"Pacifica" is How Chrysler Says "Town & Country" in 2017
No matter what people tell you about the burgeoning crossover segment–if you’ve got a big family, you likely own a minivan. The Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge caravan are departing the market. But, fret not minivan buyers, as Chrysler offering a replacement in the form of the all-new Chrysler Pacifica. The Original Minivan Brand Chrysler essentially created the full-size minivan craze in America in 1984. It would seem like a grave omission for there not to be some sort of minivan offering from the brand given its role in the segment. But the names “Caravan” and “Town & Country” represent the Old Guard of minivans, and while the Japanese automakers have strong branding for their minivans, the other members of the American Big Three, Ford and General Motors, have re-branded minivans multiple times through the years, eventually leaving Chrysler as the only domestic player. RELATED: Check out images of the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
A New-Old Name
“Pacifica” is the new name for Chrysler’s minivan, but it is not completely new to the brand. That name was previously affixed to a model of large crossover that was offered from 2004 to 2008 model years. It was more of a proto-crossover, or a bulky wagon, or low-slung SUV. It was an awkward vehicle, and kind of a confusing choice as a name to re-issue. Then again, people love reboots these days.
An All-New Platform
Chrysler was way behind the competition when it came to refinement. To combat that, Chrysler built the Pacifica around an entirely new platform. Despite this, it is a tenth of an inch shorter, about an inch wider, and roughly half an inch taller than the outgoing Town & Country. At 4,330 pounds, it is more than 300 pounds lighter than the minivan it replaces.
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The Pacifica comes with a V6 in one of two forms– either in a conventional layout or as part of a hybrid model. The conventional V6 sends 287 horsepower to the front wheels through a 9-speed automatic transmission (shifted via a dash-mounted dial). The hybrid engine makes 248 horsepower, and is combined with a lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor. Chrysler claims 30 miles of all-electric range, and a two-hour charge time with a 240-volt charger. It will also have regenerative braking and a claimed 80 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) in city driving.
RELATED: Check out images of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
Capability and Technology
There is available 8-passenger seating, or a 7-passenger layout with second-row captains chairs. There is also an available vacuum located in the back, hands-free access to the power sliding doors, and all of the high-tech collision avoidance technology buyers have come to expect from the latest new vehicles. So the Pacifica is as high-tech as it needs to be, while pimping styling that finally brings it in with the competition.
The chunky styling of the Town & Country is gone, in favor of much a much smoother design. It takes a lot of inspiration from the 200 sedan, which is not a bad thing at all. If you want to drive some German car fans nuts, you can tell them it also looks a lot like the Mercedes-Benz R-Class, which was an underrated niche minivan-crossover sold from 2005 to 2012 in the United States.
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