Chrysler Pacifica

#2 in Minivans Overall Score: 8.9 / 10
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2017 Chrysler Pacifica Overview

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica ranks 2 out of 6 Minivans.

Once an SUV, now a top-rated minivan, the Chrysler Pacifica is spacious, quiet, gets good gas mileage, and is pleasant to drive. It’s one of the best options in the class.

SEATING


7

MPG


18-19

  CITY


28

  HWY

DRIVETRAIN


FWD

HP


287
See full 2017 Chrysler Pacifica specs ยป

Pros & Cons

  • Convenient Stow 'n Go seats
  • Tons of features
  • Strong acceleration and composed handling
  • Good fuel economy
  • Some rivals have more comfortable rear seats

Notable for 2017

  • All-new model
  • Replaces the Town & Country

 

Chrysler Pacifica Rankings and Research

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica ranking is based on its score within the Minivans category. Currently the Chrysler Pacifica has a score of 8.9 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 25 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

Scorecard

Overall: 8.9
Critics' Rating: 9.3
Performance: 8.6
Interior: 9.0
Safety: 9.7
Reliability: 3_5

Rankings

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Pictures

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Review

By Carter MacLeod August 15, 2017

Once an SUV, now a top-rated minivan, the Chrysler Pacifica is spacious, quiet, gets good gas mileage, and is pleasant to drive. It’s one of the best options in the class.

Is the Chrysler Pacifica a Good Car?

The minivan class used to be a two-van competition between the Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna. With the arrival of the Chrysler Pacifica, however, the dynamics of the class have changed. The Pacifica has all the space and utility of other minivans, as well as features like automatic opening doors and rear-seat entertainment, but adds in things like poised handling, a powerful V6 engine, a stylish and upscale interior, and class-leading connectivity that other minivans don’t offer. The Odyssey has better gas mileage than the nonhybrid Pacifica, and the Sienna offers all-wheel drive, but the Pacifica’s style and tech features put it among the best minivans on the market. In addition to being filled with features, the Chrysler Pacifica is also a good value. In fact, it’s the winner of the 2017 Best Minivan for the Money award because it has the best combination of quality and value in the class. 

Should I Buy the Chrysler Pacifica?

The minivan class is competitive, with plenty of good options. However, if you don’t give the Chrysler Pacifica serious consideration, you’re doing yourself a major disservice. It has impressed automotive journalists so much that it’s a finalist for North American Utility Vehicle of the Year. In terms of day-to-day livability, the Pacifica goes beyond most other minivans with handy features like hidden storage bins, an available built-in vacuum, and second-row seats that fold into the floor. They can also be moved to access the third row even when a child’s car seat is installed. There’s even a plug-in Pacifica Hybrid model that gives you a 33-mile all-electric driving range. The Pacifica has a lot of strong competition, but it more than keeps up with or surpasses almost all of it.

Compare the Pacifica, Odyssey, and Sienna »

We Did the Research for You: 25 Pieces of Data Analyzed

We want to make sure you choose the best minivan for your needs, so we’ve collected and analyzed 25 different pieces of data, including reliability and safety ratings and reviews from professional automotive critics and compiled it all into this comprehensive Chrysler Pacifica review. We’ve digested all that information for you so you can get a clear view of the Pacifica and decide if it’s the right minivan for you.

Why You Can Trust Us

At U.S. News, we’ve been ranking and reviewing cars for nearly a decade, with a staff that has a combined 75 years of experience in the automotive industry. We don’t take gifts or trips paid for by automakers, and an outside team handles all the advertising on our site. Our analysis is unbiased and fact-driven. In short, we’re experts who work for you, decoding automotive jargon, scoping out the newest and coolest cars, demystifying complicated ratings, and distilling reviews written by automotive experts so the average shopper can make a smart buying choice.

How Much Does the Chrysler Pacifica Cost?

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica starts at $28,595. That undercuts the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey by about $800. It's also less than the 2016 Chrysler Town & Country, which the Pacifica is replacing. The new Pacifica costs a few thousand more than the Kia Sedona. The Pacifica Hybrid starts at $41,995, which is a high starting price for the class, but it’s also the only plug-in hybrid van on the market.

