Pacifica Puts Chrysler Minivan Back on Top

The first Pacificas were hitting dealer lots as we evaluated Chrysler’s new minivan, and if our view is echoed by the marketplace, FCA should have a hit on its hands.

Bob Gritzinger, Editor-in-Chief

April 29, 2016

2 Min Read
Pacificarsquos horizontal layout adds spacious feel
Pacifica’s horizontal layout adds spacious feel.

It’s been a few decades since Winnie Cheung and her family immigrated from China to the U.S., but she still fondly recalls the family car, a second-gen Chrysler Town & Country minivan that was “like a spaceship” for her and her siblings.

Today, Cheung can be proud that her latest work, the ’17 Chrysler Pacifica that replaces the Town & Country, is a hands-down Wards 10 Best Interiors award winner. As chief interior designer on the Pacifica, Cheung is the architect of the minivan’s spacious and well-appointed interior, drawing on her design expertise and her recollections of that minivan from her past. “Now, it’s like the Starship Enterprise,” she says.

Every row gets special attention in the new Pacifica, from the command center of the front seats to the individualized entertainment options in the second row to the comfort of a reclining seatback and room for full-sized adults in the third row.

From the Pacifica’s captain’s seat, the level of sophistication built into the new small van is immediately evident in the standard features available even in the lowest-trim LX model, with a flush-mounted center information touchscreen, easy connectivity and voice control as the starting points.

A significantly stiffer body shell provides a solid structure that eliminates many of the squeaks and rattles for which minivans are notorious, while standard active noise cancellation further quiets the interior space.

Layered upon that structure are exceptionally high-quality materials, whether for the soft-touch dashboard, the integrated flat-screen surface of the touchscreen or the cushioned armrests at all four captain’s chair positions. The little flourishes, like the roll-top desk look of the center console cover and the built-in sunshades for the second and third rows, make the Pacifica extra-special while staying true to its functional roots.

Chrysler’s latest UConnect system is quicker and more capable, while providing easier access to many everyday functions and second-row entertainment options featuring connectivity for any type of device.

The latest iteration of Stow ’n Go seating adds Stow ’n Go Assist to make the job of folding away the second-row seats much easier. Simply push a button on the B-pillar and the front bucket seats glide forward to provide ample room to fold and tuck away the second row. In addition, the optional power third row makes easy work of opening and closing those seats.

And of course, when the seats are in use, the huge rear cargo area provides ample room for luggage and gear, while the large underfloor tubs serve as perfect stowage for all manner of carry-on baggage.

“Minivan” might not be the first vehicle that comes to mind when considering interiors noted for breakthrough styling, but the all-new Chrysler Pacifica changes all that. With its inviting and spacious layout, functional design and all-around solid craftsmanship, the sixth-generation minivan is rewriting perceptions of the common peoplemover.

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2016 10 Best Interiors

About the Author(s)

Bob Gritzinger

Editor-in-Chief, WardsAuto

Bob Gritzinger is Editor-in-Chief of WardsAuto and also covers Advanced Propulsion & Technology for Wards Intelligence.

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