Chrysler Pacifica

Model Overview

You’d be forgiven if you thought the new Chrysler Pacifica was a crossover because the name was originally used in one that was sold from the 2004 to 2008 model years. However, the latest Pacifica is the successor to the Town & Country minivan and features seating for up to eight. It’s available with all kinds of thoughtful convenience features to make family motoring easier.


Like the Town & Country, the Chrysler Pacifica minivan is a descendant of the original Dodge Caravan, which first appeared in the mid-1980s. The Town & Country minivan didn’t appear until the 1990 model year and was only in production for a year before the second-generation model arrived. For most of its existence, the Town & Country was a more luxurious long-wheelbase version of the Caravan and featured unique touches such as a chrome waterfall grille, a Chrysler Pentastar hood ornament, and wood grain accents as well as leather upholstery and an upgraded audio system.

The second-generation Town & Country was in production from the 1991 to 1995 model years, and like its predecessor, it featured a longer wheelbase compared to the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager, and the same unique touches as its predecessor such as a Pentastar hood ornament and wood side panels, but customers had the option to delete the latter. All-wheel drive was first offered in the second-generation Town & Country.

For its third generation, the Town & Country ditched the boxy exterior, wood side panels, and hood ornaments in favor of a more rounded and conventional look. Unlike its predecessors, the third-generation Town & Country went down-market slightly and added a more affordable entry-level trim. One of the key changes for this generation was the addition of a driver’s side sliding door and a short-wheelbase variant.

Originally, the Town & Country was only available as a long-wheelbase model for its fourth generation, which was produced for the 2001 to 2007 model years. However, the discontinuation of the Plymouth Voyager led to the reintroduction of the short wheelbase Town & Country after 2003. The fourth-generation Town & Country was also the first Chrysler Group minivan to feature the slick Stow N’ Go seats, which fold away into a tub in the floor to give you a flat cargo floor.

The fifth-generation model appeared in 2007 for the 2008 model year and was available with a choice of three V-6 engines. Available on the Limited trim of the Town & Country were second row Stow N’ Go seats that swiveled. Chrysler’s new Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 found its way into the Town & Country when it was refreshed for 2011. In a 2014 First Test, we said that “although the dark interior initially gives the interior an upscale feel, the cabin is filled with hard plastic, with the seats and door panels the exception.”

The Latest Generation

Riding on a new platform, the current generation Chrysler minivan, which now wears the Pacifica name, comes with Stow N’ Go seats that are easier to put away. In addition to the updated Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6, the 2017 Pacifica will also be available as a plug-in hybrid with a total system output of 260 hp and an electric-only range of around 30 miles. There’s also a new Uconnect Theater system that comes with cool games such as “Are We There Yet?” to keep the little ones occupied.

In a First Test, we noted that the Pacifica is extremely convenient and flexible for family duty. “The rest of the cabin is a significant improvement in build quality over the outgoing Town & Country. Our test car’s two-tone interior featured white as its primary color, a brave choice for hauling around kids armed with orange soda or grape juice. (At least the carpet is black.) The improved Stow ’n Go seats work as advertised, and our test car had the optional power-folding third-row seats, which were easy to operate,” we said.

Why You’d Consider One

Should flexibility and practicality be at the top of your wish list for a family car, a minivan like the Chrysler Pacifica will do all the hauling of kids, family, and gear better than a crossover. The Uconnect multimedia system will ensure that the little ones are entertained and have someone that can answer that eternal question kids ask during road trips.

Why You’d Look Elsewhere

You’re averse to the idea of a minivan and want a higher ride height that only a crossover or SUV can offer.

Body Types: SUV/Crossover, Van
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