Yes, this is the all-new 2016 Chrysler Pacifica minivan and we promise that this will be the most interesting Pacifica review you will ever see. While you may remember the old Pacifica, but this new one has nothing to do with the old one. We’re also interested in dynamics so if you’re a soccer mom or dad who enjoys driving, stay tuned because we’re going to explore how this 2016 Chrysler Pacifica performs.

We think this Pacifica is stunning and is by far the most attractive in the segment. Minivans do get maligned and I don’t think that’s entirely fair either. They often get saddled with the stigma of dad jeans but they’re really the automotive equivalent of a Swiss Army knife. They haul families and cargo without a second thought and drive as easily as a car.

The minivan was invented by Chrysler and it’s no wonder they still dominate the segment. What Chrysler has done with the Pacifica is taken minivan utility and usability to a new level, but also it’s child friendly technology. The new Uconnect Theater includes a BluRay DVD player for the two second row seats. The system’s killer app, so to speak, is in fact a series of apps. In my case, I had two grown children playing the checkers and tic-tac-toe apps together. Amazing stuff. Parents will also love the are-we-there-yet app.

The famous Stow N Go seats are redesigned to be even easier to use than before and storage is off the charts. The interior design, especially in the front row, is much more luxe than utility.

As I mentioned earlier, if you’re a soccer mom or dad who likes to drive, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised with the Pacifica. I’m going to get all sports car nerdy here, but it’s the Pacifica’s 55 % front 45 % rear weight distribution that gives it some fundamentally sound handling characteristics. Brakes are four wheel discs and the electric power steering is precise and quick enough for the driver to not only feel confident, but also to have some fun. Yes, this is a minivan that is actually a bit fun to drive.

Chrysler’s latest take on the minivan is light years ahead of the old one, and in virtually every way, the Pacifica has leapt well ahead of the competition. Make no mistake, though, because the Pacifica is positioned as the premium choice and starts at $43,995 CAD. In Limited trim, it starts at $52,995 CAD and with options it’ll cost even more, however, spec-for-spec the Pacifica remains competitively priced while being the most technologically advanced minivan on the market.

In the near future, there will be a plug in hybrid model that’s said to have an electric-only range of 48 kilometres, and further down the road, expect to see an all wheel drive option.

With its ability to carry and tow this much weight, there’s even less of a reason to consider a crossover over a minivan this capable. Since Chrysler invented the segment because of the minivan’s inherent utility and car-like drivability over traditional vans, this Pacifica fits the bill as a great alternative to today’s popular crossovers, but more importantly as the new benchmark for minivans.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited
Base Price: $52,995 CAD
As Tested: $52,995 CAD
Notable Options: N/A
Drivetrain: 3.6-litre V6, 287 hp, 262 lb-ft, nine-speed automatic transmission, front wheel drive
Performance: Remarkably engaging chassis, great steering and brakes. V6 is strained with a full complement of passengers.
VVUZZ Recommended: The Pacifica has it all – design, refinement, technology utility, comfort, and a little performance – making it the new benchmark for minivans. Oh, and it’s made in Canada, too.

 

Cover image courtesy of the author. Gallery images courtesy of Chrysler.

Published on Apr 12, 2016