After the 2018 Honda Odyssey's Magic Slide second-row bucket seats scored a big win in the saving-mom's-sanity battle (preventing many sibling squabbles), the Odyssey won my second-row minivan challenge against the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica ... but then I needed to move a couch. The Pacifica is more than capable in this department.
Its seats easily tumble into underfloor bins, opening the entire cabin in seconds. In the Odyssey, the people-mover-to-cargo-hauler transformation is much more complicated. The Odyssey's seats don't fold at all and must be removed; they're heavy and need to be stashed somewhere. In the Pacifica, moving the couch was a simple three-step process.
Step 1: Stow the Second Row
For 2017, Chrysler improved the already excellent Stow 'n Go seat storage system with wider, cushier seats and an enhanced folding maneuver. Previously, you had to move the front seats forward before stowing the second-row seats. You still have to do that in the Pacifica, but now it's easier thanks to a one-touch button on the B-pillar. Also, the seats now tumble without having to first move the floormats out of the way.
After I removed my car seats, stowing the seats was quick and painless: Just lift the panel covering the underfloor bin and tug on the seat-mounted strap to collapse the seats into the floor.
Step 2: Stow the Third Row
For the third row, the seats also tumble into the cargo area with the pull of a strap, creating a long, flat load floor.
By the numbers, the Pacifica has 140.5 cubic feet of space when the second and third rows are stowed. That translates to 91.7 inches of length from behind the front seat to the liftgate trim and 48.8 inches of width between the cabin's wheelhouse bulges; maximum cargo height is 47.8 inches. My couch measured 80 inches long, 37 inches wide and 32 inches tall; it fit with room to spare.
Step 3: Load It Up
OK, so this part wasn't so easy, but after borrowing some muscle to get the couch in the van, I was on my way to my sister's house. The entrance to her driveway is via a narrow, winding alley — and I had to back into it. The couch blocked visibility to the rear, but the Uconnect system's multi-angle camera saved the day, navigating me through the tight corners without a scratch.
Now, if only agreeing on a new couch with my husband was as easy ...