Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.
With one generational change — and a new name — the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica moves Chrysler’s minivan entry from the back of the pack to the front. Loaded with technology, luxury features, and a plug-in hybrid model that gets up to 33 miles on a charge, the new Chrysler Pacifica dominates the minivan market.
You'll Like The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica If...
If you want 8-passenger hauling ability with top-notch technology, eye-catching styling, and a first-class driving experience, then the new Chrysler Pacifica is your best bet. If you want to haul seven passengers in comfort and still get 33 miles of fuel-free driving, it’s your ONLY bet.
You May Not Like The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica If...
Some people just don’t like minivans, and when you get up to the top-level models with all the options, the Pacifica can get pricey. Then there’s the open question about Chrysler’s long-term reliability, which hasn’t been a strong suit in recent years.
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is all-new, with enhanced styling, new tech and luxury features, 8-passenger seating, an upgraded and more fuel-efficient drivetrain including a plug-in hybrid that gets up to 33 miles of EV range, more comfortable Stow ‘n Go seats, and a vastly improved driving experience.
We all agree the Chrysler Pacifica’s interior is pretty, but it’s also practical. The comfortable front, 2nd-row and even 3rd-row seats can all handle adult frames. The Stow ‘n Go 2nd -row seats are comfortable, and a removable center seat means there’s 8-passenger seating. Hybrid models don’t offer Stow ‘n Go, but do offer two very comfortable captain’s thrones in the second row to compensate. There’s a ton of cargo space behind the third row, a massive Uconnect infotainment screen available up front, and a panoramic sunroof that’s cool, but isn’t compatible with 8-passenger seating due to the lack of an upper seatbelt anchor.
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica successfully borrows design cues we’ve seen on the Chrysler 200 midsize sedan. The headlights, grille and entire front end present a distinct and handsome face to the minivan world. In a way it’s a throwback to the Chrysler vans of the 1990s and early 2000s, which boasted sleek, smooth lines. The elegant styling continues to the sides, where you can order wheels up to 20 inches across for a more dramatic look. The Pacifica Hybrid offers a unique color palette and wheels, a different grille design, and, of course, the charge port on the front-left fender.
With one of the most powerful engines in its class, a nicely sorted suspension and good steering, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is a supremely satisfying van to drive. The engine is the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 we’ve seen in so many other Chrysler products, here mated to a 9-speed transmission that has been reworked considerably for better shifts and improved fuel economy. The suspension isn’t sporty at all, but it’s comfortable, the steering is sharp, and there’s just enough firmness to keep the Pacifica from being a roly-poly mess on a curvy road. What really sets the new Pacifica apart is its interior quiet, furthering the luxury-feel imparted by the high-quality materials, design and construction. Making a big box like this quiet at speed isn’t easy, and Chrysler is way ahead of rivals like the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey. As for the hybrid, it offers similar acceleration, and an easily achievable 33 miles of electric-only range.
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica LX starts competitively with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $29,500 including the $995 destination charge. However, we think the Touring is a better bet, thanks to power sliding doors and other features for $31,500. The Pacifica Touring-L ($35,400) and Touring-L Plus ($39,000) add equipment like leather seats, and the Pacifica Limited ($43,500) adds even more. The Pacifica Hybrid Premium and Platinum are $43,000 and $46,000, but note that the federal tax break knocks $7,500 off those prices, making both a surprisingly good deal. Even though options can push the price of a Pacifica Limited to well over the $45,000 mark, it’s still competitive against the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna and Kia Sedona. Be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying in your area. As an all-new — and significantly improved — vehicle, it’s too early to say what resale value will be.
While the base-model vehicle is often skippable, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica LX comes nicely appointed with a rearview camera, active grille shutters to aid fuel economy, heated outside mirrors, 17-inch aluminum wheels, 3-zone air conditioning, Stow ‘n Go seating in the second row, and surprisingly, active noise cancellation. There’s also a 5-inch touch-screen version of Uconnect that includes USB and Bluetooth. Pacifica Hybrid models start at the Premium level, and include blind-spot monitoring, parking sensors and more. All new Pacifica models come standard with the 3.6-liter V6 engine, 9-speed automatic, an electric parking brake, and keyless entry with push-button ignition standard.
Power sliding doors, automatic climate control, bigger and better Uconnect systems, leather seating — Nappa leather on Limited — and chrome exterior trim are all available at higher trim levels on the Pacifica. Option packages include a 20-speaker harman/kardon audio system for Touring-L Plus and Limited models, an Advanced SafetyTec group that includes lane-departure warning, forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and a surround-view camera system, and the kid-occupying goodness of Uconnect Theater. Pacifica Hybrid models start at the Premium level and move up to Platinum, which is mostly analogous to the gasoline-powered Limited model, with a panoramic sunroof being the only standalone option.
PLUG-IN HYBRIDThe new Pacifica Hybrid is a game changer for families: a 7-passenger vehicle with a real 33 miles of gas-free driving on a charge. Many drivers won’t ever hear the engine kick on during their daily routine if they charge regularly, and they’ll get very good fuel economy the rest of the time. UCONNECT THEATERThe Uconnect Theater takes rear-seat entertainment to the next level. Sure, you can watch movies, or plug in your own game system through the RCA or HDMI ports. But you can also download apps, play built-in games, or just plug in your iPhone and play games on that.
Under the Hood
Standard Pacifica models get a 3.6-liter V6 engine and 9-speed automatic transmission powering the front wheels, with 287 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, making it one of the most powerful minivans you can buy. But fuel efficiency still matches the Honda Odyssey on the highway and in combined scores, and is just one mpg behind in the city. The engine is a gem, delivering smooth power across its rev range, and it even sounds good doing it. The 9-speed automatic shifts smoothly at cruise, going up and down hills, or at full throttle. Pacifica Hybrid models get a version of the same engine designed to run on a more fuel-friendly Atkinson-cycle engine plus two electric motors for a combined output of 260 horsepower. 3.6-liter V6287 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm262 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28 mpg 3.6-liter V6/dual-electric motors, 16kWh battery260 total system horsepowerEPA city/highway combined fuel economy: 32 mpgBattery-only range on a full charge: 33 miles
Forget the Chrysler Town & Country minivan, literally. Instead, feast your booster seats on the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan. This new minivan vaults Chrysler from last place into a best-in-class. It’s not just the styling, which blends luxury and practicality in a way uncommon in the minivan class. The dash design looks luxury-car ready, and the rest of the interior offers the utility you expect in a minivan, but with a purposeful eye on design. High-tech features include active cruise control, an around-view camera, and even a built-in vacuum cleaner. Thanks to the new Pacifica Hybrid, this Chrysler minivan breaks new ground with up to 33 miles of fuel-free driving, giving the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna and Kia Sedona some serious new competition.