This post is sponsored by FCA US; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
‘Tis the season for hitting the road. You’ve got shopping to do, parties to attend, Grandmas to visit. And you’re hauling not only your family but all of your STUFF: gifts, food, luggage. If you’re cramming yourselves into a small vehicle it might be time to consider an upgrade both for your comfort and your peace of mind. Our cars are getting old (2002 and 2004 – ack!) so we’re actively looking at the models on the road right now, knowing the time is drawing pretty darn close when we’re going to be shopping for a replacement vehicle. And as our kids get older we need that extra space for everyone’s comfort (“He’s touching me!” You know just what I’m talking about, don’t you?), but also for practical reasons. We have a lot of stuff!
The kids play soccer, the dog travels with us on summer vacations, we are on the road a lot for a variety of reasons. So in addition to style and safety, I’ve got a family-focus in mind when I’m thinking about what car is going to be my next ride. We recently had the opportunity to test drive the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica for a week and my family fell in love with this car. In true holiday fashion, we took it on a road trip to the Poconos for a holiday getaway!
5 Things You’ll Love About the Family-Friendly Chrysler Pacifica
Now I’m not the technical car jargon person in the family (that’s my husband), but my vehicle has always been the primary family vehicle, and I know what I feel comfortable driving and what works for my family. So in this post I am sharing what I love most about the Chrysler Pacifica as a mom on the go and what I think my fellow moms will also be looking for in their next car. For the quick rundown, watch the video. For more detail and photos, read on!
5 Favorite Features of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
Baby Got Style
I’ve never owned a minivan and have never really loved the boxy look, and the Pacifica is pretty far from what you might picture when someone says ‘minivan.’ It’s sleek, it’s modern, and it has an overall really attractive design. You get the functionality and space of a minivan, but from the outside it looks almost like an elongated crossover to me.
The 20″ wheels and low profile tire add a sporty look to the car, and while you wouldn’t really think of sporty and minivan in the same sentence they don’t look misplaced.
There is no ‘minivan stigma’ to be had here. This car is classy, stylish, and fits right in with most SUVs you see on the road now. I love the lines that are sleek without going too far (you’ve seen those cars that look like spaceships – none of that here), and roomy without being a giant rectangle.
The interior is gorgeous, too. I couldn’t get over the steering wheel! It’s so comfortable to grip and when that thing heats up in the wintertime…heaven! The two-toned interior is so classy.
Space, Space, And More Space
I’m kinda short so I really prefer a car that ‘props’ me up a bit higher over the road, but I don’t want something that feels like driving a beast on the road. The Pacifica is just the perfect mix for me. I was so comfortable driving it!
There’s tons of passenger and cargo space which I’ll show you next. But first I want to point out that from the outside, the car doesn’t look HUGE. It fits comfortably in a standard parking spot and is easy to maneuver on the road.
Now check out the interior! There is plenty of room in here which makes traveling with the kids so comfortable. Lots of space for all of our luggage, snacks, coats, you know – all the stuff you take with you everywhere you go. The leg area is really roomy too and there’s a nice amount of storage in the console between the seats too.
Once we look past the front seats that’s when you really get to see all the room in this car. After the first row, there is 165 cubic feet of space; 88 cubic feet after the second row of seats; and there is 43 cubic feet of space in the trunk. TONS of room for your luggage, the kids’ soccer gear, and any shopping hauls.
We took the Pacifica to a ranch in the Poconos on a family vacation and our son was pretty sure we could fit one of the goats in trunk to take home. He was probably right!
One of the best features on the Pacifica is the way the 3rd row of seats stows at the touch of a button. You can see the panel of buttons on the right side of the interior above. Choose to stow the left, right, or both sides. So easy!
The third row folds completely flat, and so does the second row but in the pic above I just have the third row down. Look at all of that storage! My husband often buys lumber and bigger items at Lowes for home improvement projects and there is plenty of room here to bring all of that safely home. No pieces of wood hanging out of the trunk while you’re driving down the road!
Happiness Is a Heated Seat: Traveling in Comfort
Traveling over the holidays can be particularly uncomfortable if you’re not in the right car. THIS is the right car.
