- Vast improvement over its predecessor.
- Seat-folding system allows for extensive versatility.
- Good driving dynamics for such a large vehicle.
- Good fuel economy, even better in hybrid models.
- Second-row seats are flat and uncomfortable.
- A few low-grade interior plastics.
- Lacks an all-wheel-drive option.
Would we buy one? Definitely.
Vehicle Type: A minivan with seven or eight seats.
Price Range: From $29,590 MSRP to $46,900 MSRP.
Powertrain: A 3.6-liter V6 with 287 horsepower, with a nine-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel-drive.
A 3.6-liter V6 with two electric motors and a 16-kWh battery pack, producing a total of 260 horsepower, with an electric continuously variable transmission and front-wheel-drive.
Competitors: Dodge Grand Caravan, Kia Sedona, Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Ford Transit Connect, and Nissan Quest.
Overall Score: 8/10
Safety Features: 8/10
Standard safety features are few, but include a full complement of airbags, stability control, and a backup camera. Though driver assistance tech is limited in standard configuration, there are plenty of available features depending on the model. These include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors, parking assistance, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and a surround-view camera system.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the Chrysler Pacifica a 2017 Top Safety Pick Plus designation when equipped with LED headlights and optional driver assistance equipment. The Pacifica also fared well in crash tests, with the NHTSA giving it an overall 5-star score.
The Chrysler Pacifica is quite a bit more expensive than the aged Dodge Grand Caravan but offers more substance at every trim level. Pricing is much more in line with modern competitors from Honda and Toyota, which became the class standard before the Pacifica arrived.
SUV shoppers looking for similar space but don't need all-wheel-drive or off-road abilities should also look at the Pacifica. They can find loads of functionality, tech, and luxury in the Chrysler, and it can sometimes cost less than a similar three-row SUV.
Tech Features: 8/10
In a segment where features matter more than any other, the Chrysler Pacifica has a long list of standard and available tech. Lower-tier models come equipped with a 5.0-inch touchscreen running Chrysler's intuitive Uconnect infotainment system. Uconnect is hands-free and Bluetooth capable. Base models also get three-zone automatic climate control and keyless entry.
Chrysler Pacifica Touring-L Plus and Limited trims offer an 8.4-inch touchscreen and Uconnect Theater and a rear-seat entertainment system that features dual 10-inch touchscreens. Also available are hands-free, kick-to-open sliding doors and a power liftgate, remote start, panoramic sunroof, and a built-in navigation system that puts turn by turn direction right in between the gauges. Notably absent for 2017 are Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The name to remember here is Stow N' Go. The seating and storage system found in the Chrysler Pacifica and Fiat Chrysler stablemate Dodge Grand Caravan is the most practical in its class. With a claimed 243 different configurations, the Pacifica can meet almost any hauling task. When folded away, the van has a genuinely flat floor, and when the seats are up, it opens a sizeable amount of covered underfloor storage in the second row.
The Pacifica has seating for 7 or 8 people, including up to 5 sets of LATCH points for child seats. New Easy Tilt second-row seats make getting to the third row rear seats more accessible, even when child seats are in place. The Chrysler Pacifica can accommodate all but the largest families.
One limiting factor is the front-wheel-drive only configuration. The Toyota Sienna is the only minivan to offer all-wheel drive, and every three-row SUV also offers it. That may be a turn-off to buyers in particularly snowy climates.
Styling & Design: 7/10
Chrysler succeeded in changing the design narrative from the old Town & Country minivan. The new Chrysler Pacifica has an admittedly handsome and exciting exterior styling, more than catching up to the best-looking competition.
Inside, materials at all trim levels are a vast improvement over the outgoing Town & Country. There are still some plasticky parts, and interior assembly may suffer from Chryslers' ghosts, and some panels even feel a little loose. Generally, there are plenty of storage spaces, controls are located well and simple to use, and seating is comfortable. The Stow N' Go middle row does suffer for its functionality, not delivering the comfort of most second-row seats in the competition.
Driving Experience: 8/10
Reviewers found the Chrysler Pacifica to deliver truly car-like driving dynamics. Chrysler integrated a lot of aluminum to strengthen and stiffen the chassis while still dropping weight compared to the outgoing model. Even the heavier Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid delivered a reasonably nimble driving experience, though the minivan doesn't have much steering feel.
The drivetrain delivers adequate power, and the 3.6-liter V6 is found in numerous Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram products. The nine-speed automatic transmission, however, sometimes hesitates when selecting a different gear. That isn't a problem in the hybrid variant.
Fuel Efficiency: 9/10
The Chrysler Pacifica receives EPA estimated fuel economy of 28 mpg highway, 18 mpg city, and 22 mpg combined. That is just short of the best in class conventionally powered minivan.
The Pacifica Hybrid gets an EPA estimated 84 MPGe, the equivalent of running on combined gasoline and total electric power. It achieves a combined 32 mpg rating and an estimated 30 miles of all-electric range.