The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is the best minivan you can buy, with super convenient Stow ‘n Go seats, excellent handling and acceleration and a well-appointed interior. If you are buying a 2017 minivan, you need to test drive the Pacifica.
All new for 2017, the Chrysler Pacifica replaces the Town & Country, but it’s more than just a new name. Chrysler delivers all the features that we want to see in a minivan and even offers the only hybrid minivan with a 30 mile electric range.
We spent the week in the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Touring, which starts at $30,495 with seating for up to eight and plenty of room to haul cargo.
2017 Chrysler Pacifica Review Summary
Forget the minivan you grew up riding to soccer practice in. This is not just a new name for a Town & Country — it’s a new experience for minivan drivers and passengers.
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica starts at $28,595 and is available in five trim levels. The 2017 Pacifica Hybrid starts at $41,995.
2017 Chrysler Pacifica Driving & Performance
As soon as people found out I was driving a minivan for the week, jokes about slowly merging onto the highway came my way. That’s not at all what you experience while in the driver’s seat of the 2017 Pacifica.
The Chrysler Pacifica accelerates swiftly and handles great when entering on ramps and merging with traffic. We took the Pacifica north to Ikea and then further to Frankenmuth to visit Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland. Even when loaded down with Ikea furniture the Pacifica delivered the power to merge at speed on short on ramps in Michigan. At speed you still have power when you need to pass or if you need to increase your speed.
With the responsive acceleration and power at speed the Pacifica allows users to drive confidently in a variety of situations. In addition to delivering the power you need, the Pacifica also handles very well. Even while driving on icy and snowy roads I never felt out of touch with the minivan.
On straight aways it is easy to keep the van in the right lane. Thanks to the responsive handling, the Pacifica allows you to safely control the minivan on curvy roads as well. All around this is a very pleasing van to drive.
From a fuel economy standpoint the 2017 Pacifica delivers 18 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. During our road trip we achieved 26.5 mpg in a range of city and highway driving that included a mix of slow driving on a snow-covered highway and 70+ mile driving on pristine interstate roads.
2017 Chrysler Pacifica Design & Interior
This is unmistakably a minivan, but it is sleek and modern looking. It doesn’t share a style with the Pacifica name that was the crossover that was on sale in the early 2000’s. The exterior offers a look that is decidedly new. The sleek look fits the handling well and carries over to the interior.
You can fit eight people in the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, or you can haul a lot of cargo. Chrysler includes Stow ‘n Go seating that offers storage space inside the floor when you have passengers. And when you need to get more cargo room, gives you the ability to fold the seats down and away into the bottom of the minivan. It is easy to switch from the stowed position to the upright position. The only seat that you actually need to remove is the middle seat on the second row.
One drawback to this feature is that the padding on the second row of seats is less than on the others, which means they are less comfortable than the 2017 Toyota Sienna second row. The second row seats don’t slide backward or forward like on some other vans, but there is plenty of room for passengers.
There is a separate rear heating zone with controls for a passenger in the second row and access from the front touch screen as well. Cupholders are tucked into the sides throughout the vehicle and there are even USB and 12 volt connections in the back of the van so everyone can stay charged and connected.
Up front the captain seats are comfortable and the dash puts all the controls you need within easy access. You will need to adjust to the dial system to choose drive and reverse, but thankfully you cannot accidentally throw it in reverse while driving at speed. There is an optional sweeper on the top model to quickly clean up messes when you are on the go.
With all the seats down you have a lot of storage available and, while the floor isn’t completely flat when everything is stowed, it is still easy to haul large items.
The rear seats don’t feel like you are forcing adults to sit in a space designed for kids, which makes road trips with friends or a night out a pleasure in the Pacifica.
2017 Chrysler Pacifica Technology & Safety
The Chrysler Pacifica includes a large touch screen display with UConnect and a 3G hotspot built in to the car. The UConnect system is easy to use and offers access to apps for music and information at your fingertips.
One small feature that drivers will love is the option to turn the screen completely off while driving at night. This reduces any distraction from light. When you need the screen a single touch on the display turns it back on.
The included hotspot would be more useful if it came with a 4G LTE connection, but it is a nice touch.
Optional dual screen entertainment centers are available that mount on the back of the front seats, to keep passengers busy.
Thanks to blind spot monitors it is easy to switch lanes confidently on the highway without relying on a passenger to check all the surrounding traffic. Chrysler offers an array of additional safety features like a 360 degree surround camera view that shows you a bird’s-eye view of the car when backing into a location.
Forward collision warning with active braking, parking assistance, and adaptive cruise control round out safety and convenience features that are available to users.