By on January 11, 2016

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Persistent rumors of the Chrysler Town & Country’s demise have proven true. Going further, the House of Marchionne has dug through its list of historical nameplates to pick a moniker for the minivan’s successor

Chrysler is resurrecting the Pacifica name to affix to the derriere of the next-generation people hauler, a name we last saw on the short lived three-row crossover from 2004 to 2008. Thankfully, the new Pacifica shares nothing with its earlier namesake, and only the good stuff with its Chrysler and Dodge predecessors.

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Winning the efficiency game
Chrysler’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 will continue to do duty under the Pacifica’s new shapely hood, but with some improvements, of course: new injectors, a new valve timing system, idle start/stop, a few weight loss tweaks and a mild power bump from 283 to 287 horsepower (torque gets a smaller bump from 260 to 262 lbs-ft). The ZF designed nine-speed automatic makes its first appearance in FCA’s minivan and, thanks to its low-ratio first gear and tall final gear, you should expect improved fuel economy and faster acceleration.

However, should you watch to stretch the distance between gas station visits even farther, the 2017 Pacifica will be available as the world’s first plug-in hybrid minivan.

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There are plenty of details we’ve yet to explore, but here are the main points: Chrysler’s 3.6-liter V-6 gets tweaked to run on the Atkinson cycle, dropping power to 248 horsepower and 230 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to an all-new transaxle that appears to be based on the two-mode hybrid transmission we last saw in the Chrysler Aspen Hybrid. Combining a four-speed planetary gearset with two motors, the system will allow the Pacifica to run in EV mode, serial-hybrid mode, parallel-hybrid mode, compound-split-parallel-hybrid mode and gasoline-only mode. Fuel economy has yet to be released, but Chrysler is promising an impressive 30 mile electric range and 80 MPGe thanks to a large, 16-kWh battery pack.

Unfortunately, we can’t have it all: the rumors of all-wheel drive returning to Chrysler’s minivan have proven false.

Weight reduction is the biggest buzz phrase in the industry as of late and Chrysler has cut 250 pounds out of its minivan, trim to trim. At 4,330 pounds, the delta between a large, three-row crossover like the Pathfinder and the Pacific is negligible. In fact, the Pacifica is now lighter than GM’s Lambda crossovers. It remains to be seen how the weight savings translates to on-road performance, but the optional 245/50R20 tires and new “twist blade” independent rear suspension should help the Pacifica out handle the Sienna.

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Catching up with corporate memos
The Pacifica, to put it bluntly, looks like a Chrysler 200 that’s swallowed a bread box — and that’s not a bad thing. Although larger, the same styling cues from the 200’s front end are repeated on the Pacifica, from the grille to the lower valance.

The corners can be fitted with alloy wheels measuring as large as 20 inches and the back end is as square and plain as you’d expect from a minivan that’s trying to maximize interior volume.

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The new curvy silhouette and active grille shutters grant the people hauler a low .30 coefficient of drag despite growing an inch longer and wider than the 2016 Town & Country. The growth assures the new minivan will still swallow a 4×8 sheet of plywood with ease and a few more cubic feet of cargo to boot.

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It appears the Chrysler 200 wasn’t just the inspiration for the Pacifica’s exterior, but the interior as well. The partial LCD instrument cluster is similar to their mid-sized sedan and considerably snazzier than those from competitors at Honda or Toyota. The rotary shifter we’ve seen in other Chryslers makes an appearance in tandem with the new nine-speed automatic; the last generation’s console shifter jammed into the dash never looked right to my eye.

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Perhaps the biggest interior change for 2017 is the return of an eight-passenger option after a 20-year hiatus. Instead of an actual bench in the middle, however, it appears to be some sort of “lightweight, removable” seat that’s likely to spend most of its time “as a second-row armrest with cup holders.” Speaking of cup holders, Chrysler hasn’t disclosed how many hundred juice boxes the Pacifica will accommodate.

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Contrary to other rumors, Stow ‘n Go sticks around for both rows and has been improved for easier storage of the second-row seats. (No word on needing to remove that snap-in middle seat.) The basis for Stow ‘n Go is deep storage wells that drop below the floor level of the minivan. Using the same trick for the center console, the new storage bin goes deeper than the floor between the front seats.

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Because Millennials are parents now
As expected, the 8.4 inch uConnect infotainment systems are available and will benefit updated software that adds a few new features. That system will be joined by new, optional 10-inch touchscreen infotainment displays in the rear. Self-parking, active noise cancellation, a 20-speaker luxury sound system and a built-in vacuum — like the one Honda pioneered with the Odyssey — will also be on offer.

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Although safety doesn’t sell cars, it sure helps move minivans. Chrysler has tossed all their latest tech into the Pacifica including its LaneSense system that helps steer you back into your lane, pre-collision braking, blind-spot monitoring, radar cruise control and five different LATCH locations for easy child seat installation. Like Nissan’s three-row Pathfinder, the second-row seat can articulate with a child seat buckled in place to allow easier access to the back (more so than any other minivan, Chrysler claims). There’s also a new 360-degree surround camera system.

