2017 Chrysler Pacifica: Performance Tested
by Michael Massey, Vehicle Testing Assistant on November 10, 2016
Previously known as a wagon-like crossover from the Daimler-Chrysler era, the Chrysler Pacifica has been reinvented as a minivan, taking the place of the venerable Town & Country. It carries over popular features like Stow-and-Go seating while adding an in-car vacuum cleaner and a much more contemporary look and feel. Our long-term 2017 Chrysler Pacifica has made a favorable first impression, but now it's time to see how it performs at our test track.
Vehicle: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
Driver: Jonathan Elfalan
Drive Type: Front-Wheel Drive
Transmission Type: Nine-speed automatic
Engine Type: 3.6 liter V6 naturally-aspirated
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 3600/219
Redline (rpm): Not Indicated
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 287 hp @ 6400 rpm
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 262 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Brake Type (front): One-piece ventilated discs with two-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): One-piece solid discs with one-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent MacPherson strut, coil over gas-charged shock absorbers, stabilizer bar with hydroformed steel perimeter cradle.
Suspension Type (rear): Independent twist-blade with coil springs, twin-tube shock absorbers with integrated rebound springs.
Tire Size (front): 245/50R20 102V
Tire Size (rear): 245/50R20 102V
Tire Brand: Falken
Tire Model: Ziex CT50 A/S
Tire Type: Standard regular all-season
0-30 (sec): 3.0 (w/TC on: 3.2)
0-45 (sec): 5.2 (w/TC on: 5.4)
0-60 (sec): 7.8 (w/TC on: 8.0)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 7.4 (w/TC on: 7.5)
0-75 (sec): 11.6 (w/TC on: 11.9)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 15.8 @ 89.6 (w/TC on: 15.9 @ 89.1)
30-0 mph (ft): 29.9
60-0 mph (ft): 120.5
Skidpad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.82 (0.79 w/ESC on)
RPM @ 70 mph: 1,900
The Pacifica isn't in a hurry to leave the line, even with the accelerator floored. This could be due to transmission shift calibration or a lack of low-end torque, but below 3000 RPM there isn't much shove. Above 5500 rpm is where the engine feels strongest and the transmission shifts smoothly and acceptably quickly. Which is surprising considering this is the same ZF 9-speed automatic that has driveability issues in nearly every other application. The available drive modes are "drive" and "low" so there is no way to select gears or induce a downshift to test whether the engine matches revs. It will not hold gears because of this either. With traction control on or off, the Pacifica will not get wheelspin leaving the line or at any point during the run. Our quickest run was achieved with "low" mode selected and just a moment of power braking (overlapping the brake and throttle) letting the engine rpms rise to about 1250 RPM, versus going directly from brake to throttle like on the key up run.
Nosedive is mild, less than we'd expect from a minivan. Pedal effort is on the soft side, but not mushy, and remained consistent after several runs. ABS emits plenty of noise, but it's not startling or overly "crunchy".
A subtle wiggle from the tail was noticed on a couple of runs, but not to the point where steering input was required. Stops straight and is controllable. (MT)
Overall the Pacifica has a moderate to heavy amount of understeer, which means it wants to carve a wider line than you intend.The steering has good on-center feel but that's about it. There is a lack of feedback and precision at the front wheels. The assist level is consistently light throughout the steering range, but not feathery. It's an appropriate amount of assist. The body rolls softly and to a moderate degree, but it doesn't feel sloppy. It's a good balance between comfort and composure. Skidpad speed seems to be more controllable in low gear. Also, in low gear the Pacifica seems to have help turning in from the brakes.
Michael Massey, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 3,165 miles