2017 Chrysler Pacifica: Return of the American van | Harold Zeigler Newsletter Kalamazoo MI
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Date posted: June 1, 2016

2017 Chrysler Pacifica: Return of the American van

For the last several years, sport utility vehicles and crossover utility vehicles have been the hottest-selling segments in the automotive world. But a lot of American families are still buying minivans. More than 500,000 of these multi-passenger people movers were sold last year — and about half of those were made by Fiat Chrysler.

The Detroit automaker has spent lots of time and money building and promoting its newest minivan offering: the 2017 Pacifica.

The vehicle got a huge launch when it was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show this year. And those Pacifica TV commercials featuring comedian Jim Gaffigan and his “Dad Brand” are everywhere.

There’s a lot to promote. The Pacifica is built on an entirely new platform, sharing only an engine, transmission and a few parts with other Fiat Chrysler automobiles.

Later this year it will be introduced in a plug-in hybrid electric version, the first minivan to be sold in the U.S. in that format. Sometime farther down the road it will be the vehicle that Google uses for its burgeoning autonomous driving program.

I found the interior so luxurious and comfortable that I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to drive it or hang curtains and move in. Then I noticed there are side screens already attached. So I could just move in and use those for curtains.

For a big car — I’m not sure how big a minivan can be before you have to call it a van — the Pacifica is responsive. It’s powered by Chrysler’s 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar engine — the same one found in the company’s 200 and 300 roadsters — which makes 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Mated to a nine-speed electronic transmission, the engine gets the Pacifica jumping fast off the line.

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Source: latimes.com

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