2017-2018 Chrysler Pacifica Review: Kids, Carseats & Safety
The new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is the only minivan to receive an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award for 2017. It also received a 5-star overall rating from Safercar.gov and the NHTSA gave it 5-stars in each crash test as well. That’s why we gave it a Runner-Up award for our Safest Family Minivans and SUVs with 3rd Row Seats. We do have a few minor concerns, however. To earn the top award from the IIHS, you have to purchase one of the pricier trim levels and an options package totaling almost $42,000 MSRP with family-friendly 8-passenger seating. As for carseats, while it’s a nice improvement from the Town & Country minivan, it’s still not quite as kid or carseat-friendly as the 2017 Honda Odyssey. Is it the best choice for your family? SafeDad discusses some of the pros and cons in our video review:
- IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (Limited & Touring L Plus w/Advanced SafetyTec group)
- NHTSA 5-Star Rating
- 5 sets of LATCH in 8-passenger trim
- Improved from the Town & Country
- Interior and Exterior styling
- Stow ‘n Go is great
- Easy 3rd row access
- Cargo space and flexibility
- Very good performance for a minivan
- Decent fuel economy; Hybrid available
- Very pricey to equip important Advanced SafetyTec features
- 3rd Row has various issues with child safety seats
- 2nd row buckle stalks & head restraints can be problematic for certain carseats
- Narrow 2nd row center seat is difficult for carseats, doesn’t stow in floor
- Firm front seats, rear seat comfort lags other minivans
Car Seats and Child Seating:
While not as family-friendly as the 2017 Honda Odyssey or even the 2017 Kia Sedona, the Pacifica does accommodate larger families with multiple carseats. The Car Seat Lady has an exhaustive write-up that fully addresses the second and third row seats in regards to kids and carseats.
Despite the cost above $40,000, I recommend the Chrysler Pacifica Touring-L Plus trim with the Advance SafetyTec Group and 8-passenger seating options. This is arguably the safest family hauler you can buy today! The 2017-2018 Pacifica does have some minor concerns and is still not the ideal minivan for being friendly to carseats, but with Stow ‘n Go seating it is flexible enough for most families.
Thank you to Chrysler for providing the 2017 Pacifica used for this review.
SafeDad writes about automobiles, carseats and traffic safety issues at CarseatBlog
Thank you for making this video. I have the 2018 pacifica and I bought the rodifix pictured in this video. I installed it exactly as you did in the video in the same exact spot. No problem and super easy. I have a second child who is also 4 and I would like to buy the same rodifix. Any suggestions on installing it in the third row? As you put in that video, the seat belt gets in the way and it’s right up next to the first rodifix.
He wants to be by his brother so I dont really want to put him in the captains chair. I have a baby in the other captains chair in a maxi cosi rear facing carseat so he wants to be in the back row with his “big brother.” Thanks for your help!
Hi Erin, adjacent seats in the third row are problematic. Unfortunately I don’t currently have access to a Pacifica to try this. If you cant find a reliable source that has done this, my best suggestion is to make sure you get a free returns policy just in case! Amazon (sold and shipped by, not a 3rd party vendor), BuyBuyBaby and Target all have friendly return policies on Max-Cosi.
I am having a hard time finding clarification regarding the 8th seat (second row, center seat) for the Pacifica. Since the seat belt comes down from the ceiling of the vehicle, is it still safe to install a car seat with that seat belt or do you need to use the LATCH? My daughter is over the LATCH weight limit but we want to have her in the center if at all possible.
Rachel, yes, you can use that seat belt to install a carseat. I have not heard of any restrictions in any vehicles for seat belts coming from the ceiling for installing carseats, but the vehicle manual will always specify in the child restraint section.
Great Question- Sadly, that remains a topic that is not covered well by data or independent testing. I have not heard of any specific advances in this area from Chrysler or any other company. I can only hope that all-new designs are improved in this regard, but there really is no way to know until the IIHS or NHTSA takes an interest:-(
Do you know if Chrysler has taken steps to address the issue of front seat collapse in the Pacifica?https://carseatblog.com/38404/collapsing-seat-backs-what-can-you-do/