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Pricing won’t be announced until closer to the Pacifica’s on-sale date, which is expected to be spring 2016 for the gasoline Pacifica and the second half of 2016 for the Pacifica Hybrid. While we don’t know exact figures, you can bet it’s not going to stray too far from the approximate $30,000 starting price in 2016 to stay competitive. The gasoline model will come in six different trim levels, starting at the base LX and going up to Limited Platinum. The hybrid, on the other hand, will come in Touring and Limited Platinum, which is an interesting twist: Limited Platinum is the top-end trim, but Touring is just one notch above the LX.

Although the Pacifica is a few years late in my book, Chrysler has taken the right step by completely redesigning their practical family hauler. With the hybrid model and a much snazzier Limited Platinum trim, Chrysler is also protecting its reputation as the purveyor of innovative minivans.

Be sure to stay tuned as we hope to get out hands on one closer to its on-sale date in 2016.

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142 Comments on “NAIAS 2016: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica – This Is (All of) It, a Caravan for Town & Country...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Seriously fracking impressive. WELL DONE GENTS!

  • avatar

    The front is really sweet!
    The rear side is so ugly, I would never buy this…ever.
    I’ll keep my 2012 forever it seems.

  • avatar
    derekson

    Handsome for a minivan, I guess.

    The hated 9 speed transmission might be a fault though.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    Wow, a decent looking minivan. Who wudda thunk it?
    The 200 is a great looking sedan, and the look translates well here in my opinion.

    So, no midsize sedan for Dodge, no pickups or vans (spun off to RAM), and now, no minivan. I believe the Durango isnt expected to live after the current one expires.
    So Dodge is supposed to survive on the Dart, Journey and Charger/Challenger alone? Three of the four sell pretty poorly. Crazy. Mercury had more going for it before Ford pull its plug. This does not bode well for Dodge.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Under the Marchionne strategy, each brand doesn’t have to pull its own weight in volume as it had in years past. Dodge is supposed to be performance, sort of. Hence the minivan being dropped and soon to be Durango with Journey next. What will comprise Dodge in the future? Time will tell.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        A RWD midsize sedan/coupe would be nice. I bet the Alfa Romeo platform is too expensive to use, and thats a shame.

        The Dart needs a refresh, and I dont know how long they can keep selling the LX platform without anyone noticing how old it is. I laugh when people complain about the old D3 platform from Ford is, yet nobody mentions how old Chrysler’s full size platform is. But, its okay because RWD/Hemi/Hellcat/Gibbs whatever lol.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I think you’ll see LX for twenty years from date of introduction even if it goes fleet only at some point, so roughly 2025.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          In all fairness—and I’m not a fan of FCA—the LX cars drive fairly well, despite their age. And even though LX was somewhat derived from the earlier LH platform (all the large “cab-forward” FWD + longitude engine cars), it was changed enough to be a new platform when it debuted around MY2005. Meanwhile, the Ford D3/D4 platform is pretty much a late 90s Volvo platform, and the full-sized cars are clearly compromised because of it, since most of them have less usable room than a car one or two class-sizes below. Another old 90s platform was the Ford DEW98 (Jaguar S-Type, Lincoln LS, final Ford Thunderbird), which Jaguar was using until it redesigned the XF for MY2016.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            It isn’t the D3’s fault that the Taurus/MKS has poor interior space utilization.

            The Five Hundred and razor-face Taurus had great interiors, but the current Taurus gives up 7(!) CuFt of interior space to the old models.

            Whoever decided that such a wide/tall center console and “cockpit” seating would sell a full-size domestic car really screwed up.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The D3/D4 isn’t “pretty much” a late 90s Volvo platform. There have been significant changes and revisions. That’s like saying that CD4 is an early 2000s Mazda platform.

            The issue with the Taurus is that Ford thought the “cockpit” enclosed feel was going to be successful. It was a stylistic choice that was a poor one.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            ajla and bball40dtw.

            I think you’re both right, and I stand corrected. The 2008-2009 Taurus and Sable were extremely airy (and of course the Five-Hundred and Montego), and they utilized that platform.

            I can see why Ford might have thought that people wanted the cockpit feeling, because plenty of people do…but not to the point where the center console digs into their knees! I had a 2013 Taurus rental for a week; I swear it felt like every time I sat in it, it got smaller.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I guess Dodge dealers will carry sporty cars…and RAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

      • 0 avatar
        seanx37

        I don’t know if there are too many stand alone Dodge dealers left. I only know of one. They are all Dodge/Ram/Chrysler/Jeep dealers. It will make it easier when FCA mercy kills Dodge.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I object to Chrysler’s continued use of chromed mirror skullcaps, but other than that, it looks great. Well done, FCA.

  • avatar

    WOW! I was worried the inventor the minivan had finally lost it but that is swanky as hell. Well done, FCA…well done indeed!

