Archive for March 21st, 2016|Daily archive page

Five cool features on the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — When you think of the word “cool,” a minivan probably isn’t one of the first vehicles that pops into your head. It’s probably not even the last vehicle. But, with the launch of the all-new 2017 Pacifica, Chrysler is trying to set some benchmarks and, perhaps, bring a little cool back to the segment.

Below are just five of the features I experienced in the new Pacifica during the press preview that are really functional — and maybe a bit cool.

Surround-View Camera

Surround-view monitors have been around for a few years now, and Chrysler isn’t the first minivan to the market with this feature. But, the fact that they offer it is really a step forward, and it works quite well. During the press preview, I had my passenger walk around the perimeter of the vehicle, so you could see how well the cameras situated at the front, rear and side of the vehicle will pick up obstacles from any angle. This feature is only available as option included with the Advanced SafetyTec package on the Touring L-Plus and Limited trims. The good news, however, is that a basic rearview camera is standard on all vehicles.

Drag and Drop menu

I hate paging through screens to get to menu items I know I’m going to use frequently – like navigation or heated seats. Thus, I love the “Drag N Drop” menu in the new Pacifica. Similar to an iPhone, it allows you to take your most frequently used “apps” and place them in the static bottom menu. All you have to do is put your finger on the app you want, drag it to the bottom menu and let go. The Drag and Drop menu is included with the Uconnect 8.4 system, which is available starting at the Touring trim and standard at the Touring L-Plus trim.

Passive sliding rear doors

For someone who doesn’t have a lot of upper body strength – or someone who has her hands full – the rear doors of a minivan can be impossible to open. In a segment-first feature, Chrysler has included passive entry for rear doors. All you have to do is press the Chiclet-like button on the side door and stand back – the minivan will do all the work for you. While this feature isn’t available on the base model, it will be standard one level up on the Touring trim. Another cool door-related feature that Chrysler is launching with the Pacifica is the hands-free sliding doors. Similar to the hands-free liftgates, all you’ll have to do is kick underneath the door area, and it will slide open. This feature will have late availability and will be optional at the Touring Plus-L trim and standard on the Limited.

Easy Tilt second row seats

For people who still have kids in car seats, it can be a bit cumbersome to get passengers into the rear seat. But Pacifica makes this less difficult with the Easy Tilt second-row seats. The seats will slide forward and tilt ever so slightly to allow passengers to climb into the third row. The bonus: No need to remove the car seat. There is enough space for both to co-exist. Though the person climbing into the rear seat will either have to be a child or small adult as the opening is kind of narrow. These seats are standard at every level of the Pacifica lineup.

Stow N Go

The classic Stow N Go seats carry on in the new Pacifica. When the seats are all in place, this nifty system allows you to store small bags, backpacks and briefcases, keeping your personal items from prying eyes. When empty, you can use these compartments to store an entire outboard seat. The system is fairly easy to operate, allowing for petite drivers to maneuver the seats without much force. Instructions are intuitive and simple to follow, and whether you’re putting the seats up or down, you don’t need a lot of upper body strength to manage it. Stow N Go is standard across all trims.

The drive impressions for the 2017 Pacifica are under embargo until March 21, 2016, so stay tuned for our full review of this new family hauler next week. Pacifica goes on sale at the end of April with a base price of $28,595.

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