2017 Chrysler Pacifica: Monthly Update for February 2017
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
Every now and then, we lend one of our long-term test vehicles to an Edmunds employee outside our department so we can take a look at it through a new set of eyes. Our 2017 Chrysler Pacifica has been in our fleet for a little while now, and we found the perfect person to take it for an extended test drive.
Our director of product management, Alison Anziska, loves her 2014 Honda Odyssey. It's always going to be tough to sway an owner of what many consider the king of the minivan hill. But we've been impressed with the Pacifica so far, and we thought she might be, too, so we handed her the reins for three weeks.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
The Pacifica's February was mostly spent driving around town with kids in tow. Overall fuel economy continued on its downward trend, falling from 18.8 mpg to 18.3 mpg. We're about halfway through our long-term test, and it's apparent we'll have to send the Pacifica on a few road trips if we want our overall average to get anywhere close to the EPA's combined rating. We have yet to approach the highway number on any tank.
Average lifetime mpg: 18.3
EPA mpg rating: 22 combined (18 city/28 highway)
Best fill mpg: 25 mpg
Best range: 426.6 miles
Current odometer: 11,806 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"Our Pacifica was due for its first scheduled service, which included an oil change, tire rotation and multipoint inspection. I called Santa Monica Chrysler on February 6 but was told the next appointment it had was after the 14th. Maybe there's an influx of people treating their vehicles like Valentines? I had better luck with the Van Nuys dealership we purchased the Pacifica from. I made an appointment for the next morning at 8:30.
"After I arrived and met with my service tech, he alerted me to a few technical updates. On the list were a sliding-door module reflash/enhancement, a couple Rapid Response Transmittals (Chrysler-speak for high-priority TSBs) for the air-conditioning, and an RRT for missing vacuum warning labels. These things required a specialized technician, which meant the dealership would need the Pacifica all day versus the previously agreed-upon two hours. 'All day' subsequently turned into 'First thing tomorrow morning.' I headed back to the office in a dealer-provided rental car and returned the next morning to retrieve our freshly serviced Pacifica. Total cost for the experience was $122.82." — Michael Massey, Vehicle Testing Assistant
"As an Odyssey driver, I did not expect to be particularly impressed with Chrysler's minivan offering. Years ago the Town & Country felt uninspired and basic compared to the luxurious Odyssey. Things are quite different today. The Pacifica has wowed me with its intelligent finish, useful rear and top-down cameras, easy-to-use dashboard control system, and sleek look and feel. I've come to expect the bulkier ride of the Odyssey and assumed that's minivan life, but the Pacifica manages to feel zippy and sporty, with great pickup, easy handling and a smaller, sleeker profile. It drives like a sedan." — Alison Anziska, Director of Product Management
"The round transmission selector dial is the one interior design element that wasn't immediately user-friendly. I often mistook it for the volume knob, and turning it to Park didn't feel like a natural behavior. I got used to it over time." — Alison Anziska
"The Pacifica feels narrower than it is and is easy to park, especially with the park-assist capability. The inside design is clean and comfortable, while backseat passengers have lots of nice features to make them feel like they're part of the action." — Alison Anziska
"Overall, I'd highly recommend the Pacifica to any friend considering a new minivan. It doesn't have the longstanding name recognition of the Odyssey, but its newer sheet metal helps it stand out in the school carpool line." — Alison Anziska