Test Drive:2017 Chrysler Pacifica
Philly Murtha | Jun 27, 2016
To usher in its next-generation midsize van that raises the bar on exterior and interior design and will challenge competitors–including volume leaders Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey–Chrysler's successor to the outgoing Town & Country bears a new name: Pacifica. Before the Town & Country gets kicked to the curb, however, it should be noted that it is no slouch in terms of quality, having ranked highest in its segment for three consecutive years in the J.D. Power U.S. Initial Quality StudySM (IQS), including the 2016 study, released last week.
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica may be the most elegant, contemporary front-wheel-drive (FWD) midsize van being sold. Built on a new, stronger steel unibody architecture that is 250 lbs. lighter than that of the Town & Country, Chrysler uses aluminum and magnesium to keep vehicle weight down. Streamlined with curves even around rear-window panels, the Pacifica pulls away from minivan nomenclature. It's loaded with technology and convenience features to create an ultimate vehicle for family ferrying, sporting events, vacation travel, home improvement cargo, mobile office uses, and even date nights.
The new Pacifica launched in May 2016; first-month deliveries totaled 2,982. Based on my drive in a fully equipped, Nappa-leather-upholstered Limited at Chrysler's Chelsea, MI, test grounds, I believe this next-generation midsize van will please dads, moms, and kids; executives; mobile business owners; and even services like Uber or Lyft. With so many electric easy-to-use features, it also will be appreciated by less nimble older buyers.