For the money, you get a lot in the Pacifica. It comes with a 287-horsepower V6 engine, second- and third-row Stow 'n Go seats, cloth upholstery, a power driver's seat, power second-row windows, three-zone manual climate control, a proximity key, and a push-button start. You also get Chrysler's Uconnect infotainment system, a 5-inch touch screen, voice command recognition, Bluetooth, a USB port, a six-speaker stereo, and a rearview camera. The Pacifica also comes standard with Uconnect Access, which can connect to the internet and provide a wide array of capabilities, including the ability to unlock and start your car with your smartphone. Other vans in the class may cost more but don’t offer this level of standard equipment.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chrysler dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chrysler deals page.

Chrysler Pacifica Versus the Competition

The Pacifica is a little bit odd in that the Pacifica nameplate used to belong to a 3-row SUV that Chrysler discontinued in 2008. The name was resurrected on the Pacifica minivan for the 2017 model year. It is built by Chrysler, which is part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Fiat Chrysler owns other American brands, including Dodge, Ram, and Jeep. In fact, the Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Grand Caravan are the only two domestic minivans on the market. While Chrysler is an American Brand, the Pacifica is assembled in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Minivans are all about practicality, and the Pacifica has enough utility and family-friendly features to more than keep up with the competition. Still, if the Pacifica isn’t the right van for you, there are a few other options to keep on your list.

Which is Better: Chrysler Pacifica or Honda Odyssey?

The Honda Odyssey is another top-ranked minivan on our site. The Odyssey's strong engine and composed handling make it even more fun to drive than the Pacifica. The Honda also has very good gas mileage and a smooth ride. When it comes to tech and convenience features, the Odyssey is about on par with the Pacifica. Though it lacks in-car Wi-Fi and Chrysler's suite of games and apps, it does have a built-in vacuum, just like the Pacifica. If you want a fun ride and good fuel economy – and you don’t want to shell out for the Pacifica hybrid – go for the Odyssey. However, you might want to wait a bit, as an all-new Odyssey will hit the market late in 2017.

Which is Better: Chrysler Pacifica or Toyota Sienna?

The Toyota Sienna distinguishes itself from other minivans with its available all-wheel-drive system. The Pacifica was initially rumored to offer all-wheel drive but does not, making the Sienna the only minivan on the market to offer it. Beyond all-wheel drive, the Sienna offers a more powerful engine than the Pacifica.

Which is Better: Chrysler Pacifica or Dodge Grand Caravan?

It used to be that the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivan, which the Pacifica replaces, were fairly similar. With the introduction of the Pacifica, that’s changed. Frankly, the Pacifica blows the Grand Caravan out of the water. The Grand Caravan does have a low starting price for the class and the same folding seats that the Pacifica has, but beyond that, there’s not much to recommend it. If you need a minivan and are on a tight budget, the Kia Sedona is a better option than the Pacifica, or you could explore our used minivan rankings.

Compare the Pacifica, Odyssey, and Sienna »

Pacifica Interior

How Many People Does the Pacifica Seat?

The Chrysler Pacifica seats seven people in its standard configuration and can handle up to eight if you choose the optional second-row bench seat.

If you were ever a fan of the Stow ’n Go seating feature in previous Dodge or Chrysler minivans, you’ll be happy to know that it carries on in the new Pacifica. The third row of seats easily folds into the floor to increase cargo room, just like in almost every other minivan. However, thanks to Stow 'n Go, the Pacifica's second-row seats also fold flat under the floor. In most rival minivans, you have to remove the second-row seats to maximize cargo space.

Stowing and going is easy. You just slide the front seat forward, lift up the floor panel in front of the second-row seat, pull a strap, and flip it into an underfloor compartment. As a bonus, the underfloor compartments can be used as extra, hidden storage when the seats are in use. You can even buy liners for them, fill them with ice, and use them as coolers.

There’s one downside to the Pacifica's nifty Stow 'n Go feature: The second-row seats aren't as adjustable or comfortable as the second-row seats in other minivans. Chrysler had to make the padding for the Pacifica’s second-row seats thinner so they would fit under the floor. The stowing mechanism also prevents Chrysler from adding a sliding function, which is available in rivals like the Toyota Sienna. The third-row seats are also a bit firm. However, every seat in the vehicle is roomy thanks to the Pacifica's class-leading 197.3 cubic feet of interior volume.

