Reengineered using an all-new platform, Chrysler is calling the 2017 Pacifica “the most technologically advanced minivan.” A bold claim for sure, but the Town and Country replacement does boast over 100 available safety features, a rear seat theatre, hands-free doors and liftgate, and a segment-first hybrid model. Let’s take a closer look at all the changes and innovations.
Firstly, the design of the vehicle embodies all of the brand’s current styling cues like flowy headlights that blend seamlessly into the upper grille housing the prominent winged emblem. Underneath, a pair of foglights resides on either side of a large lower grille. The entire front fascia is a spitting image of the Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan.
The elongated nose, stretched out wheelbase, and low stance give the minivan a sporty and uncharacteristically non-minivan-like appearance. Other qualities adding to its sleekness include sliding door rails hidden beneath the rear-quarter side glass and available big 20-inch alloy wheels.
Inside is where the Pacifica dresses to impress, especially when you load it up with options like eight-passenger seating and the massive tri-pane panoramic sunroof that stretches all the way back to the third row. Chrysler’s signature Stow ‘n Go seats have been redesigned and return easier to use than ever. Pressing a button on the B-pillar scoots the front chairs forward, making room for the second row to fold into the floor. When not stowed, an Easy Tilt function provides occupants easy access to the back.
Calling shotgun might be a thing of the past after passengers try out the rear entertainment system. Two high-definition 10-inch touch screens and six, 13 or 20 speakers depending on trim level allow for watching movies, playing built-in games or streaming content from the Internet via paired mobile devices. The experience is made even better by the standard active noise cancellation that keeps unwanted road sounds out.
The Pacifica utilizes the latest version of the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine, producing 287 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain is similar to the setup found in other vehicles under the FCA umbrella, and strikes a good balance of performance and fuel economy netting an average of just under 10.0 L/100 km in combined city and highway driving.
Later this year, customers can look forward to the arrival of a hybrid variant capable of approximately 50 kilometres electric-only range, running off of a 16-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery.
Among the large amount of safety tech found in the vehicle, the Surround-View camera is being debuted, which uses four exterior-mounted cameras to display what’s going on outside in 360 degrees. A few other highlights are adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and parallel/perpendicular park assist.
The gasoline-powered 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is on sale now, and the hybrid is expected in late 2016.