With the 2017 Honda Odyssey, you get a minivan that knows its place in the front of the pack. It’s a best-selling vehicle that isn’t afraid of branching out from its typical soccer-mom audience, offering a wide assortment of innovative tech and features on top of its award-winning comfort and versatility.
In the opposite corner, you have the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, a vehicle that is in a state of identity crisis. In its first model year as a minivan, the Pacifica has ventured away from its crossover image we’d last seen nearly a decade ago and is acting as the replacement for the aged Town & Country. But is it a standalone family van or simply a replica of the Odyssey? Let’s find out how it compares in this Odyssey vs. Pacifica overview.
The Odyssey Fits More Junk in the Trunk
Comfort, convenience, and versatility—these are the primary factors to consider when you’re searching for a minivan. And the 2017 Honda Odyssey is loaded from front to back with the finest features and tons of cargo and passenger space. Rear-seat comfort in the Odyssey is exceptional—it can truly seat three adults, not just those who are under the age of 12—offering more hip, leg, head, and shoulder room than the 2017 Pacifica. In all, passenger volume in the 2017 Odyssey comes in at 173 cubic feet, which is substantially more than Pacifica’s 165 cubes.
The magic comes in the Odyssey’s exceptionally comfortable and adaptable middle and rear seats. The Multi-Function 2nd-Row Center Seat can slide outward entirely or just wide enough to add 1.5 inches of seating space (Wide-Mode). The aptly named 3rd-row Magic Seat® not only had a handy center armrest, but it can also tuck into the floor in one swift motion, upping storage capacity in the cargo area from 38.4 to 93.1 cubic feet—both options offer more space than Pacifica’s 32.3 and 87.5 cubic feet, respectively.
Other rear features only available in the 2017 Odyssey include an available cargo net accessory, five sets of LATCH connections (three in the middle row and two in the rear), four seatback storage pouches, and the pioneering HondaVAC® and Ultrawide Rear Entertainment System. The Pacifica, in an attempt to replicate the success of the Odyssey, also comes with a built-in vacuum, though the HondaVAC® and its removable trash bin are the originals on the block. We guess innovation breeds copycats.
Fawning Over the Family-Focused Features
In the front, drivers and passengers of the Odyssey are awarded similarly spacious dimensions and comfy seating, as well as a slew of tech flourishes. While the Pacifica does away with the seemingly archaic CD player, the Odyssey still sports one, so you can pop in those fresh 90s beats and relive your younger years. An enhanced seven-speaker sound system with audio amplifier is more robust than the six-speaker option on the Pacifica. A glovebox light is standard, as is front and rear “map lighting,” both of which can be helpful in the right conditions.
HondaLink® comes with a bright touchscreen (i-MID) and pairs seamlessly with tech like navigation, HD Radio, SiriusXM, Pandora, AUX, and Bluetooth hands-free calling and Song by Voice® audio streaming. The 2017 Pacifica’s Uconnect® infotainment system compares admirably, though we find the settings, interface, and available options of HondaLink® to be slightly superior. The home screen of the Odyssey feels more intuitive and comes with less of a learning curve, giving the technologically inept incentive to actually swipe around. Plus, you can set up specialized playlists for particular age groups (parents, we’re looking at you).
Safety-wise, the 2017 Honda Odyssey and 2017 Chrysler Pacifica have both received superb ratings by the NHTSA and IIHS, though the Odyssey does come with a few safety features that aren’t available on the rival Pacifica.
First is the critically acclaimed Honda LaneWatch™, which aids drivers in avoiding side-impact collisions. When signaling right, live video feed is pulled from the right-side mirror and displayed on the i-MID screen, offering up to 4 times more vision to the driver.
The other significant safety feature available only on the Odyssey is its Blind Spot Information System, which is a piece of passive tech that indicates when vehicles or blockages are in the blind spot. It does so simply by illuminating a light on the driver-side mirror. Very handy.
You’ll also find a theft-deterrent radio, LED brake lights, lane-departure warning, and forward collision warning systems as standard on the upper trim Odyssey Touring Elite—all of which are either completely unavailable or paid options on the Pacifica Limited model.
Style and Performance: The Best of Both Worlds
With the 2017 Odyssey, the traditional minivan image was thrown away and replaced by something a bit more modern. On the fender, the Odyssey can be stylized as a luxury car with an optional chrome-accent grille and fog lights. The side contours are a bit sportier and edgier than the Pacifica, and it’s shorter and thinner, too, which makes for noticeably better handling and driving dynamics. Some critics of the Pacifica have even called it out for having a stiff brake and predictable steering—both categories in which the Odyssey excels.
On the fuel-economy front, the Odyssey comes in with comparable EPA-estimated numbers as the Pacifica, though it does boast a larger fuel tank—21 gallons compared to Pacifica’s 19-gallon tank. That means an extra few trips to the store before hitting the pump and was a big reason why the Odyssey won the 2016 Best Minivan for the Money and 2016 Best Minivan for Families award from U.S. News.
Test the New Odyssey at our Car Dealerships Near Boca Raton
Although the Chrysler Pacifica can do a decent Odyssey impression, it’s clearly not on the same level. We all love impersonations, but when you want A-list quality, you cast an A-list star. Don’t settle for an imitation when you can cast a new Odyssey from our South Florida Honda Dealers near Ft. Lauderdale and Boca Raton, FL. We offer incredible pricing and Honda deals on the Odyssey and all other new Honda models at our car dealerships in South Florida, so locate your nearest showroom today and treat your family to one of the country’s best vehicles.