Minivans

2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivans:
specifications, safety, and rumors

• First Drive

See the power page for power and mileage vs 2016 Hondas and Toyotas.

Keep going to see what we got right and wrong.

Models: How you can get the features you want

Some may be disappointed that a key feature they want is only available in top trim levels — such as the motion-activated doors or HID headlights. Still, even the base model is incredibly highly equipped. The red car pictured is a Limited. The blue car is a hybrid.

Every Chrysler Pacifica (except the hybrid) has:

  • DRLsUnusual features: active noise cancellation, active grille shutters, power heated mirrors, intermittent wipers, rear a/c and heater, eight-way power driver’s seat with four-way lumbar support, tilt/telescoping steering column, driver and passenger knee bolsters, dual-note horn, rear backup camera,
  • ... and: audio controls on the steering wheel, 730-amp battery, electric parking brake, capless filler tank, cruise control, side curtain airbags for all rows, tinted glass, DRLs, a tire inflator kit instead of a spare, front express power windows, an overhead console with a rear observation mirror, sunglass bin, and LED lamps, fully carpeted floor, illuminated vanity mirrors, front courtesy lamps, a locking glove box, seatback map pockets, driver’s seat Stow n Go Assist, Stow n Go, tilting second row seats, keyless entry and ignition button, and tire pressure monitor.
  • An inflatable spare tire appears to be optional, not standard, on most models.

The base model is the LX. We expect it to start at $28,595.

It has black exterior accents, halogen headlights, incandescent tail-lamps, three-zone temperature control, a five-inch touch-screen stereo, six speakers, cloth seats, 160-amp alternator, and a 3.5 inch black and white trip computer.

consoles

Blind spot monitoring and rear cross path detection is optional, along with the rear parking assistance that can stop the car.

Seats can only be purchased in black, alloy, and toffee (black, gray, and beige?).

The next one up is the Touring ($30,495). It is rather similar, adding an optional power liftgate, automatic headlamps, power sliding doors, more interior lighting, optional 8.4 inch stereo, and standard satellite radio.

leather seats

Touring-L is a big step up ($34,495). You get bright door handles, various exterior chrome accents, black roof rails, a power liftgate, projector headlamps (not HID yet), halogen fog lamps, LED tail lamps, second and third row window-shades, three-zone automatic temperature control, more interior lighting, the 13-speaker option, leather seats in black, alloy, or alloy/toffee, heated front seats, the seatback grocery bag hooks, leather-wrapped steering wheel, a floor console with storage, universal garage door opener, standard rear parking assistance, an alarm, and remote starter.

sliding doors

rear cross path detectionAt this level, the SafetyTec group is standard, with blind spot monitoring and rear cross path detection (it’s optional on LX and Touring). You can also get an optional spare at this level, or optional 18 inch wheels.

Touring L Plus is a smaller step up ($37,895). It adds bright roof rails, express second row windows, seven-inch color trip computer, ambient lighting, illuminated cup-holders, standard 8.4 inch stereo with optional navigation, standard UConnect Theater (10 inch screens, AC oulet, etc), standard 13 speaker stereo, perforated leather, eight-way power passenger seat with four-way lumbar, passenger seat Stow n Go Assist, and a 220 amp alternator.

Options now include the hands-free liftgate and sliding doors, tow package, navigation, and advanced SafetyTec with advanced brake assist, rain-sensitive wipers, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise, Surround View camera, and parking assistance.

tailgate

vacuumLimited steps you up to HID headlights at last, LED fog lamps, mirrors with turn signals, more interior lighting, navigation, premium leather, 180-amp alternator, and no Theater system. At this level, Cognac/Alloy leather disappears and Black/DeepMocha takes its place.

You can get the Theater system and big alternator to support it as options, along with all the options from the last model, and the panoramic sunroof. This is the only model with the vacuum (but you have to give up the spare tire).

The Limited Platinum ($42,495) appears to have been dropped before production began. When announced, it was to come with a standard panoramic sunroof, power folding memory mirrors with courtesy lamps, polished wheels, ventilated seats, memory driver’s seat, power recline/folding third-row seats, and a two-tone leather steering wheel.

Hybrid models

There are just two Hybrid models — Touring and Limited. The options are similar, except the sunroof is optional; and the Touring gets folding heated mirrors, both have 17-inch wheels standard, there’s no compact spare, rain sensitive wipers are optional on Limited, seats are Alloy on the Touring (cloth) and Limited (leather) with black leather optional on Limited, and heated steering wheel optional on Limited.

Ventilated leather appears to be missing from the Hybrid Limited; there is a comfort group that adds them along with a power eight-way passenger seat with lumbar adjust. There may be other features missing from the Hybrid version of the Limited.

people in minivan

2017 Chrysler Pacifica paint colors are Billet Silver Metallic, Black Pearl, White, Molten Silver Metallic, Velvet Red Pearl, Dark Cordovan Pearl, Jazz Blue Pearl, Tusk White Pearl, Granite Crystal Metallic, and Silver Teal Pearl Coat (exclusive to the Pacifica Hybrid).

loaded up

Interior colors are:

  • Cognac/alloy with Liquid Titanium accents and Toffee stitching
  • Black/Alloy with Mineral Shiitake accents and Sepia stitching
  • Black/Alloy with Cranberry Wine accents, stitching, and piping
  • Black/Deep Mocha with Liquid Titanium accents and gray stitching and piping
  • Black/Alloy with Anodized Ice Cave (light blue?) accents, Ice Blue (light blue?) stitching, and black piping

Dimensions

The fuel tank is a bit smaller but economy is expected to be high enough to compensate for that (especially on the hybrid/PHEV).

 Gasoline PHEV 2016 T&C
Track (both)68.3 68.2 65.6
Approach angle14.0° 13.5° 13.4°
Departure angle18.8° 18.6° 17.5°
Ground clearance5.1” 5.1” 5.6”
Fuel tank19 gal 17 gal 20 gal
Towing (with package)3,600 lb none 3,600 lb
Curb weight (lb)4,330 4,943 4,510 lb
Weight Distribution55/45 56.5/43.5 56/44

The dimensions, compared with the outgoing minivans:

Specification2017 Pacifica Town & Country
Wheelbase 121.6121.2
Overhang — Front 37.637.8
Overhang — Rear 44.343.8
Overall Length 203.6202.8
Overall Width 79.678.7
...with mirrors90.488.5
Overall Height 69.967.9
Liftover Height 24.924.4
Cargo Width at Wheelhouse 48.849.03
SAE Interior Volume, cu. ft. 197.3 190.8
Drag coefficient0.300 0.316
Aero CdA 9.95 10.2

... and the room by row. Total SAE passenger volume is 167.7 cubic feet, vs 163.5 in the outgoing van. No seat travel was listed for the middle rows, which move in prior vans.

 FrontMiddleRear
Head room40.139.638.7
... w/sunroof38.438.438.7
Leg room41.139.036.5
Shoulder room63.863.061.2
Hip room59.064.849.6
SAE volume61.156.450.2

cargo contractors

Cargo behind first seat, with all seats stowed (n/a on hybrid); 140.5 cubic feet

... behind the second row: 87.5 cubic feet

... behind the third row: 32.3 cubic feet

2015...LengthWidthHeight
20019273.659
Cherokee1827366-68
Minivans2047968
’17 minis2048070

Wheels are cast aluminum, regardless, generally painted. They are 17x7 up to the Limited (or as an option on Touring-L Plus), which gets 18x7.5 wheels. 20x7.5 wheels are optional on Limited.

Tires are black sidewall all-seasons. Standard on all but Limited are Kumho Solus TA31 or Yokohama Avid S34 in 235/65R17. The latter get 235/60R18 Michelin Premier A/S, Bridgestone Turanza EL440, or Nexen Roadian 581s (also optional on Touring-L Plus). Finally, Limited buyers can opt for 245/50R20 Kumho Solus TA31 or Falken Ziex CT50 tires.

An all-rounder:

(Gasoline FWD)2017 Chrysler
Pacifica
2016
Honda Odyssey
2016
Toyota Sienna
2016
Kia Sedona
2016
Caravan
Horsepower 287248266276283
Torque (lb-ft)262250 245248260
Weight4,330*4,3964,3754,4114,510
MPG18/2819/2818/2518/2517/25
Towing max3,6003,5003,5003,5003,600
Passenger vol.168173164n/a164
Cargo (behind 3rd row)3238393433
Total volume197.3196.1195.3  

* 4,943 pounds for the hybrid, estimated at 80 MPGe city

Suspension and brakes

BrakesFrontRear
Discs (std)13.0 x 1.1 vented rotor
13.0 x 0.47 solid rotor
Discs (hybrid)13.0 x 0.47 solid rotor + generator13.0 x 0.47 solid rotor
CalipersSingle piston floatingSingle piston floating
Swept area73.6 sq in (gasoline)66.5 sq in

Safety

cameraA new feature is Surround View, which uses four cameras to provide a bird’s eye perspective of the minivan and its surroundings. Drivers can choose stitched images available for all 360° or different views, including front and rear cross path views.

Both driver and passenger get knee bolster airbags to keep people in place during a collison. Automatic defogging measures humidity and de-fogs the windshield automatically (it requires the auto temperature control); and the rear window defroster goes on with remote start when the temperature is low enough.

There are other optional systems which use ultrasonic, radar, and cameras, including adaptive cruise control (adjusting to the speed of the car in front), which can actually stop the minivan.

hybrid grille with camera

If the driver does not hit the brakes hard enough to avoid an accident, the car can make up the gap. (This is based on studies showing that, before a crash, many drivers do not fully use the brakes, though they intended to.) This works with the collision warning system.

The antilock brakes can detect bad roads, and enter a different pressure control where it holds brake pressure for longer pulses. Brake-lock differential systems can selectively brake spinning wheels during a loss of traction; brake throttle override, a long-time Chrysler feature, overrides the throttle if the brake is also used. Roll and trailer-sway mitigation are part of the stability control system.

rear cross path detectionBlind-spot monitoring uses dual ultra-wideband radar sensors to light up icons in their mirrors if someone is in their blind spots; forward collision warning uses both radar and video to see if the Pacifica is coming up on an obstacle too rapidly, and both warns and assists the driver. Lane departure warning (which can be turned off) alerts the driver and gently puts pressure on the steering wheel to get back into the lane; it’s easy to override but has an odd feel.

Hill start assist prevents roll-backs on hills.

Parallel and perpendicular parking assistance, used already on the Jeep Cherokee, uses ultrasonic parking sensors on the bumpers to control the steering-wheel angles while the driver controls the speed. Parallel parking is possible on either side of vehicle by selecting the direction with the turn signal; for perpendicular parking, the vehicle backs itself into spaces. Video is from the Chrysler 200C.

Separate front and rear parking assistance use ultrasonic sensors at low speeds to spot stationary objects, providing haptic feedback and hitting the brake (when backing up) before hitting something, if the speed is under 4 mph. There is also a backup camera.

Rain brake support sometimes push brake pads lightly against brake rotors in rainy conditions in order to keep the rotors dry.

Ready Alert Braking (RAB) anticipates situations when the driver may initiate an emergency brake stop and uses the ESC pump to set brake pads against rotors in order to decrease the time required for full brake application

parking brakeSafe hold automatically applies the electric park brake if it detects that the driver has left the vehicle without shifting into Park.

Other features include four-way head restraints, front seat-belt adaptive/active load limiters, front seat-belt pretensioners that remove slack during a collision, side-mounted pelvic-thorax airbags mounted on the front seats, and standard side airbags. 

What we got right and wrong

checkSuzq044 did a stunning job on one rendering — it’s not perfect but it’s awfully close to what we actually see, and she did it about a year in advance of the release. That’s impressive.

700C rendering

Up to the last minute, FCA US was telling dealers about the “2017 Town & Country.” The week before the launch, reliable source oh2o reported that the actual name was Chrysler Pacifica, a name last used on a minivan-based crossover.

2017 minivan rendering

checkChrysler is completely re-creating its minivans for the 2017 model year — which starts in January 2016 — with front and rear independent suspensions, a hybrid option, and optional all wheel drive.

checkThe 2017 minivans will keep use the upgraded Pentastar V6;The 948TE nine-speed automatic will use a “knob” shifter to add space.

checkReliable source oh20 wrote that the hybrid package would include an Atkinson-cycle V6 and electrically variable transmission

 

The “880” logo refers to the passenger capacity and 80 MPGe.

checkThe restyling will make the van look shorter, while actually being slightly taller [two inches]; it is also said to be slightly longer [around one inch] than the current models (and appears to have a longer hood).

checkRedRiderBob wrote (gdmuscle wrote something similar), The front end [is similar to] the current Chrysler 200 while the side profile and body lines are similar to the 700C concept minus the crazy side windows. It has a bit of cab forward design [from] the 1996-2000 Dodge Grand Caravan.

check“gdmuscle” wrote, “The rear quarter windows don’t open for venting, they are fixed because of the way the sliding doors work. The D pillar is oddly shaped, it’s difficult to explain. There are options that will entice tech lovers.”

