In the market for a minivan? If so, chances are you’re considering the Honda Odyssey or Chrysler Pacifica. Both offer consumers class-leading space, as well as a laundry list of available features. We’ll compare the two minivans across five categories:
- Space and Interior Quality
- Pricing and Standard Features
- Performance and Fuel Efficiency
The question is… Which minivan is right for your family?
#1 Space and Interior Quality
The 2017 Honda Odyssey has one of the most versatile interiors in the segment. First, buyers can move the middle section of seats as far forward (or backward) as they like. This feature lets mom and dad keep little ones within arms reach. Or, you can remove the center section altogether and slide the outboard seats into the middle making the third row even more accessible.
The Odyssey also features Honda’s new CabinWatch technology, which uses an infrared camera to help you keep an eye on the backseat at all times. Just pull up CabinWatch on the Odyssey’s central display screen and use pinch-and-zoom technology to watch for any unwanted behavior — even in the dark.
In the back, Honda’s available 10.2-inch monitor now streams PBS Kids, iHeartRadio, and Spotify apps thanks to a new 4G LTE Wi-Fi connection. Up in the front, an 8.0-inch touchscreen audio system comes standard. And we can’t forget about the built in vacuum located in the trunk.
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is the largest minivan on the market, with available seating up to eight. Chrysler’s built power-assist buttons into the sliding door frames to make moving the front seats that much easier. You’re also able to move the second-row seats forward, even when a child’s seat is in place.
The Pacifica’s third row is where all the magic happens, though. It’s probably the comfiest third row you’ll find in a minivan with enough space for older kids and adults. It’s also easily accessible and offers loads of leg room.
Higher models of the Pacifica give families the option of power reclining, while the highest trims have the third-row folding completely into the floor (you know, if you need that extra trunk space). The third row also offers cup holders, USB ports, HDMI inputs for the available rear-seat entertainment system and small, cleverly arranged storage bins.
Finally, Chrysler’s available Uconnect Theater features dual 10.1-inch HD touchscreens with Blu-ray player, Bluetooth remotes, downloadable games, and apps.
You Should Be Driving: Tie!
There’s no clear-cut winner in this category. Both minivans offer great space and solid interior quality. Accessing the second- and third-rows of seating is easy in both minivans. Finally, both Honda and Chrysler have updated their rear entertainment systems and added a host of new apps and technologies for 2017 so everyone stays entertained on long road trips.
The Odyssey is a Top Safety Pick+ for 2017. Honda’s included several available safety features – i.e. Lane Departure Warning, Vehicle Stability Assist and Forward Collision – however, you have to climb a few trim levels to get them. That being said, all Odyssey models offer five LATCH spots so you can tie in five children’s seats if need be.
The Chrysler Pacifica is also an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ thanks to a “Superior” rating for the minivans front crash prevention systems. The Pacifica also offers buyers over 100 safety and security features. Included on this list is available Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking, 360° Surround-View Camera, and Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist.
You Should Be Driving: The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
The Chrysler Pacifica offers more driver assisted technologies overall and includes more safety features on lower trims than the Odyssey.
#3 Pricing and Standard Features
The 2017 Honda Odyssey starts at $31,090 and comes in eight trims: LX ($31,090), SX ($33,190), EX ($36,190), EX-RES ($37,690), EX-L RES ($43,190), EX-L NAVI ($43,190) and Touring ($49,190).
All Odyssey models enjoy a well-rounded package of features. 17-inch steel wheels come standard, as does rear privacy glass, dual-zone air-conditioning and power front seats. As for entertainment, an 8-inch infotainment display is included.
All models also have Bluetooth functionality and a seven-speaker audio system. And the end of the day. you’ll be hard-pressed to find this many features in a minivan without the extra cost.
A rearview camera and seven-passenger seating come standard on the LX. A rear entertainment system with 270-watt audio system gets added on the EX-Res trim as do heated seats.
When you hit the EX-L Res trim, you see a host of safety technologies added including Lane Departure Warning System. Things get classier, too, with leather-trimmed seating and a power tailgate. You also see Honda’s integrated vacuum cleaner and satellite radio added to the roster.
If you decide to go all out, the Touring does not disappoint. In addition to driver-seat memory settings and front and rear parking sensors, owners see 18” aluminum-alloy wheels and Honda’s Ultrawide DVD system with two wireless headphones. The Touring also adds navigation and Honda’s refined rear-seat entertainment systems as standard amenities.
