Unlikely Object of Desire: The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L Plus

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L Plus
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L Plus.
If you want proof of the power of peer pressure, look no further than the minivan.  More useful than sedans or most SUVs for most American drivers, filled with convenience touches other vehicles do not or cannot provide and configurable in everything from base-level family hauler to near-private jet luxury, they are uncool.

Why?  Because everyone says so.

The one vehicle that could turn that around is the Chrysler Pacifica.

Rear 3/4 view of 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L Plus
2017 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L Plus.
Eight months ago, when the Pacifica was just arriving in dealer showrooms, I wrote a review of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Touring that said Chrysler has raised the bar for minivans.  Now we see how you can raise the bar by going up a couple of trim levels.   For the Touring is one level up from the base LX.  This time, we drove the Touring L Plus---one level down from the top-of-the-line Limited and two levels above Touring.

By choosing Touring L Plus, the basics of the 3.6-liter V6 and nine-speed automatic transmission remain the same, as does the EPA-estimated 18 miles per gallon city/28 miles per gallon highway.  What changes is the level of standard equipment, as you add leather-trimmed seats, a power liftgate, heated front and second-row seats, three-zone automatic climate control, Uconnect Theater---which is sadly, maddeningly and confusingly not compatible with Apple products---a 13-speaker Alpine audio system and an 8.4-inch color touchscreen for the infotainment system.  All for a base price of $37,895.

Interior view of 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L Plus
2017 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L Plus interior.
Unlike last summer's test vehicle, which had only the power liftgate as optional equipment, this Touring L Plus came with almost six thousand dollars in extra-cost options:

  • Hands-free sliding doors and liftgate ($795).
  • 20-speaker Harmon Kardon Sound group including a 760-watt amplifier ($995).
  • The tire and wheel group, with 18-inch aluminum painted satin silver wheels, all-season tires and a touring suspension ($895).
  • The Advanced Safetytec Group, consisting of front and rear park assist with stop, a 360-degree camera system, parallel and perpendicular park assist with stop, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, full speed forward collision warning , lane departure warning, rain-sensitive windshield wipers, automatic high beams and advanced brake assist ($1,995).
  • Uconnect 8.4 Nav, which is navigation bundled with HDRadio, SiriusXM Traffic and SiriusXM Travel Link ($695).
With $995 destination charge, the as-tested price came to $44,265, a price that is competitive with other high-content minivans.  The difference is that the Pacifica is seductive.  Drive it and you will find yourself saying just how nice it is, how well it drives and how you could actually see yourself owning a minivan. Say it to enough people and we might see peer pressure swing the other way.