Photo of Chrysler Pacifica courtesy of FCA US.

Photo of Chrysler Pacifica courtesy of FCA US.

The newly introduced 2017-model year Chrysler Pacifica minivan has earned a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Five stars is the highest possible safety rating given by NHTSA. To qualify for the top overall score, the Pacifica drew five stars in the frontal crash and side crash tests as well as four stars in the rollover assessment. MGA Research performed the tests on Oct. 6.

NHTSA’s rating system takes into account the availability of three recommended safety features: rear-view cameras, lane-departure warning, and forward-collision warning. The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica checks the box for each category:

  • ParkView rear backup camera — Standard equipment, it provides a wide-angle view of the area immediately behind the vehicle before reversing at low speeds. It features dynamic grid lines to aid the driver when maneuvering into parking spaces or narrow areas. The image is displayed on the navigation screen when the transmission is shifted into “reverse.”
  • LaneSense Lane Departure Warning-Plus — Available as part of the Advanced Safety Tec Group, it leverages electronic power steering (EPS) to deliver a torque input to alert and assist the driver with corrective action.
  • Available Forward Collision Warning-Plus — Available as part of the Advanced Safety Tec Group, it uses radar sensors and cameras to detect whether the Pacifica is approaching another vehicle or large obstacle in its path too rapidly, and warns or may assist the driver in avoiding or mitigating the incident.

The blending of radar sensors and cameras is known as "sensor-fusion technology." Such redundancy affords greater object-detection precision, according to FCA US (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles).

FCA US engineers conducted more than 8,500 simulated crashes and more than 80 full-vehicle impacts. These tests led to the development of a body structure that integrates 12 different steel grades. High-strength steel accounts for 72%, of which 38% is advanced high-strength steel (AHSS). “And because these materials were used strategically, the new Pacifica’s body structure is also 250 pounds lighter than that of the vehicle it replaced – an enhancement that contributes to the vehicle’s class-leading 28 miles-per-gallon highway-cycle fuel-economy rating,” FCA US said in a released statement about the safety rating.

The Pacifica has also earned a 2016 Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet