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2017 Pacifica vs the 2016 minivan world

by David Zatz on

Later this month, Chrysler will officially launch minivans at dealerships across the US and Canada. Still, much has been made of the extra cost of the Pacifica over the Caravan. It may be worth a closer look.

The base Pacifica LX is $29,590 (all prices include destination), versus the current Cavan AVP’s $23,090. That’s quite a hike, but the Caravan will continue — and is really selling well below what it should be. The cheapest minivan outside of Dodge is the Kia Sedona, at $27,295, and that’s barely moving.

pacifica-showing

Minivan buyers seem to be less price sensitive than many would think; there is higher demand from retail buyers for upper trim levels on Toyota and Honda minivans, and for middle to high trim on Chrysler minivans.

The biggest minivan sellers outside of FCA are Toyota and Honda; Toyota’s base model (with only around 1/20 of their sales) is the L, starting at $29,750. That’s above the Pacifica LS by $160. Over at Honda, the cheapest Odyssey — again, with around 1/20 of their sales — runs $30,300.  For that matter, the cheapest Chrysler Town & Country today is the LX, with just 2% of sales, running $30,990.

At the top end, Chrysler is not even close to Honda or Toyota. The Pacifica Limited, with many more features than the Town & Country, is $43,490. The Toyota Sienna Limited Premium is $46,170; the Odyssey, $45,775. (The Sedona Limited is cheaper at $40,795).

The Pacifica does well in features, as well; unlike the Toyota and Honda, it has an optional surround-view camera, ventilated seats, automated parking (both parallel and perpendicular), 10-inch seatback screens, hands-free sliding doors and liftgates, LED fog lamps and headlamps, heated second row seats, and of course Stow ’n’ Go seating. (The Kia has a hands-free gate but not hands-free doors. The hands free feature will not be available until later in the model year; and buyers can choose to delete it and get $195 back.)

The Pacifica tops it off with better highway mileage than the Sienna (the same as the Odyssey), best in class horsepower, three more forward gears, active noise cancellation on every model, and the largest interior. The Pacifica, like the Caravan and Town & Country, will be able to haul up to 32 1/2-inch-thick 4×8 building materials.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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