Pacifica and Car Seats

The Pacifica has four full sets of LATCH connectors for installing kids’ car seats. There are two sets in the second row and two more in the third. While that’s a lot of room for car seats, the LATCH hardware itself can be a bit of a pain to deal with. The lower anchors don’t stick out far enough from the seatback and cushion, so they’re hard to maneuver around. This means that it takes a lot of force to connect a car seat. The same is true for the upper tethers.

Once you get a car seat in, however, the Pacifica has a very useful feature in its second-row seats: With a car seat installed, they can still move out of the way to allow access to the third row. This is a great feature that keeps kids from having to clamor over the second row, muddy shoes and all, to get to the third. No other minivan currently offers this. 

Pacifica Interior Quality

The Pacifica has a premium ambiance thanks to its solid build quality and first-class materials that are soft to the touch. Base models come with cloth upholstery, but you can get Nappa leather in top-of-the-line trims. Superb sound insulation keeps the Pacifica hushed on the highway, allowing you to talk with your passengers without raising your voice.

Pacifica Cargo Space

The 2017 Pacifica has up to 140.5 cubic feet of storage space with the second- and third-row seats folded. There are 87.5 cubic feet of storage space with the third row folded and 32.3 with all seats in use. That’s enough for – wait for it – 23 standard carryon bags, or three bags for every person the standard Pacifica can carry, plus a little space left over.

The shape of the Pacifica's cargo area makes it easy to stow large items. Chrysler says you can carry multiple 4-by-8-foot pieces of plywood. There are even little rubber pieces that keep the edge of the plywood off the cargo floor, so you can get your fingers under it to lift it up.

Small-item storage is class-leading, with a convenient mix of drawers, cup holders, bottle holders, and map pockets.

Pacifica Connectivity and Infotainment Features

Chrysler's Uconnect system controls most of the Pacifica's tech features. It's one of the best infotainment systems on the market with a user-friendly interface, sharp graphics, and quick responses when you press the touch screen. Make sure to upgrade to the 8.4-inch touch screen if you can. It's a worthwhile improvement over the smaller 5-inch unit, which has fewer features.

The Pacifica can be optioned with two 10-inch touch screens that are mounted in front of the second-row seats. Though pricey (you have to buy the $38,000 Touring L Plus trim to get them), the screens contain more high-tech, boredom-killing goodies than an Apple Store at Disney World.

You can play DVDs and Blu-ray discs, or hook up your laptop to the included HDMI port and play movies from your hard drive. You can also use that HDMI port to hook up an Xbox or other video game system. If you don't have your own video game console, the Pacifica has video games built in, including Checkers, Roadtrip Bingo, and The License Plate Game. Play against the computer, or link up your screens and play the person next to you.

Pacifica Built-in Vacuum: It Doesn't Suck

Though the Odyssey's HondaVac was the first to market, Chrysler's Stow 'n Vac takes the concept to the next level. The Pacifica's built-in vacuum is located in the second-row instead of the third because, according to Chrysler studies, that's where most dirt accumulates. The Pacifica also has up to 24 feet of hose, so not only can you clean every nook and cranny of your van, but you can clean every nook and cranny of the van next to you as well. Like the rear-seat touch screens, the Stow 'n Vac is a pricey option. You'll need to spend at least $42,500 on the Limited trim to get it.

Read more about interior »

Pacifica Performance

Pacifica Engine: Strong and Fuel-Efficient

Though it isn't quite as refined as the V6 in the Honda Odyssey, the Pacifica's standard 287-horsepower V6 engine delivers stronger acceleration than most rivals. It makes quick work of hills and highway passing maneuvers, even when the Pacifica is loaded down with passengers and cargo. The Pacifica's refined nine-speed automatic transmission further contributes to smooth, strong acceleration.

Pacifica Gas Mileage and Hybrid

At 18 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway, the gas-only Pacifica's fuel economy is among the best in the class. Only the 2016 Honda Odyssey can match its highway fuel economy.

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid has a V6 engine and two electric motors. It can go up to 33 miles on battery power alone. After it runs out of battery power, the gas engine turns on. It is the only plug-in hybrid minivan available in the United States and achieves an 84 mpg-e rating.

Learn What Mpg-e Means.

Pacifica Ride and Handling: Smooth and Surprisingly Responsive

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is built for long-distance comfort, with a quiet and serene ride quality, but it also defies most minivan stereotypes by providing engaging handling on winding back roads and through all kinds of curves. It also has strong brakes and responsive steering. The result is a vehicle that you can drive around curves with confidence. After all, good handling isn't just about fun … it's about safety too.