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica starts at $36,495 and comes in five trims: LX ($36,495), Touring ($38,495), Touring-L ($42,495), Touring-L Plus ($45,495), and Limited ($51,495).
While the Pacifica is about $5,000 more than the Odyssey’s base model, the LX includes more in terms of standard features, like power locks and windows, air conditioning, and Keyless Enter N Go.
A remote starter and LED taillights are added on the Touring-L model. When you hit the Limited trim, the price tag reads $51,495, and in addition to premium leather faced seating, LED Daytime Running Lamps and an 8.4 NAV multimedia center with premium navigation, owners also enjoy Touring suspension and Stow ‘N Vac integrated vacuum.
On the Pacifica, many of the features you see on higher trims can be added on lower level trims as options. If you want the extra passenger space, you can add a second-row seat for an additional cost. Chrysler’s also included optional towing packages and a 20-speaker sound system, if entertainment is a priority.
You Should Be Driving: The 2017 Honda Odyssey
Honda includes a lot for a little in the Odyssey. The features are plentiful and the cost increase is gradual as you move up the trim line.
#4 Performance and Fuel Efficiency
Under the hood of the Honda Odyssey is a 3.5-litre V6 engine. It gives owners 248 horsepower and 250 lb.-ft. of torque. Couple that with Variable Cylinder Management and Honda’s 6-speed automatic transmission and the Odyssey has one of the best fuel economy ratings in its class: 12.3 in the city and 8.6 on the highway.
The Chrysler Pacifica, on the other hand, comes with a 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine which has been completely redesigned for 2017. It now includes enhanced variable valve timing technology which helps increase the minivans efficiency and performance.
Pacifica’s Pentastar engine delivers 287 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque and offers up to 3,600 lb in towing capacity. Couple that with highway fuel economy ratings as efficient as 8.4 L/100 km and you’ve got a minivan that can tow without doing major damage to the wallet.
The Pacifica is also the first-ever minivan to offer a hybrid option. It comes standard with a Class-Exclusive 9-speed automatic transmission. It’s expected to achieve fuel economy ratings as efficient as 2.6 L/100 km in the city.
You Should Be Driving: The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
In terms of overall performance, the Pacifica has the upper hand on the Odyssey. Chryslers’ newly designed V6 engine is lighter and more efficient than previous models. It accelerates smoothly and puts out more power than the Odyssey’s engine does. In fact, according to most online reviews, the Pacifica offers one of the best ride and handlings of any minivan on the market today.
The Odyssey’s styling remains relatively unchanged for 2017. What is new are LED head- and taillights and a restyled grille (which you’ll recognize from the Honda Pilot).
The Pacifica — once referred to as the Town & Country — is Chrysler’s brand new version of a minivan. Where that sentiment is most noticeable is in the minivan’s styling. It’s streamlined design and optional 20-inch wheels give this minivan a revamped style and flare other family-haulers lack, including the Odyssey.
You Should Be Driving: The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
Comparing the 2017 Honda Odyssey vs 2017 Chrysler Pacifica isn’t easy, especially when both offer an affordable price point and configurable interiors. And with each minivan sporting a host of updates for 2017, it’s difficult to know which one will meet your needs the best.
If you’re looking to keep costs low, the Odyssey is likely your best pick. Honda’s minivan is slightly less expensive than the Pacifica (by almost $5,000). It also gives buyers more options across the model range. With the Odyssey, families enjoy the ultimate level of convenience — just think about that built-in vacuum — and all for under $31,000.
Both the Pacifica and the Odyssey’s interior offers potential buyers loads of space. Honda’s middle row of seating lets parents keep their kids close. Plus, with their new CabinWatch technology, you know exactly what the little ones are up too in the back seat at all times.
Chrysler’s perfected their Stow N Go seating for 2017. They’ve also included lots of storage compartments and bins throughout and when you couple that with a roomy third row and the potential for the seats to fold directly into the floor, you’ve got a minivan that works for you.
On the performance side of things, the Pacifica has a trendier-looking design and puts out more power. It’s also quite the tower — if you’re looking for something to haul a fifth-wheeler this summer, this is your minivan.
We’re giving the slight edge to the Pacifica. However, both minivans are clear leaders in the segment and offer families exceptional space and reliability.