The Car Connection Chrysler Pacifica Overview
The Chrysler Pacifica was new for the 2017 model year. The replacement for the former Town & Country minivan, the Pacifica offers V-6 and hybrid powertrains, three rows of seats (two of which can fold into the floor), and luxury features such as a panoramic sunroof, leather, power-folding seats, and twin-screen entertainment systems.
The Pacifica nameplate was previously used for a mid-size crossover utility vehicle that was sold from the 2004 through 2008 model years. Prior to that, Pacifica name had been used as a trim level or appearance package on some Chrysler and Dodge vehicles.
With the Pacifica, Chrysler has the best minivan on the market, though a new version of the Honda Odyssey will keep things interesting in 2018.
Other minivans in the class include the Nissan Quest, Toyota Sienna, and Kia Sedona.
We like the Pacifica quite a bit, so much so that we named it our Best Car to Buy 2017.
MORE: Read our 2018 Chrysler Pacifica review
As for the latest Chrysler Pacifica, it follows up on the Town & Country with a new emphasis on styling and design, more interior technology, some evolution in Chrysler’s always-segment-leading seating arrangements, and a newly available Hybrid model that’s actually a plug-in hybrid good for up to 30 miles of all-electric driving.
That Hybrid includes a 16-kwh battery, packaged under the floor, and a two-motor hybrid system capable of delivering up to 80 MPGe in city driving. Meanwhile, the rest of the lineup comes with a 287-horsepower version of the company’s Pentastar V-6, and a 9-speed automatic transmission.
The design of the Pacifica is a good deal more flamboyant than Chrysler minvans of the recent past, and for the most part that’s due to some heavy sculpting of the surface sheetmetal, which is no longer flat and slab-sided but quite expressive.
Packaging highlights of the new Pacifica include a new Stow ‘n’ Go Assist feature that powers the front seats out of the way, for easier stowing of the second-row seats. The second row also features an Easy Tilt feature to get to the third row easily—even when there’s a child seat in the second row.
The new Pacifica includes a new rear-seat entertainment system with Blu-ray; an 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen system, including navigation, voice command, and Uconnect Access information streams; and an available integrated vacuum system.
The IIHS rated it a Top Safety Pick+ for 2017 after it earned top "Good" ratings on its crash tests and its advanced safety systems were rated "Superior" by the agency.
For 2018, Chrysler added a new Pacifica L model to the family. The new base model comes with a 7-inch touchscreen audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a rearview camera, air conditioning, 17-inch wheels, blind-spot monitors, and rear parking sensors. It does not have fold-away second-row seats.
The 2004-2008 Chrysler Pacifica
The previous Pacifica, the one from the last decade, was conceived to go up against the likes of the Lexus RX, but with seating for up to six it delivered a more useful, versatile interior than most other models with which you might compare it.
The Pacifica established a strong reputation for interior space and safety—and it had probably the nicest interior appointments of any Chrysler vehicle from the past decade—but never failed to satisfy in refinement or fuel economy. It was also subject to some mismanaged marketing, and a price that critics said was too high.
Early model years of the Pacifica had a 200-hp, 3.8-liter V-6, while a 253-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 was subbed in for 2007. Both were paired to a 4-speed automatic, and fuel economy ratings were just 14/22 mpg with the bigger engine and all-wheel drive.
Front- and all-wheel-drive versions were offered, and for the most part the Pacifica had a great combination of all-weather traction. a comfortable ride, and responsive handling.
Top trims of the later model years included a rearview camera, and the Pacifica offered a rear entertainment system, Infinity premium sound, and Bluetooth connectivity.