CARS.COM — Cars.com’s editors love the Chrysler Pacifica minivan more than a mom given an hour of alone time. After impressing my kindergartner and me during a drive event last year, it then took top honors at Cars.com’s Ultimate Minivan Challenge 2016 and then won even bigger, earning our Best of 2017 award. Its classy styling, comfortable road manners and loads of features look great on paper, but how do they measure up in the real world?
Related: We Bought a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
I took the Pacifica on a road trip with my husband and “Wreck-It Ralph”-style three kids to see how it holds up after a long weekend of grubby fingers, rush-hour traffic and piles of family gear.
The Pacifica can be configured with seven or eight seats and our test van has a second-row bench for eight-passenger capacity. With three young kids, I frequently play car-seat Tetris, and the Pacifica’s seat flexibility makes this a bit easier. I removed the second row’s middle seat for easier access to the third row. Back there are two sets of lower Latch anchors and two top tether anchors for car-seat installation. I installed my first-grader’s booster and my 2-year-old’s rear-facing convertible in the second row, and put my other 2-year old in the third row. Thankfully, everybody had enough room.
Behind the third row, there’s 32.3 cubic feet of space. We fit a portable crib, an air mattress and several bags — with room to spare. The Pacifica’s third row folds easily in a 60/40 split, opening up 87.5 cubic feet of space for bulkier items.