  • avatar
    Mattias

    Well done design but I would’ve preffered Grand Voyager because that name is recognized both inside and outside the US… Marchionne most likely has an ace up when it comes to Dodge, the Durango will likely redesigned to be the niche sports SUV people have been looking for, dunno about the Journey though…

  • avatar

    The Pacifica is up there with the current Honda Odyssey as far as stylish minvans go… not bad, FCA. Not bad at all.

  • avatar
    April S

    I have a feeling Dodge dealers are going to howl now that they will not have a American Value Package Grand Caravan to sell for low low price of $19,999.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      The Drowning Class does not deserve a good, cheap minivan.

      It only encourages them to fill it with kids.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      What’s incredible that actual prices for these AVPs is way less than that, I’ve seen them advertised for $15,900! Sure it might start falling apart around you in five years or so, but wow that is a lot of utility for the money. For a vehicle that will be vomited in and have goldfish crammed in the most unlikely of places, it makes a ton of sense even to folks that can afford something a good deal nicer.

      I can’t imagine how Chrysler can walk away from the name recognition and branding built up in the storied “Grand Caravan” name. Crazy.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I agree with you 100%. I see no point in spending any more than absolutely necessary on a car that the kids and dogs are going to destroy anyway. And I cannot even begin to believe that the Japanese vans will be enough more reliable to pay off.

        And I also agree that while this new van is sexy, it seems crazy for them to walk away from the old name. Only about 3 people remember the Pacifica fondly.

        • 0 avatar

          Name thing is stupid. But Krhodes nailed the value proposition of the FCA vans, even if you have more issue then the competition is it 5-6k or more in problems (based on similar model to model selling prices) if you buy used the differential gets even bigger. Plus you may get a good one it’s shocking how many 200k mile plus GC and TC there are on craigslist.

    • 0 avatar
      seanx37

      They aren’t howling now with no new product in ages, and none coming?

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    This looks like the giant Fit I’ve long wanted. Much Honda DNA in that form envelope.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Im not sure anyone would actually want a phev minivan that gets 2 miles/kwh and has a measly 30 mile range. Seems to me they made a cafe special and they didnt even have the hurricane 4 ready so they had to rely on the v6.

    They should have built a regular hybrid and saved the cost and weight while building a phev commuter like the volt with 53 miles electrc range.

    • 0 avatar
      SlowMyke

      Knowing Sergio’s feelings on electrics, I suspect you’re correct. On the other hand, it’s got no competition and there are plenty of stay at home parents out there that get kid duty and shopping while their spouse is at work. 30 miles of gas free driving could get most of that done, and that could be a big sell. I understand that the “40 miles covers 90% of America’s driving needs” campaign didn’t exactly set volt sales on fire, but volts also got limited space inside. A big family hauler that can do about the same should have a different appeal. Especially without the science-project styling.

      But yeah, a legit gas hybrid would be better, were it not for CARB requiring the ZEV b.s. that they do.

    • 0 avatar
      colin42

      EV’s like the gen 1 Volt use 0.27kWh/mile (10.5kwh / 38 miles). This is a larger vehicle so I’d expect at least 0.4kWh/mile. You calculation assumes the 16kWh is the usable range.

    • 0 avatar
      clivesl

      30 miles gets me to my shop and back with 10 miles to spare.

      Plus I can still fit pretty much anything in it.

      Why do I need more than that?

  • avatar
    Skink

    At four syllables and eight letters, Pacifica is still too difficult to pronounce and spell.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      But it’s replacing the old 4-syllable name of 11 letters plus an ampersand, so significant weight reduction.

      • 0 avatar
        Skink

        Still too difficult.

        • 0 avatar
          SlowMyke

          More difficult than 328i xdrive? People can be dumb, but I think you’re underestimating just a tad here. Pacifica is pretty damn straight forward. People still buy Expeditions, Escalades, Navigators, Pathfinders and all sorts of things with more than a few letters and syllables.

          Or am I missing some sarcasm here…

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Nobody but a BMW marketing drone has ever referred to a 328i as anything but a 328i, regardless of whether power goes to 2 or 4 wheels.

            At least this has a proper name, and isn’t the FCA3 or something.

          • 0 avatar

            Here in CT they seem to really push the X drive thing (I play a game on the highway trying to spot non X drive beemer made after 2002 or so. So far I’m running about 80% x drive and most of the non ones are M models. ) I had a claim at the local dealer about 5 years ago when I worked insurance the sales man seemed to say I can upgrade you to x drive for 75/month about 50 times in the hour I spent browsing the show room waiting for the service manager.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            AWD is the cool new thing man. My dealer in Maine doesn’t even stock RWD BMWs other than the few that aren’t available in AWD. Pretty much if you see a newer BMW in New England that is RWD, it was special ordered, like both of mine. Sad situation.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        The weight of all those extra letters adds up…

  • avatar
    Sammy B

    Looks really nice….I’m impressed.

    Also, the middle row “filler” seat to get 8 passengers….Honda take note! FCA found a way to do this AND provide inboard armrests! Get your act together, Honda!!

