Detroit: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
Chrysler has traveled to the Detroit Motor Show to introduce an all-new minivan. The updates are so comprehensive that the car maker has dropped the decades-old Town & Country moniker and revived the short-lived Pacifica nameplate.
Built on a brand new platform, the Pacifica is markedly more aerodynamic than the aging Town & Country it replaces. It falls in line with Chrysler’s latest design language by adopting styling cues such as a rippled hood and sleek headlights integrated into a narrow grille. Chrome trim on the lower part of the bumper adds an elegant touch to the front fascia, while the rear end gains horizontal LED tail lamps and a roof-mounted spoiler.
Chrysler has turned the tech dial up to 11 in the cabin. The Pacifica ships with a seven-inch color screen integrated into the instrument cluster, and an 8.4-inch dash-mounted touch screen that runs the latest generation of the company’s Uconnect infotainment system. For added convenience, the van can be ordered with a vacuum cleaner — a feature borrowed from Honda –, a rear-seat entertainment system, Stow n’ Go seating, and hands-free sliding doors.
Buyers can also select a long list of electronic driving aids including adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera, a forward collision warning system that applies the brakes if it senses a crash is imminent, and a lane departure warning system. Parking sensors, a rear-view camera, active noise cancellation, and a blind-spot monitoring system come standard on all models regardless of trim levels.
The Pacifica is powered by a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine tuned to send 287 horsepower and 262 lb-ft. of torque to the front wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission. A start/stop system helps the van offer what Chrysler calls unsurpassed fuel economy, but official figures haven’t been published yet.
A hybrid model will join the Pacifica lineup a little later in the production run. The drivetrain includes a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and two electric motors, though Chrysler hasn’t revealed what kind of gasoline-slurping engine it’s equipped with. However, the Pacifica Hybrid is capable of driving on electricity alone for up to 30 miles and it returns about 80 mpge in a mixed cycle, a figure that earns it the honor of being the most efficient minivan on the market.
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica will go on sale in the spring, while the Pacifica Hybrid won’t arrive until later this year. Pricing information will be published in the weeks leading up to its on-sale date.