2016 chrysler minivans

checkgdmuscle again: The dash is seamless end to end, with materials that distinguish between high end and standard editions. The premium instrument panel has soft leather on top, while the standard model comes with a matte finish plastic or vinyl. The center console has either a large car like look or a standard mini console.

checkThe center stack now has a push drawer with a decelerator, so that when you push it, it slides out and stops slowly. The glove compartment is bigger. The center stack radio is either a full eight-inch touch-screen, integrated with vents on either side, or a 4.3 inch [actually 5 inch] on lower models.

checkThe seats still stow into the floor, but are larger and more comfortable. The rear has a Durango/Jeep taillight; the spy shots are not like what we’ve seen, with Dodge tail-lights and different dashboards, though the front looks somewhat accurate.

2015...LengthWidthHeight
Our guess206
8068
Reality2048070

check“gdmuscle” wrote that there will be a huge dual-pane sunroof, a rotary shifter, sliding door powered by proximity sensors (foot-waves), large seatback DVD screens to avoid problems with rear visibility.

2016 town & country minivan

check2017 will mark the first minivan with a nine-speed automatic transmission in the industry. These will also be Chrysler’s first home-grown hybrids, with a plug-in hybrid version to be sold around two months after launch.

checkReliable source oh2o agreed with gdmuscle that the sliding doors and tailgate will have a foot activated opening system (like Ford’s “kick-activated” liftgate).

minivan design

middle seatcheckPatent 8,632,113 B2 showed eight-seat minivans. In the patent the middle seat can be folded down into its own compartment; it is also removable in the real van. (Thanks, Steven St. Laurent.)

checkThe same patent showed seats that would pivot forward to allow rear access without removing (empty) child seats.

seat diagrams

Still to be determined

The cheapest van is expected to list for $26,000, due partly to major suspension, interior, electronics, and transmission upgrades.

A turbocharged four-cylinder may come during a refresh.

Unlikely: gdmuscle: “AWD will come via an electric assisted system that uses a rear single electric motor to power the rear wheels when there is slippage and does not require a driveshift to power the rear wheels, to allow the van to continue to have its Stow & Go seating.”

The spare tire is now inside, under a panel.

rendering: 2016 Chrysler minivan

Steven St. Laurent pointed to a new patent for sliding doors, which would allow for sloping rooflines; the patent drawing was used for the illustration below.

The new design can be used for sedans and pickup trucks, and its drawing bears some resemblance to the Chrysler 700 concept. (It may also be a new design for the Ram Mega Cab.)

New Stow ’n’ Go seats — are these the ones?

stow n go patent minivans

Steven St. Laurent pointed out that Chrysler applied for a patent on a revised Stow ’n’ Go system. The middle seats fold first and then move into the floor, so the front seats may not need to be pushed forward; and part of the floor panel (when stowed) is fixed to the seat back, simplifying stowage and reducing the parts count.  Full patent. We don’t know if these are what they used.

seats blueprint

Chrysler Voyager or Chrysler Caravan: the crossover version

Based on the investor plan, Chrysler will get a crossover based on the minivan (as they did with the Pacifica), with sources suggesting a body code of “RA” (R-Alternate?). There were rumors of Durango and Grand Cherokee moving over to the same platform, but they will likely retain their platform and architecture for another cycle or move to one shared with Alfa Romeo.

On January 12, 2015, Sergio Marchionne cast some doubt on whether this was a certainty: “... the car is designed. We know what it looks like. We’re just trying to find out whether we can sell enough. But obviously it shares the architecture with the minivan.”

2015 dodge caravan

The company might be keeping it “in its hip pocket” in case minivan sales don’t use all of the Windsor plant’s capacity; if the minivan sells so well that the plant is busy making just that one vehicle, it would be an expensive mistake to make the crossover there as well.

We make no guarantees regarding validity, accuracy, or applicability of information, predictions, or advice. Please read the terms of use and privacy policy. Copyright © 1994-2000, David Zatz; copyright © 2001-2016, Allpar LLC (except as noted, and press/publicity materials); all rights reserved. Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, Ram, and Mopar are trademarks of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.


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