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Finally someone bringing hybrid tech to minivans… what took so long?! Perfect application for it I think: use a torquey electric motor to get all that weight up and moving from a stop. I wonder how the battery placement affects seat folding, I certainly wouldn’t mind losing the stowaway seat feature (and a return to simply taking them out and sticking them in the garage) in order to get a family sized hybrid van.

    Definitely a very cohesive exterior design, that is downright handsome.

    Looking at it a bit more, it seems that this is a bit shorter and has less rear overhang than competing vans. In the photos, the third row looks a bit tighter than competitors. I guess we’ll have to wait until the actual numbers come out as well as some side by side comparison tests are done.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      @gtemnykh

      I agree with you here too. This is where a hybrid system will actually pay. In urban areas with lots of stop-and-go, the minivan owners I know report 15mpg or less. Just getting that to 20mpg saves a whole bunch of money. Plus it should reduce brake wear which is a big issue with minivans. And of course, the dread transmission failures. Hopefully their hybrid system is up to the task. And I figure if you are going to do it, you might as well be able to plug it in too.

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        While I’d prefer a diesel over hybrid wizardry, this will be welcome. Our Odyssey averages about 15-16 mpg around town with lots of stop and go, hills, etc. 20mpg would indeed be a welcome improvement and flatlanders could see even more.

        My only hope is that Toyota and Honda know this too and apply their hybrid systems to their vans. But I’m pretty impressed with this new Pacifica, though I share the sentiment that it should have been the Voyager.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    I’m sure I will get used to it, and that actually is a decent looking front end, but it was initially shocking to see the 200’s face taffy-pulled into minivan proportions.

  • avatar
    Tomifobia

    Off-white plastic scuff moldings at the passenger and cargo doors. What bonehead thought that was a good idea? They’ll be marred by embedded dirt within a month of normal use, if that.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    I think that with this FCA and Marchionne have lost touch with their market.

    Sales of high end Town and Countries are low for a reason.

    If a consumer is buying a people mover based on style, then they will buy a large SUV. You can never convince them to buy a minivan.

    If they are paying large coin for a minivan, they are going to buy a Honda or Toyota based on their perceived quality.

    FCA sells inexpensive mini-vans. AVP and CVP packages by the truckload at a starting price of approximately $20k. The new Pacifica has raised this price point by 50%, those eliminating most of their committed customers.

    FCA is not Alfa or Mercedes and Mr. Marchionne better realize this. Fix the quality problems first before trying to go up market. And when you dominate a market the way that FCA does the North American minivan market, then why abandon it?

    • 0 avatar
      mu_redskin

      the existing caravan sticks around for another year alongside this one so there will still be a value option for a period of time. FCA had no choice but to go all out lux on this as going cheap during the Mercedes/Cerberus years almost killed them.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        @mu_redskin
        How does having it stick around for one year address the problem? Where will all those consumers go next year? Certainly not to a $30k plus Pacifica? The Caravan greatly outsells the Town and Country. Those buying FCA minivans are buying solely on cost and they are still buying quite a few of them.

        Wouldn’t FCA be better off spending some money on improving the quality & reliability of the current model and extending its lifespan?

        Extending the lifespan of a model that as decent sales is a proven method of increasing net revenue.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          There’s no reason why they can’t release a stripped-out Dodge version of this minivan in a few years, after the current Caravan is retired.

          FCA is trying to slowly get out of the “we’re the cheapest in every segment” trap that previous owners left them in. It’s working so far.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            Yep…. cant imagine they are selling $15K GCs at a profit. It’s a huge gamble but it’s one worth taking IMO.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          CAFE regs are tightening and there’s no margin in a $20k van. All those improvements to meet standards aren’t free. The bulk of them are already the $30k models anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Previously they could juuuust make the numbers work with the volume of strippo-GCs, but I feel like lots of those buyers have moved on to ProMaster Citys, Transit Connects, or City Express/NV200s. “Mini-vans” rather than “minivans.”

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          I always thought the Grand Caravan handily outsold the T&C as well, but that’s just a Canadian thing – Tim Cain’s numbers show that with the outgoing generation, the Chrysler was typically within about 10% of the Dodge’s numbers.

        • 0 avatar

          In the US the T and C and GC sell about the same. In Canada yes the GC way out sells the T and C.

    • 0 avatar
      iNeon

      The A/CVP vans are not discounted much below those (barely) sub $20k prices. Any store advertising a $15,999 Caravan is just pretending– the ‘loss leader’never exists in reality and your repeating it doesn’t make it the rule for the market, rather than the exception it is and will always be.

      These vans will sell comfortably at the $23-25k pricepoint any basic van from any manufacturer sells for. The AVP package doesn’t make the bulk of Chrysler’s minivan sales. quite the opposite, actually.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        That’s weird, because Cars.com lists 47 new 2016 Caravans near me for less than $20K, including a half dozen under $18K.

        But there are zero new Odysseys within 75 miles of me listed for less than $27K.

        Facts are so frustrating sometimes.

