2017 Chrysler Pacifica

IF YOU HAVE KIDS (emphasis on the plural), as the second child begins to crawl and the stuff she needs merely to survive, let alone be happy, on a trip to the grandparents seems to require its own set of luggage—which your firstborn already has… you should have anticipated this—you come to a realization: What did I get myself into? Followed by: Man, do I really need a minivan? And then, finally, when the existential despair sinks in like a Go-Gurt stain: me.

Chrysler Pacifica

Chrysler Pacifica

Other options exist, of course. The S UV can do the job for many a family, and you can feel better about your new state of domesticity under the shield of a car that was intended to do rough-and-tumble things beyond your Costco run. But that seems to be a bigger cliche than the minivan parent these days. Our hang-ups about minivans are really hang-ups about being perceived as a “family man” or a parent who cares about his 2017-chrysler-pacificachildren— and that’s not really progressive, is it? What does move things forward is the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica. Not through faux-SUV styling but by being pleasantly, surprisingly refined.

There’s the panoramic moonroof. The lie-flat, stowaway seats. The noise-canceling speakers. The adaptable cruise control. The built-in vacuum cleaner. In coming months, there will even be a plug-in hybrid version with an estimated 30-mile all-electric range.

Will the Pacifica abolish minivan shaming? The ability to modify the societal insecurities of dedicated parents is a lot to ask of a car.

But it sets an example by fully embracing what it is, no justification necessary. Although the V-6, when it needs to, can show off a surprising bit of tire-squelching giddyap just in case you need to be reminded: This is fun.

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