2017 Chrysler Pacifica Performance

#1 out of 5 in 2017 Minivans

$20,408 - $31,617

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica was new.


Performance: 8.6

Though the smooth, quiet ride and great fuel economy are likely what buyers will care about most, the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica's powerful engine and composed handling make it surprisingly satisfying to drive.

  • "No one will confuse this minivan - or any other - with a BMW 3 Series in terms of driving dynamics. But as minivans go, the Pacifica felt responsive with minimal levels of body roll. It felt more nimble than the larger Toyota Sienna." -- Autoblog
  • " … the Pacifica actually is pretty fun to drive. Sure, it's tall and bulky, and somewhat heavy (55/45 weight distribution), but it feels more agile and sprightly than you'd guess." -- Jalopnik
  • "Interiors that look good are hip. But what makes it hipper still for us is the fact that it is getting perilously close to being good to drive." -- Automobile Magazine

Acceleration and Power

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica comes with a 287-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive.

Fuel economy estimates are 18 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway, which are good numbers for the class. Only the Honda Odyssey can match the Pacifica's fuel economy on the highway.

The Pacifica feels faster than most rival minivans, so climbing hills or passing on the highway should be no issue. The only downside to the Pacifica's V6 is that it isn't quite as smooth as the V6 in the Honda Odyssey.

The Pacifica's nine-speed transmission is based on one that is shared by many other vehicles, including the Jeep Cherokee. Reviewers have complained that other nine-speeds don't shift smoothly and have so many gears that they have trouble finding the right one. However, the Pacifica's transmission shifts with refinement.

  • "As we alluded to earlier, Chrysler has engineered most of the weirdness out of its 3.6-liter V6/nine-speed automatic combo, to the point where the Pacifica feels significantly quicker than its rivals, even if it can't quite match the smoothness of an Odyssey V6." -- AutoWeek
  • "The 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 makes a respectable 287 HP and 262 lb-ft (187 Nrp) and I found the power to be quite good." -- Jalopnik
  • "A revised 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine delivered 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, making the climbs up California's hills effortless. Likewise, the new nine-speed automatic transmission never strained or felt clunky, like it has in other recent products like our long-term Jeep Cherokee. The harmonious combination of the upgraded engine and transmission felt like the single-biggest differentiator between the old and new minivans." -- Autoblog

Alternative Powertrains

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid minivan with a V6 engine and two electric motors. According to Chrysler, it can go up to 30 miles on battery power alone and achieves an mpg-e rating of 80 in combined city/highway driving. It’s due out later this year.

Handling and Braking

A comfortable ride is arguably the most important performance characteristic a minivan can have, and the Pacifica delivers. However, it also has surprisingly poised handling for a minivan. The Pacifica feels stable, even on twisty roads, which will give you confidence as you pilot your family around town. The Pacifica also has strong brakes and sharp steering, furthering its handling bona fides.

  • "The 2017 Pacific (sic) boasts an agreeably smooth and quiet ride. Whether you're driving around town or heading out for a week-long road trip, the Pacifica will keep you and your passengers comfortable." -- Edmunds
  • "The Pacifica's steering is responsive, the turn-in quite good and the van feels stable when cornering at reasonably-quick-but-not-law-breaking speeds." -- CNET
  • "New, too, is an independent rear suspension (so long, torsion beam) that in conjunction with the mass reduction provides a refined and sporty ride and handling balance. Nicely calibrated electric power steering, larger four-wheel disc brakes, and available 245/50R20 tires helped make short work of what twisty roads we encountered." -- Motor Trend

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