        • 0 avatar
          gearhead77

          I remember seeing a few Value Package Caravans while shopping a few years ago. Even if we were looking to buy, it wasn’t appealing. Just cheap looking and feeling, but I guess if you needed a cheap 7 pax vehicle, it was a bargain. Just too basic for my tastes.

          And having had an LX Odyssey as a loaner, I wouldn’t do that either, not for nearly 8000 more than those basic Caravans. Especially since the T&C started at 30k with a ton of equipment standard, the LX is for Honda loyalists and minimalists who want a Honda badge.

    • 0 avatar
      Varezhka

      I do agree that the Caravan/T&C/Journey mainly sell on price, and with the new pricing many former customers will go somewhere else. I know the idea is to sell less cars with larger profit margin, but not sure how successful they will be given their competitors. I’m sure we’ll see a large cash on hood in a short while.

      On a related note, what will be the least expensive 7-seater available here once the existing FCA trio dies out? Mitsubishi Outlander?

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    This is a serious contender for my money when our Honda lease expires in 16 months. Good looking van inside and out and the hybrid system should be a game changer (i.e force Toyota and Honda to put one in their vans)

    I like the rotary selector for the gear selector too. Way better than the stick in the last one mounted on the dash. We came very close to buying the T&C on price alone, the Honda was a better driving van though. And in light of the positive reviews on the Toyotas refresh, Hondas refresh coming up and this, minivan shopping might be interesting the next time.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    great summation. one question though. Jalopnik’s article said that opting for the hybrid means you lose stow n go (which I and several people who have T&C think is the vans best feature). do you know if that’s actually the case? My mom is one current T&C owner who would love a hybrid version, but wouldn’t want to give up the S&G.

    • 0 avatar
      DeeDub

      Those batteries have to go somewhere. Unless it comes with a turtle pack on top for them, the stow n go cavities seem to be the only place to put them.

    • 0 avatar
      dbar1

      If you get the hybrid, you lose the middle row stow and go, but can still remove the middle seats. The back row is always stow and go, hybrid or not.

      The battery pack is in the middle area only, so thats how you can keep the stow and go in the rear.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Are the non-Stow ‘N Go middle seats in the hybrid actually comfortable? The worst thing about Stow ‘N Go is that it makes the second-row seats rock-hard and way too low.

      If the second-row seats in the hybrid are thicker and better-padded that would be a reason to buy the hybrid.

  • avatar
    DeeDub

    This is what the current Sedona should have been. Kia thought they had to turn their minivan into an SUV to make it stylish, but FCA has proved them wrong.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    That new Pacifica is really cool! Finally bringing what used to be called a “minivan” up to date, at least design-wise!

    In spite of my years of driving various Chryslers in the 1980s & 1990s, I will never buy another Chrysler product, no matter how beautiful they may be. A friend has a beautiful Jeep Grand Cherokee and has had transmission problems and a niggling check engine light on for months now, plus three recall notices – all this on a new car!

    Trouble is, his Jeep is awesome, and I’d like to own one, for it is one fine ride, and I love the thing, but no sale.

    Given FCA’s on-going stuff, I’m afraid they’ll never get their act together and remain at or near the bottom of the quality heap.

    Please keep in mind, I’m reacting to what I’ve seen in print about their quality ratings, and there has to be some validity to it to be published, plus my friend’s experience. Of course, FCA owner’s experiences will vary, I’m sure.

    Anyway, compared to FCA, my aging W-body still looks pretty doggone good, as has been my ownership experience!

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I really don’t understand why people were so excited when Chrysler united with Fiat. Did they really expected a low quality American manufacturer to join a low quality European manufacturer to produce high quality cars? No doubt, Chryslers, Jeeps and Dodges became prettier. But this is what Italy is all about. A lot of presentation and too little usability and practicality.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    So replace a good name (Town & Country) which has a history back to the 1940’s, with a bad name (Pacifica) that graced an awful CUV for five MY. A car which immediately fell to BHPH status.

    Ehhh.

    Also, looking from the rear at the trim on the walls, the blind spots at the back will just be tremendous. They tried to make it look like it has a cool wrap-around rear window. It’s actually just chunks of plastic.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I don’t appreciate the name change, but I understand why it happened. If FCA had just dropped the Dodge Grand Caravan and kept the Town & Country name, people would complain that Dodge was getting shafted. This way, nobody gets what they want, so everyone’s just as happy as everyone else.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        “A good compromise is when both parties are dissatisfied.”

        Larry David


        I think everybody needs to face facts that the Dodge name is on its way out, as everything moves casually over to a different marque, whether it be SRT, Chrysler, or Ram.

        • 0 avatar

          They were moving things to SRT but that didn’t pan out so now dodge is the new SRT it will not be the volume name plate in the future but it will still be there. FCA USA brands (jeep dodge Chrysler ram) are almost all in common dealers now so you don’t have to worry about the volume of any of the individual brands just the group as a a whole. We should just call them Old Chrysler and the sub-brands.

