What Did We Buy?
When Chrysler introduced the minivan in 1984 with its original Dodge Caravan, it was the ultimate family vehicle. It made the station wagons of the time look archaic in comparison, and the vehicles we now know as modern SUVs didn't even exist yet.
Now 30 years on, SUVs have taken over as the vehicle of choice for many families, but the minivan isn't dead just yet. The latest models have features that no SUV can match, and the new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is the latest example. It has seats that disappear when they're not needed, an on-board vacuum for cleaning up after the kids and even a Wi-Fi hot spot for keeping everyone connected.
This new minivan has more than just a long list of available features. It also has a completely new design inside and out, a more powerful engine under the hood and even a hybrid option. Every element of the Pacifica has been redesigned to make it perfect for families who need a little bit of everything. We intend to see how close Chrysler got to its goal over the next 12 months as we put the Pacifica to the test in our long-term fleet.
What Options Does It Have?
Every Chrysler Pacifica comes standard with a 287-horsepower 3.6-liter V6, a nine-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. The decision comes when it's time to pick a trim level as there are five to choose from: LX, Touring, Touring-L, Touring-L Plus and Limited. In order to experience everything the new Pacifica offers, we chose the top-of-the-line Limited model.
So what do you get with the Pacifica Limited? The features list is long, but here are some of the highlights: an 8.4-inch touchscreen interface with navigation, power sliding rear doors, dual sunroofs, a power liftgate, keyless ignition with remote start, a 13-speaker sound system with satellite radio, an on-board vacuum cleaner, rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross-traffic alert, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel.
When it came to options, we added two packages. The Tire and Wheel package adds larger 20-inch aluminum wheels and tires that look considerably better than the standard wheels and tires. We also specified the Advanced SafetyTec package so we could sample the Pacifica's most cutting-edge safety features. It added forward collision warning, forward collision mitigation with automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic wipers, automatic high-beam headlight control, lane departure warning, lane departure intervention, a 360-degree top-down camera system and an automated parking system (parallel and perpendicular).
The KeySense programmable valet key was also on the options list for $175.
Pricing for the Pacifica begins at $29,590 for the base LX. Once you step all the way up to the Pacifica Limited, the base price starts at $43,490. After we added our options our Pacifica listed at $46,460. After discounts and rebates, we ended up paying $43,289 at Russell Westbrook Chrysler in Van Nuys, California.
Why We Bought It
This is Chrysler's bread and butter. If it can't make a good minivan anymore, then it should just pack up and go home.
Our initial test drives suggest that the Pacifica is in fact a top-notch minivan. It feels good from behind the wheel, offers all the latest features and incorporates design elements that separate it from the competition.
Now we're going to find out if all those things add up to a segment-leading vehicle over the long haul. Over the next 12 months we'll subject it to road trips, carpooling, traffic-clogged commutes, and a few things we haven't even thought of yet. And like any other family member, we'll figure out its strengths and weaknesses pretty quickly.
Follow along on our long-term road test blog to get the latest updates and impressions of this all-new minivan.
Edmunds purchased this vehicle for the purpose of evaluation.
Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor @ 932 miles