Chrysler's outgoing minivans outlived their safety reputations, with crash-test scores that sank as tests grew progressively tougher.
The new Pacifica's early scores by the IIHS show that it's ahead of the curve so far, with a new architecture developed specifically for minivans and crossover SUVs.
The Pacifica earns a 9 out of 10 on our safety scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The minivan was recently named a Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS, with all "Good" scores in its crash tests and a "Superior" rating for its front crash prevention systems, when equipped.
The NHTSA has confirmed that safety strength by giving the Pacifica five stars overall, with just a single four-star rating for rollover resistance.
It's also outfitted with standard and available safety features that outpace its rivals. A rearview camera and Bluetooth are common across the lineup, and the Pacifica is the first Chrysler van to offer advanced features such as adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, and surround-view cameras.
Drivers who have late-model luxury vehicles in the household will be happy to note that the Pacifica now includes things such as parallel and perpendicular park assist, and a lane-departure warning system that nudges the vehicle back into its lane when it detects it's crossed the lines.
Outward vision is excellent in the Pacifica. The rear-quarter view is especially good for such a long vehicle. The Pacifica's sliding side doors sit on low hinges, with a section of glass above the hinge that eliminates most blind spots. (Blind-spot monitors are available and still recommended, nonetheless.)