        • 0 avatar
          derekson

          I think you’re right. This would explain the rumors of a ‘Cuda in development if it replaces the Challenger and Dodge dies (or goes back to a truck brand rather than RAM?).

          The writing has been on the wall since they decided to make Chrysler a mainstream rather than premium or “near luxury” brand. Maybe Dodge lives on as the “performance brand” but it doesnt seem like a deep enough product portfolio to support a brand, especially with the Viper ending production soon.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      If I were buying this the old Pacifica name wouldn’t bother me much. Besides, it didn’t sell very well, so who really remembers it anyway?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        It was 8 years ago, so I think plenty of people remember it. The Allante didn’t sell well either, and we all know what it is.

        They’re going to come up together with searches as well. Even if you didn’t know what the original one was, you will when you go to look for a new one.

        • 0 avatar
          cls12vg30

          If you ask me, the old Pacifica was hurt by a botched launch and being ahead of its time. It was essentially a crossover before anyone knew what a crossover was. The term was not widely used at the time, so the Pacifica just seemed like an SUV-ish wagon, similar to but larger than the contemporary Forester. If the old Pacifica were released today, with modern styling and amenities, I’d expect it to sell much better than it did then.

          That being said, attaching the name to the new minivan..I’m not sure. I don’t see how it could turn into a huge advantage, but I don’t expect it to turn into a major disadvantage. A completely new name might have been better if they want to transition away from the Caravan / T&C image.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Chrysler discovered the Pacifica was in the wrong brand (at the time). They reintroduced essentially the same thing as the Dodge Journey and it did OK.

          • 0 avatar
            gearhead77

            This. The Pacifica was ahead of it’s time. Typically spotty Chrysler build quality didn’t help. I had one as a rental and it wasn’t a bad drive, just kind of odd and and oddly styled. More like an Aztek and 2002 Sebring had a child.

    • 0 avatar
      MLS

      I agree that Chrysler’s dropping the Town & Country name is a rather questionable decision (not to mention the Grand Caravan’s). But I take exception to the assertion that the Pacifica, however short lived, was an “awful CUV.” It was ahead of its time, really, presaging the large, car-like CUVs that would come to dominate the family-hauler market. Limiting availability to fully-loaded models at launch was a mistake, and subsequent de-contenting to lower the entry price (e.g., offering the antiquated and under-powered 3.8L V6, plastic wheel covers, etc.) swung too far in the opposite direction. But the original models looked good, drove reasonably well, and featured upscale interiors. The exterior styling holds up today, I think, something you can’t say about many of the Pacifica’s contemporaries.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      My wife vetoed the T&C two immutable reasons:

      1) The poor performance on the small frontal offset crash test:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hi-LjfXstvI

      2) Her mother drives a T&C

      So far, it seems like the name change has helped convince her that this new Chrysler minivan actually is a new design. Which is important, because she wouldn’t be caught dead in a vehicle with that crash rating, *especially* if it’s her mother’s minivan.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I have to concur on point one, but my thought to your beloved is get over yourself on “mom drives it”. We’re all adults now and its a tool for a job. If this new one had the crash ratings desired, I think its foolish to knock it from contention because of “Mom”, “Dad” or “Cousin Betty”.

        The .02 of a neutral party.

        • 0 avatar
          tjh8402

          @28-cars-later: While I agree with you that its foolish, the unfortunate reality is that people are rarely rational when it comes to cars. Women in particular seem to hate the image of the minivan. I know two current minivan owners who swore they would never buy one because of image. They both now love them. My mom and one of her sisters (one of the two people who were anti minivan) are both T&C owners. A third who would probably benefit from it (she loves to shop and regularly hauls 4-6 adults around) absolutely refused to buy it because its a minivan. She was only interested in an SUV (AWD and offroading had nothing to do with it – she lives in Miami and Cocoa Beach). She bought a Lincoln MKC.

          Not minivan related, but still on the subject of stupid reasons for rejecting a car – I had a friend who refused to buy the same type of car he previously owned. He might have loved it and the car may be totally redesigned since the one he owned, but it doesn’t matter. He only wants to buy something he’s never had before. Oh, and he gets a different (sometimes used, sometimes new)car every couple of years. Since I’ve known him (about 6ish years) he’s had an Acura TSX, Mustang GT, Escape, Cadillac CTS, and now he’s paying $400ish/month for a used Ford C-Max. Oh and he’s bored with it and wants a new car.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I agree, folks are not always rational with big ticket items – they “want what they want”. I have no doubt Luke’s wife is as bright as he is, sometimes people just need to hear what’s in front of them from someone else before they “see it” (myself included).

            Your friend has interesting tastes and depending on the MY of those you listed did well in the value for dollar aspect, IMO.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            @28 cars later – I think all but the Cmax were bought brand new (and the Caddie was leased and turned in early with the negative equity rolled into he Cmax). The Mustang also had negative equity rolled into the escape who payments his mom took over when he got the Caddie (along with the car). TSX was a first gen, Stang was a 2010, Escape was like a 2011, CTS was a 2014 coupe, and the C-Max is a 2012. He’s driving for Uber now which is one of the reasons for he C-Max. Unfortunately he’s putting way too many miles on it. he’s got maybe 2 months of warranty left and 4-5 years of payments. All because he took a huge wash on the Caddy.

