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 easily serve double duty as a cargo hauler, along with its ability to hold 4×8 plywood sheets.
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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U.S. News names the ‘21 finest Cars for Families’
2016 Nissan Murano. Winner: finest 2-Row SUV for Families. Base MSRP: $29,660. The Murano likewise was named one of U.S. News’s finest Cars for the Money. Reviewers loved the Murano’s interior, cargo space, powerful V6 engine, and generous standard features including a rearview camera, dual-zone climate control, and a user-friendly 7-inch touchscreen display. Downsides consist of limited rearward visibility.
2016 Honda Pilot. Winner: finest 3-Row SUV for Families. Base MSRP: $30,145. Reviewers called the Honda Pilot an “remarkable choice among three-row crossovers.” It offers rich interior materials, a spacious third row, and several cargo space. Its biggest drawback is the stereo system. The Pilot was likewise named the “finest 3-Row SUV for the Money” by U.S. News.
2016 Kia Soul. Winner: finest Compact auto for Families and finest Hatchback for Familiies. Base MSRP: $15,800. U.S. News liked the Kia Soul’s cargo and passenger space and praised it for offering a well-equipped cabin. However, reviewers found the Soul’s fuel economy to be reasonable for its class and its base engine delivers an unimpressive acceleration. U.S. News likewise ranked the Kia Soul No. 4 from 22 Affordable Compact Cars.
2016 Honda HR-V. Winner: finest Subcompact SUV for Families. Base MSRP: $19,215. U.S. News called the HR-V “one of the most helpful SUVs on the market.” Reviewers loved the HR-V’s comfortable ride, 58.8 cubic feet of cargo space and roomy seats. U.S. News likewise named the HR-V the very best Subcompact SUV for the Your hard earned cash and KBB named it one of the very best Cars for Families for 2016.
2016 Honda CR-V. Winner: finest Compact SUV for Families. Base MSRP: $23,745. The CR-V impressed critics along with its fuel efficiency, cargo space, and for offering plenty of legroom in the rear seats. However, some reviewers said the CR-V is not that enjoyable to drive. U.S. News named the CR-V the most Affordable Compact SUV.
2016 Lexus GS Hybrid. Winner: finest Hybrid auto for Families. Base MSRP: $63,080. Reviewers called the GS Hybrid’s fuel economy of 29 mpg city / 34 mpg highway “outstanding.” It likewise has actually a V6 engine and two electric motors that deliver a powerful acceleration.
2016 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Winner: finest Hybrid SUV for Families. Base MSRP: $47,870. Critics liked the Toyota Highlander Hybrid’s fuel economy of 27 mpg city / 28 mpg highway, and the use of elegant components in its interior gives it an attractive design. It likewise offers a user-friendly dashboard. yet some critics found the Highlander Hybrid’s brakes are too sensitive and that it is expensive for its class.
2016 Chevrolet Impala. Winner: finest Large auto for Families. Base MSRP: $27,095. Reviewers said the Impala’s V6 engine delivers plenty of energy and it offers an attractive and spacious cabin. yet some critics found the Impala’s ride to be stiff along with optional 20-inch wheels. The Impala was likewise named the “finest Large auto for the Money” by U.S. News.
2016 GMC Yukon. Winner: finest Large SUV for Families. Base MSRP: $48,315. The GMC Yukon was likewise named the most affordable large SUV and was praised for offering a powerful V8 engine and “composed handling.” It likewise offers built-in Wi-Fi and an intuitive touchscreen infotainment system along with Apple CarPlay. Critics found non-XL models offer much less cargo space compared to the competition. yet consumers that buy the GMC Yukon are most likely to hold onto it for a long time. iSeeCars found the Yukon is among the most most likely to go beyond 200,000 miles.
2016 Audi A7. Winner: finest Luxury Large auto for Families. Base MSRP: $68,300. The A7 impressed reviewers along with a range of powerful engines, impressive handling, and a luxurious interior. However, some found the rear-seat headroom was too small and others found the steering unimpressive.
