Memory lane time. When my family moved back from Adak, AK, my mom and dad looked towards the SUVs. Me, Alex and John? Minivan. What in the hell were three kids doing wanting to ride around in a minivan?

You live on an island in the middle of nowhere for two years. Plus a backseat we could stretch out and take a nap? Freakin’ sold. Yeah, fast forward past the days of wtf were we thinking and it’s SUVs and trucks.

In the end, we settled on whatever Chrysler called its minivans back in 1998. Today, Chrysler is trying to reimagine the minivan as something cooler than your SUV. Right… Grand Cherokee SRT or a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica. Come again Chrysler?

Regardless, the effort has been years in the making of changing the public perception away from the term ‘minivan’ to ‘people movers’ or ‘family haulers.’ Hmm, I’m not a branding agency, but stick with minivan.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

You might recognize the name from last decade when the Pacifica was something of a crossover wagon that looked like a Subaru. Today? It’s more minivan-ish. The pitch isn’t that the Pacifica is as good as your current SUV, it’s better.

Mmhmm. Explain yourself Chrysler.

The 2017 provides more space, comfort and enough technology to have the soccer mom or dad button mashing for weeks. According to Chrysler, the styling is also non-minivan enough to appear to us millennials. That would only be true if a millennial has never seen a minivan.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan

Sorry Chrysler design team. That looks like a minivan. But that’s ok. Some people need the ‘family mover.’ In addition to fitting a squad of crayon commandos, you’re also doing your part to help the environment. A plug-in hybrid model will release alongside it and offers 80 mpg.

The automaker is claiming ‘37 minivan firsts’ in the Pacifica. What does that mean? To start with, the engine is no slouch. The 2017 has Pentastar V6 that outputs 287 hp. All the tech features in high-end vehicles. Count on them here. Parking assist, lane departure warning and a 360-degree camera system to name a few.

Oh, and a built-in vacuum. You are hauling kids. When have you known any kid to be OCD about keeping a car clean? Or the millennials the Pacifica is targeting for that matter?

Keep at it Chrysler. I don’t have kids, and I probably wouldn’t buy a minivan. But kids? They don’t care about the ‘lame’ minivan. It’s all about how much of their rooms can fit in the vehicle.

Pricing hasn’t been released but expect that to drop sometime before the middle of this year.

Bruce Velisek, director of the Chrysler brand, gave it one final pitch:

“There is, maybe, a stigma associated with owning a minivan, but I think the utility and functionality and versatility of the vehicle can overcome that.”

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