This post is sponsored by FCA US; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
I’ve never owned a minivan. I’ve never even driven a minivan. I’ve always been one of those people that swore off that maternal badge of shame: a minivan-driving soccer mom.
Well, I’ve had no problem living up to my anti-minivan mantra. I only had one kid (no need for extra roomy, giant cars) and he doesn’t even like soccer. The only sport he has interest in is tennis and I can fit a tennis racket into any vehicle, thank you very much.
But, as I do with all vehicles that grace my driveway, I thought I’d give the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica a fair shake. And then I fell in love with it.
It all started when I decide to get some crisp clean photos of the Pacifica before a week of driving took its toll on the exterior. So I dragged my assistant cameraman (my son Evan, age 9) on a road trip into Carroll County, Maryland in search of a lovely backdrop.
We set the GPS for a historic little place called Union Mills Homestead, thinking it would make a picturesque backdrop for my lovely minivan. Instead, we got lost but sometimes these little detours end up taking us exactly where we need to go.
Look How Pretty!
We ended up being navigated to a nearby area that houses the Union Mills Trail, a 6.7 mile loop trail nestled in between some rural homes. Homes, which I might add, made a perfect Maryland horse country setting.
We made it most of the way down a gravelly road (it’s where I snapped that lovely barn photo above) before we realized it was simply taking us to the end of the road so we could turn around and come right back out. Which we did. And yes, we made it to Union Mills Homestead after all.
It’s got a nice looking exterior. Still a minivan but with a quick glance, you might mistake it for something else. But the interior was totally where it’s at. And at this point, the light was starting to get dim so we stopped for a while and documented some of the gorgeous interior.
When the Granite Crystal Metallic (a fancy name for gray) Pacifica showed up, I was hesitant to see what interior color they had picked. Much to my delight, it has a Black/Alloy interior (or basically a light cream) with a nicely accented dashboard with chrome and black with blue accent lighting.
That screen in the middle of the dash, by the way, is everything. As in, it DOES everything and it so easy to use. It a touch screen that requires no real pressure when making selections. And selections you can make are abundant: climate control (including heated seats and heated steering wheel), media selections, Uconnect 8.4 NAV, and my favorite – the 360-Degree Surround View Camera System.
Did I mention that I love light interiors? I don’t just mean light in color. I mean, LET THERE BE LIGHT in the interior! With the Tri-Pane Panoramic Sunroof, I felt like I was driving around in a luxurious greenhouse (minus the heat and humidity).
Now that you’ve oohed and ahhed with me over the pretty exterior and the gorgeous interior, you might be wondering what actually sold me on this minivan. That’s what comes next. Because it’s one thing for a car to look good. It’s another thing for me to drive it and constantly say WOW and NEATO! No, I don’t really say “neato” but the sentiment is the same.
Putting the Chrysler Pacifica to the Test
You see, I had this vehicle during the week of Thanksgiving. That was the week I drove to Hershey with my friend Cara to see “The Book of Mormon.” Yes, we were two chicks partying it up in our minivan, but, man, were we comfortable.
That was also when we trekked up to Hagerstown with my pumpkin pie and the OMG-amazing Crusty Baked Shells & Caulifower. My husband, the superpacker, was worried about where to put the food.
I laughed at him. Are you kidding me? Cargo space is never an issue in the Chrysler Pacifica. We loaded everything flat into the cargo space behind the third row where it sat a few inches into the van. There was no place for anything to roam.
We loaded our huge family of three into the car and there was no complaining. Like, NONE. We all had so much space!
And in case you were wondering, here’s how our Thanksgiving dinner turned out. I’m still trying to burn off the calories.
BUT WAIT! There’s more! Do you remember what comes the day after Thanksgiving? Yes, that’s the day when we all stay in our pajamas and order things on Amazon so we don’t have to deal with the crowds and the hype of Black Friday.
But I wanted to go out anyway. You know why? Because this passenger van, in a matters of seconds (maybe a minute or so) turned into a FULL-FLEDGED CARGO VAN.
See that? See all that space? Where did the seats go?
At this point, you’re thinking I had to unbolt something and store it in my garage. Not so, my friend. Because all of the seats fold completely flat inside the floor of the van. They’re called Stow’n Go Seats and I put them all down on the off chance that I found something amazing on Black Friday that could fit in the back.
You’ll see I could have done way more shopping.
In fact, my husband asked if I could swing by Home Depot and pick up some large stand thingy for one of his many power tools. I seriously doubt we even needed it. I think he wanted me to get it just because I could.
After all the shopping and driving, if I had to name the one single thing about the Chrysler Pacifica that sold me, it would be this: the versatility.
It’s a luxurious passenger van. It’s a cargo van. It’s a van that allowed me to grab this narrow parking space and simply exit out of the rear of the vehicle. Yes, we truly had fun in the Pacifica and it’s why I’m officially changing it from a minivan to a wondervan. Or maybe I should say Wondervan© because that’s what you need to be looking for in your next vehicle.
Now for the nuts and bolts (or the important things I’d want to know if I were buying a car).
I drove the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited which had an MSRP of $46,460. The base model starts at $28,595. You decide what’s most important to you.
The EPA fuel economy estimate is 18 city/28 highway with an average of 22 mpg. I was thrilled to get 24 mpg during my week with the Wondervan. You might be interested to know that Chrysler has a hybrid version launching soon with an estimated range of 33 miles on electric and a 570 mile total range with an average of 84 MPGe (gas and electric combined) and 32 mpg (just on gas alone).
Now it’s your turn. Have you seen it? Have you driven it? Do you love it? Let me know your thoughts on the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica.