Why Owning a Minivan Wasn’t the End of My Life

Chrysler Pacifica is converting apprehensive family men and women, one test-drive at a time.

This post is sponsored by the All-New Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

Turns out, owning a minivan was oddly inevitable. Our first baby was on the way, but my wife and I were determined to stay active outdoors whenever possible and to continue bringing our Labs, Rusty (nine) and Rascal (three), with us everywhere.

The compact SUV we’d been driving for four years was suddenly too small. A pickup truck looked appealing, but the fuel mileage didn’t. Even larger SUV models we checked out didn’t seem quite big or flexible enough. Plus, as a bit of a car buff, I ran around in circles trying to figure out a way to avoid owning a minivan.

Turns out, there was none.

We needed good mileage, maximum flexibility, and a whole lot of space for our dollar. We needed something easy to load and unload. Something easy for Rusty, who is getting old, to hop in and out of. Something easy on fuel. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid was the answer.

We arrived at the dealer one Saturday morning, apprehensive and laughing a little. We were test-driving a minivan: We were officially adults. Minivan-driving, grown-up adults. Soon, we’d probably start spending Friday nights on social media researching various flans.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited

A view through the side doors of the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

But that wasn’t the case. You see the Pacifica in photos, and it looks good: it’s sculpted, detailed, elegant and full of depth. And though it’s clear by the sliding doors that the Pacifica is a minivan, it’s a striking machine to look at. Plus, that great shape translates instantly into some serious benefits the moment you hop inside.

Open the door, and the size of the Pacifica’s cabin grabs your attention first. It’s impressive. Tall. Expansive. Fold the rear seating down, and you’ve got a miniature cargo van. Or a mobile baby play area (or dog lounge) while the vehicle is parked. Plus, the floor is low to the ground, so Rusty can step up and in easily, without a full jump. And the baby, once he’s a bit older, will be able to get inside with ease too.

What we weren’t expecting was how handy the Pacifica is on the daily. Open either the available hands-free power-sliding doors, which don’t bang into other cars when you’re trying to get your kids inside, or the hands-free liftgate and you can load the spacious cargo area with ease, from any angle. Or, on the yearly guys’ road trip, with the third-row seats folded away using the Stow ‘n Go® feature, there’s abundant space for four adults to lounge, chill, socialize and catch up on the move. Even my single pals, some of whom drive sports cars, agreed that the Pacifica was a beautiful, roomy and endlessly handy machine—even if they didn’t want to.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid’s Stow ‘n Go® feature.

The yearly road trip: It’s an unbreakable, recurring plan that we’ve stuck to since high school. And with the Pacifica’s available high-tech rear entertainment system, HDMI inputs and USB ports, as well as a handy household power outlet, we took turns driving and playing video games on the available dual rear 10.1-inch touchscreens. With a data connection and a media-streaming device, we could watch our favorite movies too—only limited by our data plans. Or, Chrysler also offers an available Hotspot with its Uconnect® Access, featuring 3G Wi-Fi.*

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica's dash offers full control at your fingertips

Full control is at our fingertips.

This is going to make family camping trips easier too. With all of the third-row seats folded down, we’ll still have enough room for all the gear we need to enjoy the great outdoors, without having to leave our big dining tent and bikes at home.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

2017 Chrysler Pacifica’s roomy storage has room for all our gear.

Possibilities with this new ride abound—thanks to features, design touches and technologies you’ll want to use on a daily basis for years to come. So, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid didn’t cramp our style or limit us. It did the opposite. Now, even with life changing around us by the moment, we’ve got a vehicle that’s right there with us—every step of the way.

 

*3G Wi-Fi Hotspot subscription required. Vehicle must be registered with Uconnect® Access and fulfill minimum subscription requirements. Vehicle must be properly equipped and be in active and usable cellular range for Wi-Fi Hotspot usage. This feature is not intended for use by the driver when the vehicle is in motion. Always drive safely.
©2017 FCA US LLC. All Rights Reserved. Chrysler is a registered trademark of FCA US LLC.


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