2017 Chrysler Pacifica First Drive: Family Decadence on Four Wheels [Video]

After briefly driving the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan, I can honestly say the folks at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) sweated the details and built something special. Gone is the box-on-wheels shape of the last model, this 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is the sleekest minivan in our market. FCA banished the exterior noise and added a supple ride; all this while removing over 200 pounds from the previous FCA minivan’s weight.

Performance is not too shabby with the 287 horsepower 3.6-liter V6 making maximum horsepower at 6,400 rpm, which is high for a minivan. That Pentastar V6 puts out 266 pound-feet of torque while returning 18 mpg city and a class leading 28 mpg highway. The power goes through a (948TE) 9-speed automatic transmission to the front wheels. It is a knob/dial design that works better in this application over any other FCA product that comes to mind. There is no option for all-wheel drive (AWD) but the FCA folk say it’s possible with enough demand.

Maximum towing is 3,600 pounds (when properly equipped).

The interior is open and spacious. While 8-passenger seating is available, you can only seat 7-passengers if you opt for the three-panel sunroof. Being a large human, I was surprised at the spaciousness of the front and middle-row passenger seats. The third row is usable for adults but best used by kids or average-sized adults. The seating surfaces on our tester were supple, yet supportive. The driver’s perch was ideal for lounging during a long drive while the seats still hold on to you during mildly sporting cornering.

The highway ride is outstanding. Its poise and comfort rival some high-end luxury sedans. Once again, you can tell they sweated the details.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

Cargo space with all of the seats up is 32.3 cubic feet and maximum cargo capacity with all the seats down is 140.5 cubic feet. A 4′ x 8′ sheet of plywood can easily fit inside. The Stow’n-go seating allows both rows to fold completely flat into the floor, which gives you a flat surface. There is a multitude of seating variations, easily making the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica’s interior the most utilitarian in the business.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica interior with 4x8 plywood

In this video, you will see demonstrations with a few of the bah-zillion tech systems FCA packed into the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, like:

  • Around-view camera
  • Internal Vacuum cleaner
  • Parking assist (both parallel and perpendicular)
  • Multi-mode/multi-user infotainment system
  • Blind-spot assist

… and more

Driving the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica was more pleasurable than I expected. Rather than a mushy box-on-wheels feel, which is common for most minivans other than the Toyota Sienna SE, it feels solid and assured. It reminded me of a recent drive I took in a Lincoln MKX. It’s very quiet and outside noises are mitigated by the excellent sound deadening and noise cancelling technology.

Turn the wheel hard and it will lean – a bit. It stops itself from excessive body roll on all but the most extreme corners. The steering feedback is minimal, but the steering wheel weight is very reassuring. I had no trouble judging the correct steering input for each corner. Speaking of cornering, despite having a very long wheelbase (121.6-in.), the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan has a tight turning radius of 19.85 feet. To put that into perspective, the 2016 Chrysler 300 is 19.45 feet. It helps make this minivan a snap to maneuver and park.

Pacifica BandW event

So far, so good.

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan is currently in production and will arrive in showrooms soon.


  • LX $28,595
  • Touring $30,495
  • Touring-L $34,495
  • Touring-L Plus $37,895
  • Limited $42,495

Enjoy the video and stay tuned to a full TFLcar review of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Minivan coming soon!