Heated seats and a heated wheel = winter happiness. I turned those babies on as soon as we hopped in the car every single time. When you’re freezing nothing feels better. Climate control is available in different zones in the car so everyone is happy. Imagine that! The driver and passenger can each set their own temperature, and the second row seating has its own temperature control in the back as well. No little voices yelling, “Turn up the heat!” Hey, do it yourself. 😉
I mentioned that I’m a bit of a shorty so I love this feature that allows you to save your seat position. My husband and I both drove the car and he’s taller than I am and doesn’t need the seat up so high or so far forward. You can actually save your seat position into the memory so that when you switch drivers, you don’t have to get yourself situated again. The car will do it for you. Genius!
One of the most painful things about traveling with the family can be the kids arguing in the back seat. The design of the Pacifica actually PREVENTED that. I can’t believe it either but its true! Instead of a bench seat where someone is hogging the middle armrest and someone else is upset about it, they each have their own captain’s chair with enough distance between them that not once did I hear, “She’s touching me!” It was so lovely. So, so lovely.
The other reason they weren’t bothering each other or us? Read on…
Let Me Entertain You
The entertainment system in the Chrysler Pacifica is like WHOA. There’s not a whole lot you can’t do here.
The car has Bluetooth technology that allows you to connect your phone and play any media you have on your phone through the car speakers. So we listened to Amazon Prime music and Pandora radio, all of our favorite tunes. (We listened to Sirius Radio too – also included!) And once you connect your phone you can receive text messages on the screen as well. I like that it gives you the option to open them because #1, don’t open them when you’re driving, and #2, no one needs to read all your text messages, right?!
In the backseat things get really fun! The kids can plug in their media and listen while they charge.
The most awesome thing though is this: the tablet on the back of each of the front seats. There are a bunch of options with this and they keep the kids VERY happy on the road. On the way to our destination they watched Elf. There’s a Blu-Ray slot in the front dashboard so I was able to control that. You can turn a different movie on each screen, they can both watch the same film, turn one on and one off, etc.
See the headphones in the pocket of the seat back? They’re wireless and allow the kids to listen quietly. So you can have an adult conversation up front with your husband! Amazing! 😉
In addition to the movie option, the Pacifica comes pre-loaded with a bunch of apps. Many are education and they’re all fun. I played around with it for a while and Bingo was my favorite. Isn’t this so fun for a road trip? The kids can check off the items they see while you’re en route.
Safety Is First
This vehicle has some safety features that were brand new to me, way above and beyond the basics you find on most cars.
First, it comes complete with a LOT of airbags. You have the usual ones in the front seats, but it also has side curtain airbags through the rear of the vehicle and when traveling with kids that is an added comfort that’s hard to measure.
Here’s where things get pretty techy. In the front of the car, there’s a camera that operates some of the safety features inside of the car. And this isn’t the only camera. They are all around the car which allows the monitor inside to create a 360 degree composite image of the van from ABOVE, so you can see what’s on all sides of you. Very handy when you’re pulling out of a parking lot or driveway.
That camera on the front of the car is also used in the cruise control setting, which is on the steering wheel. See the buttons on the bottom row with two vehicles one behind the other? That camera can judge how close you are to the car in front of you, and using these settings it will keep you at a safe distance. You choose how close you feel comfortable getting to the car in front of you, and if you close in on that distance, the Pacifica will slow you down in cruise control mode until the car ahead of you moves, or you move to a clear lane.
Very smart because sometimes when you’re in cruise control mode your head is in cruise control mode, too, and you’re might not realize as quickly that the car ahead of you has hit the breaks.
The other unique safety feature is the lane deviation, the third button from the right in the top row above. You can turn this on and off, and when it’s on, it will kind of pull you back into your lane on the road if you start drifting. Pretty amazing technology and that’s not all. This car has blind spot detection, parking assist, and many other safety features that make it top notch in keeping your family safe on the road.
You know, I really could go on and on about the Chrysler Pacifica. I didn’t even touch on how powerful it is (okay, maybe I did just a bit there). My family was really sad to see it go. This is definitely a vehicle that can grow up with your family, from hauling the pack-and-play to hauling the kids to college. That makes it a smart investment, too.
There is so much more information about this car on the Chrysler website, and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This is definitely at the top of our consideration list when it’s time to say goodbye to our cars. A smooth, stylish, safe ride that everyone is comfortable in no matter where we’re going. Sounds about perfect for families on the go like mine!