2017 Chrysler Pacifica review with video

 

2017 Chrysler PacificaThe basics:

Base price: $43,995 + taxes
As tested: $60,445 + taxes
Average fuel economy over our week of testing: 10.9 L/100 kms (22 MPG)
Competition: Dodge Grand Caravan, Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona, Toyota Sienna, etc.

Pricing addendum: LX and Touring models have also been added at $37,995 and $39,995 but at the time of publication, these prices aren’t reflected on the Chrysler website

Don’t let the badge fool you, the 2017 Pacifica isn’t like anything that Chrysler has made before – despite the fact that it shares its name with the ill-fated seven passenger SUV that quietly faded to black in 2008. Chrysler has resurrected the Pacifica nameplate for 2017 with a minivan that replaces the long-standing Town and Country. And quite honestly, this van has won our family over. And let me be clear, that’s a big deal. We’re like millions of North American families that would much rather have an SUV or a wagon than a dreaded minivan. They’re thirsty, ugly, slugglish beasts that scream “hockey parent”. But they’re practical and roomy and gobble up gear nearly as well as a U-Haul cube van. Now, it seems, you don’t have to sacrifice your dignity for that undeniable practicality. The Pacifica looks great, has some excellent fit and finish in the interior and is, dare I say, a little bit sporty! For our full review, watch the video above and then scroll through our rapid fire list of pros and cons below.

2017 Chrysler PacificaPros:

– The interior in our Limited trim tester was the finest in any minivan we’ve ever tested. Soft touch surfaces, firm and supportive seats and a sporty instrument cluster in front of the driver could trick you into thinking you’re in a mid-range sedan
– Its 3.6-litre V6 engine coupled with a nine speed automatic transmission also offered a pretty zippy driving experience. The Pacifica has cracked three – often opposing – performance figures in its class: power, fuel economy and towing capacity
– While Stow and Go second and third row seating is nothing new, it certainly sets the gold standard for cargo and passenger flexibility. According to Chrysler, there are 243 different interior configurations you can make with this van
ch017_062pfhuhgm7fumnco21ct590qhhr757– Second row comfort is good but it’s the third row that really impressed us – offering the most leg and headroom of any third row we’ve ever tested
– For a minivan, it has a remarkably quiet ride. This is achieved with six interior microphones that monitor the road and engine noise. Opposing sound waves are then played through the van’s entertainment system to cancel out any unwanted sound. Pretty slick equipment that comes standard on all trims of the Pacifica
– And the standard kit is pretty impressive on this van: a back-up camera, three zone climate control, leather seats, Stow and Go seating, built-in second and third row sun shades, keyless entry and push button start
– It has also been awarded a Top Safety Pick + rating by the IIHS

 

2017 Chrysler PacificaCons:

– While Chrysler has made the Pacifica all wheel drive ready if it turns out there’s a demand for it down the road, it is not an option at this time. Leaving the Toyota Sienna as the only minivan with all wheel drive available in Canada
– While our mixed fuel economy over a week averaged out to 10.9 L/100 kms, the Pacifica really guzzles fuel in real stop and go traffic. Chrysler’s official figures suggest we should see around 12.9 L/100 kms in the city but we saw numbers climb over 14 L/100 kms when things got heavy. A plug-in hybrid version of the Pacifica is hitting the market by the end of 2016 that can get city fuel economy as low as 2.9 L/100 kms. If fuel efficiency for you is a must, this could be worth waiting for
– While Chrysler’s U-Connect infotainment system is fairly intuitive with some excellent voice recognition software on board, there are certain features that are annoying buried in touch screen menus – turning on the heated seats or activating the optional 360 degree parking camera, for example
2017 Chrysler Pacifica– There are some challenging blind spots in the Pacifica at the pillar just behind the second row. Blind spot monitoring does help with this but it’s not a standard feature
– When the third row is down, the load floor is not completely flat
– Last but not least, the price climbs quickly when you start to add all the bells and whistles to the Pacifica. Our Limited trim tester with the U-Connect Theatre System, a towing package and Advanced Safety System package comes in just north of $60,000. That’s a tough price to swallow considering that the much-lauded, well-equipped seven passenger Volvo XC90 starts at $55,000. If you are looking for a more value-conscious minivan in the Chrysler family, the Dodge Grand Caravan will continue to be made as well

Family Wheels report card:

Family Wheels driver comfort score: 4.5/5
Family Wheels interior layout score: 4/5
Family Wheels infotainment system score: 3/5
Family Wheels interior noise score: 4/5 (63 dB)
Family Wheels performance score: 4/5
Family Wheels rear passenger score: 4.5/5
Family Wheels trunk test score: 4.5/5
Family Wheels fuel economy score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels build quality score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels value score: 3.5/5

Family Wheels overall score: 39/50= 78%

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