Chrysler Pacifica: Best Van

Chrysler Pacifica: Best Van

How to van.

Chrysler Pacifica: Best Van

After securing its spot as top van on our 2017 10Best list, the Chrysler Pacifica was tasked with defending its title against the latest Honda Odyssey, which is all new for 2018. Two vans entered, but only one van was victorious in a bitter battle where each displayed many virtues and few faults. Ultimately the Pacifica reigned supreme, its superior ergonomics and feature set carrying the day. (Note that the Pacifica’s gasoline-electric plug-in-hybrid model does not share this honor. The Atkinson-cycle V-6 engine and two-motor CVT powertrain proved too coarse and unpredictable in its power delivery to include that version.)

The Chrysler’s victory shouldn’t come as a total surprise considering it beat both the latest Odyssey and a Toyota Sienna in a recent comparison test. Driving the Pacifica around our 10Best loop once again allowed us to enjoy its capable chassis, powerful 287-hp 3.6-liter V-6 engine, and smooth nine-speed automatic transmission. In keeping with its mission, the Pacifica moves with aplomb, not overstarched vigor; its suspension is tuned for passenger comfort, while light and faithful steering makes navigating tight parking lots as effortless as knocking back a glass of Yoo-hoo. Even so, the Pacifica proves willing enough to dance down a twisty two-lane road.


With the exception of the base model, the nonhybrid also offers incredibly handy Stow ’n Go second-row seats, which allow that row’s captain’s chairs to fold into the floor. (An optional seat can be added between the two captain’s chairs and affords room for eight.) While we’re no fans of the seats’ thin padding and lesser comfort—Chrysler would do well to at least offer the option of the hybrid’s more comfortable, removable chairs across the lineup—their versatility and ease of use give the Pacifica a leg up in a category where practicality and flexibility are of the utmost importance. The Pacifica, too, meets almost every other need with cubbies and stowage space almost everywhere you look, a plethora of USB ports and power points, and available touchscreen rear-seat entertainment with built-in apps, HDMI connectivity, and more.

To all that, the Pacifica adds an attractive exterior design, ergonomically friendly interior controls, and an infotainment system that’s perhaps the most intuitive and easy to use in all of autodom. It also returned 31 mpg on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test, a boon for long family road trips. The Chrysler Pacifica is a refined tool that is now a two-time 10Best winner. —Greg Fink


front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 7- or 8-passenger, 4-door van
DOHC 24-valve 3.6-liter V-6, 287 hp, 262 lb-ft
9-speed automatic
4350–4450 lb
Zero to 60 mph: 7.3 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.6 sec
Top speed: 112 mph
Combined/city/highway: 22/18–19/28 mpg
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