If America is moving on from the minivan, no one told Chrysler. The 2019 Chrysler Pacifica remains a breath of fresh air in a class known for bland respectability. It’s comfortable, refined, full of useful features, and – in what may be heresy for a minivan – even stylish.

Best Value

For families with the cash, an upper-trim Pacifica won't disappoint. The luxurious Pacifica Limited comes with a triple-pane power sunroof, hands-free doors, Nappa leather upholstery, a power-folding third row, and an integrated vacuum.

But the Limited starts above $45,000. For value, check out the middle of the lineup. Our pick would be a Pacifica Touring Plus, which still gets nice creature-comforts like three-zone automatic climate control, remote start, and a power liftgate.

It’s also the first trim to open up some of the Pacifica’s best packages, like the Advanced SafetyTec Group. The Pacifica hides its bulk well, but it’s still a minivan, and the extra gadgets are handy in parking lots (not to mention keeping you safe on the highway). The only downside is that adding the safety tech requires swapping in a larger infotainment touchscreen with navigation. We’ll take the upgraded system – so equipped, the Pacifica still barely breaks $36,000:

  • Model:2019 Chrysler Pacifica Touring Plus
  • Engine: 3.6-liter V6
  • Output:287 hp / 262 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain:Front-wheel drive
  • MPG:19 City / 29 Hwy
  • Options: Advanced SafetyTec Group ($995, surround-view camera, seven-inch digital driver display, acoustic windshield, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure and collision warning, automatic parking assist, rain-sensing wipers), UConnect 4C Nav with 8.4-inch display ($895, 8.4-inch touchscreen, 4G LTE WiFi hotspot, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, GPS navigation, HD and XM radio)
  • Base Price:$34,340 (including the $1,395 destination fee)
  • Best Value Price:$36,230

Performance

Chrysler Pacifica

Aside from the hybrid (covered separately), there’s only one engine on tap for the Pacifica: a 3.6-liter V6 pumping out 287 horsepower. It’s more than competent, especially mated with the smooth-shifting nine-speed transmission.

The handling is another standout, feeling more sedan-like than a car this big has any right to. Minivans aren’t generally known for their agility, but the Pacifica may surprise you. The drive is composed, and an “L” transmission mode helps with low-speed cornering and towing. At an EPA-estimated 22 miles per gallon combined, fuel economy is even respectable by minivan standards.

Our only complaint is the lack of an all-wheel drive system. Accurate steering helps in tricky road conditions, but we’d still love an AWD system for all-weather peace of mind.

Style

How stylish the Pacifica is outside is exceeded only by how comfortable it is inside. A smooth body gets plenty of curves and a healthy dose of glass, which, along with some visual trickery along the windows, helps the Pacifica hide its size. Safety is strong: the Pacifica was an IIHS Top Safety Pick last year.

It’s nice to look at, and even nicer to sit in. The interior fit and finish are exceptional, with excellent visibility and quality materials. The cabin is spacious and filled with useful cubbies, and Chrysler’s foldaway seat system is supremely practical. The third row is big enough for adults, and all three rows can be optioned with plenty of connectivity.

Although the Pacifica is endlessly customizable, it can get pricey. Not all trims get the folding seating, and the best safety features aren’t always available. But truth be told, we don’t have many complaints – the Pacifica is well equipped.

The Best and Worst Things

Minivans aren’t supposed to be this good-looking or this nimble, but we’re not mad about it. Give us an all-wheel drive system and the Pacifica would near perfection.

Right For? Wrong For?

Chrysler Pacifica

The Pacifica is right for families of all shapes and sizes. With a price range of $28,340 up to nearly $50,000, there’s a Pacifica for everyone. It’s practical and stylish in all trims.

But as good as the Pacifica is, it’s still a minivan. Some families will prefer the burly utility of a true SUV, especially those who live in snowy climates.

The Bottom Line

At the moment, the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica is the minivan to beat. It’s the family-hauler against which all the others are measured. Some of the competition is gaining ground, notably the Honda Odyssey. But for now, the Pacifica reigns supreme. Whatever Chrysler employee dared to dream that minivans could be both stylish and fun, we salute you.