Pacifica Dimensions and Weight

For a minivan, there’s very little that’s “mini” about the Pacifica. Then again, that’s true for most of the class. The Pacifica is nearly 17 feet long and more than 6 1/2 feet wide – 7 1/2 feet wide when you count the mirrors. It weighs 4,330 pounds. For comparison’s sake, the Honda Odyssey is almost exactly the same length and width, while the Sienna is roughly 4 inches shorter and 2 inches narrower.

Pacifica Towing Capacity

With a tow rating of up to 3,600 pounds, the Pacifica can handle towing most loads fairly easily. That’s enough capacity for two small jet skis or snowmobiles, and more than enough capacity for a small cargo trailer. It’s also 100 pounds more than the Sienna or Odyssey can tow.

Read more about performance »

Pacifica Reliability

Is the Chrysler Pacifica Reliable?

The Chrysler Pacifica receives a reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power, which is slightly above average. The Toyota Sienna gets the same rating, but the Honda Odyssey scores lower.

Chrysler Pacifica Warranty

Chrysler covers the 2017 Pacifica with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Pacifica Safety

Pacifica Crash Tests: One of the Safest Minivans

Owing to their size, most minivans do well in crash tests, but the Pacifica has particularly high scores. It is the only minivan designated a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for its crash test scores and available safety features. The Pacifica earns top scores of Good in all IIHS crash tests (which include small front overlap, moderate front overlap, side impact, rear crash protection, and roof strength). It also earns five out of five stars in all National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, except for rollover, where it earns four stars. These are among the best crash test results in the class.

Pacifica Safety Features

Like most recently redesigned vehicles, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica comes standard with a rearview camera and is available with all of the latest high-tech features to keep your family safe, including blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors with automatic braking, front parking sensors, a 360-degree parking camera system, adaptive cruise control, automatic forward braking, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, and an automatic parking system that will steer you into a parallel or perpendicular parking spot. That last one is really more of a convenience feature than a safety feature, although, if you've been in a Trader Joe's parking lot recently, you'd probably consider robotic parking to be much safer than the alternative.

Read more about safety »

Which Chrysler Pacifica Model Is Right for Me?

The Chrysler Pacifica was introduced in 2017 and has five basic trims: LX, Touring, Touring L, Touring L Plus, and Limited. There is also a plug-in hybrid model, which comes in Premium and Limited Platinum trims.

For sheer value, it’s hard to beat the base Pacifica LX trim. It comes loaded with standard features. The only drawback to the LX is that it has cloth upholstery, which can be tougher to clean than leather. It also doesn’t have power sliding rear doors. Still, if you don’t mind manually opening the doors and working a little harder to keep the interior clean, the combination of price and features in the LX make it an excellent choice. When it comes to the Touring L Plus or Limited trims, for the money, you might as well get the Pacifica Hybrid. It not only has the incredible gas mileage and 33-mile all-electric range, but also many of the same high-end features. Paying for all that luxury may as well net you good fuel economy too.

As you start checking option boxes, you’ll see that a fully loaded Pacifica can cost nearly $50,000. That's a bit more than top rivals like the Odyssey and Sienna. For that money, you could buy a well-equipped 3-row luxury SUV like the Acura MDX, Infiniti QX60, Lincoln MKT, or Volvo XC90.

Chrysler Pacifica LX

The base 2017 Chrysler Pacifica LX ($28,595) comes with a 287-horsepower V6 engine. Standard features include second- and third-row Stow 'n Go seats, cloth upholstery, a power driver's seat, power second-row windows, three-zone manual climate control, a proximity key, and a push-button start. Chrysler's Uconnect infotainment system is also standard and includes a 5-inch touch screen, voice command recognition, Bluetooth, a USB port, a six-speaker stereo, and a rearview camera. The Pacifica also comes standard with Uconnect Access, which can connect to the internet and provide a wide array of capabilities, including the ability to unlock and start your car with your smartphone.

That's a strong list of standard features for a minivan. Even the well-equipped Honda Odyssey doesn't come standard with push-button start, and the Pacifica's Stow 'n Go folding second-row seats are unique in the class (apart from the Dodge Grand Caravan, which has the same parent company as the Pacifica).

