This is the Chrysler Pacifica, which is making its debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). A replacement for the questionably-named Town & Country (T&C), the Pacifica isn’t just your standard minivan as it comes with its fair share of technologies, and even comes in a plug-in hybrid variant.

Built on an all-new platform, the Pacifica is significantly lighter than the outgoing T&C, registering just 1,964 kg on the scales for the entry-level model – over 136 kg less than before. The Pacifica also adopts much of the styling cues from the Chrysler 200 sedan that is not only contemporary, but even hints at a “handsome” minivan with those 20-inch wheels.

Enter the Pacifica and you’ll be greeted by more design influences from the 200, where depending on variant type, will features various colour and material choices. The dashboard plays host to Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment system that includes an 8.4-inch touchscreen connected to six speakers, with option of upgrading them to either a 13-speaker Alpine system or a 20-speaker Harman Kardon system.

Rear passengers aren’t deprived either with the Uconnect Theater rear seat entertainment system, where they can watch movies, play built-in games, connect personal devices to surf the Internet and stream content throughout the vehicle via two 10-inch HD touchscreens. Natural lighting should be abundant thanks to the tri-pane panoramic sunroof.


Being a minivan, transporting children will not doubt be part of the Pacifica’s duties, and they are known to cause quite a mess what with falling cookie crumbs and what not. Which is why the Pacifica features a Stow ‘n Vac integrated vacuum that can access all corners of the vehicle.

However, when you’re not transporting humans but things instead, the Stow ‘n Go seating and storage system along with the Stow ‘n Go Assist feature makes it easier to reconfigure the seats for maximum cargo capacity (3,978 litres).

Push a button located on the B-pillar, and the Pacifica will move the front seats forward to allow the second-row seat to be stowed into the floor tub. Once the second-row seats are stowed, a second push of the button will return the front seats back to their original position. That’s pretty handy when trying to stuff an 8×4-foot sheet of plywood into the minivan, according to Chrysler.

As mentioned earlier, the Pacifica can be had as a plug-in hybrid, where the powertrain consists of a next-gen Pentastar V6 petrol engine with a capacity of 3.6 litres. The mill makes 248 hp/312 Nm, with electrical assistance coming from two motors (front), powered by a 16 kWh Li-ion battery. An electrically variable transmission (EVT) handles power transmission duties to the front wheels.

On a full charge, the Pacifica Hybrid is capable of travelling up to 48 km on electricity alone. Charging the battery can be done on a 240 V plug, and will take about two hours to complete. In city driving, the Pacifica is claimed to achieve an efficiency rating of 80 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe), based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards.

As for the non-plug-in hybrid models, the Pacifica still retains the Pentastar 3.6 litre V6 mill, but with a higher power output of 287 hp and 355 Nm, mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Power is still sent to the front wheels, with engine stop-start (ESS) technology present to help save fuel.

Finally, the safety and driver assistance systems are admirable as well. The Pacifica features a Surround View camera, ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Hold, Forward Collision Warning-Plus, LaneSense Lane Departure Warning-Plus, blind-spot monitoring, ParkSense rear park assist with stop, ParkView rear backup camera, electronic stability control and electric park brake.