          • 0 avatar
            gearhead77

            I have a similar rule on not buying something I’ve had, even if I loved it. Life is too short to drive the same thing. Classics and performance cars are a bit different, but I get bored with cars. But I’ve never had a truly fun car either.

            Leasing is a stupid financial move, but it works for me. Is it any worse than paying $400 month (or more) for 4 years and then getting another car right away? But I drive my personal cars under 10000 miles a year, so I can easily get away with it.

            I took a chance on a 16 Chevy Cruze for two years because I needed a third car and also because I could get it for way less than my cell phone plan per month with little down. Though I prefer to put no money down, it was a wash in terms of cost this time.

            I wouldn’t have bought it, but leasing seemed a way to give GM a chance at my business with little downside. Cheap, warranty, maintenance covered for the term and if I don’t like it, its gone in two years.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Telling your wife to “get over it” on this type of purchase is an avenue to divorce. My wife will never, ever, ever drive a minivan or anything (ahem, Flex) that remotely reminds her of one. She’ll freely admit that the hate is irrational but it will never change.

          That is why things like Lambdas and the ’16 Honda Pilot sell.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Hoooly crap, that’s an awful crash result. That driver is most likely dead. I haven’t seen a van do so poorly since watching the Quest testing.

          I think the Quest did a little bit better, though.

      • 0 avatar
        Grant404

        I’ve watched a ton of those offset frontal barrier crash tests, and the T&C’s result was pretty typical. Some do even worse. Hitting a solid offset barrier that has no “give” or crumple zone of its own (unlike another vehicle) is a tough test, especially for short-nosed vehicle styles that don’t have much room to crumple and redirect energy prior to passenger compartment intrusion.

  • avatar
    86er

    Three cheers for the return of wing mirrors.

    It looks like a big hatchback, but I guess a pastiche of styling cliches is what sells.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “Three cheers for the return of wing mirrors.”

      Those are thruster pods, they assist in steering the vehicle, especially in tight turns, also used as additional power when passing.

  • avatar
    Nostrathomas

    The exterior styling on this is pretty great. Not as convinced on the interior, but still not bad.

    I wonder if the overall size will be any different. it looks a little more slim than the current van, but that just might be the more rounded features.

    Either way, while I’m more of a wagon guy, I’d drive this over another dumpy crossover any day.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I said same thing – great exterior design (at least vs other minivans, it is great, not less). Interior just normal. Not bad, not great. I think, since they spent so much on exterior, they made compromise not to go all out on interior.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Looks sharp! Well done, Chrysler!

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    And just because I’m in the mood, I offer this proposed RAAAAAAAAMMMMMMM commercial script, complete with the Sam Elliott voiceover:

    “There comes a time in a man’s life when he realizes he’s got fewer days ahead of him than behind him. When he looks down and sees a huge belly, and a dick that doesn’t work as well as it used to. And then he wonders what to do about it all. (Long Pause) RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.”

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    The front camera makes it look like a cyclops…or a Tucker 48. Cannot unsee.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Not bad looking. Futuristic but without going full “Nissan Quest”. I has a sad face thought about lack of AWD and the inevitable price increase now that there is no Caravan.

    Honestly the lack of a Caravan might help Ford sell more Transit Connects, I could buy those all day long at less than $30,000.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I like it.

    But cursing the lovely 3.6 with the hateful 9-spd automatic is a shame.

    The only drivetrain I’d take a chance on is the hybrid.

  • avatar
    RS

    Very nice!

    Is there an R/T version?

  • avatar
    tonycd

    I’ll be interested to see if the handling is as good as its predecessor. It was speculated that the last generation benefited from Chrysler cribbing the steering and suspension tuning VW did to create the Routan version. FCA won’t have that advantage this time.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Believe me, even if VW did something to suspension (we know it did), it was basically a failed attempt. Because for the all the money spent improvement was unnoticeable from behind the steering wheel.

    • 0 avatar
      MattPete

      I drove a T&C when we were shopping for our Odyssey (2013). I drove a Caravan loaner when our Odyssey was in the shop. Both drove better than the Honda. I dunno why reviewers call the Honda ‘sporty’ — it’s the Roadmaster of minivans (holy underdamped suspension, Batman!).

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        I thought the Chrysler had better steering accuracy and weight and stronger brake feel, but the Honda rode better and seemed more maneuverable. The Chrysler was quieter in terms of noise, but the drivetrain is more coarse in its operation. But I hate the way the Honda shifts.

        After shopping them (2014), I wished I could have had the Toyotas smoothness and quietness, the Chryslers steering and brakes and the Odysseys ride and maneuverability with the Quests interior quality. If the Pacifica is anywhere near this and the Honda or Toyota aren’t, I might have to shop FCA.