The Pacifica LX has few available options. The SafetyTec package gives you blind spot monitoring and rear parking sensors with automatic braking for $995. A $495 middle seat raises the seating capacity from seven to eight. There's also KeySense ($175), which allows you to program parental controls into certain keys to limit audio volume and vehicle speed.

Chrysler Pacifica Touring

Stepping up to the Pacifica Touring ($30,495) adds standard power-sliding rear doors, satellite radio, and automatic high beams.

In addition to the options available in the LX, two new options become available when you order a Touring: a power liftgate ($495) and an upgraded Uconnect infotainment system ($595) with an 8.4-inch touch screen and satellite radio. The 8.4-inch version of the Uconnect system earns rave reviews and is worth the extra $595 if you can afford it.

Pacifica Touring L

The Pacifica Touring L ($34,495) requires an extra $4,000 over the price of the regular Touring trim, but for that you get standard leather upholstery, heated front seats, blind spot monitoring, rear parking sensors with automatic braking, three-zone automatic climate control, a power liftgate, remote engine starting, second- and third-row sun shades, and a security alarm.

The Touring L is available with the Premium Audio package ($895), which comes with the 8.4-inch Uconnect upgrade and a 13-speaker Alpine stereo.

Pacifica Touring L Plus

The Touring L Plus trim ($37,895) comes standard with the Premium Audio package, a power-adjustable passenger's seat, a 115-volt power outlet, a 7-inch screen in the gauge cluster, a thicker windshield for better soundproofing, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, and the Uconnect Theater package, which includes two 10-inch rear-seat touch screens, a DVD/Blu-ray player, built-in video games, HDMI inputs, two remote controls with built-in touchpads, and two wireless headphones.

The Touring L Plus is available with a wide array of options, including a 20-speaker Harman Kardon audio system ($995), navigation ($695), and the Advanced SafetyTec package ($1,995) with full-speed adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, automatic parking, and a 360-degree parking camera system.

Pacifica Limited

The top-of-the-line Limited trim ($42,495) adds Nappa leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, driver's seat position memory, a three-pane sunroof that covers all three rows, an integrated vacuum cleaner, a power-folding third-row seat, a foot-activated power liftgate, foot-activated power sliding doors, and navigation.

Strangely, the Uconnect Theater package that's standard in the Touring L Plus trim is a $1,995 option in the Limited ($2,795 if you package it with the Harman Kardon stereo).

Pacifica Hybrid

Beyond giving you 33 miles of all-electric range, the Pacifica plug-in hybrid ($41,995) includes standard features like an 8.4-inch touch screen for the Uconnect system, active noise cancelation, a rearview camera, and satellite radio. The Pacifica Hybrid Platinum starts at $44,995 and has most of the same features as the gas-only limited model.

Looking for a great deal on the new 2017 Pacifica? Use our U.S. News Best Price Program to get a big discount off the dealer's price.

See 2017 Chrysler Pacifica specs and trims »

The Final Call

The Chrysler Pacifica represents a jump forward for not only the Chrysler brand, but also for what minivan shoppers can expect from the class. While every minivan on the market has plenty of space and comfort, the top vans offer plenty of entertainment features, smart storage solutions, and leading-edge safety equipment. The Pacifica not only offers all of that, but also pushes the bench mark of the class with its peppy engine, plug-in hybrid option, and features like Stow 'n Go seats that seem small, but can make family life much easier. On top of that, the Pacifica is upscale and stylish and the base Pacifica LX is an excellent value for the class. Overall, the Pacifica is a minivan that deserves serious consideration.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The most important success metric for a tool is how well it performs the function for which it's designed. Judged by that criterion, the Chrysler Pacifica is the best multi-purpose people mover in the world, at least for the moment (Honda has a new Odyssey in the works, and Toyota will likely follow with a refreshed Sienna)." -- Autoweek
  • "But what I love most about the Pacifica is its unabashed van-ness in a world where everything is a crossover, 'wagon' is a four-letter word and telling your friends that you're considering a minivan is tantamount to announcing that you've given up on life. It warms my heart to see there's still innovation and competition to be found in this shrinking class and that the form and function can work together." -- CNET
  • "The Pacifica feels like Chrysler finally picking itself up, dusting itself off, and then going in to kick some minivan ass. They've made a vehicle that makes a ton of sense without many sacrifices if you need a good-sized enclosed volume to haul kids, full-grown adults, stuff, crap, cargo, junk, or want a mobile living space." -- Jalopnik

See more of our sources »

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