2017 Chrysler Pacifica Long-Term Road Test - Audio & Technology

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Long-Term Road Test

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2017 Chrysler Pacifica: The Mindful Minivan

by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

With adaptive cruise control that can slow to a halt and lane keeping assist, our 2017 Chrysler Pacifica has the basic ingredients for semi-autonomous driving. Slap a few more cameras and LIDAR sensors on there and you can even have your own Waymo. But as is, the Pacifica doesn't quite feel ready for semi-auto primetime.

The lane keeping system is pretty aggressive, for example. Drift to the edge to make room for a passing motorcycle or a road crew and you'll receive a forceful pulse from the steering wheel bumping you back to the center of the lane. It'll do the same if you casually drift over the line without signaling a lane change. It's as if you've got a strong fish at the end of the steering system.

We also noticed that the lane keeping system can be inconsistent. Several times it allowed me to pass over the lines, then it intervened late or not at all. It's also prone to some uncertainty and a resulting ping-pong effect. I'm sure the system's exaggerated adjustments made me look like a drunken driver on the road.

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2017 Chrysler Pacifica: Monthly Update for March 2017

by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

Where Did We Drive It?
It was a light mileage month for our 2017 Chrysler Pacifica. We added 1,181 miles to the odometer, short of our usual average (we aim for 1,600-1,700 a month), mostly on longer commutes to and from the office. This gave us a heightened sense of the Pacifica's livability, and that feeling only improves the more we spend time in the van. Whether it's the second-row USB charging ports, reclining third-row seats or rear headrests that the driver can fold down at the press of a button, the Pacifica makes a convincing case as a homegrown alternative to the Asian vans that dominate the segment.

Of note, we achieved the best fuel economy of our test so far in March, averaging 26.2 mpg on one tank in mixed driving. That kind of performance nudged our lifetime fuel economy up to 18.5 mpg, which still seems woefully underachieving. We want a modern minivan than can clear 20 mpg all day, not one that hovers around the fuel economy of a full-size truck. This makes us all the more curious to see what the forthcoming Pacifica Hybrid brings to the table.

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2017 Chrysler Pacifica: Monthly Update for January 2017

by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

Where Did We Drive It?
A ski trip over the holidays and a month's worth of commuting duties put our long-term 2017 Chrysler Pacifica over the 10,000-mile mark this month. The Pacifica has been in our fleet for about six months now and we've had the chance to take it near and far, with lots of positive feedback about its versatility and initial quality. This far into the test, though, we are still falling short of the EPA's highway fuel economy estimates and the Pacifica has developed a few squeaks and rattles.

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2017 Chrysler Pacifica: Monthly Update for November 2016

by Mike Schmidt, Senior Manager, Vehicle Testing

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

Where Did We Drive It?
Unlike in previous months, our 2017 Chrysler Pacifica spent more time on the open highway than it did on school duty or in commuter traffic. In the month of November, the van was largely hogged by me. And in typical minivan fashion, it spent its days shuttling our crew to and from family gatherings.

I initially snagged the Pacifica for a trip to meet relatives in Yosemite National Park. It was during these 700 miles that I gathered most of my driving impressions. But after the big trip we also took day trips all over Southern California to hang with family, including over the long Thanksgiving weekend. Almost three weeks' worth of adventures spanned the counties of Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles, Madera, Mariposa, Orange, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura.

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2017 Chrysler Pacifica: Monthly Update for October 2016

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

Where Did We Drive It?
Much like the month before, our 2017 Chrysler Pacifica spent most of its time ferrying kids to and from school before our editors headed to work. There were a few detours along the way, however, and not all of them included kids.

Dan Edmunds used the Pacifica as an impromptu camper during a LeMons race on one lonely weekend in Central California. It worked well except for the fact that he forgot a few key pieces of equipment. On another occasion, the Pacifica transported four adults to a local NHL game at the Honda Center in Anaheim, a short trip of about 15 miles each way. Our Pacifica also hauled a floor jack to a driveway oil-change session and swallowed an Ikea dresser during a move. 

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2017 Chrysler Pacifica: Only the Teen-Driver KeySense Key Works

Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on August 24, 2016

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

Three keys were included in the purchase of our 2017 Chrysler Pacifica. Two are standard keys, while the other is a "KeySense" fob, an add-on for which we paid $175. Think of it as a teen driver key. Parents are able to limit top speed, set emergency warning/intervention thresholds and restrict satellite radio channels through a PIN-locked menu. The settings are then activated whenever the car is started with the KeySense fob. It's not a bad idea, and in fact there are many vehicles on the market that offer similar watchdog applications.

But due to an oversight somewhere along the buying process, the KeySense fob is the only working key we received at delivery.

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2017 Chrysler Pacifica: Introduction

by Kelly Hellwig, Executive Editor on August 16, 2016

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

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. 

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