined with a full-tank range of 530 miles, the Pacifica is capable of travelling 566 miles before its electricity and gas stores are exhausted. Because of its range, the Pacifica Hybrid is also eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit as well as a variety of local government incentives. The only disadvantage is that the battery pack eliminates the second-row Stow ‘n Go option in favor of captain’s chairs only.
Affordability is a plus for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica. Base prices start at $28,595 (not including $995 delivery) for the LX trim, while the top line Limited is priced at $42,495. Just a step below is the well-equipped Hybrid model at $41,995 (which is before the tax credit). With such a wide range of prices and equipment, the Pacifica’s broad appeal to families is a given.
More 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
To learn more about the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, you can read our full review. If you’re 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 see everything the segment has to offer, head over to our Minivan Buyer's Guide.