        Although in terms of dealer experience, the Honda dealer was way better than the sleazy Dodge/Chrysler store.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          When I drove 2016 Oddy, I felt like in plastic box. It did feel as it was attached to the ground well, low. But at the same time it lost this specific minivan feel. Sienna felt like really good van. The only problem was, second and third row seats didn’t recline well. After taking 3 long looks at both, we kept our Villager and when it was no longer truly needed got a Highlander

  • avatar
    Rday

    None of the Chrysler products are approved or recommended by CR. the van is just another vehicle waiting to break down.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    I have to say that I am not as disappointed as I originally expected to be–not as disappointed as I was with the 2015 200 or the 2015 refresh of the 2011 300.

    That said, the oversized intake dam with the big, noticeable camera should have been subdued a little. The interior looks as if Chrysler borrowed materials from Hyundai or Kia–I much prefer the clean, simple interiors and dashboards of past, like the outgoing T&C, the previous 200, etc. For some reason, everyone’s copying off of Hyundai and Kia–even Mercedes. If not, the interiors are way too complicated and flat-out ugly.

    The rear is okay–if not a little generic and importish–save for the wraparound rear window. Those side mirrors a la Rolls Royce look tacky and will become an invitation for mischievous kids to rip them off.

    Overall, though I would have done it differently (perhaps taking concepts from the sleek NS-platform and modernizing it), the Pacifica is a lot better-looking than the Odyssey and especially that pug-nosed Sienna.

    Too bad FCA is willing to throw away the brand equity that the Grand Caravan has built (and now the Town and Country), as another poster had mentioned. Maybe they should have resurrected the Voyager name.

  • avatar
    iNeon

    I like it!

    Giving the van the Pacifica name makes sense because both Town & Country and (Grand)Caravan both work for the two-pronged CUV attack that’ll come next.

    Dodge Caravan(Mini Durango, RWD MAYBE!) and Chrysler Town & Country will work super well as an almost Grand Cherokee/Durango pair, only in reverse. The Upscale 3-row can be the Chrysler and the sporting 2-row can go to Dodge.

    This name will make a lot more sense in the future, and– no one’s said it yet: KUDOS TO CHRYSLER FOR BRINGING BACK A REAL MODEL NAME. It’s dang near brave to do such a thing!

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      The alphanumeric soup thing doesn’t make sense for Chrysler.

      The premium, luxury, and wannabe brands do it because they’re trying to build awareness their brand — rather than treat each individual model as its own brand.

      They’re trying to get you to talk about the car as a BMW or a Infiniti, instead of as a Malibu or an Explorer.

      It’s not bad if a niche player that does the “one sausage, many lengths” thing.

  • avatar
    Toy Maker

    That looks amazing. I’ve always had a soft spot for Chrysler/Dodge designs.

    Too bad about the transmission issues.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    Easily the best-looking minivan ever, and they finally dumped what was the most ridiculous vehicle name of all time. What kind of car name has an & in it??

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Still Stow ‘N Go… which betrays the target market.

    Stow ‘N Go results in horrendously uncomfortable, low, thin second-row seats that are almost totally devoid of padding.

    The seats are fine for kids but not for adults, particularly adults you’re trying to impress.

    Still a kid-carrier. Which is fine; just don’t buy one expecting that because it’s now all stylish ‘n’ stuff you can take other couples out to fancy occasions.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Hopefully they will bring back the option of non-folding but removable captain’s chairs in the middle row. My Mom’s Routan with those seats was very comfy, but I see the option went away with the next generation Chrysler vans.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      @dal20402 – funny I texted both my mom and sister this story (mom has a T&C, sister desperately wants one). Both said if it lost Stow n Go, they probably wouldnt buy it. It’s that important a feature to them and there are no kids in the family.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        and now my aunt texts me this morning all worried that an article she read in the newspaper said stow n go was not gonna be on the new ones. had to reassure her that it would be on the non hybrids. She said she hoped so because she wasn’t buying one without it.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    It’s a little sad the Caravan and T&C names are going away – that’s 31 years of van history, and they started the van trend in the US.

    I’d of bought an Aerostar AWD or a Safari, but there you are.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    BTSR was right, the Pacifica is the way to go.

  • avatar
    akatsuki

    Looks nice, but I suspect I still will be trading in my 13 T&C for a new Odyssey/Sienna next year. Reliability is still going to be a problem, and having our minivan at the dealership for warranty repairs is far too disruptive with kid seats, etc., needing to be transferred over. At least they finally got to 5 LATCH points.

    Frankly the assembly quality would need to improve a lot as well. Hopefully the crappy suspension is fixed since it is terrible on everything but the Touring version (and there it is mediocre). The engine was nice, but is being detuned, and still didn’t match the Quests.

    And that “snazzy” interior trim? Almost always looks cheap and crappy in person.

    We bought it because we were in NYC and figured we could cheap out and not worry since we wouldn’t be putting miles on it. Jokes on us when we moved to Cali and it became a daily drive.

    Basically this look like a catch-up effort. But my suspicion is that it benchmarks about where the current Ody is, and the next gen is due soon.


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