The march of time has been cruel to Chrysler. The minivan pioneer stumbled when knockoffs from Honda and Toyota leapfrogged it. This entirely new Pacifica makes a strong argument for choosing a minivan over a three-row SUV—and for considering a Chrysler.

In performance, the Pacifica cedes nothing to the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey class leaders, responding like a good midsized sedan rather than a living room on wheels. Ride comfort is very good, so impacts from rough roads won’t disturb slumbering children.

Our Touring L proved to be quick and fuel-efficient, tying the Odyssey with an impressive 21 mpg overall. That feat is in part due to the nine-speed automatic.

Keeping a cavernous minivan quiet inside can be challenging, but the Pacifica’s interior proves hushed. It retains Chrysler’s second-row seats that fold into the floor, and it offers seven- and eight-seat configurations. Though minivan interiors tend to feel industrial, higher-trim Pacificas evoke a business-jet ambience, with well-thought-out details. The optional Uconnect 8.4 touch-screen infotainment system remains the benchmark for ease of use.

Advanced safety gear is finally available on a Chrysler minivan, but forward-collision warning with automatic braking is offered only on trims that cost more than $40,000.

Overall, the Pacifica is an inviting minivan. But our lingering concern is with reliability, which hasn’t been a Chrysler hallmark.

Read the complete Chrysler Pacifica road test

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Review

HIGHS Interior space and flexibility, ride, quietness, Uconnect 8.4 infotainment system, access, fuel economy
LOWS Chrysler’s reliability reputation, expensive advanced safety gear, coarse-sounding engine
POWERTRAIN 287-hp, 3.6-liter V6 engine; 9-speed automatic transmission; front-wheel drive
FUEL 21 mpg
PRICE AS TESTED $38,245


Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the November 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.