2016 Cadillac Escalade. Winner: finest Luxury Large SUV for Families. Base MSRP: $72,970. The Escalade has actually a lot to impress critics, including a tough V8 engine, a luxurious interior, and a pleasant ride. While it offers a lot more cargo space compared to most luxury SUVs, some critics complain the cargo load floor is too high.
Jean Nagy / Boston.com
2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class. Winner: finest Luxury 2-Row SUV for Families. Base MSRP: $51,100. The GLE-Class delighted reviewers along with an array of powerful engines, an elegant cabin, and an exciting ride. However, some critics called the engine stop/start system “unrefined” and others complained the visibility was unsatisfactory in Coupe models.
2016 Volvo XC90. Winner: finest Luxury 3-Row SUV for Families. Base MSRP: $43,950. Critics praised the Volvo XC90, which has actually been redesigned for 2016, for offering one of the most attractive and comfortable interiors in its class. The XC90 likewise offers a powerful engine and an easy-to-use infotainment system. Some critics found it is much less sporty compared to its competition. The Volvo XC90 was named one of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick+ winners.
Jean Nagy / Boston.com
2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. Winner: finest Luxury Compact SUV for Families. Base MSRP: $38,950. Critics praised the GLC-Class for offering spacious and comfortable seats and several technology, including a Wi-Fi hotspot, a 14-speaker audio system, and voice recognition controls, and more. U.S. News said the GLC-Class offered no considerable downsides.
2016 BMW X1. Winner: finest Luxury Subcompact SUV for Families. Base MSRP: $34,800. The BMW X1 was likewise named the very best luxury subcompact on U.S. News’s “finest Cars for the Money”. list The X1 has actually been redesigned and has actually impressed critics along with its spacious rear seats and generous legroom. yet some reviewers found the X1’s transmission was hesitant to downshift.
Ryan Breslin / Boston.com
2016 Chevrolet Malibu. Winner: finest Midsize auto for Families. Base MSRP: $21,625. The Impala was named U.S. News’s most affordable midsize auto and won over critics along with its spacious rear seats, generous trunk space, and an easy-to-use infotainment system. yet some critics complained the Impala has actually large blind spots and that some reduced trims offer cheap-feeling cabins.
2016 Honda Odyssey. Winner: finest Minivan for Families. Base MSRP: $29,400. The Odyssey was likewise named the “finest Minivan for the Money” by U.S. News. Critics say it offers a smooth ride and family-oriented features including a built-in vacuum. yet the downside to the Odyssey is that the second row seats ought to be removed to make full use of the cargo space. Kelley Blue Timetable likewise named the Odyssey one of its “finest Cars for Families.”
2016 Mercedes Benz E-Class. Winner: finest Upscale Midsize auto for Families. Base MSRP: $52,650. U.S. News named the Mercedes-Benz E-Class as the top upscale midsize auto priced over $30,000. It offers a several powerful engines, a spacious spine seat, an upscale cabin and delivers a comfortable ride.
Ryan Breslin / Boston.com
2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Winner: finest Upscale Small auto for Families. Base MSRP: $38,950. The C-Class was likewise named the top upscale small auto by U.S. News. Critics praised its impressive interior and luxurious cabin, tough engine, and powerful handling. yet critics likewise note the C-Class offers standard trunk space for its class. Downsides consist of a weak transmission and a complicated infotainment system.
2016 Subaru Outback. Winner: finest Wagon for Families. Base MSRP: $24,995. Critics liked the Subaru Outback for offering roomy rear seats, several cargo space, and powerful all-wheel drive traction. While the Outback’s base engine offers sufficient energy for highway driving, some reviewers said the engine struggles As soon as loaded along with passengers or cargo.
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
Price, base (along with destination): $29,590. Fuel economy: 18 city/28 highway/22 combined. Drivetrain: 3.6-liter V6. Body: Minivan.
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 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 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.