2017 Chrysler Pacifica at top of minivan segment – Boston.com

Mark Twain once said words along the lines of: “The report of my death was a wonderful exaggeration.” The same could be said of the minivan segment. It’s not dead and, in fact, is growing stronger along with each passing year.

Case in point is the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan. The company that made the minivan in 1984 is all set to take on the very best Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and Kia have actually to offer.

This is still a relevant segment. Sales last year were concerning 512,000, or concerning 3 percent of total sales. That might not seem adore a large slice of the automotive pie, yet it’s a lucrative segment that is popular along with families and older drivers. One expert says half of all of minivan sales are purchased by empty nesters.

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The importance of the minivan to Chrysler was steered estate by the Pacifica’s recent media launch in Newport Beach, Calif. The company flew out automotive journalists and their families to test drive the minivan. Hence, my review is not simply from my perspective yet likewise those of my wife and two pre-teen daughters.

The Pacifica is all of Brand-new from the ground up. At the introduction, Chrysler said that was crucial since the Brand-new family is different. It spends a lot more time in its auto compared to about the dinner table. That was especially true for those of us brave (or dumb) enough to take on the Southern California highways as we journeyed north to Los Angeles to see the Hollywood authorize from the Griffith Observatory then head spine south to Disneyland.

The stop-and-go traffic gave me a true appreciation for all of the Pacifica has actually to offer in terms of smoothness and quietness. As soon as the highways did eventually open up (or I was attempting to avail myself of a rare opening in traffic) the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, along with its best-in-class 287 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque, delivered. Mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission, the minivan worked its method through the gears along with ease under hard acceleration.

ROOM TO SPARE: The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica can serve double duty as a cargo hauler, with its ability to hold 4x8 plywood sheets.ROOM TO SPARE: The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica can easily serve double duty as a cargo hauler, along with its ability to hold 4×8 plywood sheets.

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As an added bonus, the Pacific is rated at 28 miles per gallon on the highway. Unfortunately, it’s rated at a quite lackluster 18 mpg about town, which is where it will certainly probably get hold of most of its use. Looking for much better fuel economy? A hybrid version is being unveiled later this year.

Fuel economy is helped by a weight-loss program the Pacifica endured. It is 200 pounds lighter compared to its predecessor thanks to points adore a magnesium aluminum liftgate and aluminum sliding doors.

There’s a actual helpful edge to the Pacifica. Thanks to the stow-and-go seating, it has actually the ability to swallow up an 8×4-foot sheet of plywood. It likewise has actually the largest interior volume in its segment at nearly 200 cubic feet of space (which is 10 cubic feet larger compared to the Town & Country).

One nice touch is the onboard vacuum. Yes, Honda pioneered this along with the Odyssey yet Chrysler gets kudos for relocating it to the second row, where the spills actually happen. Also, the filter is reusable and can easily be cleaned in a dishwasher.

Another nice feature—and it was traffic jam tested—was the available, all-new, class-exclusive, Uconnect Theater, rear seat, entertainment system. along with it my daughters could watch movies, play built-in games, connect personal devices to surf the internet, and stream content throughout the auto via two high-definition, 10-inch touch screens. I got the sense they wanted the Pacifica to become our permanent living room.

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One feature that sounds wonderful yet you’ll probably never ever use is the ParkSense parallel/perpendicular park assist, which uses ultrasonic sensors to guide the driver in to parking spaces. It’s not as if this is a difficult auto to park. Granted, over the road of two days of driving I only parked it 12 times, yet I never ever felt adore I required an help since visibility is good, the rearward camera is excellent, and the warning sensors job well.

The Pacifica is a surprisingly nimble vehicle. It has actually an independent rear suspension for much better handling, and it drives smaller sized compared to any sort of minivan I have actually ever driven. I’m a bit of a passenger van geek from the Mazda Mazda5 mini-minivan that sits in my driveway to the 12-passenger Sprinter vans I have actually steered on numerous occasions (as well as all of the minivan offerings on the market). The Pacifica handles the very best of the lot. It drives adore a midsize sedan yet along with that wonderful minivan seating position.

Is this a perfect vehicle? It has actually some features I don’t like, in particular the rotary e-shifter on the dash. It’s simply clunky and calls for too much effort to shift among reverse, drive, and park.

The all-Brand-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica LX has actually a starting MSRP of $28,595, plus $995 destination. Fully loaded, it’s going to run north of $43,000, yet it’s not going to lack for creature comforts. Chrysler execs are comfortable along with the pricing strategy, saying 65 percent of minivan transactions are above $30,000.

It could be somewhat disheartening to current Town & Country owners, yet Chrysler execs freely call that the van of the past. The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is the future of minivans.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

THE BASICS

Price, base (along with destination): $29,590. Fuel economy: 18 city/28 highway/22 combined. Drivetrain: 3.6-liter V6. Body: Minivan.

THE SPECIFICS

Horsepower: 287 @ 6,400 rpm. Torque: 262 @ 4,000 rpm. Overall length: 203.6 in. Wheelbase: 121.6 in. Height: 69.9 in. Width: 79.6 in. Curb weight: 4,330 lbs.

THE GOOD

The Brand-new design has actually made a minivan that is quiet, nimble, and powerful enough to take care of itself, even along with a full load onboard.

THE BAD

The transmission can easily be clunky to job with, and around-town fuel economy is reasonable for a auto that will certainly be most most likely leading a suburban lifestyle.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Chrysler has actually succeeded along with its Brand-new minivan. The pioneer in this segment proves along with this Brand-new design that its 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is now a top competitor among minivans.